The Truth... What is it?


I went into the practice of medicine in 1975 with the thought that The South had been "invaded" by the federal government twice in order to force on The South what the nation would not force generally on The North. And, I had a guilty conscience about slavery & segregation. As I recruited a good friend in Chicago to join our group in South Carolina, I was I tried to explain that The South was not as portrayed in movies & in the news...when he said, "Ervin, you have never seen racism until you see the racism of the big northern cities." In the last few years, there has been a double standard clearly apparent about things like the "N" word. It is clear to me that "fallen human nature" is innately racist or racially PREFERENTIAL & that true racism is something that individuals & then cultures must overcome or at least be willing to relate rightly about.

When I read the following outstanding (but, to me, shocking) op ed article by George Will in our 8/11/08 issue of The State newspaper, I realized just how "singled out" we Southerners had been when no other areas of the country confessed their dastardly deeds (the below is a deed of an entire community).


A Long Road Out of Springfield

By George F. Will
Sunday, August 10, 2008; The Washington Post, B07

The Oxford English Dictionary dates the word "pogrom" from 1905, the year hundreds of Russian Jews were massacred in Odessa. In 1908, there was a pogrom of sorts in Illinois. It occurred in Springfield 100 years ago this week. So, consider the phenomenon of progress, which at the moment seems more contingent than it did just a decade ago.

On the night of Aug. 13, Mabel Hallam, a pretty young white woman whose husband, Earl, was working the night shift as a streetcar conductor, retired early. Around 11:30 p.m. she was awakened by a man's weight on her. "Why, Earl," she said, "what is wrong with you?" The man, who was not Earl and was black, said, "I am drunk." He raped her and fled. So she said.

"Negro's Heinous Crime" and "Dragged From Her Bed and Outraged by Negro" were the next day's headlines IN ILLINOIS. As Jim Rasenberger reconstructs events in his fine book "America 1908," police plucked black men from the streets of Hallam's neighborhood until she identified one, George Richardson, as her assailant. By 5 p.m. the jail was surrounded by a mob of at least 4,000 baying for blood. Eighty-nine blacks would be lynched in America in 1908.

Springfield's sheriff enlisted a leading citizen -- owner of the city's largest restaurant, and of a fast automobile -- to spirit Richardson and another black man also accused of rape out of town. This further inflamed the mob, which destroyed the restaurant -- a white patron was killed by a stray bullet -- piled its furnishings on the owner's overturned automobile, and burned the pile.

For the next six hours the rioters, fueled by liquor looted from the restaurant, sacked two black neighborhoods, setting fires and blocking fire wagons and cutting their hoses. The homes of 40 black families were destroyed, as were 21 black-owned and several Jewish-owned businesses. Thousands of Springfield's blacks fled into the countryside; some never returned.

After beating an elderly black man and a paralyzed black man, at 2 a.m. the mob seized a 56-year-old black barber from his home, beat him unconscious, hanged him from a tree and mutilated his body. Souvenir hunters carved away bits of the tree, which was entirely gone by the end of the day.

The next night a mob of 500 brought a rope and proceeded to the home of a prominent and wealthy 84-year-old black man who, standing in front of his house, inquired, "Good evening, gentlemen. What can I do for you?" He was beaten, slashed with a razor and hanged from a tree too supple to bear his weight. He was alive when troops from the state militia reached him. He died that night.

The next day's New York Times headline read:


Mobs in Springfield, Ill., Defying 3,000 Soldiers,

String Up Old and Innocent Victim."

One hundred seventeen rioters were indicted. One was fined $25 for petty larceny; another, a teenager, was sent to a reformatory. Mrs. Hallam later admitted that she invented the attack to explain to her husband some bruises inflicted by her boyfriend.

Now, fast-forward to 10 years ago [1998], when Americans were intoxicated by fumes from myriad triumphs. The Cold War had been won, the Persian Gulf War had been a cakewalk, Russia was democratizing, China was locked in the logic of the Starbucks Postulate (give people a choice of coffees, and a choice of political parties will soon follow) and everyone was becoming rich with technology stocks. The exhaustion of various fighting faiths -- fascism, communism, socialism -- meant there was no remaining ideological rival to the American model for organizing a modern society. Few Americans anticipated aggression from people who despise modernity.

Today [2008], Russia's government is despotism leavened by assassination, China will achieve universal emphysema before meaningful universal suffrage, and Americans, in a slough of despond about economic difficulties that have not yet even reached a recession, gloomily embrace an inversion of the Whig Theory of History, which holds, or once did, that progress -- steadily enlarged and ennobled liberty -- is the essence of the human story.

So, remember Springfield. The siege of the jail, the rioting, the lynching and mutilating all occurred within walking distance of where, in 2007, Barack Obama announced his presidential candidacy. Whatever you think of his apotheosis, it illustrates history's essential promise, which is not serenity -- that progress is inevitable -- but possibility, which is enough: Things have not always been as they are.

***********Then comes 2013***********

S. C. congressional Representative J. E. "Jim" Clyburn is the only African-American in American history to hold a leadership post in Congress! He is a Southern Democrat. S. C. was the first state to seceed from the union.

U. S. Senator T. E. "Tim" Scott, on being seated 1/2/2013, briefly became the only African-American senator. He is a Republican. And he is only one of a total of 8 African-American senators in U. S. history (3 of them from the South). He is the first ever from S. C. and the first from the South since 1881.

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(posted 12 August 2008; latest addition 23 March 2013)