That was apparently the case when Oprah Winfrey claimed that the “n-word” was the last thing heard by “millions” who were lynched. The implication is clear — millions of blacks have been lynched because of their race. Worse yet, Parade Magazine let Winfrey get away with her “fact” unchallenged.
Winfrey made her comments in an interview discussing Lee Daniels’ “The Butler,” a movie that chronicles one black man’s years of service in the White House. Winfrey plays the role of Gloria Gaines, the wife of Cecil Gaines, who served from Eisenhower through Reagan.
Parade spoke with Daniels, Winfrey and actor Forest Whitacker, who plays the role of Gaines.
All three responded to a question about using the “n-word.”
Whitaker said he doesn’t use the word and never did.
“It’s a word I used quite a bit, until Oprah sat me down and talked to me about its power,” Daniels said.
“You cannot be my friend and use that word around me. It shows my age, but I feel strongly about it. … I always think of the millions of people who heard that as their last word as they were hanging from a tree,” Winfrey said.
According to information gleaned from the archives at the Tuskegee Institute, 4,743 were lynched between 1882 and 1968 — not the millions claimed by Winfrey.
Of the 4,743 people lynched during that period, about one in four — 1,297 — were white.
Winfrey told Parade that young people today know “diddly squat” about the civil rights movement.
That much, at least is true.
If young people were taught real history, not the politically-correct pablum forced on students today, they would know that Democrats fought tooth-and-nail to stop civil rights legislation for decades and they would know that for years, southern blacks strongly supported Republicans, something that angered white Democrats to the point of violence.
A post at The Black Past, for example, tells the tale of the 1868 Opelousas Massacre, where some 150 black Republicans were killed by white Democrats, members of the white supremacist organization Knights of the White Camellia. An account at History Engine puts the number killed at somewhere between 200-300.
“A majority of newly freed African Americans strongly supported the Republican Party, angering prominent southern Democrats. The inability to accept racial equality led to the growth of white supremacist groups, the most noteworthy being the Ku Klux Klan. White radicals sought to silence African Americans and those who supported them through various scare tactics and physical violence, such was the case at Opelousas,” History Engine explained.
Of course, one person lynched is one too many, but if Winfrey is going to use lynchings in her narrative the least she can do is get her history straight.
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- Jesse Jackson compares Madison to Selma and Gettysburg
- Political Correctness is destroying America
- Sean Hannity demands apology from Al Sharpton for overheated racial rhetoric