Of the many inhuman outrages of this present year, the only case where the proposed lynching did not occur, was where the men armed themselves in Jacksonville, Fla., and Paducah, Ky, and prevented it. The only times an Afro-American who was assaulted got away has been when he had a gun and used it in self-defense.
The lesson this teaches and which every Afro-American should ponder well, is that a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give. When the white man who is always the aggressor knows he runs as great risk of biting the dust every time his Afro-American victim does, he will have greater respect for Afro-American life. The more the Afro-American yields and cringes and begs, the more he has to do so, the more he is insulted, outraged and lynched.
Ida B. Wells
Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases
[Via Jacob Sullman. A New Study Suggests That Black Southerners’ Access to Firearms Reduced Lynchings: The analysis reinforces the historical case for armed self-defense in response to racist violence.
A lesson for all ages and all people. You don’t have to shoot all of them. If you can take just one of them with you then we, as a group will win. There are always far fewer thugs than the total number of victims.—Joe]