On this day, Emmett Till was Kidnapped, tortured, and murdered. His White murderers were acquitted. America would not have batted an eye if the treatment of this boy had not been shown for all to see the violence Blacks experience.
Decades later on the same exact date, Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have A Dream” speech calling for equality and racial justice in the face of racism. Two years later, the historic Civil Rights Bill is passed and it seems as though we’ve made real progress towards equality. However, one look around at the state of health/wage/life expectancy disparities reveal that situations are not equal because our fight for justice has dwindled.
Over half a century later, we are still fighting that same fight. Racial justice does not exist in America. To be Black is to be a target. To be black is to be exposed to premature death from things like inadequate health care, a lack of employment opportunities, a violent self-perpetuating criminal justice system, and more.
Racism and White Supremacy continue to plague America because we have not acknowledged our past. Our ghosts plague us every day, but we just ignore them and treat everyone who sees them as paranoid. The bodies that this country has racked up haven’t even decomposed entirely, yet we truly believe they have been laid to rest. We Americans have such a short memory. Even worse, we have a selective memory where we forget the lynchings, slavery, 3/5ths compromise, “the separate but equal” Jim Crow Era, but instead remember the 4th of July, Christopher Columbus, etc.
Ferguson did not teach Black People anything new. However, it taught everyone else what we go through on an everyday basis. Y’all get something to gawk at while we are doing everything possible to get y’all to see our oppression and receive empathy. I hope that you continue to stay mad and that these calls for change are not met with apathy and indifference. I find solace in Dr. MLK’s determination in the face of overt discrimination.
“The whirlwind of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our Nation until the bright day of Justice emerges.” – Dr. Martin Luther KIng Jr. “I Have A Dream”