Just a month after the Department of Justice reopened the Emmett Till case, a memorial in Mississippi has been vandalized. It stood for a mere 35 days. It’s now pierced with bullets. This is not the first time the sign honoring the 14-year-old boy who was slain for whistling at a white woman in 1955 has been defaced.
It took over half a century for the town of Glendora, Miss., to honor the slain teen with a memorial in 2007. By 2008, it had vanished only never to be found.
They attempted to memorialize him a second time two years ago, but the replacement was once again vandalized. Finally, this time after a mere 35 days after being repaired, the third was desecrated by gunshots.
For professor Patrick Weems said it is an ugly reminder that racism still persists, and we can’t forget our ugly past.
“For 50 years, our community lived in silence, and there’s those who want to erase history,” he told CNN. “We’ve been through that.”
Two white men got away with the murder of a 14-year-old boy 63 years ago and racial inequality is still prevalent in the United States justice system.
Whether it is Freddie Grey, Trayvon Martin, or Emmett Till, Black people have gotten a raw deal when it comes to law enforcement.
As of 2017, only 30 percent of Black people have trust in the police. For most communities, the generation-long wedge between people of color and law enforcers have fostered a tenuous relationship. In the opinion of Terrence M. Cunningham, the president of the association of Chief of Police, “Many officers who do not share this common heritage often struggle to comprehend the reasons behind this historic mistrust.
“As a result, they are often unable to bridge this gap and connect with some segments of their communities The first step in this process is for law enforcement and the IACP to acknowledge and apologize for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color.”