Letters: The ‘insidious drip’ of racism can lead to violence

BY DOUG BERG, PITTSBORO
Posted 9/27/19

To the editor:

Thank you for excellent articles on the lynchings that occurred in Chatham County. I do have a small corrective: You state in regard to the 1885 lynching that, “Newspapers did not …

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Letters: The ‘insidious drip’ of racism can lead to violence

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Posted

To the editor:

Thank you for excellent articles on the lynchings that occurred in Chatham County. I do have a small corrective: You state in regard to the 1885 lynching that, “Newspapers did not condemn the lynchings of the Finches, Tyson and Pattishall.” Perhaps, keeping in mind that a negative can’t be proven, you would have done better to say that no comments of condemnation have come to light. In fact, here is a fragment of what the editorial voice of the Chatham Record had to say, on Oct. 1, 1885, about the matter:

“This terrible tragedy is to be deeply deplored and we are pleased to know that it is condemned by every person whom we have heard speak of it. The Record has so often and so strongly condemned lynch law that of course we most heartily join in the general condemnation of the extraordinary case, which is utterly destitute of any excuse to justify it... Where, oh men of Chatham are we drifting? And where will this violence end? Who will be the next victim, and whose life is safe?”

To be sure, the Record’s editor, H.A. London, was a white supremacist of the first order, as he demonstrated numerous times in the pages of his paper — his chief concern seemed to be that Negroes not vote. Let this be a reminder of how the slow insidious drip of institutional racism may in time cause such harm as leads to the very violence it condemns.

Doug Berg, Pittsboro

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