Jeffrey Lord through the looking glass

Jeffrey Lord is now defending himself in the comments section of fellow American Spectator writer James Antle's post criticizing Lord's comments about Shirley Sherrod and the lynching of Bobby Hall.

The results are not pretty.

Lord is now claiming -- and this is not a joke -- that he never personally claimed that Bobby Hall was not lynched, that he just pointed out that the Supreme Court supposedly said he hadn't been lynched.


Lord, responding to Antle's criticism of his argument:

I confess I am continually astonished at the notion that the lynching standards are MY standards. I simply said what the Court said ... the color of law business comes straight from the decision, written by William O. Douglas and signed onto by Hugo Black, Stanley Reed, Chief Justice Stone. Wiley Rutledge later made the fifth vote.

Lord, in his original piece:

Plain as day, Ms. Sherrod says that Bobby Hall, a Sherrod relative, was lynched. As she puts it, describing the actions of the 1940s-era Sheriff Claude Screws: “Claude Screws lynched a black man.”

This is not true. It did not happen.

More comparisons of Lord's latest defense with his prior comments below the fold.

Lord, responding to Antle:

What exasperates here is the notion that “my” standards may or may not apply to Till etc etc. They are not MY standards. They are the Court's standard's in a specific case issued in May of 1945.

Lord, in his original piece:

It's also possible that she knew the truth and chose to embellish it, changing a brutal and fatal beating to a lynching. Anyone who has lived in the American South (as my family once did) and is familiar with American history knows well the dread behind stories of lynch mobs and the Klan. What difference is there between a savage murder by fist and blackjack -- and by dangling rope? Obviously, in the practical sense, none. But in the heyday -- a very long time -- of the Klan, there were frequent (and failed) attempts to pass federal anti-lynching laws. None to pass federal “anti-black jack” or “anti-fisticuffs” laws. Lynching had a peculiar, one is tempted to say grotesque, solitary status as part of the romantic image of the Klan, of the crazed racist. The image stirred by the image of the noosed rope in the hands of a racist lynch mob was, to say the least, frighteningly chilling. Did Ms. Sherrod deliberately concoct this story in search of a piece of that ugly romance to add “glamour” to a family story that is gut-wrenchingly horrendous already?

Lord, responding to Antle:

I specifically published the content of the opinion so readers could see the exact wording of the original decision. I found the decision, and the description included in it revolting. I believed then -- and now -- that on such a terribly serious issue people needed to see just how bad this was.

Lord, in his previous defense of his original piece:

Random House Webster's College Dictionary defines lynching as: “to put to death, esp. hanging by mob action and without legal authority.”

I have read the Court's decision. Three people are not a “mob.” A mob is defined as a “large crowd.” So there was no “mob action” because there was no mob. Second, the Supreme Court specifically said the Sheriff and his deputy and a local policeman acted “under color of law.” Which means they had legal authority.

So to say that Bobby Hall was lynched is, factually, according to the Supreme Court and, if you prefer, Webster's, not true. No mob. Therefore no “mob action.” And the three had “legal authority.”

Lord, responding to Antle:

The notion that I somehow get tagged with defending this disgraceful piece of jurisprudence -- when in fact I am simply stating what it said and how it clashes with Ms. Sherrod's description -- is just amazing to me. Strike that. It is bizarre.

Lord, in his previous defense of his original piece:

So when Ms. Sherrod uses the highly inflammatory word “lynching” -- when it is quite specifically not so because of the above reasons -- what is she doing? Why is she doing it? She was factually wrong. She was legally wrong. She did it anyway.

Lord, responding to Antle:

Alice through the looking glass.