>Toby Keith’s ode to lynching

>I found this out earlier while browsing a community on LiveJournal. Toby Keith appeared on The Colbert Report on Monday to push his new album, “Big Dog Daddy.” He also performed a song that appears to give credence to the practice of vigilante justice and lynching. The song, titled “Beer for my Horses,”opens with an allusion to the types of stories one would see on the 6 o’clock news.

Here’s the link to the video of Keith performing the song on The Colbert Report. If you click on the last segment, you will get to see Keith perform his endorsement of lynching as a problem solver to society’s ills.

Here are the lyrics, taken from Sing365.com:

Well a man come on the 6 o’clock news
said somebody’s been shot
somebody’s been abused
somebody blew up a building
somebody stole a car
somebody got away
somebody didn’t get to far yeah
they didn’t get to far

Grand pappy told my pappy back in my day, son
A man had to answer for the wicked that he’d done
Take all the rope in Texas
Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys
Hang them high in the street
For all the people to see

That
Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune
And we’ll all meet back at the local saloon
And we’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces singing
whiskey for my man, beer for my horses

We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds
too much corruption and crime in the streets
It’s time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground
Send ’em all to their maker and he’ll settle ’em down
You can bet he’ll set ’em down

Cause
Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune
And we’ll all meet back at the local saloon
And we’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces singing
whiskey for my man, beer for my horses
whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

He knew
Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys,
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune
And we’ll all meet back at the local saloon
And we’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces
Singin‘ whiskey for my man, beer for my horses
Singing whiskey for my man, beer for my horses

Whenever I think of lynching, these images come to mind:


Enough of the shock value aspect of this post. I won’t bore you with the images that have been burned into our brains and conscious about the history of lynching and the affects its had on our society.

For those who aren’t aware of the history of lynching in the United States, here is an excerpt I found while browsing the web. It’s from authors Stewart E. Tolnay and E.M. Beck’s 1992 book, “A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings, 1882-1930”:

There are “2805 [documented] victims of lynch mobs killed between 1882 and 1930 in ten southern states. Although mobs murdered almost 300 white men and women, the vast majority, almost 2,500, of lynch victims were African-American. Of these black victims, 94 percent died in the hands of white lynch mobs. The scale of this carnage means that, on the average, a black man, woman, or child was murdered nearly once a week, every week, between 1882 and 1930 by a hate-driven white mob.”

That excerpt also features a table as to how many blacks were lynched during the time frame, which I think is worth checking out.

I become really uncomfortable whenever I hear people talk about lynching in a casual manner. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas comes to mind vividly when he declared attacks on his character as a “high-tech lynching” during a judicial confirmation hearing in the early 1990s.

This attitude Toby Keith has about the “good ol‘ days” and when lynching was a form of providing justice to the community makes me wonder if his fans would even get the message. Will this overt attempt to whitewash history go over well with his fans? Or will they turn the other cheek, remaining oblivious to the racist practice of lynching African-Americans across the South and the country?

It’s clear that Toby Keith has no respect for what African-Americans living in fear had to face when they committed a “crime” in the eyes of mainstream society. It’s clear that this so-called all-American, patriotic recording artist has no respect for history and has no intentions of informing himself of the implications lynchings had on my and other African-American ancestors.

If there are any fans of Toby Keith who have an ounce of moral integrity and some knowledge about the history of lynching in this country, they would stand up and refuse to support an artist who thumbs his nose at history.