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“A Conspiracy of Silence: Ordinary People and Complicity in Lynching”

By March 9, 2011Blog

Ironically, even arguments against lynching in some southern jurisdictions were couched in terms of white benefit. One editor of Tennessee paper reasoned, “The Negro is about the only dependable tiller of the soil in these parts. Competition for existence is not keen enough to force many white people into the harder work. The Negro also is very useful as a distributor of money. About all he gets goes through his fingers. Commercially, then, he is a very valuable asset. It is not good business to kill them.” 

-Sherrilyn Ifill