13 votes

It’s time to chop down the ‘lynching tree’ from this California city’s logo

6 comments

  1. rkcr
    Link
    I've been to Placerville tons of times (it's near where my parents have a cabin) and I don't think I ever once saw its flag. It's strange to have people defending what is probably a minor bit of...

    I've been to Placerville tons of times (it's near where my parents have a cabin) and I don't think I ever once saw its flag. It's strange to have people defending what is probably a minor bit of lore seen at a couple city buildings.

    Also, you certainly don't need the flag to help the historical nature of the city. You can't escape all the gold rush paraphernalia/tourist sites when you're in that area.

    6 votes
  2. rabbit
    Link
    Is it weird that my first reaction to this was "I don't know, maybe it's just a regular tree"? I suppose that feeling isn't too bad, considering that after about 30 seconds in the article, I could...

    Is it weird that my first reaction to this was "I don't know, maybe it's just a regular tree"?

    I suppose that feeling isn't too bad, considering that after about 30 seconds in the article, I could say to myself, "Yep. Definitely a lynching tree".

    3 votes
  3. [4]
    joplin
    Link
    What's interesting to me is that it isn't what I immediately thought at first. It's not racially motivated lynching. Still, I don't think I'd want to live in a place that honored vigilante...

    What's interesting to me is that it isn't what I immediately thought at first. It's not racially motivated lynching. Still, I don't think I'd want to live in a place that honored vigilante justice. For example, wouldn't it be kind of weird if Salem, Massachusetts used a burning witch for their city logo? (Oddly, it's this instead.) I'm all for remembering the past without putting it in a place of honor.

    1. [3]
      balooga
      Link Parent
      I'm fortunate to have never had close experience with lynching or that culture, so I can only speculate here. But I assume these hangings were still racially motivated, even if not explicitly...

      I'm fortunate to have never had close experience with lynching or that culture, so I can only speculate here. But I assume these hangings were still racially motivated, even if not explicitly stated. Even today legally sanctioned racism is frequently branded as being "tough on crime." It's a dogwhistle. You don't say "we want to round up black people" — instead you say "we want to round up dangerous criminals, oh look we found a bunch of them who just happen to be black."

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        Icarus
        Link Parent
        By all accounts that I have read (haven't done any hard digging), the lynchings were majority white since that has been the town make up for a long time, and used as a punishment for theft and...

        By all accounts that I have read (haven't done any hard digging), the lynchings were majority white since that has been the town make up for a long time, and used as a punishment for theft and other crimes. That's not to say there weren't racially motivated lynchings as the towns make up should be more diverse, but its likely a little bit of A and little bit of B.

        2 votes
        1. culturedleftfoot
          Link Parent
          Yeah, this seems like a bit of misguided water-muddying IMO. Lynchings in the US aren't/haven't been universally condemned simply because they're a barbaric relic of mob justice from the past;...

          Yeah, this seems like a bit of misguided water-muddying IMO. Lynchings in the US aren't/haven't been universally condemned simply because they're a barbaric relic of mob justice from the past; racial dynamics are a critical component to its context. You're right that cowboys in the Old West were much more racially diverse than Hollywood would have you believe, so it's possible that some of those hangings may have been of Black people. I can't speculate how much that actually factored into the events mentioned, but I suppose they'd have mentioned it to support the argument if it did.

          2 votes