Crybaby Trump Just Wants Democrats To Stop Lynching Him With Perfectly Legal Impeachment
Am I really going to write about racial violence and state-sanctioned terrorism again today? Yes, because Donald Trump can't go five minutes without insulting our intelligence on Twitter. This morning, Trump went full Clarence Thomas about his ongoing, perfectly legal impeachment inquiry.
Whine, whine, whineTwitter
First place, the "What If" fantasy plot Trump pitches here has already taken place during the distant past of my mid-20s. Trump's potential impeachment is just as "fair" as Bill Clinton's. Also: This is the "tough guy" president the MAGA hat crowd idolizes? It's hard to imagine John Wayne, Chuck Heston, or Clint Eastwood complaining about their enemies in tear-stained journal entries.
I'd planned to ignore this, but the response from my home state senators made it impossible. South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who is black, struck just the right balance between craven and cowardly. It's the area of no distinction where all black conservatives reside.
The president of the United States can't just "reject" a constitutional process just because he doesn't like it, even if he's innocent, which he's not. I don't care if Scott "wouldn't use the word lynching." Trump just did. He should fight his way out of the sunken place long enough to express offense as a black man who's alive and conscious.
Lindsey Graham, of course, leapt fully to Trump's defense like a slobbering chow chow whenever someone approaches their master.
Since the tweeter above didn't transcribe it properly, we watched again, just for you. Graham said, "This is a lynching, in every sense. This is un-American." Sweet Christ.
Okay, the impeachment process is not a lynching in any sense, because even in the worst-case scenario, Trump would leave office alive and with his genitals intact. Lynchings were extrajudicial executions. They are not synonymous with "really tough, even grotesquely unfair trials." Black people still faced those even if they were fortunate enough to escape lynching. The Scottsboro Boys were railroaded but they weren't lynched. Not even the Central Park Five, whose graves Trump tried to help dig, were lynched. Lynchings were intended as a "public lesson" to black people who dared behave like American citizens.
The Good Old Days (featuring Donald Trump & the Greensboro 4) www.youtube.com
There was a big conservative furor this summer when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called Trump's kiddie jails "concentration camps," even though they are by definition concentration camps. A supposedly good faith argument was made that the Nazi concentration camps, where millions of Jews were tortured and murdered, were so horrific it's insulting to invoke them as a rhetorical device. Graham at the time strongly objected to AOC's description.
Graham probably doesn't care that comparing House Democrats to racist murderers is a "great disservice" to them. His Twitter avatar is still a photo of him with Brett Kavanaugh, the credibly accused rapist Graham proudly helped confirm to the Supreme Court.
Between 1882 and 1930, the so-called "Lynching Era," there were a reported 156 lynchings in South Carolina -- the second-fewest in the South. The most lynchings occurred in Mississippi, goddamnit, with a horrifying 538 victims. Black people were lynched for "trying to vote, being disruptive, and frightening a white woman," all serious offenses -- nothing penny-ante like trying to extort a foreign nation for dirt on your political opponent.
Trump's pet senator continued to double down on this historically illiterate and overall gross comparison.
Senator, you can't just "metaphorically" add Trump's name to the lynching memorial. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff aren't storming the White House in the dead of night and dragging Trump off in front of his family who'll never see him again. So please shut the fuck up. White mobs used to break black people out of jail so so they could personally kill them in horrible ways. Conservatives have never trusted the public sector to do anything.
From historian Kristina DuRocher's entry in the South Carolina encyclopedia:
"South Carolina was the site of one of the largest lynchings. On December 28, 1889, in Barnwell County eight African American men were accused of murdering a local merchant. A mob broke them out of jail, tied them to trees, and then shot them. In 1926 Aiken was the site of the Lowman family lynching. A sheriff and his deputies, all members of the Ku Klux Klan, arrived to arrest one of the Lowman sons. Upon hearing that the boy was gone, the sheriff attacked his sister. The resulting scuffle ended with mother Lowman shot by the sheriff, who in turn was killed by a stray bullet. The remaining Lowmans were arrested and tried. When one brother was acquitted, a Klan-led mob stormed the jail, dragged them out, and shot them."
Lindsey Graham is worse than Trump. He's the asshole who points at a hurricane and tries to justify the destruction it wreaks. At least one Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, refused to indulge Trump's persecution complex.
I would disagree with the congressman that lynching isn't political. It very much was. Trump references lynching not just to feel sorry for himself but as a call back to a time when men like him could take black lives with impunity. God can't help us "return to a better way" because the "better way" for black people is always forward, never backward.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.