Non Traditional Christmas Dinner Ideas

I don’t know about anyone else, but I get sick of the same old foods every holiday (this includes both Thanksgiving & Easter, in addition to Christmas): turkey with dressing & gravy, macaroni-n-cheese, glazed ham, candied ‘yams’, green beans, yeast rolls, broccoli-rice casserole, collards, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie, some type of cake (Italian almond this year).

Live a little! The first Thanksgiving dinner did not include turkey with all the trimmings, and I doubt the first Christmas meal featured maple glazed ham covered in pineapple rings with cherries in the middle. Who says that one must have turkey, ham, and all that other stuff on the holidays? You can eat those entrees any time you care to. Why not have something truly special, like roast duck, coq au vin, Chateaubriand, filet mignon, leg of lamb, or rabbit in cream sauce?

  • COQ AU VIN RECIPE

    INGREDIENTS

    1/2 cup lardons (or very thickly sliced bacon), cut into 1/4- by 1 1/2-inch strips (optional)
    2 or more tablespoons olive oil
    3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds chicken, cut into parts (or all one kind of part), thoroughly dried
    1/4 cup Cognac or Armagnac
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 bay leaf
    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

    20 pearl onions, peeled
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2 cups red wine, preferably Burgundy, Côtes du Rhône, or pinot noir
    About 2 cups homemade chicken stock, or beef stock, preferably brown chicken stock (see headnote above)
    1 or 2 garlic cloves, mashed or minced
    About 1 tablespoon store-bought or homemade tomato paste
    3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, trimmed, rinsed, and quartered

    DIRECTIONS1.To make the coq au vin in your slow cooker, see the Slow Cooker Variation below.
    To make the coq au vin on your stovetop, pour enough oil in a large pot to reach a depth of 1/8 inch if you’re not using lardons or bacon. If you are using lardons or bacon, toss them in a heavy-bottomed casserole or pot along with 2 tablespoons oil over medium or medium-high until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer the lardons or bacon to a plate, leaving the drippings in the pot.
    2. Heat the drippings or oil remaining in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, being careful not to crowd the pieces. (You may need to work in batches). Cook the chicken, turning frequently, until nicely browned on all sides. (If working in batches, return all the chicken to the pot.) Carefully pour the Cognac or Armagnac into the pot and wait until it becomes bubbling hot. If desired—and if you’re brave—ignite the sauce with a match. Let it flame for a minute, gently tilting the pot by its handle and swirling the sauce to burn off the alcohol. To extinguish the flames, simply cover the pan with its lid.


    3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme to the pan and then nestle the onions around the chicken. Cover the pot and let the chicken simmer gently, turning the pieces once, for about 10 minutes.
    4. Uncover the pot, sprinkle the flour over everything, and turn the chicken and onions so the flour is absorbed by the sauce. Cover and cook, turning once or twice, for 3 to 4 minutes more.
    5. Remove the pot from the heat and gradually stir and swirl in the wine and enough stock to almost cover the chicken. Add the lardons or bacon, garlic, and tomato paste to the pot, cover, and gently simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Test the chicken for doneness (there should be no trace of pink and the juices should run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife). Grab some tongs and transfer the chicken pieces to the plate when they’re done. Continue to cook the rest of the chicken a few minutes longer. If the onions are not quite tender, continue cooking them in the sauce, then return the chicken to the pot, add the mushrooms, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes. The sauce should be just thick enough to lightly coat the chicken and vegetables. (If the sauce seems too thin, bring it to a boil and cook until the sauce is reduced to the desired consistency. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with spoonfuls of stock.) Taste the sauce and correct the seasoning accordingly. Serve the coq au vin immediately or let it cool, cover, and refrigerate overnight. To reheat, skim any fat that has congealed on the surface of the stew and place the pot of coq au vin over medium-low heat.

