Opinion: Why President Trump used lynching as a metaphor

By: Lawrence Gilman,  Washington Post
October 22, 2019

Lawrence B. Glickman, the Stephen and Evalyn Milman Professor of American Studies in the Department of History, recently wrote an opinion piece in The Washington Post discussing the historical origins of President Trump's use of the phrase "lynching" in a recent tweet concerning the impeachment inquiry.

"This language marks a double appropriation," Glickman writes. "First, it is a reaction to the increasing power of claiming rights by minority populations. In the 20th century, African Americans and other oppressed groups forced the country to confront its violent, racist history and demanded full rights and citizenship. By casting themselves as victims, elites frame their individual sense of being wronged as a violation of their rights, even though those rights are well-secured. Second, it is to demand sympathy for a kind of physical and spiritual suffering akin to that experienced by racial minorities that elites claim to endure when they feel under attack."

Read the full article on the Washington Post's website. 


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