Just a gentle reminder of where the inflamatory rhetoric against reparation comes from...
1880s-1998: UNITED STATES. The United States Census Bureau estimates that 4,742 lynchings took place in the U.S. between 1882 and 1968. Between 1882 and 1930, some 2,828 people were lynched in the South; 585 in the West; and 260 in the Midwest. Most of the victims of lynching were black males although some black females and some Chinese, Italians and Jews fell victim to American lynch mobs. Prior to the mass outbreak of lynching in the 1880s, Americans had lynched at least 163 Mexicans, including women, in California in the period 1848-1860. The Mexicans, whose state had been stolen from them by the U.S. in 1846, were competing with American gold miners and so were duly murdered.
Lynching often included torture and mutilation. Victims were flogged, had ears, fingers and other body parts cut off. Females were raped. Many victims were burned alive. Victims were sometimes castrated. Body parts such as teeth, fingers, clothes and sexual organs were sold as souvenirs. The February 2, 1893 edition of The New York Times described the lynching of Henry Smith in Paris, Texas. Smith was placed on a ten foot scaffold and tortured for almost an hour with red-hot irons. He was then burned alive.
Ministers of the Christian religion and business leaders participated and, often a holiday atmosphere prevailed. Railroads sometimes ran special excursion trains to allow spectators to watch lynchings. Crowds as large as 15,000 attended lynchings, sometimes buying tickets for the privilege.
Photographic postcards of lynchings were common and the U.S. Post Office gladly carried them as mail until 1908. The last officially recorded lynching in the U.S. took place in 1968 but many consider the 1998 murder of James Byrd in Texas, by three whites who hauled him behind a pick-up truck with a chain, to be a lynching.
Americans used lynching and other terror tactics to intimidate blacks and other oppressed groups into political, social and economic submission. Very few of the victims were accused of crimes such as murder or rape as is often thought. Most victims were accused only of such things as being boastful, insulting a white person, questioning the amount offered for goods or seeking employment beyond their allotted station. The torturers and murderers who carried out lynchings were almost never charged in spite of the fact that many lynchings were conducted in front of thousands of witnesses and that a huge amount of photographic evidence existed, much of it sent as postcards through the U.S. Mail.
Some two hundred anti-lynching laws were presented to the U.S. House of Representatives over the years. Three bills managed to pass the House. All three were defeated in the United States Senate. In 2005, the Senate passed a resolution apologizing for its de facto sanctioning of lynching for over a century. In the year 2005, fifteen fine, upstanding American Senators refused to endorse the apology bill. Makes a fella real proud, don't it?