    SLOW COOKER VARIATION: Yes, you can make Julia Child’s coq au vin recipe in a slow cooker. Just understand that the complexity of this French classic relies in large part on the caramelization that comes from searing or sautéing various ingredients in a hot skillet prior to jumbling them all together to simmer. Making coq au vin in a slow cooker still turns out a lovely and worthwhile stew, albeit one with just slightly less depth of flavor. There are almost as many ways to adapt this recipe for the slow cooker as there are cooks and slow cookers. We opted for the following approach, which worked swell. If using the lardons (or bacon), follow step 1 of the instructions above. Place the lardons (or bacon) and their drippings in the slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients except for the oil and the flour, using only 1 cup stock (not 2 cups as instructed above). Cook on medium heat for 5 1/2 to 6 hours, until the chicken is tender. Transfer the chicken to a platter or a serving dish. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir in the flour, and cook until it forms a paste and just begins to turn brown at the edges. Stirring constantly, very slowly strain the liquid from the slow cooker into the saucepan and simmer until it has reduced to a consistency that’s thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Transfer the onions to the platter or dish with the chickens and discard the bay leaf. Pour the reduced sauce over the chicken and onions. – Leites Culinaria

    BRAISED RABBIT IN CREAM SAUCE

    INGREDIENTS

    1 rabbit, cut into 4 pieces
    1 onion, chopped
    1/2 cup (125 ml) white wine
    1 can 10 ounces (284 ml) chicken broth
    Salt and pepper, to taste

    Few sprigs fresh thyme or
    1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) dried thyme
    1/2 cup (125 ml) water


  • Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornstarch
    1/2 cup (125 ml) 15% country-style cream or

    1/2 cup (125 ml) 15% cooking cream
    1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) Dijon mustard
    1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) yellow mustard

    PREPARATION


  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). Place the rabbit in a Dutch oven. Add the onion, wine, broth, salt, pepper and thyme. Cover and bake for about two hours.
    Remove and debone the rabbit. Keep the meat aside.
    Strain the broth and set aside.
    Sauce
    Dissolve the cornstarch in the cream. Add the mustards. Stir in the reserved broth and cook while stirring, until the sauce thickens.
    Place the rabbit on a bed of rice and drizzle with the sauce. Serve with cooked vegetables. – Ricardo Cuisine
ITALIAN ALMOND CAKE  

One 9-inch or 10-inch (23-25 cm) cakes

Adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere. As mentioned, this cake is best made in the food processor. If using a stand mixture, use the paddle attachment and let the mixer run until the almond paste is finely broken up. There’s a few notes at the end of the recipe, including some almond paste tips and suggestions.
1 1/3 cups (265g) sugar
8 ounces (225g) almond paste
3/4, plus 1/4 cup (140g total) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces, 225g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC). Grease a 9- or 10-inch (23-25 cm) cake or spring form pan with butter, dust it with flour and tap out any excess. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper. (See Note, below.)2. In the bowl of a food processor, grind the sugar, almond paste, and 1/4 cup (35g) of flour until the almond paste is finely ground and the mixture resembles sand.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup (105g) of flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Once the almond paste is completely broken up, add the cubes of butter and the vanilla and almond extracts, then process until the batter is very smooth and fluffy.

5. Add the eggs one at a time, processing a bit before the next addition. (You may wish to open the machine and scrape the sides down to make sure the eggs are getting fully incorporated.) After you add all the eggs, the mixture may look curdled. Don’t worry; it’ll come back together after the next step.
6. Add half the flour mixture and pulse the machine a few times, then add the rest, pulsing the machine until the dry ingredients are just incorporated, but do not overmix. (You can also transfer the batter to a bowl and mix the dry ingredients in, which ensures the dry ingredients get incorporated evenly and you don’t overbeat it.)
7. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is deep brown and feels set when you press in the center.
8. Remove the cake from the oven and run a sharp or serrated knife around the perimeter, loosing the cake from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.
Once cool, tap the cake out of the pan, remove the parchment paper, and set on a cake plate until ready to serve. (Tip: Warm the bottom of the cake pan directly on the stovetop for just a few seconds, which will help the cake release.)

Storage: This cake will keep for four days at room temperature, well-wrapped. It can also be frozen for up to two months.

Notes: For this cake, I used this 9-inch cake pan, whose sides are 2-inches (5cm) high. Some readers noted that the batter rose higher than their pan, although I’ve made this cake well over a hundred times and have not had that problem. So use a standard size cake pan whose sides are at least that high, not a layer cake pan, which is shallower.

