I just saw this story on The New Black Woman, and I am completely outraged.
In Jackson, Mississippi, a 65-year-old Black Republican mayoral candidate is hoping to bring back the hanging noose as a form of punishment for crime. The candidate has been met with outrage on his position by many, but still insists that his stand is welcomed in some especially crime-filled areas of Jackson.
Candidate George Lambus has been hanging flyers around Jackson with statements such as: “Crime can only be alleviated by a noose and a stout tree limb. I will provide the noose and when the economy improves, I will get the jobs here.”
Lambus said in an interview with the Associated Press:
Look at recent history, like in South Africa, when apartheid was abolished. Blacks went on a crime spree. Other blacks got tired of it … and they formed vigilantes and they killed people. It brought the crime down.
Citing the Bible as a model, Lambus claims that executions are the only way to control crime.
The Mississippi Republican Party is not supporting Lambus, and he is very much a long-shot in the election. But since Lambus is the only GOP candidate, he is expected to automatically advance as the Republican candidate.
I’m hoping that Lambus’ outrageously offensive stance will cause people to ignore him in the election. However, the sheer idea that he could promote this movement is frightening. In the 2000 census, Jackson was found to be 70.6% African American or Black as opposed to 27.8% white. The Jackson, Mississippi public school system in 2005-2006 was 97.25% African American. (These are the most recent statistics I was able to find. If you know of any more recent statistics, let me know.) Knowing the historical connotations that the noose has for African Americans, and the inequities in the legal system, I can’t believe that Lambus would even attempt to use the noose as a punishment. And “controlling” crime with vigilante violence is absolutely ridiculous. Adding violence to violence does not equal peace. Lambus’ platform is simply appalling.