Things I read on the internet are confusing me. I’ve been on vacation and haven’t kept up with the whole Shirley Sherrod story, but I caught this insane piece by Jeffrey Lord from a few directions, including Edge of the American West. Then Lord defended himself, and engaged critics in his comments. Then Lord also engaged in the comments of a very weak critique from a colleague.

The hook for the original Lord piece was that Sherrod was lying because her relative was not lynched, but merely murdered (the bizarreness did not stop there, but that’s what’s required for context).

I can’t find how to link directly to specific comments, but this exchange starts with Angus Johnston| 7.27.10 @ 2:15PM. I’ve tweaked it substantially, losing quite a bit of flavor for conciseness.

Angus: “The opinion to which you refer never uses the word “lynching”

Lord: “Bingo!!!! You win the prize. The point, exactly. A decision that never uses the word lynching cannot be about lynching!

The only thing that counts is what the Court says the definition is. Not anything else.


Angus: [but] “There was no crime of lynching under federal law in 1945.”

Lord: “So how could Ms. Sherrod have said with such assurance her relative was lynched?”

Angus: “So now it’s your contention that there were NO lynchings in America during the Jim Crow era? That’s what you’re going with? That because lynching wasn’t a crime, it didn’t exist?


Some RBOC thoughts:

There is no hope for the national conversation on race.

Here’s an introduction to Angus.

Terry Pratchett wrote in Maskerade that using multiple exclamation marks is the sign of an insane mind.

We need to turn Jeffrey Lord into a verb for the act of making it all worse by ineptly defending yourself in the comments.