In the United States, Solo and Odense are good brands of almond paste available in supermarkets. I’m partial to the almond paste from American Almond Products, which is marketed in home baker-sized containers under the name Love ‘N Bake. – David Lebovitz

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White People Are Nasty

Growing up, I was told this time and again by my elders – mostly, my grandmother and great aunts. My one great aunt cleaned for White folks, and she said that they were the nastiest people ever, that their bedroom always stank in the mornings – maybe they had sex every night, I don’t know – and how they kept their house was awful, the kitchen was always on the dirty side (I’m sure they left it that way because they were paying her to clean up after their lazy asses). My grandmother also did some cleaning for Whites, and held the same opinion. A lot of the older generation had the view that there was something about the skin of White people that made them smell worse than other races.

I know for a fact that when it comes to dogs, White people are extremely gross, allowing the dogs to lick them all over their faces and even inside their mouths, all the while declaring that dog’s mouths are cleaner than ours (how this can be true, when dogs lick their own asses and eat cat shit, is beyond me but that’s what White people falsely believe), and letting dogs sleep in their beds or cuddle with them on their sofas. I was raised to believe that this is very unsanitary, and we always kept large dogs outside anyway. Our cat was an inside-outside cat; I never knew what a litter box was until I was in my 20s.

Whenever I see White people using public toilets, they rarely wash their hands afterward. They will play in their hair – you know how White women are about that hair, though the men can be that way too – or even refresh their lipstick, then walk out of there like they didn’t just wipe their asses with toilet paper. You can get pee or even poop on your hands – and even if you don’t, just wash them anyway. It doesn’t matter if you use tons of paper to wipe with, or even if you just sat on the toilet and farted, wash your damn hands!

Another thing I notice with White people is that they will often allow their dogs – probably the cats too, if they have any – to eat leftovers from human plates. My fiance’s mother does this all the time, and her 2 Chihuahuas have the most funky breath I’ve smelled on little mutts. Her grandson has two dogs as well, a mini Japanese Spitz and a Jack Russell-Chihuahua mix, and they’re allowed to eat from the plates too. I just don’t believe that this is healthy at all, but since my fiance’s family are what the middle class would consider ‘White trash’ or ‘rednecks’, it probably isn’t all that surprising. I was raised hearing this about such people, that they were dirty, ‘mean Whites’, who lived in trailer parks and hated Black people.

My fiance and I recently moved into a camper temporarily, and next door to us lives a mother and her grown son, who doesn’t work (of course). Inside their small trailer lives nearly a dozen Dachshunds, 2 cats, a turkey, 2 chickens, 4 turtles, and at least 3 snakes. I don’t know what else might be crawling around in there – I have no plans on finding out, as my fiance tried to enter the place the other day and liked to puke (he’s got a weak stomach, and retches while he’s scooping dog shit to throw away). He told me that the stench was enough to make him so sick, that he told the son, JB, “Sorry man, but I just can’t go in there.” He admitted that he probably offended the guy, but hey, the truth hurts at times. I would not have stepped foot in there either if I had to sniff that odor, I would’ve been sick as well. Yes, they are White people. No other ethnicity will live like that, with all those creatures crawling around inside a human living space – except perhaps in 3rd World countries.

An ex coworker of my brother’s lived in a filthy trailer with at least 2 dogs, but he kept the barnyard types outside. His neighbors, on the other hand, a family of 4 (the parents and their sons)…Oh my Goddess, this property was like a junkyard, far worse than Sanford & Son – imagine that setup magnified a minimum of 50x. The trailer in which this family existed had holes in the flooring through which rats and other vermin would often crawl, and trash all over the interior. They had once lived in a car for more than 6 months so I guess they were used to living like that. I’m not sure if they still live there but I can imagine that they probably do. Hopefully, the sons got jobs and moved the hell out yet it’s more than likely they are still there, playing video games, eating Cheetos and Doritos, while guzzling large cups of Mountain Dew.

White people are lazy. They love to point out that it is Blacks who are, that we exist on Welfare and other state (taxpayer) funded programs, though it’s actually working class Whites that do. When I say lazy here, I mean that they don’t like to clean up after themselves. This is why even poor Whites, back in the Jim Crow days, often had a Black maid, and to this day the biggest consumers of maid services are White people. The only part of them that they are diligent about keeping clean is their hair, and we all know how that smells when they don’t (though it often has a stink when it’s wet). Yes, I have smelled Black people’s body odors before – especially when I had to take public transportation – and I definitely have smelled Latinos and Indians (from India, not the Natives). Outside of Indians and Pakistanis, the Asians I have come into contact with have been some of the cleanest people, as far as body odor goes anyway.

