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Squires: The left, like the old KKK, uses fear of racial violence to control the minds, emotions, and actions of black people

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A Washington Post story about suspected lynchings in Mississippi is just the latest example of the left using the specter of race hatred to keep black people afraid for our lives and ashamed of our country.

The Post ran a story on Sunday that claimed there have been eight suspected lynchings of black men in Mississippi since 2000 and that local law enforcement has often ruled these deaths suicides. The article gives details of each incident as well as the response from family members who feel the cases were being dismissed too quickly. A significant section of the report focuses on the long and ugly history of lynching as a tool of racial terror. According to the Post, more than 4,000 black men, women, and children were lynched between 1877 and 1950.

It is impossible to deny the impact of lynching on the psyche of black Americans, past and present. The song "Strange Fruit," most notably linked to Billie Holiday, originated as a poem written as a protest against lynchings. Images of smiling crowds posing in front of burning corpses are reminders of both the grave injustice of the practice and how normal it was to the people who participated in it. Lynchings are a part of American history that should not be glossed over or sanitized, but this Washington Post article is about a lot more than attempting to bring justice to eight families or a concern for black life.

I know this because each year, about 7,000 black people are killed – accounting for about half of all homicides in this country. Most people don't know about these crimes because many go unsolved or only receive local media coverage. Given the intra-racial nature of most homicides in this country, black murder victims who are killed by other black people are generally not deemed worthy of national news coverage.

In fact, large cities with high homicide rates that disproportionately impact black neighborhoods have become ground zero for progressive district attorneys and "defund the police" activists.

I find it hard to believe the response to these murders would be the same if the victims were journalists, college professors, hedge fund managers, politicians, or trust fund heirs. Somehow the value of black lives seems to have an inverse relationship to the melanin levels of the people taking them. The paler the perpetrator, the more compelling the crime. The Crips and other street gangs accounting for one-third of all shootings in New York City this year gets relegated to the Metro section of the New York Post, while eight suspected lynchings over two decades receive national coverage in one of the most influential newspapers in the country.

The left is not in the crime-solving business. It is in the black fear business. Journalists, politicians, and social media influencers connect with their black "customers" by making them feel like America in 2021 is no different, with respect to white racial violence, than it was 100 years ago. This is why corporate media latches onto any incident, whether an actual crime or a verbal disagreement, that has the familiar black-white, victim-victimizer dynamic. It's also why activists and politicians who say they are fighting for racial justice trivialize the history of actual racial discrimination and violence by calling state election bills they don't like the "Delta variant of Jim Crow voting laws" or trying to link the case of a black bird-watcher and white dog-walker to the murder of Emmett Till.

People who can't manage their money – running up credit cards and tapping payday lenders – eventually become someone else's investment. In a similar fashion, the book of Proverbs says that people who lack the ability to manage their emotions are like a city that has been invaded and left without any defense systems. They eventually end up under someone else's control.

Fear is the battering ram the left has used to breach the black psyche and take control of every major institution across the country. If black people are perpetually afraid of racism, we'll keep voting for politicians who commit to care for us from cradle to grave. We'll keep sending our children to schools that spend more time on activism than academics. We'll keep believing intellectuals who promise equal outcomes in every area of life. We'll keep parroting activists who use black deaths to push their Marxist agenda; keep supporting athletes and entertainers who say they're speaking truth to power; and keep buying products from companies that say they stand for racial justice.

The only thing worse than the smarmy, self-serving people who engage in this behavior is the reality that it works. That is why multiple people told me to be careful before I left on a recent road trip from D.C. to Texas that took my family through Mississippi and Alabama. They weren't just wishing me safe travels; they were warning me as a black man traveling in the Deep South. I would be lying if I said I didn't think about the same thing.

At one point I envisioned myself being pulled over late at night with the kids asleep in the back and having a white state trooper with a thick southern drawl shine his light in my car and order me out. I thought about what would happen if the situation escalated. I played out how each scenario I considered would allow me to safely return to my wife and children. Those fleeting thoughts showed me that I'm not immune to the corrosive impact of having relatively rare threats constantly amplified and the most immediate ones deliberately minimized.

I hope that the police investigate these suspected lynching incidents and take the necessary actions if foul play was involved in any of them. The families of the deceased men deserve justice if their fathers, brothers, and sons were murdered. I believe most Americans, regardless of skin color or political affiliation, would say the same. I feel much less confident that the left is ready to kick its unhealthy obsession with using racist incidents in America's past to control the minds and emotions of black people today.
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