Thursday, July 12, 2018

EXTRA: Can we truly get justice for Emmett Till all these years later?

I have to admit to being curious to learn what the “new information” is that could seriously make the Justice Department think it worth their time to reopen the investigation into the 1955 slaying of Emmett Till – the Chicago kid who was visiting family in racially-segregated Mississippi and managed to offend the local racial mores.

Still waiting, some 63 years later
The Associated Press reported Thursday on a Congressional report from March indicating that the Till slaying is officially up for investigation again.

WHAT STRIKES ME as odd about this is the timing – we’re now in the Age of Trump where the last thing you’d expect anybody to be doing is to dredge up an old criminal case that goes a long way to showing how the concept of “Make America Great Again” is a crock.

The Till death (he was severely beaten and his body dumped in a lake with hopes that his remains would never be uncovered) was one that motivated many people into realizing there was something wrong with the segregationist ways of old.

Even though I suspect the kind of people who look kindly upon the Donald Trump campaign theme think we lost something significant in our society when those ways of old were diminished.

It may be the kind of people who will try arguing that two men went on trial for the Till killing (both were acquitted by all-white juries inclined to look favorably on them).

AS THINGS STAND now, Justice Department officials admit they have suspects as to who killed Till – but they’re all dead. Nobody’s going to go to prison for what happened to Emmett.

Priorities; Yankees more important!
So what realistically comes of reopening the investigation?

There could be some value to forcing our society at-large to face up to what happened. Because it’s all too easy for the passage of time to dim the view of the atrocities of that era.

Besides, perhaps the sensibilities of the ‘past’ need to become publicly offended before we can truly move on as a society from the taint of our history.


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