I’m glad my fiance is hygienic except when it comes to his dogs, which – as typical with most White people – he allows to lick him even after he has had a shower, and which he will cuddle with and then not wash his hands immediately (unless I say something to him, of course). If I don’t wash my hands after petting my cats, I will use hand sanitizer, and I always wash my hands with antibacterial soap after cleaning the litter box, feeding them, or grooming them with the cat comb. Practicing extremely good hygiene is important to me; too bad lots of others do not feel the same way.

Alpine Europe

The Alps are a range of mountains in Europe caused by uplift in the European Plate as it is impacted by the African Plate moving north; they stretch from Italy through France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, and into Slovenia. The highest peaks in Europe (outside of the Caucasus mountains) are located in the Alps. Mont Blanc (4810 meters), Dufourspitze (4634 meters) and the world famous Matterhorn (4478 meters) are official and well known alpine four-thousanders.

Many areas of the Alps are covered by eternal snow and ice. The largest glaciers are located in the Valais and Bernese Alps of Switzerland. The Aletsch Glacier with its 23 kilometers length and 900 meters depth is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and Liechtenstein are often referred to as the alpine countries because much of their territories are geographically and culturally dominated by the alps. The regional provinces of Bavaria (Germany) and South Tyrol (Italy) also offer a distinctly Alpine flair. – WikiTravel


Italian Alps

The Alpine countries of Europe are the most breathtaking, and I have been to 7 of the 8: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and Switzerland (Slovenia I have never visited). Of these countries, Austria is definitely my favorite, along with Bavarian Germany, Switzerland, and Monaco. Parts of Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia are considered Alpine as well though the only true Alpine nations are Austria and Switzerland. Some 750 miles (1,200 kilometres) long and more than 125 miles wide at their broadest point between Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and Verona, Italy, the Alps cover more than 80,000 square miles (207,000 square kilometres). They are the most prominent of western Europe’s physiographic regions. – Brittanica

This region of Europe is very picturesque with quaint villages, views of soaring peaks, and heart-stopping hairpin curves. Mont Blanc is the highest peak, followed by Monte Rosa, Dom, Weisshorn, Matterhorn, Dent Blanche, Grand Combin, and Finsteraahorn, among others (including the Jungfrau and Monch). This region of Europe gets more than 120 million visitors every year; around 14 million people live there. If I were rich, I would own a chalet in the Austrian Tyrol or perhaps in the area around Schloss Neuschwanstein but anywhere in the Alpine area is ideal.

The Alps are the youngest and most densely populated mountain range in Europe. They were formed about 65 million years ago. The mountains were formed as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. The Alps are generally divided into Western Alps and Eastern Alps, cut along a line between Lake Constance and Lake Como, following the Rhine valley. The Western Alps are higher, but their central chain is shorter and much curved; they are located in France, Italy and Switzerland. The Eastern Alps (main ridge elongated and broad) belong to Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland.

 

Switzerland

A mummified man known as Ötzi the Iceman was found in the Alps at the Austrian/Italian border in 1991, said to be 5,000 years old. In 1800 Napoleon crossed one of the mountain passes with an army of 40,000. It is suggested that between 40,000 to 80,000 men died in World War I due to avalanches on the Alps. Avalanches, are an ever-present danger during the period from late November to early June.Most follow well-defined paths, but much of the fear of avalanches is related to the difficulty of predicting where and when they will strike. – JustFunFacts

Hotel Bellevue Kriens, where I stayed on 2 visits to Luzern

 

Chamonix, France

 

Alpine Austria
Slovenia

 

Liechtenstein’s Royal residence

 

 

 

 

 

 

O America, Die in Your Rage

These are the words that Akayed Ullah, the Bangladeshi-born suspect in the New York City subway blast that occurred early Monday morning during rush hour, jotted down on a piece of paper that was discovered in his passport by federal investigators. He also taunted President Trump with “Trump, you failed to protect your nation.”

Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the attack Tuesday in calling on Congress to tighten immigration rules. Ullah came to the U.S. in 2011 on an F-4 visa that’s available for immigrants with relatives who are U.S. citizens — the “chain migration” program Trump has vowed to end.  Lee Francis Cissna, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, also cited issues with the visa lottery at a White House press briefing. 

