Welcome to Bennett's Study

From the Author of No Land an Island and Unconscionable

Pondering Alphabetic SOLUTIONS: Peace, Politics, Public Affairs, People Relations




UNCONSCIONABLE: http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/author/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/book/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/excerpt/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/contact/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/buy/ SearchTerm=Carolyn+LaDelle+Bennett http://www2.xlibris.com/books/webimages/wd/113472/buy.htm http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/AdvancedSearch/Default.aspx? http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Character of Impunity—Ida B. Wells-era Anti-lynching today’s Anti-war imperative

For Love of Country
Editing, excerpting by Carolyn Bennett

Today is her birthday
American of African descent, teacher, journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist, early leader in human rights movements— Ida B. Wells documented lynching in the United States and showed that this act of barbarity was often motivated by a segment of the American majority’s attempt to control or punish their business competitors’ among American Negroes, rather than to curb actual criminal behavior committed by Negroes.
Ida B. Wells
July 16, 1862-July 16, 1931
Wells was also active in women’s rights and the Woman Suffrage Movement and established several notable women’s organizations. She was an accomplished and persuasive orator who traveled widely, giving lectures in the United States and other countries.

Ida Bell Wells-Barnett: July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931

ECHOES: The following (excerpted, minor edit) from a speech given by Ida B. Wells in the year 1900 is eerily resonant in today’s U.S. actions at Guantanamo Bay and other detention and torture centers; actions on the streets of Illinois, Connecticut, California, Missouri, Georgia, New York, and other U.S. domestic sites; together with endless cases of U.S. lawlessness and repercussions against and among peoples and nations of Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Ukraine, and others.   

Judge Jury Executioner sans Constitutional Due Process or regard for Rights of Human Beings as Human Beings

“Our country’s national crime is lynching.” Ida Wells said.

“It is not the creature of an hour, the sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury, or the unspeakable brutality of an insane mob. It represents the cool, calculating deliberation of intelligent people who openly avow that there is an ‘unwritten law’ that justifies them in putting human beings to death without complaint under oath, without trial by jury, without opportunity to make defense, and without right of appeal.

he ‘unwritten law’ first found excuse with the rough, rugged, and determined man who left the civilized centers of eastern States to seek quick returns in the gold-fields of the far West.… Far removed from and entirely without protection of the courts of civilized life, these fortune-seekers made laws to meet their varying Judge Lynch was original in methods but exceedingly effective in procedure. He made the charge, impaneled the jurors, and directed the execution. When the court adjourned, the prisoner was dead. Thus lynch law held sway in the far West until civilization spread into the Territories and the orderly processes of law took its place. The emergency no longer existing, lynching gradually disappeared from the West. But the spirit of mob procedure seemed to have fastened itself upon the lawless classes, and the grim process that at first was invoked to declare justice was made the excuse to wreak vengeance and cover crime.…emergencies.…

“This is the work of the ‘unwritten law’ about which so much is said, and in whose behest butchery is made a pastime and national savagery condoned. The first statute of this “unwritten law” was written in the blood of thousands of brave men who thought that a government that was good enough to create a citizenship was strong enough to protect it. Under the authority of a national law that gave every citizen the right to vote, the newly-made citizens chose to exercise their suffrage. But the reign of the national law was short-lived and illusionary. Hardly had the sentences dried upon the statute-books before one Southern State after another raised the cry against 'Negro domination' and proclaimed there was an “unwritten law” that justified any means to resist it.…
“…Political excuse was no longer necessary [and] wholesale murder of human beings went on [unabated]…. A new name was given to the killings and a new excuse was invented for so doing.…”

Impunity—World bodies, charities, foundations in complicity shrug (Think U.S. forces, mercenaries, military contractors, drone missiles in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, et.al)

“… [L]ynchings have steadily increased in number and barbarity [yet] … there has been no single effort put forth by the many moral and philanthropic forces of the country to put a stop to this wholesale slaughter. The silence and seeming [condoning] grow more marked as the years go by. The world accepts without let or hindrance.

“In many cases there has been open expression that the fate meted out to the victim was only what he deserved. …

Paris, Texas: The mayor gave school children a holiday and the railroads ran excursion trains so that the people might see a human being burned to death;

Texarkana, Texas: Men and boys amused themselves by cutting off strips of flesh and thrusting knives into their helpless victim.…

n many instances there has been a silence that says more forcibly than words can proclaim it that it is right and proper that a human being should be seized by a mob and burned to death upon the unsworn and the uncorroborated charge of [an] accuser.

No matter that our laws presume every man innocent until he is proved guilty;
…no matter that it leaves a certain class of individuals completely at the mercy of another class;
…no matter that it encourages those criminally disposed to blacken their faces and commit any crime in the calendar so long as they can throw suspicion on some negro, as is frequently done, and then lead a mob to take his life;
…no matter that mobs make a farce of the law and a mockery of justice;
…no matter that hundreds of boys are being hardened in crime and schooled in vice by the repetition of such scenes before their eyes

“… [W]ith all the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, all the barbarism of the Middle Ages—the world looks on and says it is well.…”

mericans of all stripes who were born in the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century seemed far less afraid to proclaim America’s promise and their authentic love—not of politicians or political parties, but of country.

For love of country

“Our country’s national crime is lynching,” Wells wrote in 1900. And 115 years later we must ponder a parallel in violence committed at home and abroad on orders of U.S. officials and by acts of their partners, contractors and government employees.

“… No American travels abroad without blushing for shame for his country on this subject; and whatever the excuse that now passes in the United States, it avails nothing abroad,” Wells wrote.

“With all the powers of government in control… —no excuse can be offered for exchanging orderly administration of justice for barbarous lynchings and ‘unwritten laws.’”

How and when will constructive change, substantive change in our character of being come to us? Ida Wells responds, Not “until Americans of every section of broadest patriotism and best and wisest citizenship—not only see the defect in our country’s armor, but who take the necessary steps to remedy [that defect].”

Sources and notes

“Speech on Lynch Law in America, Given by Ida B. Wells in Chicago, Illinois, January, 1900” Civil Rights and Conflict in the United States: Selected Speeches by FCIT Source: Wells, I. B. (1900).  The Arena,  http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/185/civil-rights-and-conflict-in-the-united-states-selected-speeches/4375/speech-on-lynch-law-in-america-given-by-ida-b-wells-in-chicago-illinois-january-1900/

Biographical notes on Ida B. Wells

Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ida_B._Wells
Biography http://www.biography.com/people/ida-b-wells-9527635


A lifelong American writer and writer/activist (former academic and staffer with the U.S. government in Washington), Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs (PhD, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan; MA, The American University, Washington, DC). Her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts, and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of U.S. foreign relations, geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, and violence and nonviolence. Dr. Bennett is an internationalist and nonpartisan progressive personally concerned with society and the common good. An educator at heart, her career began with the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Since then, she has authored several books and numerous current-affairs articles; her latest book: UNCONSCIONABLE: How The World Sees Us: World News, Alternative Views, Commentary on U.S. Foreign Relations; most thoughts, articles, edited work are posted at Bennett’s Study: http://todaysinsightnews.blogspot.com/ and on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/carolynladelle.bennett. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx Her books are also available at independent bookstores in New York State: Lift Bridge in Brockport; Sundance in Geneseo; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center in Buffalo; Burlingham Books in Perry; The Bookworm in East Aurora