Strange fruit: when women lied and men died History's interjection to the notion that #MeToo accusers are incapable of lying or being motivated by malice or financial gain.

From 1882 – 1968, an estimated 4,743 men were lynched in the United States, often after an accusation of rape, prompting the NAACP to claim ‘[w]hites started lynching because they felt it was necessary to protect white women’.

We now know that many of these women lied, and men died.

Emmet Till was only 14 years old when he was beaten to death for the crime of ‘whistling at a white woman’. Many years later, Carolyn Brant admitted that she lied, to protect her husband.  They went on to profit financially from the boy’s death. Till was hardly alone. A mob of 1500 beat and hung three Black circus workers in Duluth, after a white woman made an apparently false accusation of rape.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Gilbert King chronicles the lives and deaths of the black men falsely accused of sexual assault in his book, Devil in the Grove.

The history of lynching in the United States is inextricably interwoven with the history of women lying about sexual assault. Last month Teen Vogue writer Emily Lindin cheerfully resigned herself to innocent men being made to suffer if women lie, as the price of ending “patriarchy”, seemingly incapable of understanding that she would not be the one paying the price. This is the same thought process of the women who lied to force the Southern trees to bear their strange fruit.

Billie Holiday, one of the best jazz vocalists in American history, recorded her mournful masterpiece “Strange Fruit” in 1939, describing the sight of men’s burnt and beaten bodies, hanging from trees and lampposts in the South, after mob retribution.

Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

The song was later updated by Kanye West to include a discussion of predatory women hoping to become pregnant by rich men. West samples the Nina Simone recording of “Strange Fruit,” linking his depiction of rapacious black women with malicious white women who lied about sexual assault.

The recent epidemic of powerful, mostly liberal, white men accused of sexual impropriety, harassment, assault and rape has been accompanied by a dogged insistence that the women accusers could not be lying, predatory, or motivated by malice or financial gain. This is a curious revision of history, in which the women who prompted up to one third of all the lynchings that occurred in the United States through false accusations of rape, are suddenly evolved beyond their sisters of an earlier age.

The trouble with women is that we are human beings, and human beings have a terrible capacity to be flawed, often egregiously so. Culturally, we have little problem accepting that men can be malevolent, predatory and exploitative, because we understand that men are human beings. We have considerably more difficulty accepting that women are human beings, too.

Some of the men accused of harassment and assault may very well be guilty. They are all being subject to the digital mob, lynched in cyberspace. How many of the lynched men of the South were innocent? Has mob justice ever meted out a fair and just reward?

The strange fruit that once hung abundantly from the poplar trees should remind us that women can, and do lie.

Women lie.

But men die.

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Alan Millard
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Alan Millard

Inequality is rooted in chivalry and the female’s extreme sexual ego.

George Strong
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George Strong

35,000 white females are sex assaulted by blacks EVERY YEAR, including 2-4000 gang rapes, yet JB dredges up the past. Maybe lynching is the only thing that keeps blacks from destroying us. I won’t be back.

Meph
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Meph

Citation please. And try a credible source.

That Susan
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That Susan

A good friend recently told me that he’d finally figured out why he’d been feeling like there was something “off” about my Facebook “essays” on social issues. He felt like I was balanced and considered both sides of an issue, and said a lot of things that made sense — but what was “off” was that I ignored where the power was. That’s a common theme among SJW’s — that taking a balanced approach and considering both sides is wrong if one group in a conflict is perceived as having less power than another. They feel true justice means you always add more weight to the side of the oppressed.
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Well, when it comes to black men and white women, it’s pretty clear that black men are the ones suffering, yet I still think the right thing is to give both sides an even hearing in any kind of conflict or account of wrongdoing. In Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” justice would not have required any stacking of the case in favor of Tom Robinson. The facts all pointed to Mayella and her father blatantly lying; the only reason Robinson was convicted was the strength of that unwritten code that a white’s word always carried more weight than a black’s.
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Your mention of Kanye reminds me of the long Kanye West/Taylor Swift saga in which Swift is getting criticized by the left for leaving political discussions to others and just focusing on making music. She’s even been accused of “demonizing” a black man who willfully stole her thunder at an award ceremony several years ago, then wrote a song claiming credit for her success. Interestingly, she also dealt with a little sexual abuse; the guy was fired and I don’t think she’d have taken him to court except that he took her to court because he didn’t like being fired over grabbing her ass. Swift is such a great example to women everywhere about dealing with assault promptly and not letting it fester; maybe that’s why feminists hate her so much. https://www.youtube.com/wat

John Smith
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John Smith

I well remember when men convicted of rape were sent to the electric chair, and how long it took to change this once it became blatantly obvious how many women were flat out LYING about being raped, but only AFTER them men had been executed of course.
ANY woman who lies about being raped should be subject to the same sentence as the man would have/did serve for the crime.
I also believe that if a woman IS raped and fails to come forward and report the crime, and other women are raped by the same man (most rapists are recidivists) that she should be charged as an “accessory before the fact” in the rape of ALL subsequent victims.
Is this “harsh”? DAMNED SKIPPY, and I refuse to apologize for it, but if women honestly expect to be treated as ADULTS, much less “equal”, then they MUST be held to the same standards as men are.
EDIT: Janet, I did a video entitled “Rape Culture, Bullshit an Lies” ( Kenworthcowboy ) you might find interesting.