What flipped me into revolutionary-type fervor as a young teenager was the gruesome photograph of 14-year-old Emmett Till’s battered remains on the cover of Jet magazine. On Aug. 28, 1955, Emmett Till was brutally murdered by two white men, Roy Bryant and his half-brother John W. Milam, in Money, Miss., for supposedly whistling at Bryant’s wife.
Both men were acquitted of kidnapping and murder. That Mississippi-Delta jury took just 67 minutes to return their verdict. One juror told the press: “If we hadn’t stopped to drink pop, it wouldn’t have taken that long.” How most black Americans (Negroes then) did not commit to human rights on the way to civil rights speaks volumes about our present condition.
America’s black masses have got to quickly learn to organize and stand up for our people’s very survival. For here we are, in the year 2013, yet what happened to Emmett Till in 1955 also happened to young Trayvon Martin in 2012, shot dead by George Zimmerman in Sanford. And, on Thanksgiving night in Jacksonville, 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis was shot dead by another white man, 45-year-old Michael Dunn.
Actually, Dunn allegedly tried to kill all four black boys sitting in a car listening to music by spraying eight bullets at them, hitting young Davis three times before he died in his friends’ arms.
You can call these incidents shootings, killings or murders but the plain truth of it is these assassinations are part and parcel of a grand plan of genocide, to rid America of as many blacks as possible.
Young black boys and men are all vulnerable. Get rid of significant numbers of black males and slow down black procreation. Stealthily sterilize numbers of black girls and young women and achieve similar results. Deny proper health services and standardize high infant-mortality rates. Coupled with black profiling and increasingly high incarceration numbers, schools that miseducate and psychological responses to oppression such as black-on-black crime and therein is a partial formula for black containment.
If we allow ourselves to be contained, we are, in effect, preparing ourselves to be extra-marginalized and, finally, destroyed. If you can kill the males, then you can kill a people.
The Florida trials of Zimmerman and Dunn have already got local and state officials getting ready for the worse-case scenarios: a slap on the wrist, reduced charges, light sentences and, God forbid, a jury in either case that returns a not-guilty verdict.
Miami-Dade, Sanford and Jacksonville are preparing for riots. So political officials, including public safety leaders, have little or no faith in the judicial system of Florida to render fair and impartial justice to its African-American citizens. Isn’t that the reality?
Officialdom is afraid because of Florida’s history, afraid because of America’s history, therefore, a valid reason for costly speculation. But the Florida economic downturn, politicians tell us, is causing cutbacks in services everywhere. (Money will always be made available, though, to contain black people in any and every way.)
It was 32½ years ago when a roiled Overtown and Liberty City black population erupted over the all-white, all-male jury’s acquittal of five white Miami-Dade policemen who were charged with killing 33-year-old Arthur McDuffy, a black father of two. “White justice” had the trial moved from Miami-Dade to Tampa, claiming that the white officers could not get a fair trial in Miami.
The so-called McDuffy riot spewed venom for three days beginning on May 17, 1980. McDuffy had painfully lived with a cracked skull for four days after his Dec. 17, 1979, Rodney King-like beating. Miami-Dade paid hush money by settling with the McDuffy family, through lawyers, for $1.1 million. The lawyers got $483,833. (That’s 1980 dollars, mind you.)
Remember FBI agent David Farrall, driving drunk going the wrong way on Interstate 95? He’s the one who killed Maurice Williams, 23, and his brother, 19 year-old Craig Chambers, on Nov. 23, 1999. Those two young black brothers were coming home from choir practice when Farrall slammed into their car near the Atlantic Boulevard exit in Pompano Beach.
Farrall got just 90 days in jail. Oh, yes, his trial was moved out of Broward County, because it was believed that he couldn’t get a fair trial otherwise.
Al Calloway is a longtime journalist who began his career with the Atlanta Inquirer during the early 1960s civil rights struggle. He may be reached at Al_Calloway@verizon.net