Another Lynching in Texas?

"YOUR GOVERNMENT enforces a culture of greed, bigotry, intolerance and ignorance"."

The savage lynching murder of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas, 10 years ago was one of those events that seared itself into the minds and souls of millions of people. James Byrd was tied to the back of a pickup truck by 3 armed white men and dragged through the woods of East Texas until his decapitated body was cut loose and discarded. Only an enraged public outcry brought this horrific crime to light and forced the state to try the 3 racists for murder.


Now it seems that the horrors of that crime are being echoed in another Texas town. Early on the morning of September 16, the body of Brandon McClelland, a 24 year old Black man, was found on a farm road outside Paris, Texas. Police officials in Paris initially said that McClelland was the victim of a hit and run driver. But an anguished outcry from family and others who said that he had been in the company of two white men shortly before his death forced an investigation. Early in October, two men, Shannon Finley and Charles Crostley, were arrested and charged with the murder of Brandon McClelland.

An email report sent out by Brother Jesse Muhammad, a Houston based writer for the Final Call, said that "Ms. Jacqueline McClelland and her family gave recorded statements to me for my Final Call story as well as the NBPP (New Black Panther Party) for an independent investigation. We were also joined by local activists, a head of the State NAACP chapter and other friends of the family. After hearing their accounts, it was verified that her son was dragged on the back of a pickup truck by these two White males and his body was dismembered. Jasper all over again.

"We then went to the scene of the crime in Lamar County. You would not believe that parts of Brandon McClelland's skull was still out there on the ground! Shows how much the police cared. It was like an episode of CSI:NY with blood tracks up and down the road and tire marks chased by the blood trails. This was one of the most painful stories I have had to cover in person.



"They tied my son to that truck and drugged him until his body parts were detached", said his mother Jacqueline McClelland to the Final Call. "His body was so destroyed that it could not even be embalmed by the funeral home. This is a hate crime."

Hateful, racist attacks have spewed forth during the years of the Bush Regime. Violent assaults on Black people, which have always been woven deep into the fabric of this society, have occurred with an infuriating regularity. From the deadly delays in getting any support to New Orleans when thousands suffered and died in that city's days of agony, to the noose hung outside the high school in Jena Louisiana and the ensuing proliferation of nooses throughout the country on offices, doors, locker rooms, and elsewhere, to the police execution of Sean Bell in New York and the torture of Megan Williams.

This is part and parcel of the "normalcy" developing through the Bush years in this country - a "normalcy" of unjust wars, officially sanctioned and organized torture, brutal suppression of protest, ubiquitous spying, and unapologetic racism. More than ever, it must all be repudiated.

Main Culture of Bigotry Another Lynching in Texas?


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