The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

An Old-Fashioned Lynching in Mississippi

Aug 22, 2011

James Craig Anderson, a 49-year-old black auto worker in Mississippi, was the victim of racist murder, caught on a surveillance video.

A gang of seven white teenagers set out to kill a black man, as if it were just a teen-age prank. Leaving a party in Brandon, Mississippi, they climbed into two vehicles, drove 15 miles to a predominantly black area of Jackson, Mississippi, where they found Anderson alone.

The seven ganged up on him, beating him nearly senseless, hurling racial slurs and “White Power!” slogans. As Anderson struggled to get away, one of the racist thugs ran him over with a truck, killing him. Celebrating, as though their team had won a football game, the teens went to a nearby McDonald’s where the driver of the pickup bragged that he “ran that nigger over.”

These young racist thugs didn’t turn into lynchers on their own. Racist attitudes – battered down somewhat by the mobilization of the black population during the sixties and seventies – have always been reinforced by extreme right-wing reactionaries all through the country, not just in the South. And with the working class under attack, racism gains more currency – because right-wing demagogues have been given a podium from which they preach racism and violence.

The black population and the whole working class today face divisions and violence – problems they will have to take on, militantly, with force, the only language the racists ever understood.