On this day in history, up to hundreds of African Americans were lynched for coming to the defense of the first Black sheriff in a Mississippi county in 1874. It is one of the more shameful aspects of American history that has seemingly been forgotten amid this country’s purported nationwide racial reckoning.
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The carnage was called the “Vicksburg Massacre,” named for the town in which it took place. Vicksburg was part of Warren County Sheriff Peter Crosby’s jurisdiction. But the racist white men living there didn’t like having a Black man as its top law enforcement officer and “forcibly removed him,” the Vicksburg Post reminded its readers in a news story published in 2015.
On Dec. 7, 1874, the Reconstruction era “Vicksburg Massacre” occurred in Mississippi, with estimates ranging from 75 to 300 African Americans killed. Whites attacked Black citizens who had organized to defend Sheriff Peter Crosby. pic.twitter.com/T4ohomyjB5
— MACCEXCLUSIVESAPPAREL (@maccexclusives2) December 7, 2019
Crosby was a former slave and fought in the Union army, which further enraged the group that the Vicksburg Post kindy referred to as an “angry mob.”
When they were finished with Crosby, they went after Vicksburg’s Black residents. The Zinn Education Project, a nonprofit organization that promotes teaching history, estimated anywhere “from 75 to 300” Black people were killed — or lynched, a violent, hateful term that does not only refer to hangings.
On this day in 1874, a violent incident known as the “Vicksburg Massacre" occurred where white mobs attacked and killed many black citizens of Vicksburg, Mississippi who had organized an effort to try to help a black sheriff regain his office.
— Equal Justice Initiative (@eji_org) December 7, 2019
The Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based nonprofit criminal justice organization, has written extensively about the “Vicksburg Massacre” and property put the ugly stain on American history into its proper perspective:
“During the Reconstruction era that followed Emancipation and the Civil War, Black Mississippians made progress toward political equality. Despite the passage of Black codes designed to oppress and disenfranchise Black people in the South, under the protection of federal troops in place to enforce the newly established civil rights of Black people, many Black men voted and served in political office on federal, state, and local levels.
Following this brutal attack, federal troops were sent to Vicksburg and Mr. Crosby was appointed as sheriff again. However, in early 1875, a white man named J.P. Gilmer was hired to serve as Sheriff Crosby’s deputy. After Sheriff Crosby tried to have Mr. Gilmer removed from office, Mr. Gilmer shot Sheriff Crosby in the head on June 7, 1875. Mr. Gilmer was arrested for the attempted assassination but never brought to trial. Mr. Crosby survived the shooting but never made a full recovery, and had to serve the remainder of his term through a representative white citizen.”
It’s important to recognize that this type of violence has continued up until this day in America; it just presents itself differently.
White domestic terrorism has not just endorsed the decades since the racist coup that targeted Sheriff Peter Crosby in Vicksburg. It has also thrived.
Nevermind the fact of how police are killing Black people at will and getting away with it because their purported fear for their lives left them with no other point f recourse than to shoot to kill…
While the numbers pale in comparison to the kind of vigilante violence that killed Black people just for being Black in the 1800s and before, that was precisely the same reason why three white men racially profiled Ahmaud Arbery, went to arm themselves, jumped in pickup trucks, hunted him down, boxed him in, shot him in broad daylight on a Georgia road and most got away with it for months — in 2020.
Violent White Folks Who Were Taken Into Custody With Loving Care By Police
1. Duke Webb, bowling alley gunman in Rockford, IllinoisSource:Winnebago County Sheriff's Office 1 of 27
2. Brad Parscale, demoted former Trump campaign managerSource:Getty 2 of 27
3. Brett HankisonSource:Shelby County Sheriff's Department 3 of 27
4. Thomas Kinworthy accused of killing Black cop, shooting another4 of 27
5. Dalton Potter allegedly shot a cop and another man
5 of 27
BLUE ALERT issued for Dalton Potter, age 29. Potter is suspected of shooting a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office deputy overnight. Last known to be on foot on Interstate 75 at the Whitfield/Gordon County line. Potter is considered armed and dangerous. Call 911. #BlueAlert pic.twitter.com/Vdyl8ReGaW— GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) September 7, 2020
6. White suspect physically attacking officer
6 of 27
Interesting.— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) August 30, 2020
Thinking about Jacob Blake right now. Sure seems like white people get the benefit of the doubt when engaged with the police... pic.twitter.com/kLh9iCJepp
7. Kyle Rittenhouse, Kenosha Jacob Blake shooterSource:Twitter 7 of 27
8. White supremacist who beat a woman on video
8 of 27
Nicholas Arnold Schock, 36, of Wauchula was arrested and charged with battery and disturbing the peace and bail was set at $620. He remains at the Sarasota County Jail. pic.twitter.com/ggDBjAxCN1— Carlos R. Munoz 📰 (@ReadCarlos) August 2, 2020
9. West Hollywood shooter9 of 27
10. Gregory and Travis McMichaelsSource:Glynn County Sheriff's Office 10 of 27
11. Anthony J. Trifiletti, shot an unarmed Black manSource:Saint Paul Police Department 11 of 27
12. Matthew Bernard, Killed Three People12 of 27
13.13 of 27
14. Mark Boisey14 of 27
15. Lorne BrownSource:NBC Miami 15 of 27
16. Patrick Crusius, El Paso Mall Mass Shooting Suspect
16 of 27
Patrick Crusius allegedly wrote a racist manifesto before killing at least 18 people in Saturday's shooting at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso. The suspect, a white male, was safely taken into custody.— NewsOne (@newsone) August 3, 2019
This is America. #Walmartshooting #ElPasoShootinghttps://t.co/cjYzJZsCXn
17. Aaron DeanSource:Tarrant County Jail 17 of 27
18. Amber Guyger18 of 27
19. James Holmes
19 of 27
Today on #CrimeStories: Prosecutors have released video of #Aurora shooter #JamesHolmes’ interviews w/ a psychiatrist. Tune in now on @SiriusXM ch. 111 for insight on the evaluation of his sanity in the #Colorado theater massacre. #NancyGrace #CrimeAlert #CrimeOnline #MassKiller pic.twitter.com/DKRD2s0ay8— Crime Online (@crimeonlinenews) February 26, 2019
20. Michael Mattioli20 of 27
21. Dylann RoofSource:Getty 21 of 27
22. Matthew Sloan Punched And Spit On Police...
22 of 27
Again, if Matthew Sloan was a Black man this would be a much different story. https://t.co/K4cwb6SQ38— NewsOne (@newsone) July 12, 2019
23. Assaulted Police And Even Chased Them...
23 of 27
This man never complied— Gambling Refund 💵™ (@OffshoreRefund) May 14, 2019
This man actually hit police multiple times
This man chased police and made them fear for safety
This man was not killed!
Pamela Turner was murdered and pregnant, she was never given the same opportunity. WHY? @KingJamespic.twitter.com/DfzdICbOy8
24. Shot At Police At Trump Tower...24 of 27
25. Shot At Police At Walmart -- And Was Let Go...25 of 27
26. Man Holds Black Man At Gunpoint And He Is Calmly Arrested...
26 of 27
Downtown CHARLOTTESVILLE right now. F*ing white trash has a black man submitted first with a knife around his neck, then makes him kneel still threatening to stab him.— 𝔻𝕣. 𝕄𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕪’𝕤 𝕙𝕒𝕡𝕡𝕪 𝕥𝕠𝕕𝕒𝕪 (@tomorrowtambien) December 28, 2018
Please, Twitter do your thing in the name of justice #resist @washingtonpost @MSNBC pic.twitter.com/klg7g5ac22