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Scapegoats and Lynch Mobs

George Meadows

George Meadows

Today’s Americans probably know little about lynching, mob murder of someone they take a dislike to. For the reader who is not familiar with this blot on American history, I suggest Lynching in the United States.  Between 1880 and 1951 the Tuskegee Institute recorded 3,437 lynchings of African Americans, as well as 1,293 whites.

René Girard talks  about mob violence in his book, The Scapegoat. Girard’s thesis is that pressures in a community build up, and through an act of violence opposing forces can unite at least for a time, and some sense of relief can be found.

At this time in American history with the economy in shambles, two wars, high profile public figures shown corrupt, and threats of terrorism and global ecological disaster, there is no shortage of pressure. When the mob chooses a victim, they pick someone who is “different”. To many Barack Obama is “different” because of his race, the fact that he’s mixed race, lived in Indonesia and doesn’t pass the right-wing litmus test on anything.

Of course, no one can lynch the President, but the language of violence and the mob frenzy is there., the dancing glee expressed in visions of Obama being led off in handcuffs, the call for mass revolt in the military, and the creation of a “civilian militia”. Obscene images, and violent speech substitute verbal violence for physical violence. What you are looking at today both in the “birther” movement and in some of the virulent right-wing web sites is what a lynch mob looks like on the Internet.

Perhaps venting their anxiety and for a moment forgetting the real problems in America by focusing on Barack Obama will give some temporary relief and reconciliation. It won’t last. Violence is always just a temporary solution.

See also my previous article: The Angry Mob for examples of hate speech.

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62 Responses to Scapegoats and Lynch Mobs

  1. avatar
    Heavy March 2, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

    Nice try, doc. Lynchings? Are you THAT desparate? Lynch mobs? (Great band, by the way).

    You may have a point, though. TREASON does carry the death penalty in some instances.

    Yes, your messaih is different. It has NOTHING to do with his race or policies. He is different because he is illegitimate.

    There will be relief, but not reconciliation. At least not for a long time. You who have betrayed this country will NOT be easily forgiven. And yes, he WILL be led off in shackles along with his cellmate, Rahmbo.

  2. avatar
    bogus info March 2, 2009 at 3:21 pm #

    “You who have betrayed this country will NOT be easily forgiven.”

    No one has betrayed this country; therefore, have nothing to be forgiven for. Where do you get this stuff?

  3. avatar
    Heavy March 2, 2009 at 3:42 pm #

    Good one, bogie! All those who voted for and continue to support the illegitimate one have btrayed this country.

  4. avatar
    bogus info March 2, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    Heavy,

    You really need to get yourself some new material. This stuff is getting old.

  5. avatar
    Heavy March 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    Truth never makes sense to liberals.

    We will not stop until the problem is remedied. So, get used to it.

    Lynch mobs…What a joke. Liberals play on the fears of the weak.

  6. avatar
    bogus info March 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Heavy,

    “Liberals play on the fears of the weak.”

    Uh, have you been to Orly’s blog?

    I’m not a liberal.

  7. avatar
    Heavy March 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm #

    Yeah, you keep saying that you are not a liberal.

    YES YOU ARE!

    And no, I have NEVER been to Orly’s site.

  8. avatar
    bogus info March 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    “And no, I have NEVER been to Orly’s site.”

    You should go check it out. You’d fit right in.

  9. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 2, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    Heavy, look at my article again. Lynching isn’t about race, it’s about mob psychology.

  10. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    Am I the only liberal here :?:

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    Heavy, I would be really interested in what you had to say about Orly’s site.

    http://www.defendourfreedoms.us

  12. avatar
    bogus info March 2, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    Dr. C.,

    Me too. I think it might be a match made in heaven. But, I’d want Heavy to “report” back to HQ what he thought about Orly’s site.

  13. avatar
    Patrick McKinnion March 2, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

    You should. It’s your kind of people.

  14. avatar
    Jez March 3, 2009 at 12:10 am #

    I don’t think your the only one Doc, but hate to break it to you: I tend towards right of center, with Libertarian leanings. :)

  15. avatar
    Heavy March 3, 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    No need to go there. I have WAY too much fun watching you fools drool all over yourselves and fantasize about your messiah.

    Besides, I get all the info I need from you guys. That’s a as close to a compliment as you’ll get from ,doc. I do enjoy this site, though. Very entertaining to watch all of you apologists keep making excuses for the retard in thief.

  16. avatar
    Heavy March 3, 2009 at 12:25 pm #

    Ok, doc. Read the flipping title! Enough said. You went for fear right off the bat. You can try to say otherwise, but the truth rings clear.

  17. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 3, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    If you see a metaphor or analogy here, just skip it. It’s not for you.

