I certainly didn’t ask you to to research lynching cases for my benefit. I just asked the author to provide supporting evidence for an odd generalization that they made.

It really is an extraordinary claim.

The only way to read the statement I responded to is to believe that if a young black man in the pre-civil rights era south wanted to choose between two situations, and chose the one that was least dangerous for them, they may well choose to suffer an accusation that they raped white woman rather than to be seen as a prosperous farmer, or a successful carpenter. As far as the author is concerned, it’s just a wash (“as likely”).

Or, looking at it another way, it would seem to the author that black lynching victims were, on average, more successful than blacks that were not lynched. (“as likely”)

Or, a third way, that a blood-thirsty white mob, eager to lynch a black man to satisfy their savage nature, would pass by a jail that housed a black man held for the rape of a white woman, because the target they really lusted for was the black teacher, or the black doctor. (“as likely”)

It’s a surprising claim to make.

Some historians have a sort of inner critic that reads what they just wrote, and considers the reaction of a skeptical reader. They’ll realize what they just wrote is not at all obvious and they’ll add a footnote, directing the questioning reader to evidence that should be convincing.

That’s all I’m asking for here.

Since you seem to pride yourself on your knowledge of lunching: can you point to any other scholar that has studied the history of lynching in the deep south and reached a similar conclusion as the statement I highlighted. Have they provided any explanation of how they reached that conclusion?

Retired software developer, husband, father. Student of history. Met Fan

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