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Have More Black People Been Killed by Police Than Were Lynched During Jim Crow?

Police killings pick up where lynching left off

(AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, J.B. Forbes)

A startling headline published Sunday put modern-day racism in perspective when one article suggested that more Black people have been killed by police than were lynched during the days of Jim Crow.

The claim made on is difficult to dismiss but can’t be labeled as a fact just yet.

What is apparent, however, is that the claim is not as improbable as one would like to think.

Data gathered by the FBI recently revealed that a Black person is killed by white police officers approximately every 28 hours – that’s almost once every day.

Even more troubling is the fact that the statistics do not cover every police killing of an African-American simply because it would be impossible to do – the same way it is impossible to have an accurate account of how many Blacks were lynched during Jim Crow.

According to an article published by The Guardian, many police agencies also fail to report such killings unless they see the killing as being “justifiable.”

This number of killings also excludes cases like Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman.

While the exact numbers may forever remain a mystery, the similarities between police brutality and lynchings during Jim Crow are still striking and gut-wrenchingly horrifying.

As the San Francisco Bay View explains, “The haunting symmetry is not just in the number of dead Black bodies in the American streets but also in the stereotypes and images that perpetuate prevailing assumptions of Black inferiority.”

The only difference is that Blacks have traded in titles of being property and savages to being labeled as thugs and gangsters in the mainstream media.

history of racism in America

Source: The Guardian

Parallels have also been formed between the way a lynched body was left out in the public to send a message to other African-Americans and the way 18-year-old Michael Brown’s body laid uncovered in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, for hours.

The modern-day killings of Blacks by police also serve as proof that many white Americans are still disconnected from the lives of African-Americans.

According to a recent Pew study, 80 percent of Blacks who were polled felt that the Aug. 9 killing of Brown “raised important issues about race,” The Guardian reports.

Less than 40 percent of whites who were polled felt the same way.

The killings of many Black men by mostly white law enforcement agencies display issues with the portrayal of stereotypes, displays of power on behalf of authorities and the disconnect between many whites and minorities.

The days of Jim Crow serve as evidence of the same things.

The parallels between the two serve as a reminder that America has grown to become a country capable of many things – but it appears it has not yet found a way to overcome the plague of racism.


What people are saying

6 thoughts on “Have More Black People Been Killed by Police Than Were Lynched During Jim Crow?

  1. Beth Garfinkel says:

    I notice that in movies and TV shows these days, whenever the police are shown arresting someone in the background, that someone is always a black man. I was also watching _Ruthless People_(1986) the other day, and there's a scene with an impromptu mugging. The mugger was a white guy. I bet that if they were making that movie today, he'd be black.

  2. John Prewett says:

    Beth Garfinkel, have you ever done any personal investigation of interracial violent crime statistics ? If not, you might consider taking a brief break from movies and TV shows and the black and liberal media and acquaint yourself with some reality. DoJ interracial violent crime statistics are not easy to wade through, but it can be done. The search engine is your friend.

  3. Molly Neary says:

    On 70's tv there was variety in criminals… It seems now, that in order to be PC, the criminals in movies are generally white, Chinese or Russian Mafia.

  4. Omar Hunter says:

    The following statement cited in this article is wrong: "Data gathered by the FBI recently revealed that a Black person is killed by white police officers approximately every 28 hours – that’s almost once every day." No agency, federal, state or local have never collected data on extrajudicial killings of Backs by police. No such data base exist. Not until 2012, did such data collecting take place. It was done by a Black human rights organization called the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement as a follow up to a previous study in the earlier part of the year entitled "every 36 hrs". The follow was entitled "Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killing of 313 Black People", and include the original coining of the phrase "every 28 hours" as more data cam to light. Here is a link to the original report:

  5. Justice DX says:

    epigenectic control
    Epigenetics refers to mitotically and/or meiotically heritable variations in gene expression that are not caused by changes in DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate all biological processes from conception to death, including genome reprogramming during early embryogenesis and gametogenesis, cell differentiation and maintenance of a committed lineage. Key epigenetic players are DNA methylation and histone post-translational modifications, which interplay with each other, with regulatory proteins and with non-coding RNAs, to remodel chromatin into domains such as euchromatin, constitutive or facultative heterochromatin and to achieve nuclear compartmentalization. Besides epigenetic mechanisms such as imprinting, chromosome X inactivation or mitotic bookmarking which establish heritable states, other rapid and transient mechanisms, such as histone H3 phosphorylation, allow cells to respond and adapt to environmental stimuli. However, these epigenetic marks can also have long-term effects, for example in learning and memory formation or in cancer. Erroneous epigenetic marks are responsible for a whole gamut of diseases including diseases evident at birth or infancy or diseases becoming symptomatic later in life. Moreover, although epigenetic marks are deposited early in development, adaptations occurring through life can lead to diseases and cancer. With epigenetic marks being reversible, research has started to focus on epigenetic therapy which has had encouraging success. As we witness an explosion of knowledge in the field of epigenetics, we are forced to revisit our dogma. For example, recent studies challenge the idea that DNA methylation is irreversible. Further, research on Rett syndrome has revealed an unforeseen role for methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in neurons.

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    The sun through the window.
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  6. You can make the same arguement about cops killing unarmed people or black on white crime. You don't see it on National TV but google either one and tell me what you see. Let us know if you see anything more vicious than a gang of black youth/adults attacking a white man or girl, please google.

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