Sunday, 20 June 2021

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

USA, Lower your Head and your Flag in Shame

Last night I watched "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" on CNN. I thought it was good and that the performance of Andra Day was fantastic. Some of the others were not so great and it was classic Hollywood throughout. You can read the reviews yourselves. Overall they said it focused on only the negative in her life. I thought that was the point.

For me the take away was her song, "Strange Fruit" which I already knew was about lynching, and there was one horrific lynching scene. To drive it home during the credits there were several disgusting facts about the history of antilynching legislation in America.

In brief there have been some 4500 - 5000 people lynched in the USA and over 200 attempts to pass bills against the practice. Most recently both the Senate and the House have approved a bill on antilynching. It took over 100 years but now Senator Rand Paul is delaying it.

Of all the negatives associated with America including its gun mentality, this has to be one of the worst. How can anybody of any political stripe not want to pass laws to outlaw such a barbaric practice? It seems that some still anticipate a day when the practice might be used again. Are they attempting to protect themselves from future or even past acts?

How can such a country all but eliminate capital punishment, which at least is designed to be quick and humane, fail to totally remove now and forever these vile acts? People were hung, mutilated, tortured, and burned at the stake.

So never mind the bitterness between both parties today and issues like voting rights. Both sides were guilty of lynching and both should unite to erase the stain.

Maybe Mr. Paul should be forced to watch documented cases of some of the worst cases just like a kid having to watch horrible road accident videos when they drink and drive. He mouths words of disgust but his actions belie his words.

Politics itself bears strange fruit sometimes. Paul is living proof. 


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