I need support with this Humanities question so I can learn better.
Post your initial response to Part 1 and reply to at least 2 posts. Then post an initial response to Part 2 and reply to at least 2 posts
This Unit’s exercise involves one of the oldest discussions in the history of human thought, going back at least to the ancient Greek philosophers: How do we know what we know, especially in the realm of moral convictions? We think we know right from wrong, but where does that knowledge come from? Is it innate or learned? If it’s learned, how does social change ever occur? If it’s innate why do wrongs ever happen in the first place? As you respond to this discussion board, please take that debate seriously and engage in it earnestly.
View the video, “Strange Fruit: Spectacle Lynchings.” I know the images are disturbing, but looking at them seriously is necessary for this discussion. Especially in these difficult times, confronting the history of racism is essential to understanding our current upheaval.
Pay especially close attention to the faces of the participants in the crowds, particularly the children. Describe their reaction to the events using specific examples. Then describe your own reaction. Explain WHY your reaction is different (I hope) from theirs.
Remember that some of these children undoubtedly lived long enough to see Barack Obama elected President of the US, so we are not addressing incidents from an ancient past–these events occurred within the living memory of America. Recent Congressional testimony from the survivors of the Tulsa massacre establishes this point. Your task is to consider HOW and WHY attitudes changed so dramatically. It isn’t enough to respond just by declaring, “We are different now,” or “We were raised differently.” I want us to use these incidents to explore the dynamics of change that caused us to be different and to rear our children differently. In other words, how do we know this was wrong when obviously these audiences considered their actions to be morally acceptable or even necessary? So be specific in explaining incidents in your own life and in that of our society that brought this change about. Why have some people failed to change?
The children in this video look almost Giddy, like when you wake up on Christmas Morning and there are a ton of presents under the tree. It seems that most of them wanted to be a part of these burnings and lynchings. I think that the reason that I reacted differently to this is because it’s the loss of a human life in an inhuman way. It can take anywhere from seconds to minutes to die after being hung, burning is different you can survive hours before dehydration and organ failure kill you. I believe that the people in these photos deemed it right because they didn’t see African Americans as people. We were raised differently and I’ll tell you why, over the years African Americans have gained the right to vote, the right to sit where they choose, but most of all we are taught as children that they are people and that they are no different than we are. Now we go to the same schools, we are friends (and that was something that just didn’t happen in the south).
A “wrong” is only a “wrong” because we say it is. Not because it is. Society sets the boundaries. Giving=good. Killing=bad. Your environment and where you grow up back that view up.
Gathering around and watching a hanging and acting normal about it was a learned trait passed on by society for generations since time had a conscience.
The children and people in the videos are responding to a reinforced social norm. Hanging was the way people taught others what happens when you do something “wrong”. That should keep people in line and there wouldn’t be that many people doing the wrong things. They don’t like the punishment so maybe they think twice. People used to make it a big event and all gathered around to hear someone preach and even kids were brought to teach them young how to act and see what happens if they don’t mind the rules.
But most of these pictures were of black people hanging. Pictures stir the emotions that reinforce how bad blacks were treated based on their race.
Hanging still happens in some countries today, but the U.S. has stopped it as a way for the death penalty.
The problem I have with the pictures of the hangings is that they aren’t the legal death penalty in the U.S. These are “lynchings” done by a mob mostly to black people without a fair trial.
The pictures make you sick based on today’s normal way and how we have been taught that it’s not ok to just grab someone and burn them or lynch them from a tree or in public for all to gather around and take selfies and point.
One thing I noticed is how in 1899 with the Frank Embree whipping torture pictures that no one is smiling and no kids in the picture, but in the 1930 and 1935 pictures of the hangings, kids and teenagers are smiling and getting in the picture like its ok and normal and that one in Fort Lauderdale when the 9 year old boy said he saw a hanging and now wants to see a burning. That’s disturbing!
I read on the NAACP website that W.E. Dubois used these pictures and postcards for good in a campaign to inform the public of how bad lynchings were. When others were profiting off the postcards, he used it to gather support and raised $20,000 in 1916 for an anti-lynching campaign. (“History of Lynching“). That was a lot of money and attention in that day.
“History of Lynching in America.” NAACP, 9 May 2021, naacp.org/find-resources/history-explained/history-lynching-america.
Lets do part 2 now
Here it is
Predictably and thankfully, few people defend lynching today (including those in our class). However, there continues to be a lively debate about if or how amends should be made. So let’s update this discussion by considering the following scenario:
One of the men lynched in the 1940s was a prosperous black business owner whose success was perceived as taking business away from his white competitors in the community. He was accused of a crime he did not commit and killed by a mob without benefit of trial. His business was burned. Photos taken at the scene prove that prominent citizens, some of whom were his competitors, were involved in his murder, including the local sheriff, local ministers, several city councilmen, and the county judge. Under threat of imminent violence, his wife hurriedly left town with her young children, afraid to claim or even sell what was left of their business. The county subsequently foreclosed on the land for nonpayment of taxes. It was purchased by his competitors for the price of the back taxes, and today a thriving shopping strip occupies the site of his former business. The property has changed hands several times in the years since the killing.
Now his children are suing the city and county for compensation for their father’s death and recovery of his property. As a member of the city council you must decide: Should they recover? If so, how much? Should the property be returned? Current owners of the property and most current taxpayers were not directly implicated in the murder but have benefited from his loss of the property indirectly. Do they bear any responsibility for his death and loss of property? (This is very loosely based on what happened to the friends of anti-lynching advocate Ida B. Wells and on a debate with similar facts but far more victims involving the race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma)
The situation is terrible, and death of that man was cruel. I understand his children wanting compensation for the cruel fate of their father. As a city council member, I would suggest to give the children monetary compensation to try to at least honor their late father. A fair compensation might be the yearly property value since his death until present day summed up into a large sum. I understand the want of the property, however the current owners did not purchase the property directly after the man’s death. Therefore, the acquisition of said property would be unjust to the current owners. I would also suggest to create a memorial to their father. The memorial could be used to educate individuals of the injustices which have occurred. I would also try to help the children with a plan to maybe recreate their father’s business, and see if that is something which might interest the children to continue their father’s legacy.
In this case, the children should absolutely be able to recover the entire property as it was their father’s. I am not well versed in legal matters and the intricacies of how this would work within the court, but the children should definitely be entitled to something based on common sense alone. Although the current owners of the property had no direct cause in their father’s murder, they should easily understand why his children should have rights. If they are made aware of the full story, why should this be up for debate? But logically of course no one would want to give up a property or business that is aiding in their wealth and success, so it would not be this simple. As a member of the city council, I would absolutely suggest the proper dues are paid to the entire family, along with some type of recognition for this man that lost his life and business in such an unjust and cruel way.