Lynching was a racist terror crime employed by white supremacists to murder more than 4,400 black Americans between 1877 and 1950. So it is grotesque for the president of the United States to misappropriate that term as Donald Trump did in a Tuesday morning tweet regarding the House’s impeachment inquiry: “All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching. But we will WIN!”
So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching. But we will WIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2019
Florida had the second–most lynchings of any state on a per-capita basis, with 315 total — 53 across Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk, Hernando and Citrus counties, according to the Equal Justice Initiative. John F. Evans was one of them. In downtown St. Petersburg at 10:25 on the night of Nov. 12, 1914, hundreds of armed white men broke into the city jail and dragged Evans out. He was accused of killing a prominent white man. They put a noose around his neck and marched him to the intersection of Second Avenue S and what is now Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street. There the mob lynched him, stringing him up from a telephone pole 40 feet in the air. The mob fired 500 shots at his body, which was left hanging until the morning, near where Tropicana Field sits today. This was a lynching. What Trump faces is a legal process set out in the Constitution.
Reaction to Trump’s tweet was appropriately swift and pointed, except for one notable exception from his erstwhile ally, Sen. Lindsey Graham:
I’ve studied lynching for decades. Read hundreds of lynching accounts.Viewed almost scores of photographs. Wrote a book about lynching. Mr. Trump’s actions & words are consistent w/those who incited lynching, not its victims. And that fact makes this tweet particularly grotesque. pic.twitter.com/90P1kQL2ya— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) October 22, 2019
The President is not a victim. He should be the most powerful person on the planet. To equate his plight to lynching is grotesque. https://t.co/ZECeswGlWx— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) October 22, 2019
You are comparing a constitutional process to the PREVALENT and SYSTEMATIC brutal torture of people in THIS COUNTRY that looked like me? https://t.co/3v4oMuPC6C— Congressmember Bass (@RepKarenBass) October 22, 2019
“This is a lynching in every sense. This is un-American.”
A comment to reporters from Sen. Lindsey O. Graham, the South Carolina Republican who is a close Trump ally.
@realDonaldTrump and @LindseyGrahamSC this is a lynching. Trump this is not happening to you and it’s pathetic that you act like you’re such a victim; but it did happen to 147 black people in your state Lindsey. “A lynching in every sense”? You should know better. pic.twitter.com/RQNQaOaLsd— Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) October 22, 2019
This is the Constitution at work...
... and this is murder by a lawless mob.
Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Times Chairman and CEO Paul Tash, Editor of Editorials Tim Nickens, and editorial writers Elizabeth Djinis, John Hill and Jim Verhulst. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news.