“Because the criteria are so low, either you have no education at all and very little skills, or you have a minimum of education and no skills at all,” he said. “And because it’s a lottery, pretty much anybody on the planet who’s from a qualifying country can take advantage of this.” – USA Today

Ullah wanted to avenge the deaths of Muslims worldwide – apparently, he was set off by anti holiday (Christmas) propaganda – and his fury over US bombings in the areas controlled by ISIS only stoked his longing to carry out a suicide bombing attack. He had been receiving ISIS pamphlets, as well as instructional material online about building bombs, since 2014, when his radicalization began.

From March 2012 to March 2015, Ullah held a Taxi & Limousine Commission license, which had not been renewed, TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg said. It’s unclear “whether he drove for any particular base, or whether he simply got the license but didn’t drive at all,” Fromberg said. Ullah has no criminal record in his native Bangladesh, according to Sahely Ferdous, a Bangladesh police spokeswoman. Ferdous said Ullah last traveled to Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka — where he was born and raised — in September, but police had no information on why he was there. The federal law enforcement source said Ullah’s travel overseas was not significant for the planning of this attack.

Ullah had at least two devices, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation tells CNN. Only one detonated — a foot-long pipe that contained black powder, a battery, wiring, nails and screws. It was attached to Ullah with Velcro and zip ties. Investigators did not elaborate on the second device. The suspect made the bomb last week at his apartment in Brooklyn, according to an official. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it was an amateur, “effectively low-tech device.” – CNN

I cannot say I was surprised to learn of this attack.  Do you truly believe that Ullah’s failed bombing will be the only terrorist attack in the Western world this year? Oh no. 2017 will go out with a bang, and 2018 just might come in the same way.


Police descended on three residences in Brooklyn that were linked to Ullah or his family — who released a statement in the evening through the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “We are heartbroken by the violence that was targeted at our city today, and by the allegations being made against a member of our family,” the statement from Ullah’s family said.”But we are also outraged by the behavior of law enforcement officials who have held children as small as 4 years old out in the cold and who held a teenager out of high school classes to interrogate him without a lawyer, without his parents. “These are not the sorts of actions that we expect from our justice system, and we have every confidence that our justice system will find the truth behind this attack and that we will, in the end, be able to learn what occurred today.”
 – NBC News

Killing in The Name of White Supremacy, Part 3

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Outsiders & Strange Niggers

Leo Frank and Emmett Till are two of the saddest lynching stories ever, particularly the latter due to the utter ruthlessness in which his murder was carried out. Both were innocent people who died at the hands of vengeful Whites because they were outsiders – in Till’s case, a ‘strange nigger’ from Chicago. (Frank was a Northern Jew, which means he had two strikes against him as well.)

The first time I heard of Leo Frank was via the TV mini series The Murder of Mary Phagan. Mary Phagan was a 13 4Lynching1year old who worked at the National Pencil Company. Frank was the director there when Mary was found strangled on 26 April 1913, and was a suspect in the child’s murder along with the night watchman, Newt Lee, and the janitor, Jim Conley. On 24 May, Frank was indicted on a murder charge and convicted largely on the testimony of Conley, who claimed to be an accomplice to the crime. On 25 August, Frank was found guilty and sentenced to death but this sentence was commuted to life in prison. Appeals to reverse the guilty verdict were unsuccessful, and on 16 August 1915, Frank was abducted from prison by an armed mob and spirited away to Marietta, Mary’s hometown.

The 175-mile (282 km) trip took about seven hours at a top speed of 18 miles per hour (29 km/h) through small towns on back roads. Lookouts in the towns telephoned ahead to the next town as soon as they saw the line of cars pass by. A site at Frey’s Gin, two miles (3 km) east of Marietta, had been prepared, complete with a rope and table supplied by former 4LynchingSheriff William Frey. The New York Times reported Frank was handcuffed, his legs tied at the ankles, and that he was hanged from a branch of a tree at around 7:00 a.m., facing the direction of the house where Phagan had lived.

