by Saab Lofton
"If white men in my day did badly by Negroes, white women did worse."
--page 88 of Roxanna Slade, by Reynolds Price
Ralph Ginzburg's book, 100 Years of Lynchings, compiles hundreds of horrendous newspaper articles, but this particular atrocity stands out ...
BIRMINGHAM VOICE OF THE PEOPLE
April 1st, 1916
BUMPS INTO GIRL; IS LYNCHED
CEDAR BLUFF, Miss., March 31--Jeff Brown was lynched by a mob here late Saturday afternoon. Brown was walking down the street near the car tracks and saw a moving freight going in the direction in which he wanted to go. He started on the run to board the moving train. On the sidewalk was the daughter of a white farmer. Brown accidentally brushed against her and she screamed. A gang quickly formed and ran after him, jerking him off the moving train. He was beaten into insensibility and then hung to a tree. The sheriff has made no attempt to find out who the members of the mob were. Picture cards of the body are being sold on the streets at five cents apiece.
... in case you blinked, let me repeat the key scene: ON THE SIDEWALK WAS THE DAUGHTER OF A WHITE FARMER. BROWN ACCIDENTIALLY BRUSHED AGAINST HER AND SHE SCREAMED. Why did she scream over something so trivial? Because courageous female role models such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager wouldn't exist for another eighty years. Given the barbaric era that white farmer's daughter was reared in, she probably thought of herself as a flawless goddess straight out of ancient mythology -- therefore, NO niggah was to come so much a mile in her direction, for ANY reason ...
Why were all too many white women treated like princesses on pedestals? Because mixed blooded people like Oscar winner Halle Berry and President Barack Obama look more black than white, and as feminist Gloria Steinem stated during her 2002 speech at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, "As long as white women remained a racially pure source of production, the racist society could continue." This means white women have to be made to fear that which is dark, lest the so-called white race be bred out all the quicker.
If it seems pretty fucking ridiculous that someone could be tortured to death just because some dainty diva was raised to be afraid, congratulations, you're still sane -- despite the Amerikkkan Empire's best efforts to render you otherwise. However, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance and you forget history, it repeats itself. In other words, that princess-on-a-pedestal mentality still exists to this day and I recently fell victim to it.
On the homepage of my website (saablofton.org), there's a short story called The Strange Case of Sarah Manlove. It's about a white woman who resembles the lovelyTina Fey (of Saturday Night Live fame) and regularly dresses like a superheroine in public so she can raise money for the peace movement. Well, I asked a librarian in Seattle to read the story -- two measly times over the course of a MONTH, mind you -- and after the second time, she called library security on yours truly!
According to her, being asked twice -- during a 30 day period -- to read a feminist short story constitutes "harassment" ..!
As of this writing, I'm currently banned from all the libraries within Seattle's city limits because of this shit! To date, I've appealed the ban and have gotten the A.C.L.U. (the American Civil Liberties Union) involved, but it ain't over yet.
How fragile is this bitch, anyway? I mean, if her ass is that damn delicate, maybe she should remain within that sterile incubator from John Travolta's The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976)! And for the record, I tell EVERYONE to read what's on my site; I was NOT trying to ask anyone out on a date or anything!
According to historian Paul Spickard, over two thousand blacks were lynched between 1885 and 1915 -- and while I have yet to be hung from a tree, this is still extremely humiliating and traumatizing. Since my step-dad was in the air force, I moved to a new base every couple of years, but the one constant was the library (hence me being such a book worm) -- so to be kicked out of one is spirit breaking, to say the least ...
That's why I'm not waiting until this case is resolved to write a commentary, for so long as the ban continues, that librarian's bitchiness will be rewarded. If you want to help me protest this travesty, call Marilynne Gardner at 206 - 233 - 5109.
Xena, NOT Barbie!