UPDATE: Apparently I’ve been tricked and the Jackson Telegraph is a fake news source. Therefore the first paragraph has been removed.
Just two months ago the detached head of a Black man by the name of Jeremy Jerome Jackson was located after it had been cut off his body and placed on the front of an unknown resident’s porch in Jackson. The rest of his body had apparently been torched and was later found in a nearby field about a mile away. Then in the very same week came the apparent lynching death of Phillip Carrol in the same neighborhood in which Jerome Jackson was found decapitated. Carrol was discovered swinging from a tree in his own yard with his hands tied together, though not surprisingly authorities ruled his death a suicide. This follows a clearly established 21st century pattern in which investigators in Mississippi (and occasionally elsewhere) are classifying all possible lynchings as suicides, as they know all too well what the implications would be if they were to admit the possibility of these being homicides. It would mean that the terror of lynching had never truly been eradicated from the American South.
Some of the most recent lynchings in 21st century Mississippi and elsewhere are those of Frederick Jermaine Carter, Kody Ingham, Roy Veal, Raynard Jackson, Otis Byrd and Lennon Lacy. In December, 2010, Frederick Jermaine Carter was found “hanging from a tree in a field near Greenwood, Mississippi.” Although the state ruled the death a suicide, they refused “to release physical evidence and a full autopsy report to the family.” Images of this gruesome and bizarre lynching are located online, though they will not be reposted here out of respect for his family. Twelve years ago, Roy Veal traveled all the way from Seattle, Washington to rural Mississippi to fight for rightful ownership of his family’s land. While he was in Mississippi he was apparently lynched, though authorities ruled his death a suicide. And in the year 2000 a man by the name of Raynard Johnson was found hanging from a tree in what his family feels confident was not a suicide.
As fellow blogger Angela Grant has pointed out on her blog Failure To Listen, there is a clear pattern of modern-day lynchings being wrongly classified by authorities as suicides, and there are a great deal of similarities between these lynchings and those of the 20th century. And while by far most of these are happening in Mississippi, not all of them are, as there have also been cases in places such as North Carolina and Texas. While police terrorism against unarmed people of color and state-sponsored executions based on the decisions of all-white juries are certainly forms of modern-day lynching, it’s important to not lose sight of the fact that the original form of lynching terrorism hasn’t entirety been eradicated either.