- American Exceptionalism blinds those who share its gaze to uncomfortable facts and truths about their own country.
- Part 1: The Fiery Cage and the Lynching Tree: Brutality’s Never Far Away
- Part 2: Part 2: Yes, ISIS Burned a Man Alive: White Americans Did the Same Thing to Thousands of Black People
Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest
Part 1: The Fiery Cage and the Lynching Tree, Brutality’s Never Far Away
As the world reacts to ISIS brutality, Bill Moyers reminds us of homegrown barbarism in our not-so-distant past.
Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company
A Palestinian hold a poster with a picture of slain Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh during a protest in front of the Jordanian embassy, in the West Bank City of Ramallah, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
February 5, 2015 | They burned him alive in an iron cage, and as he screamed and writhed in the agony of hell they made a sport of his death.
After listening to one newscast after another rightly condemn the barbaric killing of that Jordanian air force pilot at the bloody hands of ISIS, I couldn’t sleep. My mind kept roaming the past trying to retrieve a vaguely remembered photograph that I had seen long ago in the archives of a college library in Texas.
Bill Moyers is an American journalist and liberal public commentator. He served as White House Press Secretary in the Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967. He also worked as a network TV news commentator for ten years.
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Part 2: Yes, ISIS Burned a Man Alive: White Americans Did the Same Thing to Thousands of Black People
The United States practiced a unique cultural ritual that was as least as gruesome as the "medieval" punishments meted out by ISIS against its foes.
Chauncey DeVega, Daily Kos / AlterNet
Large crowd looking at the burned body of Jesse Washington, 18 year-old African-American, lynched in Waco, Texas, May 15, 1916. (Library of Congress)
February 5, 2015 | ISIS burned Muadh al Kasasbeh, a captured Jordian fighter pilot, to death. They doused him with an accelerant. His captors set him on fire. Muadh al Kasasbeh desperately tried to put out the flames. ISIS recorded Muadh al Kasasbeh's immolation, produced a video designed to intimidate their enemies, and then circulated it online.
ISIS's burning alive of Muadh al Kasasbeh has been denounced as an act of savagery, barbarism, and wanton cruelty--one from the "dark ages" and not of the modern world.
Chauncey DeVega, a pseudonym, is editor and founder of the blog We Are Respectable Negroes. His essays on race, popular culture and politics have been published in various books and Web sites.
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Part 2, Malcolm X Was Right About America
Part 1, Martin Luther King Was a Radical, Not a Saint