“Lynching—and other forms of racial terrorism—inflicted deep traumatic and psychological wounds on survivors, witnesses, family members, and the entire African American community. Whites who participated in or witnessed gruesome lynchings and socialized their children in this culture of violence also were psychologically damaged. And state officials’ indifference to and complicity in lynchings created enduring national and institutional wounds that we have not yet confronted or begun to heal.”
-The Equal Justice Initiative The article from which this quote was taken may be read here*
There is a history of the lynching of black bodies by white people in the United States of America.
There is a history of terrorizing black people with lynching and calling it justice.
There is a history of vigilantism that was condoned and ignored by community leaders.
There is a history – more than 4,400 lynchings of Black Americans from 1877-1950.
That history has not gone away.
That history, those people, those families and their collective trauma have not gone away,
And to pretend otherwise is to ask us to forget history,
To pretend otherwise is to deny the blood that has been spilled on our nation’s soil.
So, when people take it upon themselves to take up arms and track down another human down, that history is evoked – the dehumanization is back, the injustice is fresh once again.
When young black men are killed by white men and the justice system drags its feet or grinds to a halt,
When young black men are killed and non-Black people search for reasons that it might have been justified,
These things tell us that we have work to do.
Tell us that this nation has work to do to face our past and understand its effect, so we can build a future free from discrimination and violence.
His name was Ahmaud Arbery, and he was not the first.
I have work to do, it starts with me.
You have work to do, it starts with you.
We have work to do and we need to get to it.
Know it. Understand it. Change it.
-OC Human Relations, May 15, 2020
If you see or experience hate, please report it to OC Human Relations online or by phoning 714-480-6580