Cousin of Emmett Till and
Emmett Till Legacy Foundation
Date: October 22, 2019
The president’s tweet is unfortunate and insensitive. And it comes just days after members of our family from Chicago, Jackson, Memphis and Minneapolis, were in Glendora Mississippi at the site of Emmett Till’s last moments. We were attending an installation and dedication of the fourth historical marker that honors his memory because previous signs have been shot up or removed by vandals. This time the sign is bulletproof, a sad reminder of the violent legacy of racism in america and the lynchings that occurred before and during the civil rights era.
Lynching is the ultimate act of racial terror, that resulted in the brutal murders, trauma and terrorism that my cousin Emmett and thousands of innocent black men, women and entire communities of color suffered for hundreds of years. Over 90 percent of those responsible escaped punishment.
While this tweet is painful for our family, I will channel my energy to push harder for Justice for Emmett as well as other families of victims of racial terror. Motivated by Emmett’s Mother, Mamie Till Mobley, I along with the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation (ETLF) and other family members continue her fight, pushing law enforcement to hold any one involved in Emmett’s lynching accountable.
Currently, Congress has an opportunity to pass a bipartisan bill that has already passed in the Senate: the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2019. This bill would specify lynching as a violation or deprivation of civil rights and make lynching a federal crime.
Looking to the future, the families of victims of civil rights era lynchings and murders should be supported by the laws that govern this nation. All loopholes that allow those involved to escape accountability should be closed. The ETLF is working to create a pathway to justice and accountability for those families who strive to overcome the pain and loss the atrocities inflicted. We will be calling on the President and members of congress as we seek bipartisan support for this important step in the near future to right the wrongs of the past and vow Never Again.
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