Friday, October 19, 2007

Walking Away From Hate

Manhattan Institute fellow John McWhorter asks an interesting question and makes an interesting proposal:

Imagine if after the Jena incident, black kids had just taken the nooses down and kept on hanging out under that tree. Why is that such an unthinkable alternative to shouting it to the rooftops only to watch similar things keep happening nationwide anyway?

Hence my modest proposal. The next time — and there will be one, and another, and another — let it go. Not because it's okay, but because that is the way to discourage it from happening.


At 10/19/2007 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great call. The black kids might even hang another noose and say, "Hey, it seems like hanging these from this tree makes you feel real good. Let us help you. Come on, hang some more." I bet the perpetrators won't like to hang nooses so much more after that. I really do think that. And you are right: it takes a person with a very strong sense of self to be able to walk away like you suggest. But walking away implies they are strong, indeed. Supposedly when bull rhinos fight, the dominant rhino is determined by the first one to walk away, hence leaving it exposed to a potential goring from the weaker rhino. Anyway, I like your post, thanks.

At 10/19/2007 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"black kids had just taken the nooses down and kept on hanging out under that tree"

That is pretty much what did happen, except that a black teacher (not a student) took down the nooses, and thereafter the blacks and whites continued to hang out there.

You see, according to NPR and AP, "There was no 'White Tree'".

The MSM misreported virtually everything involving Jena. NPR and AP did not just retract one minor detail, instead they retracted a laundry list of canards that supported the conjecture of racism on the part of DA Reed Walters.

Anyway, the preceding does not directly address the topic. Nooses.

How did a noose ever become a symbol of hate specific to blacks? Hangings predate Columbus's first voyage. Before drawing and quartering, a prisoner was hanged nonlethally. In New America, hanging was the typical sentence for common thievery. Visitors to Old Boston were often greeted by the rotting corpses swinging from trees outside the walls. The Nazis probably hanged more people than any other nation in history. Hangings in China and Japan go back further still.

So, how did the black's couple centuries' worth of lynching vicims suddenly outbalance the rest of the world? And, why did blacks create a symbol of hate from the noose in the first place? Why invest so much power in an icon that it can be used against you?

At 10/22/2007 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if the black kids just walked up to the ropes and hung themselves? Would that make it go away too?

Don't you remember what it's like to be 17? I'll remind you. It is very hard to swallow your pride at that age.

Al Sharpton wasn't their mentor (not yet), and they did what came naturally. To confront the cowards that threatened their lives.

In retrospect I'm sure they feel that they could have done something more effective and less hurtful.


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