20th Century, African American, History, Jesus, Minnesota, Prayer

Duluth Lynchings

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Jun 15, 1920
In 1920, Duluth is home to a small black community. It is a period of heightened racial conflict across the country. On June 15, 1920, police arrest several young black men accused of raping a white woman. That evening, three of them – Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie – are taken from jail by a mob and lynched. A call for justice, but the lynch mob is only lightly punished. Two blacks are tried on questionable charges of rape. Three white men are imprisoned for rioting; one black man is imprisoned for rape. Afterwards, many blacks leave Duluth. Minnesota’s black community establishes the Duluth Branch of the NAACP and campaigns for anti-lynching legislation. Years later, the three victims are finally properly laid to rest.*

Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent-the Lord detests them both. Proverbs 17:15 NIV

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury … , and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”
U.S. Constitution Amendment VI

Lord, there are so many forces and counter-forces involved in this event. Will You help me separate the questions, think clearly, and pray effectively? Will You justly and mercifully deal with the plots and sub-plots of this event in Minnesota’s history?

Your Word exhorts humanity to protect innocence against evil and all kinds of defilements. More specifically, the book of Deuteronomy in the 22nd chapter connects the idea that rape violates a present or future marriage. The guiding principle is that the marriage relationship is to be kept inviolate.

Will You forgive the misogyny of the sexual misconduct and or rape in this event? All rape shows a contempt for You, and Your image within women. All rape defiles its recipient twice; it is a sin against her body and spirit. Will You forgive these offenses against Irene Tusken, and Your life within her?

Granted, there was some justification of payback to the offender(s) given an assumption of rape. In contrast, will You forgive the crushing mob violence against these black males, and especially targeting Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie based on assumptions? I acknowledge the heart of this riot to be violence based on mixed motives; a combination of racial stereotypes and a truthful, yet impatient desire for justice.

Later, when Miss Tusken was examined for the evidence of rape and or assault, no physical evidence was found. “Two days later on June 17, 1920, Judge William Cant and the grand jury had a difficult time convicting the lead mob members. In the end the grand jury issued thirty-seven indictments for the lynching mob and twenty-five were given out for rioting and twelve for the crime of murder in the first degree. Some of the people were indicted for both. But only three people would end up being convicted for rioting. Seven men were indicted for rape. For five of the indicted men, charges were dismissed. The remaining two, Max Mason and William Miller, were tried for rape. William Miller was acquitted, while Max Mason was convicted and sentenced to serve seven to thirty years in prison.” ****

Our city is tarnished by this crime of lynching! Our city has offended You first insofar as it judged Your image in Clayton, Jackson, and McGhie. Our city has offended You insofar as it sought vengeance rather than waiting for a trial by jury. Will You forgive these sins, and take the judgments of mob violence, human skin color, and vengeance up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ?

We have judged You too quickly, Lord! We have assumed Your place as the Supreme Justice of the universe, and crowned ourselves as the rightful sheriffs, magistrates, and jurists of our offenders. Have mercy on this mob of Duluth citizens, and the perpetrator(s) of the crimes against Irene Tusken!

In the same way, we have committed lynchings in the present era in the court of public opinion without a trial. We have been incited to riot and rage in our hearts based on accusations alone, and have not the patience for a public trial and clarity. Have mercy on Minnesota’s present era judgments of the alleged sexual offenses of: President Trump, Senator Franken, Secretary Clinton, Judge Moore, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and Garrison Keillor.

Help us, Father, we are in a conundrum! We stand with the victims of any sexual crimes and misconduct! Bring justice to them as citizens, and healing and wholeness to them as individuals! We stand with the accused in their 6th Amendment rights as citizens, and against the potential counter-judgment of misandry based solely on their chromosomes!

We need better paths to avoid long-standing silences of victims who are shamed or terrified from naming their offenders beyond the statute of limitations! We need methods to discern false accusations beyond the destruction of evidence and statutes of limitation. Will You give us grace that overcomes our misogyny and misandry? Will You give us patience to wait for the truth so that we do not compound a crime with the crime of street justice?

Will You have mercy on my lack of mercy for the most heinous offenses of the most abhorrent offenders? Will You forgive the murder, misogyny, and misandry of my heart and thoughts? Will You forgive my judgments of my neighbor made in Your Image irregardless of: race, nationality, background, identity, or origin? Will You replace lynchings with acts of public restoration, blessing, and commendation in Duluth? Will You replace sexual assault violations with lionizations of the relationship of marriage in our State?

‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself;’ I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:18 NIV

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:9 NIV

 

* P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
**Overview of the Duluth Lynchings of 1920. http://www.mnhs.org/duluthlynchings/index.php
***Another summary by M. Ziebarth on lynchings. http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistoryMagazine/articles/55/v55i02p072-072.pdf

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20th Century, Crime, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Politics

“Shame of Minneapolis”

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Jan 1901 to Feb 1903
Dr. Albert Alonzo “Doc” Ames served four terms as mayor of Minneapolis. His fourth term began in January 1901 and ended with his resignation in August 1902 after a grand jury exposed the corruption in his administration.