The Atlanta Journal wrote that a crowd of men, women, and children arrived on foot, in cars, and on horses, and that souvenir hunters cut away parts of his shirt sleeves. According to The New York Times, one of the onlookers, Robert E. Lee Howell – related to Clark Howell, editor of The Atlanta Constitution – wanted to have the body cut into pieces and burned, and began to run around, screaming, whipping up the mob. Judge Newt Morris tried to restore order, and asked for a vote on whether the body should be returned to the parents intact; only Howell disagreed. When the body was cut down, Howell started stamping on Frank’s face and chest; Morris quickly placed the body in a basket, and he and his driver John Stephens Wood drove it out of Marietta. – Wikipedia

Mary Phagan and James Conley, her actual alleged killer

The Only Good Nigger is a Dead Nigger

Black men were especially vulnerable to lynching when a White woman was involved. The very thought of a Black man having sexual relations with a White female was enough to send a White man into a boiling hot rage, even though some of them had Black females as mistresses and often had mixed race children by their brown skinned lovers. White women were the angels on a pedestal that could not be touched except by Caucasian hands, and White men were ready to defend their angels at any and all costs.

4Lynching914 year old Emmett Till, known as Bobo to family and friends, was in Mississippi visiting family when the unthinkable occurred. When visiting Money, where Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market was located, young Emmett wolf whistled at owner Roy Bryant’s wife Carolyn as she headed out to her car. The other youths with Bobo that evening realized instantly that a Southern taboo had been crossed, and whisked the Northern boy away into the night, back to the Wright home where they kept mum about the incident.

A few nights later, as the family and their young visitors lay sleeping, there came loud 4Lynching7banging upon the door. Two White men were there looking for the kid that had ‘done the smart talking at Money’. Moses Wright, Bobo’s uncle, tried to buy time yet the men saw through this immediately, one of them becoming threatening with his gun. Wright’s wife, Elizabeth, begged the men not to take Bobo and even offered money, but they were having none of that. Wright led them through the house until they found who they were seeking – Emmett, lying in bed. They forced the youth to get dressed and took him out to their vehicle, where a ‘light voice’ responded in the positive when asked if the boy was the ‘right one’.

Emmett, while not a small boy for his age (he was around 5″5 and weighed close to 160 pounds), was no match for several grown men beating and pounding and striking him as he screamed, according to witnesses Add Reed and his grandson Willie, “Mama, please save me,” and “Please God, don’t do it again.” He tried to defend himself yet these men, 4Lynching10driven by a demonic hatred and a blood lust so primal in nature that it defies description, struck the child viciously, crushing the entire crown of his head; smashing in the rear of his skull; fracturing the strongest, biggest bone in the human body, his thigh bone; gouging out his left eye; and finally, shooting the boy which fortunately, put him out of his misery. Part of an ear was missing, there was a gash across his nose, and his remaining hazel eye dangled onto his damaged cheek. – The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson

J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant, who were charged with kidnapping and murder in the lynching death of Emmett Till, were acquitted of all charges and bragged about their 4Lynching8crime later to William Bradford Huie, a reporter for Look magazine, for which they and their lawyer J. J. Breland received $4,000. In the article, The Shocking Story of APPROVED KILLING IN MISSISSIPPI, published 24 January 1956, they claimed that Bobo wasn’t afraid of them! He was tough as they were. He didn’t think they had the guts to kill him.
Milam: “We were never able to scare him. They had just filled him so full of that poison that he was hopeless.”
Back of Milam’s home is a tool house, with two rooms each about 12 feet square. They took him in there and began “whipping” him, first Milam, then Bryant smashing him across the head with those .45’s. Pistol-whipping: a court-martial offense in the Army… but MP’s have been known to do it…. And Milam got information out of German prisoners this way.
But under these blows Bobo never hollered — and he kept making the perfect speeches to insure martyrdom.
4Lynching4Bobo: “You bastards, I’m not afraid of you. I’m as good as you are. I’ve ‘had’ white women. My grandmother was a white woman.”
Milam: “Well, what else could we do? He was hopeless. I’m no bully; I never hurt a nigger in my life. I like niggers — in their place — I know how to work ’em. But I just decided it was time a few people got put on notice. As long as I live and can do anything about it, niggers are gonna stay in their place. Niggers ain’t gonna vote where I live. If they did, they’d control the government. They ain’t gonna go to school with my kids. And when a nigger gets close to mentioning sex with a white woman, he’s tired o’ livin’. I’m likely to kill him. Me and my folks fought for this country, and we’ve got some rights. I stood there in that shed and listened to that nigger throw that poison at me, and I just made up my mind. ‘Chicago boy,’ I said, ‘I’m tired of ’em sending your kind down here to stir up trouble. Goddam you, I’m going to make an example of you — just so everybody can know how me and my folks stand.'”

