Jul. 25, 2022

The Crime Of Being

Emmett and Louis Till were both victims of what for many African Americans past and present is a crime of being,” that is, being a black American in a nation that still sees color first and the hell with the content of character. This quote about the crime of being came from John Wideman's book "Writing To Save A Life". The book was a featured read-aloud on my Facebook Live Project. Louis Till was no saint and Emmitt Till was as close to innocence as a young boy could be. Yet both father and son were lynched by a nation that sought no semblance of justice for either. On this day Emmitt Till’s 81st birthday, father and son are remembered for the savagery of racial injustice. One Louis Till was murdered by a military tribunal that didn’t dig enough for the facts before the unjust sentence of the hangman’s noose was carried out. The other Emmitt Till was murdered a decade later by a vengeful collective of hate-filled racist white men who felt authorized by the State of Mississippi,  a state that cared little for that boy’s justice. Mississippi, only that Emmitt Till pay for supposedly upsetting the social structures that separated white and African American people in the belly of the beast that was southern racial hatred. Neither Louis Till who is buried in a small box on European soil nor Emmitt buried, and reburied in a Cook County Cemetery will ever face peace until this nation pays for the harm and pain it caused the Till family. You see murder has no statute of limitations. America, the nation was deemed guilty but America the nation has yet to have faced its punishment. “The crime of just being” has managed to continue to be promoted by this nation for these past four centuries of African American oppression. Isn’t it time for African Americans to be relieved of the perceived sin of color in America, as well as the crime of just being?