  18. avatar
    Heavy March 3, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    Ok, doc! Tell me you were not going for sensationalism.

  19. avatar
    Heavy March 3, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    And what about the picture? Metaphor? Yeah, right. Face it, doc…You’re getting desparate for material. You guys keep plowing the same ground defending this piece of crap and even YOU are finding it hard to do anymore.

  20. avatar
    NBC March 3, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    Calling Obama the illegitimate one just shows one to be a poor loser. Get over it, 8 years to go :-)

  21. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 3, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

    The picture is provocative and it’s fair to call it sensationalist. This blog takes a sensationalist attitude in some of its titles and images. The article says what I personally believe, and that is that the same social mechanisms that lead to scapegoating and lynching are at work in some of the most virulent anti-Obama rhetoric I have seen on some web site, such as the statement “Obama wants to destroy America” (155 hits on Google). Some of the hatred is frantic and I believe that similar emotions in a different physical setting would lead to a lynching.

    I am definitely plowing the same ground. To keep readership up at the blog, I have to have new articles. Except for Orly’s latest rant or some new lawsuit (that is also plowing the same ground), there isn’t much new. So just as the nObamas are rehashing the same “certification is not a certificate”, “grandmother tape”, “travel ban to pakistan”, “natural born citizen is defined by de Vattel” stuff, so I’m repackaging the same stuff here.

    If you’re bored, I’m sorry.

  22. avatar
    Heavy March 3, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    I’m neither poor (By your messiah’s standards) or a loser. Actually, this whole country lost when the usuper assumed the throne. He will soon be exposed for th phony he is and will be dragged from th Oval Office in chains!

    You sick, twisted people will be held accountable for what you have done to this country!

  23. avatar
    Heavy March 3, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    Actually, I’m not bored. Just trying to determine if you see what I see… and you do.

    I’ve yet to get an explaintion as to why THE ONE won’t release any of the documents that would answer some questions.
    Now, before you go off on a “You’ll never be satisfied anyway” tangent, tell me about why YOU think he will not release his school records.

  24. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 3, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    In terms of lawsuits, I think A. Kibitzer’s comment is the best explanation.

    My guess (and it’s just a plausible guess) is that Obama did not release school records during the campaign because it would have been a distraction. (John McCain didn’t release school records either.) It’s also possible something embarrassing is in there. In any case, nothing in a school record is going to change Obama’s eligibility to be president.

  25. avatar
    Heavy March 3, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

    So, if there’s nothing that can create a problem and the election is over, why won’t he release them. He is the first in a long time, if not ever, to not do so.

  26. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 3, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    Why don’t you look that up and see how common it is for a president’s school records not to be released.

  27. avatar
    Heavy March 3, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    I have. He is the first one since LBJ to not fork it over.

    Now that’s CHANGE!

    So, the question remains…Why?

  28. avatar
    Bob March 3, 2009 at 2:47 pm #

    Wild guess here: Other matters have already filled up the ole “to-do” list.

  29. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 3, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    You could email the White House and ask Obama. I don’t know.

  30. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 3, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    Here’s an example of “mob speak” courtesy of Orly’s blog:

    Comment on from Special Forces Colonel, John Davies Blair,
    from DEFENDOURFREEDOMS.US

    I would remind everyone that DefendOurFreedoms is a moderated blog. Nothing appears there without their approval.

    by jasik

    THe SOLUTION TO SAVE AMERICANS FROM THIS IMPOSTER OBAMA MUST OUT IN THE STREETS >
    LIKE THE STORMING OF THE BASTILLE DURING THE FRENCH REVOLUTION >

    OBAMA OBVIOUSLY IS READY TO HANDLE PEACEFUL CASE FILING IN SCOTUS AND OTHER COURTS.HE HAS ALREADY SIPHONED OFF MONEY FOR THAT PURPOSE FROM THE VARIOUS BILLS THEY HAVE HURRIEDLY PASSED .

    ITS NOBLE THOUGH A WASTE OF PRECIOUS TIME WHAT ORLY TAITZ AND OTHER PATRIOTS OUR DOING LEGALLY AND PEACEFULLY.

    THESE THING ARE PLAYTHINGS TO OBAMA AND HIS GANGSTERS.

    PERSONAL FEAR IS THE KEY

    A REVOLT BY THE PUBLIC IS THE NEED OF THE HOUR

    DAILY STREET DEMONSTRATIONS IN LARGE NUMBERS,CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE,IN BIG CITIES .

