1933 November 27

California Governor Praises Lynch Mob; ACLU, NAACP Protest


California Governor Rolph on this day was denounced by the ACLU and the NAACP for praising a San Jose lynch mob. Rolph said that the mob, which seized from jail and lynched two kidnappers, was “the best lesson California has ever given the country.” The ACLU called his statement “an unprecedented official endorsement of lynching,” and an “incitement to lynching elsewhere” in the country. The NAACP called it “the most brazen endorsement of lynching” by a high government official it had ever seen.

The anti-lynching movement began in 1918-1919. Rep. Leonidas Dyer (R-Mo) introduced a law on April 1, 1918, which would have made lynching a federal crime. The first national anti-lynching conference was held in New York City on May 5, 1919.

Read the 2015 report on the number of lynchings: Equal  Justice Initiative, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror (2015)

Learn more about the Dyer anti-lynching bill: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/dyer-anti-lynching-bill-1922

See the horrors of lynching: Dora Apel and Shawn Smith, Lynching Photographs (2007)

Read: Samuel Walker, In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU (1990)

Learn about the ACLU today: www.aclu.org

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