> To: email@example.com
> From: "Julie Keller" <jakeller@...>
> Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2005 13:48:22 -0000
> Subject: [utepprogressives] What's Wrong with Senate
> Anti-Lynching Apology
> There was a heartening story in the Times today
> about the Senate
> passing a resolution (Senate Resolution 39) against
> the lynchings that
> took place in America in the pre-civil rights era.
> One might be
> tempted to believe the Senate is interested in
> righting a wrong.
> Republicans will surely tout the passage of this
> resolution as proof
> that it took a GOP-controlled senate, the party of
> Lincoln, to pass
> this resolution. Where have the Democrats been on
> this all these years?
> But wait.
> The devil's in the details. What was not reported
> in the El Paso
> Times-edited version of this wire story was that
> this measure passed
> on a voice vote, not a roll call vote, so the
> Senators will not have
> to account for whether they supported it or not.
> Keep in mind that
> the GOP is strong in the South today because all the
> Dixiecrats left
> the Democratic Party and joined the GOP in the '60's
> to protest the
> Civil Rights Act.
> Further, the measure was supported by 80, not 100,
> senators. There
> were more than a few Republicans who did not sponsor
> this resolution,
> and also a few Democrats who did not, either. I am
> sure they will be
> scrambling to make up for lost time today, but for
> the record, here is
> a wire service story that includes more background
> than what got
> reported in the Times today, followed by a list of
> the Senators who
> did not sponsor the resolution (yes, Cornyn and
> Hutchison did not
> sponsor the resolution).
> Senate Issues Apology Over Failure on Lynching Law
> By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
> WASHINGTON, June 13 - Anthony Crawford's
> granddaughter went to her
> grave without speaking a word to her own children
> about his lynching,
> so painful was the family history. On Monday, Mr.
> descendants came to the Capitol to tell it - and to
> accept a formal
> apology from the Senate for its repeated failure,
> despite the requests
> of seven presidents, to enact a federal law to make
> lynching a crime.
> The formal apology, adopted by voice vote, was
> issued decades after
> senators blocked antilynching bills by filibuster.
> The resolution is
> the first time that members of Congress, who have
> apologized to
> Japanese-Americans for their internment in World War
> II and to
> Hawaiians for the overthrow of their kingdom, have
> apologized to
> African-Americans for any reason, proponents of the
> measure said.
> "The Senate failed you and your ancestors and our
> nation," Senator
> Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, chief Democratic
> sponsor of the
> resolution, said at a luncheon attended by 200
> family members and
> descendants of victims. They included 100 relatives
> of Anthony
> Crawford, as well as a 91-year-old man believed to
> be the only known
> survivor of an attempted lynching.
> He is James Cameron, who in 1930, as a 16-year-old
> shoeshine boy in
> Marion, Ind., was accused with two friends of
> murdering a white man
> and raping a white woman. His friends were killed.
> But as Mr. Cameron
> felt a noose being slipped around his neck, a man in
> the crowd stepped
> forward to proclaim Mr. Cameron's innocence. Mr.
> Cameron came here in
> a gray suit and a wheelchair, his voice shaky but
> his memories
> apparently fresh.
> "They took the rope off my neck, those hands that
> had been so rough
> and ready to kill or had already killed, they took
> the rope off of my
> neck and they allowed me to start walking and
> stagger back to the
> jail, which was just a half-block away," Mr. Cameron
> told a news
> conference. "When I got back to the jail, the
> sheriff said, 'I'm going
> to get you out of here for safekeeping.' "
> He learned only later, he said, that the sheriff was
> a member of the
> Ku Klux Klan. "I was saved," Mr. Cameron said, "by a
> There have been 4,742 recorded lynchings in American
> history, Ms.
> Landrieu said. Historians suspect that many more
> went undocumented.
> Although the House passed antilynching legislation
> three times in the
> first half of the 20th century, the Senate,
> controlled by Southern
> conservatives, repeatedly refused to do so. Senator
> George Allen of
> Virginia, chief Republican sponsor of the new
> resolution, called it
> "this stain on the history of the United States
> Although the Senate garnered praise on Monday for
> acting to erase that
> stain, some critics said lawmakers had a long way to
> go. Of the 100
> senators, 80 were co-sponsors of the resolution, and
> because it passed
> by voice vote, senators escaped putting themselves
> on record.
> "It's a statement in itself that there aren't 100
> Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, said.
> "It's a statement
> in itself that there's not an up-or-down vote."
> Others described the resolution as an act of
> expediency for Mr. Allen,
> who is a likely presidential candidate and who has
> been criticized for
> displaying a Confederate flag at his home and a
> noose in his law
> office. Mr. Allen said that they were part of
> collections of flags and
> Western paraphernalia and that he was motivated not
> by politics, but
> by a plea by Dick Gregory, the civil rights
> advocate, who wrote him a
> letter urging him not to "choose to do nothing."
> The memories were especially painful for the
> relatives of Anthony
> Crawford, whose family was torn apart by the
> lynching. Mr. Crawford
> had been a wealthy black landowner in Abbeville,
> S.C., a cotton
> farmer, registered voter and community leader who
> founded a school for
> black children and a union for black families. In
> 1916, after a
> dispute with a white man over the price of cotton
> seed, he was hanged
> from a pine tree and shot more than 200 times. His
> family lost his
> land, and the relatives scattered.
> "Someone is finally recognizing our pain," said
> Alberta Merriwether, a
> retired schoolteacher who is his great-granddaughter
> and whose mother
> never spoke of the lynching.
> Mrs. Merriwether's aunt Magdalene Latimer, 84, was
> not so certain
> about the senators. "I have to let God be the
> judge," Ms. Latimer
> said, "because I don't know if they meant it out of
> their heart or
> they're just saying it out of their mouth."
> Senators who did NOT sponsor S. Res. 39:
> Alexander TN
> Bennett UT
> Bingaman NM
> Cochran MS
> Conrad ND
> Cornyn TX
> Crapo ID
> Enzi WY
> Grassley IA
> Gregg NH
> Hatch UT
> Hutchison TX
> Kyl AZ
> Lott MS
> Murkowski AK
> Reed, Jack RI
> Shelby AL
> Smith, Gordon OR
> Sununu NH
> Thomas WY
> Voinovich OH
Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.
Changes have not been saved
Press OK to abandon changes or Cancel to continue editing
Your browser is not supported
Kindly note that Groups does not support 7.0 or earlier versions of Internet Explorer.
We recommend upgrading to the latest Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Firefox. If you are using IE 9 or later, make sure you turn off Compatibility View.