Mixing Metaphors and Diluting Memory: Lynching - The Reality
Against The Current vol. 120

Davis, Gode; Asen, Peter Ian

Publisher:  Against The Current
Date Written:  01/01/2006
Year Published:  2006  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX13213

On October 9, 2005, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter appeared on ABC's "This Week" to defend Harriet Miers, President Bush's confidante whose nomination to the Supreme Court had evoked howls of protest, particularly from the Christian Right. Specter told George Stephanopoulos that Miers' verbal critics made up "one of the toughest lynch mobs ever assembled in Washington, DC, and we assemble some tough lynch mobs." In claiming Washington's penchant for "tough lynch mobs," Senator Specter was not speaking literally—though he could have been. It is unlikely that Specter meant to evoke the actual lynch mobs roaming the streets of Washington D.C. for four days during the "Red Summer" of 1919, attacking African-Americans in a frenzy whipped up by racism, anti-communism, fears of joblessness, and post-war jingoism.

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