Ho Chi Minh on Lynching
CharlesB at SPAMCNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Mon Oct 30 12:56:17 MST 2000
On Lynching And The Ku Klux Klan
By Ho Chi Minh (1924)
It is well known that the Black race is the most oppressed and the
exploited of the human family. It is well known that the spread of
capitalism and the discovery of the New World had as an immediate
rebirth of slavery, which was for centuries a scourge for the Negroes
bitter disgrace for mankind. What everyone does not perhaps know is
after sixty-five years of so-called emancipation, American Negroes
endure atrocious moral and material sufferings, of which the most
horrible is the custom of lynching.
The word "lynching" comes from Lynch. Lynch was the name of a planter
Virginia, a landlord and judge. Availing himself of the troubles of
of Independence, he took the control of the whole district into his
He inflicted the most savage punishment, without trial or process of
Loyalists and Tories. Thanks to the slave traders, the Ku Klux Klan,
other secret societies, the illegal and barbarous practice of lynching
spreading and continuing widely in the States of the American Union.
become more inhuman since the emancipation of the Blacks, and is
directed at the latter....
>From 1899 to 1919, 2,600 Blacks were lynched, including 51 women and
and ten former Great War soldiers.
Among 78 Blacks lynched in 1919, 11 were burned alive, three burned
having been killed, 31 shot, three tortured to death, one cut into
one drowned, and 11 put to death by various means.
Georgia heads the list with 22 victims, Mississippi follows with 12.
have also three lynched soldiers to their credit. Of the 11 burned
the first State has four and the second two. Out of 34 cases of
premeditated and organized lynching, it is still Georgia that holds
place with five. Mississippi comes second with three.
Among the charges brought against the victims of 1919, we note: one
having been a member of the League of Non-Partisans (independent
one of having distributed revolutionary publications; one of
opinion on lynchings too freely; one of having criticized the clashes
between Whites and Blacks in Chicago; one of having been known as a
of the cause of the Blacks; one for not getting out of the way and
frightening a white child who was in a motorcar. In 1920, there were
lynchings, and in 1922 there were twenty-eight.
These crimes were all motivated by economic jealousy. Either the
the area were more prosperous than the Whites, or the Black workers
not let themselves be exploited thoroughly. In all cases, the
culprits were never troubled, for the simple reason that they were
incited, encouraged, spurred on, then protected by politicians,
and authorities, and above all, by the reactionary press....
The place of origin of the Ku Klux Klan is the Southern United States.
May, 1866 , after the Civil War, young people gathered together in a
locality of the State of Tennessee to set up a club. A question of
away the time. This organization was given the name "kuklos", a Greek
meaning "club". To Americanize the word, it was changed into Ku Klux.
Hence, for more originality, Ku Klux Klan.
After big social upheavals, the public mind is naturally unsettled.
becomes avid for new stimuli and inclined to mysticism. The KKK, with
strange garb, its bizarre rituals, its mysteries, and its secrecy,
irresistibly attracted the curiosity of the Whites in the Southern
and became very popular.
It consisted at first of only a group of snobs and idlers, without
or social purpose. Cunning elements discovered in it a force able to
their political ambitions.
The victory of the Federal Government had just freed the Negroes and
them citizens. The agriculture of the South - deprived of its Black
was short of hands. Former landlords were exposed to ruin. The
proclaimed the principle of the supremacy of the white race.
their only policy. The agrarian and slaveholding bourgeoisie saw in
Klan a useful agent, almost a savior. They gave it all the help in
power. The Klan's methods ranged from intimidation to murder....
The Klan is for many reasons doomed to disappear. The Negroes, having
learned during the war that they are a force if united, are no longer
allowing their kinsmen to be beaten or murdered with impunity. They
replying to each attempt at violence by the Klan. In July 1919, in
Washington, they stood up to the Klan and a wild mob. The battle
the capital for four days. In August, they fought for five days
Klan and the mob in Chicago. Seven regiments were mobilized to
order. In September the government was obliged to send federal troops
Omaha to put down similar strife. In various other States the Negroes
defend themselves no less energetically.
(Ho Chi Minh, 1924)
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