On Tuesday, President Donald Trump compared the impeachment proceedings against him to the lynching of Black people throughout history. Actual descendants of lynching victims have come out against the president’s claims.
“Either he’s very ignorant or very insensitive or very racist and just doesn’t care,” Malinda Edwards, 66, told the Associated Press. “It says to them that ‘What happened to you is like nothing more than an investigation.’ These are people who went through the most gruesome and heinous things that could be done to them.”
Her father, Willie Edwards Jr., was murdered when members of the Ku Klux Klan forced him to jump off of a bridge in Alabama in 1957.
Edwards was mistaken for another Black man who allegedly smiled at a white woman in Montgomery, Ala. He was only 24 years old. No one was ever arrested for the homicide.
Lynching has been used as a way to exterminate and intimidated people of color for hundreds of years in the United States. The nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative documented about 4,400 racial terror lynchings in the United States just from 1877 through 1950, the Associated Press reported.
There are many more people whose stories and lives are lost.
What sparked the conversation about lynching was Trump’s tweet: “So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching. But we will WIN!”
While some Republicans have come out in support of Trump’s tweet, people who understand what lynching really does to generations of a family have not stayed silent.
“He has said a lot of things and done a lot of things I disagree with, but this is just immoral,” Josephine Bolling McCall, whose father was a Black businessman shot by a white neighbor, told the Associated Press. “He has no concept of what we have gone through. He has no concept of what a lynching is.”