Identity Politics Justice Is How You Get Real And Metaphorical Lynchings

Identity Politics Justice Is How You Get Real And Metaphorical Lynchings

Leftists are reopening the door to a dark and dangerous time in history by giving credence to accusations based on race or political ideology.
Sarah Roderick
By

How many of the #CancelKavanaugh and #BelieveSurvivors protesters are aware of the reason the NAACP was founded? There was a time in history that believing a survivor before examining all the evidence led to innocent deaths and destruction of communities. This is a good time to refresh our memories.

Leftists who have convicted Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault by mob rule have not convicted him based on evidence, but based on political ideology. Leftists are reopening the door to a dark and dangerous time in history by giving credence to accusations based on race or political ideology.

One-hundred and ten years ago, an event occurred in Springfield, Ill., that led to founding one of the most influential African-American organizations. It didn’t begin at a lunch counter, the back of a bus, or in a school. It happened because a white woman falsely accused a black man of rape. It was a deliberate accusation meant to destroy the black community.

Riots began when an angry mob of white vigilantes descended on the jail, where two black men were being held. Both men were accused of crimes because of the color of their skin. The mob gathered outside the jail with the intent of lynching the men, with no regard to due process. The sheriff created a ruse to move the men to a jail in Bloomington, Ill. to provide them some protection. When the mob learned they had been duped, their rage turned to the black community.

The mob grew to an estimated 5,000 white people. They went on a rampage, burning black-owned businesses and 40 black-owned homes. They attacked black residents as they walked on the streets. Bullets, bricks, and fire were used to try and force blacks from Springfield. Two black men were lynched and mutilated. One of the men owned a barbershop that had been burned earlier in the day. The other man was an 84-year old, retired shoemaker. He was dragged from his home and his throat slit. He was targeted because he married a white woman.

One white business was burned, because the owner had assisted the sheriff in creating a distraction to move the two black men to safety. The state militia was called in to put a stop to the riots and violence. An estimated 2,000 black residents were pushed out of the city during the two-day riot.

The horrific incident in Springfield, Ill., the hometown of Abraham Lincoln, was an alarming reminder of the fragility of black communities. Unfortunately, it  was not the first or last of its kind to occur.

A couple of decades later, false rape charges were at the center of two landmark Supreme Court cases. A group of nine black teenage boys were riding a train looking for work. A fight broke out on the train, spurred by a group of white boys claiming the train was for whites only.

The white boys tried pelting the nine black boys off the train with rocks, but their attempts failed. The white boys got off the train and went to the Scottsboro, Ala., police claiming they had been attacked by the black boys. The police arrested the teenagers. When police questioned two white women aboard the train, they claimed the black boys had raped them.

When the case was taken to trial, it was rushed, the boys didn’t receive legal counsel, and physical evidence didn’t support the women’s accusation. Under the Jim Crow laws of the south, mobs commonly lynched black men accused of raping white women.

In the case of the Scottsboro nine, all the boys were found guilty. Some received life in prison, others were sentenced to death. The trials and verdicts were miscarriages of justice. The Scottsboro nine case led to Powell v. Alabama, in which the Supreme Court ruled the defendants had been denied the right to counsel, violating their right to due process under the 14th Amendment.

In the second case, Norris v. Alabama, the Supreme Court overturned the guilty verdicts on the grounds blacks had been deliberately excluded from the juries and therefore denied the right to a fair trial.

The race riots of 1908 in Springfield and the Scottsboro nine are examples of how false rape allegations lead to devastating effects on the falsely accused. Both cases used sexual assault as an excuse to intimidate and unjustly punish blacks, in an attempt to ethnically cleanse towns. Allegations were not based on fact, but prejudice. The cases demonstrate the dangers of mob mentality in seeking a perverse form of vigilante justice by disregarding the fundamental right of all Americans to due process.

The Kavanaugh case cannot be compared to the Springfield or Scottsboro cases in terms of the senseless carnage. The burning of homes and businesses and the murders of innocent men by racist mobs are unparalleled. Black communities in America, especially in the South, were living as third-class citizens denied equal rights with whites. However, bending or bowing to mobs who convict on the grounds of racism or political ideology is comparable.

Chants and hashtags from left-wing groups like “believe survivors” set a dangerous precedent. It’s reckless to base accusers’ credibility on political ideology and the equivalent of a political Jim Crow. Leftists and feminists have been quick to dismiss sexual assault claims against left-leaning men by attributing it to a “right-wing conspiracy,” and the women are smeared. The standard for believing victims of sexual assault by political figures is essentially determined by their stance on Roe v. Wade.

Political identity determines the burden of proof. Women on the political left are treated like white women were under Jim Crow. Their accusations seem to outweigh evidence in defense of the accused. It is being demonstrated daily by the left’s newest resistance trend, #believesurvivors.

Women on the right are treated like second-class citizens, whose credibility is contingent upon socioeconomic status or perceived mental stability. Hillary Clinton once referred to the onslaught of sexual assault allegations against President Clinton as “bimbo eruptions.” She was credited for creating the “nuts or sluts” strategy to smear accusers.

In addition, Ms. Clinton characterized one accuser, Gennifer Flowers, as “trailer trash” and “some failed cabaret singer, who doesn’t even have much of a resume to fall back on.” Are these the advancements of modern feminism, or the archaic standards of justice from a prejudiced society?

Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono prematurely convicted Kavanaugh of sexual assault, not based on evidence, but on his textualist views or, as she said, an “ideological agenda.” Hirono admitted, “I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases.”

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times outlining her justifications for opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Among her top reasons, she wrote, “Judge Kavanaugh held highly ideological views” on “women’s reproductive rights.”

The left has deliberated, and Kavanaugh has been found guilty — not on the evidence, but on the ideology. They disqualified him from SCOTUS on a presumption of guilt. The official charge: sexual assault. The reason for conviction: his judicial “ideological views.” His guilt was lamented long before his nomination.

Mobs don’t stop at lynching or character assassinations. They’re out for vengeance. Sexual assault allegations were and are not their true driving force. In the case of Springfield, it was race. To that mob, blacks were guilty because of the color of their skin, and the prejudices of a racist community. In the Kavanaugh case, it is political ideology. Every Republican member who defends due process will share the same guilt and retribution. Truth isn’t always what it seems to be under this frame of reference.

Mobs aren’t civil; they aren’t interested in due process or civil discourse. They only seek to silence those they hate, and by any means necessary. Denying the right to due process because of any prejudice is an assault to the Constitution. When the presumption of guilt is based on race or political ideology, and endorsed by officials sworn to uphold the Constitution, liberty ceases to exist.

Sarah Roderick is a native of Central Illinois and graduate of Western Illinois University. She has worked in public policy in the DC area, is a fourth generation political junkie, former educator, writer and is active in the international religious and ethnic human rights movement.

Copyright © 2019 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved.