Sunday, February 24, 2019

Not A Lynching


This is not good.

In a speech criticized by the House Republican Majority Leader and defended by black lawmakers

Embattled Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax compared himself to Jim Crow-era lynching victims in a surprise speech Sunday, as he resists widespread calls to resign prompted by allegations of sexual assault.

Fairfax strongly defended himself and lashed out at his critics from his rostrum in the state Senate as the 2019 legislative session was coming to a close.

“I’ve heard much about anti-lynching on the floor of this very Senate, where people were not given any due process whatsoever, and we rue that,” Fairfax said, referencing legislation the General Assembly passed expressing “profound regret” for lynchings in Virginia between 1877 and 1950.

“And we talk about hundreds, at least 100 terror lynchings that have happened in the Commonwealth of Virginia under those very same auspices. And yet we stand here in a rush to judgment with nothing but accusations and no facts and we decide that we are willing to do the same thing,” Fairfax said.





GOP legislative leaders plan to hold a hearing Monday, in which the Lieutenant Governor and his two accusers will testify, into the sexual assault charges two women have leveled against him.

The Lieutenant Governor argues that the initial rush to judgement against him is analogous to that which precipitated "at least 100 terror lynchings in Virginia between 1877 and 1950" (as against, apparently, the lynchings not to be condemned as terrorism).

We've heard little of this sort of political mau-mauing since the unqualified Clarence Thomas complained that questioning him before anointing him a lifetime member of the United States Supreme Court was "a high-tech lynching of an uppity Negro." Fairfax's debased comment serves no purpose other than as part of a base strategy (pursued by President Trump to combat Special Counsel Mueller's investigation) in which the Lieutenant Governor relies on his die-hard supporters to avoid impeachment.

Clarence Thomas had made a lifestyle out of sexual harassment.  But even if he were being unfairly accused, it was hardly a lynching, in which- he should have been reminded- people were killed. Fairfax claimed "if we go backwards, and we rush to judgment and we allow for political lynchings without any due process, any facts, any evidence being heard...." Whatever injustice has been perpetrated against Fairfax, it is not a lynching and not comparable to hanging people.

The Lieutenant Governor's fate should be determined by a full investigation of the sexual abuse allegations and not bu a loathsome remark. Nonetheless, if a white Democratic male had made the same remark, he would be condemned across the political spectrum- as he would deserve to be. We should expect no less from a black man.



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