Emmitt Till and Trayvon Martin, has anything really changed?

                The murder of Emmitt Till was a seminal moment in the Civil Rights movement. Emmitt Till was 14 year old African American boy who was murdered in Mississipi in1955. Till was from Chicago, Illinois and was visisting his relatives in Money, Mississppi. His crime, speaking to a married white woman named Carolyn Bryant. She was a married proprietor of a local grocery store.

A few nights after the murder, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half brother J.W. Milam arrived at Till’s great uncle’s house. They took Till to a barn, beat him, gouged out one of his eyes and then shot him in the head. They disposed of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighed the body down with a 70 pound cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. His body was found 3 days later.

Till’s body was returned to Chicago to his mother. His mother who had raised him mostly by herself, insisted on a public funeral to show the world the brutality of the killing. Tens of thousands attended the funeral and images of his mutilated body were published in black magazines and newspapers. Media scrutiny was intense on the condition of Civil Rights in Mississippi, with newspapers nationwide critical of the state. Initially local newpapers and law enforcement decried the violence against Till, calling for justice. They soon responded to the criticism by defending Mississippians, which soon turned into support for the killers.

The trial was a press event. Problems identifying Till’s body effected the trial. This partially led to the aquittal of Till’s kidnappers and murderers. Several months after the trial during a magazine interview, protected by double jeopardy, both admitted to the kidnapping and murder.

Fast forward 58 years to the George Zimmerman trial. A m an is on trial for the murder of a 17 year old African American child, Trayvon Martin. He followed Martin although the 911 operator told him not to. He startedan altercation with a minor and then shot him during the altercation, killing him. Those are the facts, evrything else really didn’t matter, but Zimmerman was aquitted and now walks around with the gun he used to kill Martin. All because of a law created by the lobbyist group ALEC and that is spreading across the country.

Republicans generally supported Zimmerman and his Stand Your Ground Rights. Democrats and President Obama supported justice for the teen armed with Skittles and Arizona Ice Tea. This is a major step backwards for Civil Rights in America. The Stand Your Ground Law only seems to apply to white people. A black women in Florida, who had history of being battered by her husband fired a gun in the air. Didnt even shoot him. She got 20 years in jail. These are both racially biased decisions that effect all of America going forward. This is not the America I believe in. If you believe in this kind of America, you do not represent progress, you truly represent Sharia Law.

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