Till Martin Comes Home: Emmett, Trayvon, and Blind Injustice

All I knew about Emmett Till was the image of his bloated figure in that coffin. I think I saw it in an article in one of the magazines we had in the house at the time. His mother was standing next to him looking down on his lifeless body with a countenance that openly displayed her heartache – as open as the casket in which her son lay.

It was an image that stuck with me for a long time. It scared me – I would even say it left a scar on my psyche. I never said anything about it because in my young mind, the mere mention of it would make me feel as if the same thing might happen to me. My mother briefly spoke about the backstory to his murder but I don’t think a single word registered. I was too focused on that gruesome, awful photo. Was that really a little boy? How could a human do something like that to another human, I thought – so grizzly was the image.

Years later, I thought of Emmett Till when Trayvon Martin was murdered. Continue reading “Till Martin Comes Home: Emmett, Trayvon, and Blind Injustice”

Just a White Lie, That’s All

I was going to respond to a post on the ‘book yesterday but I didn’t. Considering there was a good chance it would lead to frustration (but also not wanting to spill this opportunity in the comments section), I decided against it. Instead, I chose to write in depth about it in hopes that the reader would learn something new by examining this short discourse.

The title of the article I was reading earlier in the day and posted on my timeline was in reference to an 18-year-old white woman by the name of Breana Rachelle Harmon: “Woman Who Lied to Police About 3 Black Men Raping and Kidnapping Her Faces Zero Years in Prison.”

A fellow Marine with whom I served replied to the post saying, “She needs to go to prison for however [long a sentence] those men would have [received].” While I can fully understand his view, I can also say with a large degree of certainty that, from a historical context in America’s not-so-far-removed past, he was only thinking on the surface by solely mentioning a prison sentence. And understandably so. Conversely, when I heard of Harmon’s lie, my mind immediately recalled that in times past (and present, truth be told) the sentence for Black men being accused of raping a white woman was death by lynching.

Not prison.

The reaction to Harmon’s story is typical of how whites are treated in a white supremacist society. Continue reading “Just a White Lie, That’s All”