In 1985, a non-repentant Roy Bryant admitted to a friend who wore a concealed recorder: “Well, we done whopped the son of a bitch, and I had backed out on killing the motherfucker.” He then went on to say that dropping off the victim at a hospital “wouldn’t have done him no good” so they “put his ass in the Tallahatchie River.”

To this day, no one has ever been convicted of the lynchings of Leo Frank or Emmett Till.

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Killing in The Name of White Supremacy, Part 2

Lynching is an extrajudicial punishment by an informal group. It is most often used to characterize informal public executions by a mob in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate a group. It is an extreme form of informal group social control such as charivari, skimmington, riding the rail, and tarring and feathering, but with a drift towards the display of a public spectacle. It is to be considered an act of terrorism and punishable by law. Instances of it can be found in societies long antedating European settlement of North America. 

In the U.S. most perpetrators of lynchings were white and the victims black. The political message—the promotion of white supremacy and black powerlessness—was an important element of the ritual, with lynchings photographed and published as postcards which were popular souvenirs in the U.S. As well as being hanged, victims were sometimes burned alive and tortured, with body parts removed and kept as souvenirs. – Wikipedia

The White lynch mob was a mainstay of the American South, though lynchings did occur in other regions of the country; however, those victims were predominantly, and often wholly, White and were often murderers and rapists and cattle thieves. The majority of the Southern victims were Black and were killed as a result of crimes – real or imagined or even perpetrated by some other Black – against White people.

Lynching was barbaric yet that didn’t stop hordes of Whites, including women and children, from traveling near and far to witness such despicable events. At one particular lynching, it is said that nearly 15,000 people were in attendance. Often lynchings were advertised in newspapers prior to the event in order to give photographers time to arrive early and prepare their camera equipment. After the lynching, photographers would sell their pictures as-is or as postcards, sometimes costing as much as fifty cents a piece, or $9, as of 2016.

Though some photographs were sold as plain prints, others contained captions. These captions were either straightforward details—such as the time, date and reasons for the lynching—while others contained polemics or poems with racist or otherwise threatening remarks. An example of this is a photographic postcard attached to the poem “Dogwood Tree,” which says: “The negro now/By eternal grace/Must learn to stay in the negro’s place/In the Sunny South, the land of the Free/Let the WHITE SUPREME forever be.” Such postcards with explicit rhetoric such as “Dogwood Tree” were typically circulated privately or mailed in a sealed envelope. Other times these pictures simply included the word “WARNING.” – Wikipedia

You may already know the story of the poem “Strange Fruit” by Abel Meeropol aka Lewis Allan, who saw the iconic photo of lynching victims Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, murdered in Marion, Indiana for allegedly killing a White man and sexually assaulting his female compaion. (This is, incidentally, the first lynching photo I ever saw, in an issue of Ebony magazine, when I was a child. The image has stayed in my mind to this day.) Meeropol could not get the photo out of his mind and the result is the song made popular by Billie Holiday, and later, Nina Simone.

Strange Fruit
Billie Holiday

Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop

Songwriters: Lewis Allan / Maurice Pearl / Dwayne P Wiggins
Strange Fruit lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

 

Here follows the details of a lynching that is more cruel than most, as the victim was burned alive:

Jesse McIlherron was prosperous in a small way. He was a Negro who resented the slights and insults of white men. He went armed and the sheriff feared him. On February 8, he got into a quarrel with three young white men who insulted him. Threats were made and McIlherron fired six shots, killing two of the men. He fled to the home of a colored clergyman who aided him to escape, and was afterwards shot and killed by a mob. McIlherron was captured and full arrangements were made for a lynching. Men, women and children started into the town of Estill Springs from a radious of fifty miles. 

A spot was chosen for the burning. McIlherron was chained to a hickory tree while the mob howled about him. A fire was built a few feet away and the torture began. Bars of iron were heated and the mob amused itself by putting them close to the victim, at first without touching him. One bar he grasped and as it was jerked from his grasp all the inside of his hand came with it. Then the real torturing began, lasting twenty minutes. During that time, while his flesh was slowly roasting, the Negro never lost nerve. He cursed those who tortured him and almost to the last breath derided the attempts of the mob to break his spirit. – NAACP

To Be Continued…

James Cameron, survivor of the lynching that took the lives of Shipp & Smith. He lived to be 92.

