A Black Perspective12 012  A14, 201

Page 25

December 22, 2012

Trayvon Martin;
Willie Lynch Letter Revisited

     A document known as "The Willie Lynch Letter" has been circulating  among the American public since 1970 in print form and on the internet since the 1990s.  The letter is purported to be from a speech given by Willie Lynch given on the bank of the James River in Virginia in the year 1712.  Lynch was a slave holder and this address was to fellow slaveholders.  The speech was intended to teach slaveholders  how to control Blacks and, in essence, how to make a slave.
The Willie Lynch Letter has long been doubted for its authenticity.  Consensus by the informed indicates that the document is not historically authentic.  Whether or not the letter is authentic is irrelevant for this article.  This article deals with some of the principles espoused by the letter and how these principles have evolved since 1712.

The Example

            Willie Lynch advocated that the slave holder set an example by inflicting an horrendous death on one of the slaves.  He instructed that the slave be drawn and quartered by a pair of horses.  Of course, this is to be executed in front of all the remaining slaves.  The example was to be the biggest, strongest, "baddest" male slave.  The "alpha slave" in today's language.  Willie was asking that a valuable piece of property be sacrificed, yet he assured the slave holders that this was a small price to pay to train the remaining slaves.

As time has progressed, the example has evolved.  The physically strong, illiterate field hand no longer poses the greatest threat to White society.  Today the threat has morphed into the intelligent, educated, affluent young Black male.  Today the threat is the infiltration into and the acceptance by the greater society.  Today the possibility of a level playing field is scaring the racists to death.  They are acting out of fear and insecurity, believing that terrorism can salvage their antiquated ideas.  They cannot shake the echoes of President Barack Obama's statement when he said," If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin ".

Divide and Conquer

     Another principle of the Willie Lynch letter was the tactic to "divide and conquer".  Lynch maintained that the slaves must be pitted against each other.  Field hands against house help, light skinned against dark skinned, etc.  The strivings for division has evolved into an effort to keep Blacks isolated from the other American minority groups.  Those who most closely physically resemble the oppressor will receive the most privileges.  As Blacks are the most diametrically opposite Whites, Blacks are relegated to receive the least privileges.

As the United States shifts from a majority race nation to a conglomerate of minority races, Whites try to keep the other minority races from banding together.  Particular emphasis is placed on keeping the 2 largest minorities, Blacks and Latinos apart.  Both groups are plagued by racial profiling, police brutality and vigilantism.  The Trayvon Martin slaying provided an opportunity to drive a wedge between the 2 groups.

With the exception of Cesar Chavez, Geraldo Rivera has been perhaps the most visible Latino in the United States.  After young Martin was slain, Geraldo came out with the most outrageous statement.  He claimed that the hooded sweatshirt that Martin was wearing was as responsible for the shooting as was George Zimmerman.  The most blatant, malicious example of blaming the victim was heralded nationwide.

Hoodie plus Black equals thug, which gives a reasonable person the right to kill?  This thinking is wrong on so many levels.  This is an affront not only to Blacks, but to rational thought as well.  Blaming Trayvon for the atrocity perpetrated by Zimmerman is an assault on the constitutional rights of Black people.  That this blame comes from a Latino, who should be sensitive to the machinations of White supremacy, adds insult to injury.


     The essence of the Willie Lynch letter was terrorism.  Perhaps the chief target for this terror was the Black female.  Lynch reasoned that as Black mothers raised their sons , they would raise them to accept the status of slavery.  They were being conditioned to emasculate their male children.  The same is true today, young Black mothers are encouraged to make their sons docile, so that they don't end up as Trayvon did.  This tactic should be recognized as futile.  After all these years, mothers still have not been able to teach young Black males not to reach for imaginary guns whenever they are confronted by the police.

Terrorism has not evolved much since 1712.  Let's face it, terror is terror.  What has evolved is the way that the American society views terrorists.  The Black People need to evolve insofar as how to treat terrorists who attack their community.  Perhaps it would be appropriate to look at how the United States Government handles terrorists.

Terrorists, actually suspected terrorists, have no Constitutional rights.  Under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, suspected terrorists can be detained indefinitely without charge.  Perhaps the chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Eric Holder, explained it best by proclaiming that, "..... due process does not necessarily mean judicial process".

The President of the United States has a list of suspected terrorists.  From this list he chooses those that he wants eliminated, or, blown to hell by a predator drone.  Use which euphuism you prefer, Barack Obama favors," bringing them to justice".

The U.S. Government does not permit the targeting of a suspected terrorist's family.  However, if the family is in the vicinity when the suspected terrorist is attacked, they are considered fair game.  Wives and children are designated to be collateral damage.

While the U.S. Government's treatment of terrorists may seem harsh, it must be remembered that these people are suspected terrorists.  American society accepts these measures as necessary to protect itself.  The Black community must determine which methods are necessary to protect itself.

Random Thoughts

            While George Zimmerman is awaiting trial for the slaying of Trayvon Martin , it is imperative that the Black community remain vigilant to ensure that Zimmerman is brought to justice.  Zimmerman's defense team continues to try to discredit the victim, Trayvon Martin.  The Florida judicial system does everything it can to aid Zimmerman.  It was recently ruled that the defense team receive the school and social network records of young Martin.  On the other hand the court ignored the fact that lead investigator, Chris Serino, revised his police report 4 times.

On November 23, 2012 White, middle-aged Michael David Dunn shot and killed unarmed Black teenager, Jordan Davis.  Davis was in a SUV in which the occupants were playing the music louder than Dunn wanted.  As this occurred in the state of Florida, Dunn, after he went home and got a night's sleep, declared that the shooting was justified as he was "standing his ground".  Dunn's daughter, Rebecca, lamented that this was a tragedy for both parties.

There is judicial closure in the slaying of Kendrec McDade , the unarmed teenager slain by 2 Pasadena police officers. (see page 5, Random Thoughts)   The officers were determined to have been acting in self defense and will not be charged.

Just asking..... Which is worse, the killing of an innocent child by a deranged individual, or an ongoing governmental policy which kills the innocent children of suspected terrorists and considers them to be collateral damage?


Contact information:  leethrower353@gmail.com

  A Black Perspective


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