A recent Washington Post report has shed light on the modern-day lynchings still occurring in Mississippi.
Jill Collen Jefferson, a lawyer and founder of the civil rights organization named after the late activist Julian Bond, reveals how lynchings never stopped in Missippi.
“The last recorded lynching in the United States was in 1981,” Jefferson said. “But the thing is, lynchings never stopped in the United States.
“Lynchings in Mississippi never stopped. The evil bastards just stopped taking photographs and passing them around like baseball cards.”
In 2017, Jefferson began compiling information on records of Black people found hanging or mutilated across the country. By 2019, she started to focus her investigation on Mississippi after realizing that law enforcement officials ruled the deaths suicides despite the families saying the victims had been lynched.
“There is a pattern to how these cases are investigated,” Jefferson said. “When authorities arrive on the scene of a hanging, it’s treated as a suicide almost immediately.”
The crime scene is not preserved. The investigation is shoddy. And then there is a formal ruling of suicide, despite evidence to the contrary. And the case is never heard from again unless someone brings it up.”
Jefferson, a Mississippi native raised in a town once known for its high Ku Klux Klan activity, explained how normal lynching was in her hometown.
“Coming from Mississippi and seeing stuff intersect, talking about this stuff is like talking about what happened down the road,” she said.
Jefferson continues to work toward justice for the families of eight alleged lynching victims whose deaths were deemed suicides. The report shared the horrific details surrounding their deaths and the lack of action from the Mississippi government.
When reviewing the facts, there appears to be a pattern surrounding the hanging deaths. It will take consistent efforts and not backing down to reveal the horrible truths about modern-day lynchings in America.