The Democrats who run the South are becoming extremely efficient in dispensing justice to Negro offenders, judging from this report in the Atlanta Constitution on how quickly Percy Newkirk was sentenced to death for a murder in Gulfport, Mississippi. The execution is scheduled to occur in one month.
As context, it should be noted that Newkirk is alleged to have murdered Chief of Police Charles Dickey. “Chief Dickey was extremely popular and feeling against the negro was intense,” the Chronicle notes. Indeed, given the popularity of lynching among Southern Democrats as a means of social control (Democrats have been blocking a federal anti-lynching law for a decade, and probably will continue doing so for decades more), Newkirk might well count himself lucky that’s he’s not already just another black body swinging in the Southern breeze.
The Chronicle article strongly suggests that even if the local officials had wanted to forestall a rush to judgment, the rushed trial and death sentence may have been necessary to prevent a lynching: “Notwithstanding the quick justice meted out to the negro, a large and excited crowd thronged the streets near the courthouse and jail after the trial was concluded and threats of lynching were freely made.”
One hopes that if the pattern of lynchings and quasi-lynchings in the South at the hands of Democrats continues, Republicans at the federal level will soon embrace the anti-lynching cause as one of the all-too-rare instances in which sound policy and sound politics conjoin, even if it will be difficult to prevail on the issue in the face of fierce Democrat opposition.