ON THE RECORD

Excerpts from an Aug. 18, 1915 editorial in The Atlanta Journal:

In the sober aftermath of Georgia’s tragedy and shame, one conviction towers in the mind of all thinking citizens, in the conclusion of all upright citizens, and in the purpose of all authorities who respect their office and honor their State; and this conviction is that at any cost and any hazard mob rule in Georgia must be put down, once and forever.

We stand at a fateful parting of the ways. We must choose between government and anarchy, between civilization and savagery … . We must choose now the safe and righteous course, or henceforth go the path of deepening peril and disgrace.

If this mad spirit goes unpunished and unchecked, what becomes of the power of law and the security of property and life? If this lynching, which by the way is the ninth that has occurred in Georgia within the last eight months, is condoned by responsible authorities, who can say how frequent and swift will be the lynchings to follow? Let us face the stark and terrible issue now, let us settle it now, or resign our State to the unbridled instincts of the jungle.

The mob that committed this crime does not represent the decency and intelligence of Georgia anymore than any mob represents the decency and intelligence of any State. But this mob does represent a savage, anarchistic impulse that will wax hydra-headed and uncontrollable unless it is crushed.

Excerpts from an Aug. 18, 1915 editorial in The Atlanta Constitution:

Every man, woman and child in Georgia will feel the ultimate effect of that act of the law-defying mob which went to Milledgeville and lynched not only Leo Frank, who is only a detail in the awful story, but the state itself. It is Georgia, Georgia law and justice, that was hanged upon that Cobb County tree.

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, national director, Anti-Defamation League, in announcing last week a campaign for passage of hate crime laws in five states, including Georgia: “The good news is that we have made incredible progress over this century of work — both in combating anti-Semitism and in securing justice and fair treatment for all. The Leo Frank lynching and the June 17 shootings at an African-American church in Charleston were both bias-fueled crimes, designed not only to target the victims simply because of who they were but also to terrorize entire communities.”

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