The nation celebrated Veterans Day on Friday, saluting family, friends and neighbors who fought in every single war for the country. But America must also acknowledge the treatment of its Black veterans, many of whom were brutalized and abused after returning home from service.
The Equal Justice Initiative recently released Lynching in America: Targeting Black Veterans, a 52-page report which painstakingly “documents the culture of targeted physical violence and social humiliation that black veterans were forced to confront during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, despite their hopes of achieving racial equality through the patriotic commitment of military service.”
Lynching in America: Targeting Black Veterans builds upon the comprehensive seminal report on the era of racial terror lynchings and violence that EJI published last year. Documenting over 4,000 lynchings of African Americans throughout the South between 1877 and 1950, the 2015 report, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, explored the ways in which racial terrorism profoundly shaped the nation’s demographics and reinforced a myth of racial inferiority and a legacy of racial inequality that is readily apparent in our criminal justice system today.
“The disproportionate abuse and assaults against black veterans have never been fully acknowledged. This report highlights the particular challenges endured by black veterans in the hope that our nation can better confront the legacy of this violence and terror,” EJI Director Bryan Stevenson said. “No community is more deserving of recognition and acknowledgment than those black men and women veterans who bravely risked their lives to defend this country’s freedom, only to have their own freedom denied and threatened because of racial bigotry.”
Salute and never forget.
To download a copy of Lynching in America: Targeting Black Veterans, click here.
SOURCE: Equal Justice Institute | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty