President Donald Trump compared the impeachment inquiry against him to “a lynching” on Tuesday, drawing condemnation for comparing a congressional process to vigilante murders aimed mostly at black Americans.
“All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!” Trump tweeted.
African-American lawmakers took particular offense at the post.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” tweeted Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill. “Do you know how many people who look like me have been lynched, since the inception of this country, by people who look like you. Delete this tweet.”
Trump has attacked House Democrats’ ongoing impeachment probe as political. But Tuesday was the first time he used the term “lynching.”
In general, a lynching is the hanging of an accused person without benefit of a trial – a fate often visited on black Americans in the pre-civil rights era.
The NAACP reports that, between 1882 and 1968, there were 4,743 lynchings in the United States, and, of these, “3,446 were black.”
In the decades following the Civil War, said the NAACP history, “lynchings were becoming a popular way of resolving some of the anger that whites had in relation to the free blacks.”