Killing in The Name of White Supremacy, Part 1

White Americans have always been bred with poison in their hearts and their minds. It is not a modern disease of the Alt Right or skinhead factions and the KKK. This has been ongoing since the annihilating wars against the Natives and the ill-treatment of the slaves they ‘imported’ from Africa and cruelty shown towards the Chinese they used out West to mine where White men refused to go. Yet the ethnic group to receive the most barbaric treatment ever has been, and continues to be, the Black American, formerly known as the ‘Negro race’ and now called ‘African American’ even though we have no ties to the Motherland other than our DNA.

Take lynching, for example. Many of you may believe that only Black males of any age accused of raping, killing or looking at a White woman ‘funny’, were the victims of the blood-crazed lynch mobs. Not so. Even Black women were victims, and some of them were even pregnant. Around 5,000 Blacks have been lynched since 1859 and dozens of them were women, as the following 3 examples prove.

Mary Turner 1918 Eight Months Pregnant Mobs lynched Mary Turner on May 17, 1918 in Lowndes County. Georgia because she vowed to have those responsible for killing her husband arrested. Her husband was arrested in connection with the shooting and killing Hampton Smith, a white farmer for whom the couple had worked, and wounding his wife. Sidney Johnson. a Black, apparently killed Smith because he was tired of the farmer’s abuse. Unable to find Johnson. the killers lynched eight other Blacks including Hayes Turner and his wife Mary. The mob hanged Mary by her feet, poured gasoline and oil on her and set fire to her body. One white man sliced her open and Mrs. Turner’s baby tumbled to the ground with a “little cry” and the mob stomped the baby to death and sprayed bullets into Mary Turner. (NAACP: Thirty Years of Lynching in the U.S. 1889-1918)


Holbert Burnt at the Stake Luther Holbert, a Black, supposedly killed James Eastland, a wealthy planter and John Carr, a negro, who lived near Doddsville Mississippi. After a hundred mile chase over four days, the mob of more than 1,000 persons caught Luther and his wife and tied them both to trees. They were forced to hold out their hands while one finger at a time was chopped off and their ears were cut off. Pieces of raw quivering flesh was pulled out of their arms, legs and body with a bore screw and kept for souvenirs. Holbert was beaten and his skull fractured. An eye was knocked out with a stick and hung from the socket. (100 Years of Lynching by Ralph Ginzburg)

Ann Barksdale or Ann Bostwick The lynchers maintained that Ann Barksdale or Ann Bostwick killed her female employer in Pinehurst, Georgia on June 24, 1912. Nobody knows if or why Barksdale or Bostick killed her employer because there was no trial and no one thought to take a statement from this Black woman who authorities claimed had ”violent fits of insanity” and should have been placed in a hospital. Nobody was arrested and the crowd was In a festive mood. Placed in a car with a rope around her neck, and the other end tied to a tree limb, the lynchers drove at high speed and she was strangled to death. For good measure the mob shot her eyes out and shot enough bullets into her body that she was “cut in two.” – Henrietta Vinton Davis

The descriptions I have read of what was done to these lynching victims stagger the imagination. How can anyone be filled with such hatred for another human being that they would desecrate a dead body in such an evil manner? This is why modern day police are not trusted by most minorities, especially Blacks, in both the US as well as the UK and perhaps even Canada. Law officers have often been the biggest (and most vocal) supporters of White Supremacy in this country. When the Western nations boycotted South Africa back in the 1980s for their racist Apartheid regime, I felt that it was extremely hypocritical of Americans to do so with their ugly history, which was just as racist if not more so – after all, this country was supposedly the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’. 

It was the same when America joined the battle to end World War Two after being bombed by the Japanese – they sent our soldiers (some of whom were Black) overseas to give freedom to the Jews and Slavs and others that the Nazis considered ‘sub human’ when in their very own country, Blacks were dying at the bloodied hands of White Americans in the South (and sometimes elsewhere). This is why so many Black vets returned home to fight for our rights in this land, which the young people of today seem to have conveniently forgotten. 


To Be Continued…

Ida B. Wells, anti lynching crusader.