Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Report on lynching in the US shows historical numbers, like killings by police, are underreported

TUE FEB 10, 2015 AT 09:28 AM PST

Report on lynching in the US shows historical numbers, like killings by police, are underreported

The Lynching of Lige Daniels. 3 August 1920, Center, Texas. Without Santuary, plate 54
You can tell a lot about a nation by the sociological data it chronically underreports.
Today, in the United States, the egregiously underreported number would be how many people are killed by police. While the FBI has admitted that 2013 was the deadliest year ever for people killed by police, with 461 documented deaths, new studies are showing that the number is at least 1,100 - an astounding 58% error. So wide is the gap between how many people are killed by police and what is actually reported that the Washington Post just went ahead and declared that nobody really knows how many people the police kills.
In a new report released by the Equal Justice Initiative, documenting the history of lynching in America, the number of people lynched in the United States is significantly higher than ever previously reported. In the NY Times, Bryan Stephenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, details how from 1877-1950, in the United States, that 4,000 men, women, and children were murdered as a form of racial terrorism to African Americans - a number drastically higher than has been previously reported.
“Lynching and the terror era shaped the geography, politics, economics and social characteristics of being black in America during the 20th century,” Mr. Stevenson said, arguing that many participants in the great migration from the South should be thought of as refugees fleeing terrorism rather than people simply seeking work.
The parallels between historical lynchings in America and the rise of police killings of our citizens is uncanny and despicable.
Below the fold, please take the time to read the full EJI report. Its insights inform how we got to be who we are today in America.

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