FBI Halts Plans for Modern-Day ‘Lynching’ in South Carolina

At the Legacy Museum, more than 800 jars of dirt from lynching sites honor black lives cut short. The Montgomery, Alabama, museum opened in late April. The exhibits trace the longtime human rights abuses black people across the country have resisted –  including slaverysegregation and police violence.

As movements like Black Lives Matter and Black Mama’s Bail Out show, racial terrorism isn’t over today. It’s only evolved.

At the extreme end is a recent incident in South Carolina. The FBI says it caught a white man planning to hang his black neighbor and put a burning cross in his front yard.

The New York Times reports affidavits say Brandon Cory Lecroy tried to kill two people by hiring a hitman, who was actually an undercover FBI agent. Someone tipped the organization off after Lecroy contacted a white supremacist group for help with the murder.

“$500 and he’s a ghost,” Lecroy allegedly told the FBI agent.

A lot of factors can make this case easy for white people to dismiss as part of a bigger problem. For one, this happened in the Deep South. Many Northerners scapegoat Southerners for racism, even though it’s everywhere.

Michael Harriot crunched the numbers on The Root. He found that the South’s racial inequality in education, jobs, criminal justice and other areas was comparable to the rest of the country.

Harriot explains that racism is both overt and subtle:

It may be that the legacy of Jim Crow, segregation and slave owning may still linger in some people’s memories. It might be that the South has earned that reputation because racism is more blatant in Southern areas. There are more hate groups in the South.

But those blatant displays of racism sometimes obscure the fact that there are people across the United States who politely tuck their racism in their pockets every morning. They might not yell the n-word, but they discriminate in the hiring process. Maybe they’ve never burned a cross, but they don’t want black children in their schools or neighborhood. Perhaps it depends on how you prefer your racism—Southern-fried or unseasoned.

The judge also ordered Lecroy to undergo a psychological evaluation. Some may cite his mental health as a reason to see the murder plot as an isolated incident and not another example of widespread racism in America.

But too often, we try to blame bigotry and violence on mental illness. As s.e. Smith noted on Care2 last year, such thinking demonizes people with mental illnesses and lets neurotypical people off the hook for their own destructive thoughts and actions. It also ignores institutional racism.

Sadly, white supremacy is alive and well in the U.S. today.

Our society frequently views racism as all or nothing: Either white people are pulling on their Ku Klux Klan hoods, burning crosses and killing black folks, or they’re “color-blind.” But we can’t scrutinize hate crimes without looking at the society that made them possible.

This attempt at a modern-day “lynching“ should make white people look in the mirror.

Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue/Flickr

32 comments

Karen H
Karen H5 months ago

Paul Carter, you're so right. It's fear. People fear what they don't know or what they don't understand. When I was in school, I had two sets of friends: white and black. My white friends had never been around black kids, so they shied away from hanging out with them. My black friends had been discriminated against most of their lives, so they shied away from the white kids. I could hang out with one group or the other, but couldn't get them to understand we were all the same - just kids trying to get through school. A little knowledge is a powerful thing.

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Janis K
Janis K5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R5 months ago

Thank you for posting.

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Winn A
Winn Adams5 months ago

:-(

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Winn A
Winn Adams5 months ago

This is crazy . . . .

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Roslyn McBride
Roslyn McBride5 months ago

It's pathetic that some white people are still anti-black in this day & age. Talk about ignorant.

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MilliSiteProbs M
MilliSiteProbs M5 months ago

I must be color blind then as I really don't see the hate towards individuals from other cultures. I have worked with people from just about every county you can imagine, on rare occasions I have noticed the instant reaction of some towards whites more often that towards blacks, N. American Indians, Middle Easterners, etc. However when we would have office outings, lunches, parties, I noticed disdain on the face of some of those catering the outings. We never booked another outing at any establishment that looked down on, or was rude to any one of our multi-race group and certainly let the establishment know we were not happy with some of the staffs reactions or comments. Maybe I was just lucky, always seemed to work with great people where ever I went. Would be nice if everyone could be color blind and give the person a chance before condemning them.

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Naomi D
Naomi D5 months ago

Oh, oh

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Alea C
Alea C5 months ago

Let's dump this crap right in front of the White House, as Trump has made this acceptable behavior by endorsing white supremacy hate groups.

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Cathy B
Cathy B5 months ago

Thank you.

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