    DEMONSTRATE IN FRONT OF
    CNN AND MSN OFFICES DEMANDIBG THEY TELL THE TRUTH NOW TO THE AMERICAAN PUBLIC ON PAIN OF PERSONAL PUNISHMENT TO THE TV BROADCASTERS

    THAT IS THE ONLY EFFECTIVE SOLUTION

    OBAMA IS A ALIEN USURPER, A POLICAL MOBSTER.

    STREET IS WHERE THE SOLUTION LIES.

    EUROPEANS ARE WAITING TO REVOLT .

    THEY ARE LOOKING FOR THE INITIATIVE TO START BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

    THE EUROPEAN UNION MUST BE BROKEN TOO AND PEOPLE MUST BE FREE THERE

  31. avatar
    bogus info March 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm #

    “So, the question remains…Why?”

    Probably because he’s not required to do so. You would not release private information regarding yourself if you were not required to do so. Why should President Obama?

  32. avatar
    Jez March 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    I would be really interested Heavy on a link to this information you found. Were the papers and records “forked over” before or after the Presidential Library was built?

  33. avatar
    Expelliarmus March 3, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    Among other things, release of old school records would seriously inconvenience others, including Obama’s former professors, who no doubt would be inundated and harassed once their names were revealed on the transcripts.

    There is no possible relevancy of his school records to anything.

    Perhaps you can tell us what relevant information would be in the school records, Heavy?

  34. avatar
    Bob March 3, 2009 at 8:01 pm #

    Perhaps you can tell us what relevant information would be in the school records, Heavy?

    There is a belief that Obama received a foreign-student scholarship to Occidental; that is, the records will corroborate the belief that Obama isn’t a citizen (natural born or otherwise).

  35. avatar
    Patrick McKinnion March 3, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    I give your troll a 1.5 Too much effort and old material

  36. avatar
    Patrick McKinnion March 3, 2009 at 8:17 pm #

    And if the records show otherwise, then the belief will be that they were altered or forged to “hide the truth”

  37. avatar
    Bob March 3, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    “The Boy Who Cried Forgery!”

  38. avatar
    Expelliarmus March 3, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    Bob — I really was directing that question to Heavy. I know what some people are saying, but the “foreign student” claim is so patently implausible that I am wondering whether Heavy has different reasons to want to see those records.

  39. avatar
    Heavy March 4, 2009 at 9:42 am #

    You guys are SOOOO flippin’ sad. A typical lib tactic is to answer MY questions with YOUR questions. I’ll be happy to answer yours, but please answer mine first.

    Q: WHY wont THE ONE release his college records?

  40. avatar
    myson March 4, 2009 at 9:46 am #

    BECAUSE one does not want to !!!!
    Very simple.

  41. avatar
    bogus info March 4, 2009 at 10:34 am #

    Bob,

    Based on what evidence? What is in the lawsuit to backup this “belief” to warrant a subpoena to release his Occidental college records?

  42. avatar
    Heavy March 4, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    Doc, I know it scares you libs, but this is what it will comwe to very soon if your messaih does not release the information.

    There will be rioting in the streets. There will be a forceful overtaking of the government. The will of the people will not be denied.

  43. avatar
    myson March 4, 2009 at 11:08 am #

    Dreaming is so much fun !!

  44. avatar
    Heavy March 4, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    http://ginacobb.typepad.com/gina_cobb/2009/03/sitrep-obama-citizenship-march-3-2009-enemies-domestic.html

    Check this out, my lib friends. The PEOPLE will not be denied!

  45. avatar
    Bob March 4, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    From the horse’s mouth:

    http://drorly.blogspot.com/2009/01/proof-obama-went-by-barry-soetoro-at.html

  46. avatar
    Bob March 4, 2009 at 11:32 am #

    Warmed over same-ole same-ole.

  47. avatar
    Bob March 4, 2009 at 11:33 am #

    Or this:
    http://lamecherry.blogspot.com/2009/03/occidental-obama.html

  48. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 4, 2009 at 11:33 am #

    1. I really don’t know if you’re serious, or just playing a joke on us, playing a role. It’s hard to believe anybody able to function in society really thinks the way you do.
    2. You’ve been predicting “soon” for months now — Obama carried off in chains. So your predictions have no credibility. They are 100% wrong so far.
    3. Obama is eligible and any rational person (including ALL of Congress who certified the election) knows it. If there is any rioting in the streets it will be the result of traitors to the country who have lied and taught lies to other people. Anyone who revolts against the lawful government based on rumors and fake documentation, and fake laws, deserves to be put in prison.
    4. Those treasonous persons like Orly Taitz and others who post on the Internet are the ones responsible for any unrest. Obama published his birth certificate last June and Hawaii backed him up. Those who cling to conspiracy theories are either nuts or stupid, or intentionally trying to undermine our country for their own purposes.
    5. The “will of the people” was expressed in the November election. Those who are spreading lies against Obama are acting contrary to the will of the people. They are the ones who deny the Constitution and the Rule of Law. They are the ones trying to usurp lawful authority. They want their own courts, their own militia, their own news media, their own government. They seem to think they have the divine right to rule. They are wrong.

