A Woman’s View – Fannie C.  Griffing, 12/04/1909

A Woman’s View – Fannie C. Griffing, 12/04/1909

It is a fact, undeniable and deplorable, that the crime of rape has become so appallingly frequent,
of late, that it seems to be regarded with far less horror than formerly, and men view with equanimity
what once excited them to frenzy. Women, as they are its victims, should unite in protesting against
the farce of granting a lawful trial to the wretch who has committed such a crime. There is, and should
be, no law for an act which is beyond the lowest of the brute creation. The supreme folly of a lawful
trial and protection by troops of the black brute who has outraged a white woman, is growing more
manifest every day, and women, for their own sake, and the honor of our country, should protest
against it. Not only does it infuriate the people, cause useless expense, and delay, but familiarity with
the disgusting details of such farcical trials, may be one cause of the crime becoming so frequent
of late, as well as a lack of that horror with which the crime was once regarded.Far more merciful
it would be, to the guilty wretch as well, if once for all there were a decision understood by all, and
as unalterable as the laws of the Medes and Persians, that the brute in human form who outrages
a helpless woman or innocent child must have but oneand instant end. After identification, let the
sheriff if possible and the nearest relativesof the victim instantly and quietly hang him the nearest
tree. Although he did not sparehis hapless victim, yet, remembering that we are Christians, there
should be no torture. Were this once decided upon and fully understood, there would be no frenzied
mob, impatient or the law’s delay, no shameful and revolting scenes, such as were recently
enacted at Cairo. In the trial and execution of Will Mack there was useless and unnecessary
expense, and delay, which could have been easily avoided.

The miserable wretch was kept in an agony of fear and suspense for months, and at the trial,
the revolting details were listened to by men, women and even children, and gloated over by
newspaper reporters. “Uphold the law’?” Most certainly, but just as well try a mad-dog or a
rattlesnake by the process of law as the black brute, without reason or self-control! He knows
the law, or should, as far as he is capable, and the fate that awaits him, yet he defies the one
and dares the other. Why spare and protect him? Does he ever spare his victim? Even though
he be burned at the stake he cannot suffer half as much as did his victim, mentally and physically
“while he was tearing her to pieces!” Think what it means to a refined, delicate woman, or tender
innocent child to become the victim of a black beast. Who can blame the old father who, at
Brookhaven, rushed at the brute, so carefully guarded, knife in hand, the moment he saw him,
when he thought of his beautiful, murdered seventeen-year-old daughter, and remembered
the wretch’s confession that he had waited and watched three years for his opportunity! And
State troops were guarding and were afterwards severely censured for refusing to fire upon
the people! O tempora! O mores! What a disgraceful farce “in the name of the law!” Had those
people, excited to frenzy by the negro’s crime, known for a certainty that as soon as caught
he would dangle from the nearest tree there would have been no shameful and disgraceful
riot. And shame it should be, that any man should be so callous as to speak of “upholding
the law” in connection with a crime that should be unknown among civilized people!

And why has this blackest of all crimes become so alarmingly frequent of late years, when
before the Civil War, among the thousands of slaves on lonely plantations, it was practically
unknown? Because unthought of, unspoken, the idea never entered the negro’s mind and
now, the criminal folly of the ignorant fanatics who have attempted to elevate a semi-savage
race to equality with the Aryan, is bearing its bitter fruits! In his proper place, trained and
guided by his superiors, the negro Is a good and faithful servant and a servant he has
always been to other races, since prehistoric time. It is the one foul blot upon the escutcheon
of our country that a horde of semi-savages of the lowest type, should be given equal
rights with its citizens. No other nation under the sun was ever guilty of such supreme
folly! Those in authority for the sake of effect. insist on “upholding the law,” and regarding
an evil that is beginning to menace the very life of our country, as a common crime. What
surprises me is that women seem to have no practical idea of protecting themselves
and in many cases, are criminally careless. Every husband and father should provide
his wife and daughter with a small revolver, and instruct them in its use, as did Southern
men at the outbreak of the Civil War. How many tragedies might have been averted
had the unhappy victim been armed with a revolver! Better a hundred accidents
than one outrage! Let women unite in protecting themselves from this horrible
evil, and also to do what they can to prevent the shameful and disgraceful
scenes that have shocked our country recently.

Let each woman insist on possessing a revolver, and do her best to persuade her male
relatives to insist that in every case of rape there shall be a quiet and instant execution
of the criminal by prominent men. “Death for the rapist! No law for him!” should be the
watchword. What a disgusting farce to “order out troops,” and have officers of the law
fighting like tigers to protect a miserable wretch who has outraged and in many cases
murdered a helpless woman or child! How much better to end his career at once, and
prevent the revolting scenes that are disgracing our country in the eyes of the world!

– Fannie C. Griffin, Lumberton, Miss.

Last Updated on October 4, 2020 by Bill Arp

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