Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Letters to the Editor

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

An Unfair Association With Lynch Mobs

Dear Editor

Mr. Keener A. Tippin II, in his article, "Does a Lynch Mob Belong in College Football," (December 11, 1997) indicates the following: "...the widely accepted explanation for the name [lynch mob] is that it came from a Virginian named Charles Lynch, who became upset with the lack of law in the western part of the state prior to the Revolutionary War. Lynch and his friends formed their own judicial system - with Lynch as the chief magistrate and meted out their own brand of capital punishment. Hence the name of the town Lynchburg, Virginia."

Unfortunately, Mr. Tippin has confused his Lynches. Lynchburg, Virginia is not named after Charles Lynch, but rather after John Lynch, who operated the ferry crossing on the James River during the early days of settlement. The latter Lynch was a Quaker, and therefore certainly not involved in the activities that led to the coining of the word lynching. Moreover, Mr. Charles Lynch's "court" was held in Pittsylvania County, not in the area of Virginia currently known as Lynchburg.

Whatever the implications of the Kansas State University's football team's choice of appellation, I would like to correct the ahistorical labeling of an entire city with a name that holds the association of, as Mr. Tippin states, "racism, pain, and injustice." The city of Lynchburg - and Lynchburg College, which is located here - do not deserve this unfair association.

MACHELLE A. HUMPHREYS Assistant Director for International Admissions, Randolph-Macon Women's College Lynchburg, Virginia

Dr. Steele and Uplifting The Black Community

Dear Editor.

Ronald Roach's article on Dr. Shelby Steele (January 8, 1998) told us that Dr. Steele received a standing ovation from about 300 people who seem to be opposed to affirmative action. Given that there are over 250 million people in America, Black America need not worry about the comments of Dr. Steele.

White America fears a Louis Farrakhan or an Oprah Winfrey because they can reach millions of people with their messages. Dr. Steele's lack of influence, on the other hand, can only help Black America. He is an excellent example of someone who has given up power for acceptance. We don't need White approval to talk to each other.

Dr. Steele is correct when he states that affirmative action is not about the uplift of Black people. …

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