Back in 1944, a young black male named George Stinney, Jr. was accused, tried, convicted and executed in a matter of days for a crime he almost certainly did not commit. By white people. White people who hated black people:
“It took less than a day for a jury to convict George Stinney Jr. and send him to the electric chair,” NPR’S Hansi Lo Wang reports. “He was convicted of the deaths of 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and 7-year-old Mary Emma Thames in deeply segregated Alcolu, S.C.”
Matt Burgess, an attorney for the Stinney family, tells Hansi, “There were no African-American people in that courthouse. It was a jury of 12 white men. Everyone in that courthouse was white.”
George Stinney Jr. was executed less than three months after the two girls were murdered. His trial lasted just one day. After the jury needed less than 10 minutes to declare him guilty, no appeals were filed on his behalf.
“His executioners noted the electric chair straps didn’t fit him, and an electrode was too big for his leg,” The State newspaper reports. The paper adds, “It took Mullen nearly four times as long to issue her ruling as it took in 1944 to go from arrest to execution.”
70 years later, in 2014, lots of black males were murdered by racist white government employees in Cleveland, Ferguson, Staten Island, and many other places across the country. The only difference? Time.
The 2014 cops didn’t even pretend to bother with courts or silly things like due process: no, they arrested, accused, tried, judged, and killed, all in a matter of minutes. Or seconds, in the Cleveland case.
Those who say we have “made progress” in terms of equality are correct. However, that progress is NOT in a good direction. It’s going backwards. Until we as a society admit that our institutions have been made into Ayn Randian, apartheid-esque, Teabagger havens for a load of Ted Nugent wannabees, things will only get worse.
Mr. Blunt and Cranky