wypipo shocked that lynching memorial shows lynchings… what did they expect?
By Erin White
April 10, 2018
White people aren’t so much bothered by their legacy of lynching black people in this country as they are by having to see it. Apparently, after airing 60 Minutes segment by contributor Oprah Winfrey where viewers received an early look at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Alabama, the Equal Justice Initiative’s soul-shaking and historic museum that documents and honors the black victims of white violence and lynchings, white viewers were disturbed by CBS’ decision Mi to air the gruesome images on tv. And while those images were undoubtedly disturbing and viewing them should be upsetting. But it’s more important for viewers to bear witness to history and to contextualize the violence they see against black bodies today.
Among the many fascinating questions asked and the insights explored in the 60 Minutes piece was the question of whether or not to air these images in the first place. Which…frankly seems like a ridiculous cop-out considering the overwhelming significance of these violent events, the culture that enabled it, and the white people who perpetuated it. Even today, white people’s discomfort is suggested to be just as, if not more important than genocidal terrorism and all of the horrors it spawned.
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