    However, neither good sense nor patriotism are required of those who comment on this blog.

  49. avatar
    Heavy March 4, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    Very interesting, doc. Your well clear, lucid points can be made on our side too. Just replace us with them.

    YOU are the liars, traitors and cheats. YOU have robbed this country of it’s freedom and threaten it’s sovereignty!

    It’s was called a stalemate. A standoff. Something has to happen to restore momentum. Your messiah refuses to play ball, so WE THE PEOPLE must take matters into our own hands.

    It’s happened before. Don’t act as though this is the first time. It will be painful for all, but necessary. It will be especially paunful for those who support this illegal administration.

    For me, it will be fun to see the looks on the faces of those who would see this country destroyed from within. Surprise, then fear, then agony.

  50. avatar
    Heavy March 4, 2009 at 12:20 pm #

    BY the way, doc. YOU are the one spreading rumors and lies. Hawaii DID NOT “Back him up”. They simply said that a BC exists. That’s all!

  51. avatar
    Bob March 4, 2009 at 2:02 pm #

    Under what Hawaiian law or procedure would Hawaii have a birth certifcate issued by another jurisdiction?

  52. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 4, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    If a child were adopted by a Hawaiian resident, a child that was born in another jurisdiction, Hawaii would issue a new birth certificate. It would not be a certification of “live birth” and would not falsely state the location of birth. For foreign born adoptions, the certificate has special language to indicate that it is not valid as proof of citizenship. This law didn’t exist in 1961.

    Also, since 1982, Hawaii will issue a birth certificate for a child born outside the state to a resident (for one year preceding the birth). The Certificate states the true place of birth.

    The bookmarks tab at top of page contains links to the Hawaiian law site.

  53. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 4, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    I think “back him up” is a fair characterization of what they said, given that all birth registrations in Hawaii in 1961 that conform to regulations and procedures were in-state births. That’s what the law says.

  54. avatar
    Expelliarmus March 4, 2009 at 9:04 pm #

    In other words, you can’t answer the question.

    Thought so.

  55. avatar
    Hitandrun March 5, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    Own up, Doc.
    Does ‘Heavy’ truly exist? Or is s/he a creation of yours or your fellow travelers — an invention carefully designed to embarrass and marginalize legitimate criticism of Mr Obama’s obstructionism?

    Hitandrun

  56. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 5, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    I have no knowledge of the source of the “Heavy” comments beyond what everybody sees, except to say that the IP address used by that poster is different from that of any one else who posts here.

  57. avatar
    Ian Gould March 5, 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    Go to Freerepublic.com or obamacrimes.us.

    There are numerous posters there who are more extreme and intemperate in their remarks than Heavy.

    They can’t all be fakes.

  58. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 5, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    No, but SOME of them are.

  59. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy March 29, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    Is the “Citizen Grand Jury” that indicted Obama last week is, a somewhat different phenomenon, or it is a variation on the lynch mob theme?

  60. avatar
    thisoldhippie July 14, 2009 at 8:27 pm #

    Carl Swensson:

    MILITARY:

    All plans are falling into place…

    The only thing remaining is to get more military men to step up to the plate and sign their own criminal complaint against BHO charging treason. It is abundantly clear that no courts will give STANDING to us mere citizens. Fine, You gentlemen, DO have standing and we will flood the FEDs AND THE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT with these charges (that’s my job) and we force action and compliance. The reason I ask for more to step forward is simply to overwhelm them with numbers. Yes, it only takes two (as per the Constitution) and yes I now have those but what better message than more saying the same thing together.
    We will use these charges seperately and in addition to the Grand Jury Presentments.

    “Article 3, Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War

    against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person

    shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt

    Act, or on Confession in open Court.”

    They are “not announcing” their actions anymore until they are ready to ride!

  61. avatar
    hrgrad1201 September 3, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

    On what grounds should he be charged with treason?

  62. avatar
    ron April 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    This is like a bad scene from an old Perry Mason show. Despite all reasonable evidence they just won’t rest.They have taken a position and will die believing it. Conversation at this point is a waste of time. While everyone else is carrying on with their lives they carry on with this stuff. In case the birther conspirist don’t know it , this is not 1961. The law is on the side of the law abiding citizen. Not the ones edging on a revolt.I really feel sorry for these citizens. Someone’s life is going to be destroyed over believing a bunch of BS, and know one seems to care.