In January 1903 McClure’s magazine published an article by nationally-known muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens**** on the fight against corruption in Minneapolis. The story focused on Mayor Ames’ regime and how the work of the courageous grand jury led to his fall. He was convicted of bribery in February 1903.*

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
Jeremiah 29:7 NIV**

Minneapolitans living in 1901-1903 may not have been “carried into exile” like the children of Abraham, but they likely felt that Justice abandoned them. What does one do, when their hometown becomes corrupt? Even more accurate, what response should the public have when their leadership targets them for abuse, and opens the doors of the city welcoming crime?

Mayor Ames’ actions lead to the conclusion that he was single-minded in his pursuit of control, and hungry for bribery. He made his brother Fred chief of police. He fired law-abiding police and replaced them with unqualified and criminally-minded officers. He released criminals from jail. He accepted and encouraged organized crime of all kinds in return for payment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._A._Ames

Lord, hear our prayer! Our forbearers failed to see the character of Mayor Ames, or those he appointed. Some of our citizens participated in activities that enabled corruption. Will You forgive these offenses?

Will You forgive the lust that welcomed and expanded prostitution in the city of Minneapolis? Will You forgive us our willingness to objectify women? Will You forgive us our impatience to find sexual oneness and satisfaction apart from a real relationship?

The “johns” have given themselves over to misogyny, and the prostitutes have given themselves to misandry in response. We have accepted money for the denigration of our bodies. We have divided our spirits with strangers. We have divided our minds by making judgements that it is fine to pay women for sexual abuse, and conversely, to accept sexual abuse in exchange for cash. Forgive us these misbeliefs that do not honor ourselves, others, or You. As Your child shown mercy for his own lust, I disinvite the misogyny and misandry welcomed into Minneapolis during Mayor Ames era, and invite Your Spirit to free us to accept ourselves as men and women, and so become able to love the other gender in the present and future.

Lord, we are also party to another form of misplaced affection; the love of money.
Gambling is the expectation of reward apart from work.*** In it, we participate in the self-injurious behaviors of excitement addiction and greed. Work informs our character with persistence, delayed gratification, and the reward that we produce or are part of a team that gives something of worth to society. We stunt our own growth by believing we should get something for nothing.

Mayor Ames opened our city to this form of greed. Will You forgive those who have loved reward apart from work both past and present? As Your son who has been shown mercy for his own hatred of work, I disinvite gambling from the city of Minneapolis. I invite Your Spirit into our labor. Let us receive the gifts of character in store for us! Let us be glad in how our work gives and serves and benefits others! Let the innovations of our work in Minnesota bring a better life to all humanity, and be a reflection of Your Mind and Muscle! Will You be our unfailing Justice?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
**http://biblehub.net/search.php?q=jeremiah+29%3A7
***How does gambling affects the brain? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2933850/
****An excellent article by Iric Nathanson about the man who brought Ames down; Mr. Lincoln Steffens. https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2013/12/goodwin-s-bully-pulpit-spotlights-shame-minneapolis

 

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19th Century, Culture, education, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, University

1st Female Professor (Maria Sanford) 1880

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Maria Sanford becomes the first female professor at the University of Minnesota. A legend to her students and an ambassador of learning to the entire state, she gives thousands of public lectures on history, art, and travel. Beneath a statue of her in the U.S. Capitol are the words “the best-known and best-loved woman in Minnesota.”

In 1899, students at the U of M will nominate professor Sanford for the Minneapolis Journal’s “favorite-teacher” contest. She comes in third, but receives the first-prize trip to Europe after students convince the newspaper to let them make up the difference in cost.*

Thank You that our university chose to embrace knowledge whether housed in a male or female body. Thank You for the impact that this single woman created within the U of MN. Thanks that in Your eyes we are not limited by the cultural assessments of our gender. We are free to be Your man; Your woman!

Father, forgive us for any judgements as Your unique people of Minnesota that apply to gender from this time through the present. Forgive our misandry; the brand of bitterness that holds all males captive for the sins of our fathers’. Forgive our misogyny; the type of bitterness that holds all women prisoner for the separations with our mothers’. We hate our fathers’ and their incomplete masculinity! We hate our mothers’ and objectify women. Rescue us from our ungracious and misinformed assessments of our parents.

Will You make this state of Minnesota shine with the forgiveness of those who gave us life? Will You help all who wrestle with gender identity? Will You set in balance the influence of mother and father, maleness and femaleness, within all the children of Minnesota!? May we receive Your maleness and femaleness; we are indeed made in Your image!

Heal the ground below from the words we have spoken against our fathers’. Heal the water from the rejection of our mothers’. Heal the skies from the thoughts of vengeance we have entertained against them! Bring Your chesed, Messiah!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

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