For Justice Ginsburg, who seems distressed that the Supreme Court’s decision to rule on the issue of abortion in Roe v. Wade has led to social turmoil,
and for Justice Kagan, who I hope was expressing disapproval of the prolongation of evil when she said, “We let issues percolate, and so we let racial segregation percolate for 50 years from 1898 to 1954,”
It comes from a letter from John W. Wilson of Leesburg, Florida, to the editor of a liberal magazine, The Nation, where it was published on p. 75 of the issue of January 17, 1934. The topic was the then socially acceptable practice of lynching, and about that Mr. Wilson took a long, judicious view, this way.
Perhaps it may be necessary to spell out that if lynching had been put to a popular vote in 1934, or if segregation had been put to a popular vote in 1954, strange fruit would still be hanging from the trees.