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Trump Faces Sharp Criticism After Calling Impeachment Inquiry A 'Lynching'

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Impeachment is a constitutionally enshrined process by which the House of Representatives investigates the President's actions and determines whether or not the President has abused their office.

If they find the President has abused that office, the case is sent to the Senate for trial and subsequent voting on whether or not to remove the President.


Only two Presidents—Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton—have ever been impeached.

Lynching, in its American context, is the extrajudicial torture and brutal murder of a black American for upsetting a racial status quo. The teenager Emmett Till was lynched in 1955 for the false accusation that he whistled at a white woman.

Lynchings, at their peak, were a form of entertainment in which people would gather with the joviality of an Independence Day barbecue to watch a fellow human being beaten and hanged. There were nearly 5,000 lynchings of Black men, women, and children between 1882 and 1968.

The differences between impeachment and lynching are countless, but the President either doesn't know them or—perhaps more probably—doesn't care.

In an all-too-typical early morning Twitter screed, the President said that the (again, constitutionally enshrined) impeachment inquiry against him was a lynching.

Lawmakers and private citizens alike balked at the President's comparison of constitutional oversight to slaughter in defense of white supremacy.






Republican Senator Lindsey Graham—whose state of South Carolina saw at least 164 lynchings in Jim Crow South, leapt to defend Trump's use of the word.

As did others of Trump's sycophants.


But the vast majority know full well the connotations brought by the word "lynch."

A racist saying racist things isn't surprising, but it his horrifying—each time it happens.

The book, On the Courthouse Lawn, Anniversary Edition: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the Twenty-First Century is available here.

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Have you listened to the first season of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!'?

In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.

We're hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don't miss it when it goes live.

Here's one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!