This chapter analyzes the ugly face of the democracy of everyday life aborted. Killing neighbors is the outer tail, the far reach of derangement, and the convergence of murder and home is a unique horror. Lynching is the homegrown American case of neighbors killing neighbors. Victims often knew the people who mutilated and killed them; murderers knew their victims. Lynching was a public spectacle, or in any case, a public secret: these “feasts of blood” were “owned by all the town.” Still, neighbors were not all implicated in the same way in this intimate violence. They may be unable to arrest terrorization and killing but they can carry on in the interstices of horror and warn, aid, comfort, protest, and protect.
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