Specters of Racism: Emmett Till, Michael Brown & Beyond


Emmett Till born July 25,1941 / murdered August 28,1955 Rest in Peace & Grace

Mike Brown

Michael Brown born May 20, 1996 / murdered August 9, 2014 Rest in Peace & Grace



An Open Letter To President Obama, Attorney General Holder with whoever fills your position, and AnyONE else who should be concerned:

December 1, 2014
There are so many words to say and not enough! I’m sick. I’ve been sick since I was a child. I first became sick when I was 6 years old and saw a photo of 14-year-old Emmett Till’s brutalized tortured dead body lying in his coffin, killed by 2 White Men in 1955. How could anyone do that to another Human Being…and get away with murder? Only White men could sit on Jury Duty in Mississippi in 1955. Fast forward to 2014, I saw a photo of 18-year-old Michael Brown’s dead body lying in the street killed by a White Police Officer; lying there for hours on end in the heat exposed as if his life and death meant nothing (reminds me of the photos of Black Men’s bodies hanging from the poplar trees; on display)….how could a Police Chief and his department, a Mayor, a District Attorney, and the Governor of Missouri be so callous and apathetic? In the 1950s there was no Internet but I have little doubt that if there had been, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam would have still gotten away with Emmett Till’s murder, just as Darren Wilson has gotten away with Michael Brown’s murder.
Mainstream America, the “melting pot”, the most diverse Racial/Ethnic/Cultural/Religious Nation in the world has become immune to the atrocities committed towards African Americans and that includes [some] Blacks themselves. The sins of America’s “Founding Fathers” are upon us and in 2014 when folks whine on Social Networks “OMG, how can this be” or “He was just a no good thug and deserved it” the Specters of Racism, Prejudice and Ignorance forever rise…and just like other illnesses such as Tuberculosis and Ebola they are far more virulent and deadly with each rising. I could rant on and on about how People-Of-Color have always gotten the short end of the stick since the White Man accidentally found his way onto American soil. I could also rant on and on about how there have been laws—local, state and federal demeaning and devaluing non-White lives—from enslaved Blacks being considered “Property” to Indians being considered “Invisible”; their extermination was hoped for. If you have any sense of the real (un-white-washed) history of America you are already aware.
As I have sat with my sickness now for 59 years I have come to a grave realization. If the Specters of Racism, Prejudice and Ignorance are not dealt with ALL of Human Kind will suffer; our species will cease to exist because we’ll have killed each other off into oblivion. What happens in one Nation is mirrored in others and we see this daily; no one is immune to Racism, Prejudice and Ignorance. I ask myself often why some Humans devalue both themselves and others so much as to commit heinous acts of violence. Many years ago when I first learned of The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and later worked with others to have each Nation ratify it, I wondered how it could be that some Humans disavow these rights to other Humans. If I have a Right to Life, to Shelter, to Water, to Due Process of Law, and so much more how can I diminish or deny these Rights to those whose religious/cultural/ethnic/racial heritages are different than mine? I can’t…..can YOU…and if YOU can…. how?
When we talk of Human Rights violated or denied, Emmett Till and Michael Brown and far too many others have had their Human Rights violated and denied the most; they were murdered and their skin color was THE causative factor. Michael Brown has been vilified by the Ferguson, MO Police Department, District Attorney Robert McCulloch, Governor Jay Nixon and others who “leaked” misinformation to unscrupulous Media, the Public at large, and to the Grand Jury. Michael Brown’s Human Rights have been violated beyond any hope of redress; he is dead…do YOU get this, do YOU understand? Nothing can undo his death and in the immoral acts of those who have through their duplicitous actions allowed Darren Wilson to not be held accountable, they have made Michael Brown culpable of his own Murder! I am so tired of hearing of another Black Man’s Human Rights violated and denied through death….Black lives do matter; the “fear” of Black men is nothing more than an irrational excuse and cowardly way for racist ignorant police and other individuals to engage their White privilege. It is revolting that Black Men have become no more than “target practice” to some people.
Agent provocateurs of course have jumped right in to incite violence and to keep up hatred towards those who are peacefully protesting Michael Brown’s death and to put the blame elsewhere. Agent provocateurs don’t give a fig as to what the cause or protest is about, they are present to keep people divided, to enhance distrust and to wreck havoc. Justice was never meant to be served and they do their best to insure InJustice. PLEASE, don’t talk to me about Human Rights when the United States denies its own people. There is NO excuse for the ongoing continuing MURDER of young Black Men by militarized police who are reminiscent of a Fascist regime. After the death of each young Black Man murdered by White police (and wannabe police) countless numbers of us ask…..”How many more?” The InJustice towards Michael Brown and the failure of a purposefully misguided Grand Jury to indict his killer now opens the floodgates as the precedence of killing unarmed African Americans continues to be considered a normal way of life in America. Don’t talk to me unless there is Positive Change…..“Until the killing of Black Men, Black Mother’s Sons is as important as the killing of White Men, White Mother’s Sons” (Ella’s Song by Sweet Honey in the Rock).
It’s time NOW to change the Paradigm. The demographics of America are changing….we are aging and People-of-Color, particularly those of Hispanic ancestry combined with all other racial/ethnic minorities will be in the numerical majority. Perhaps there will one day be a Power Shift, where The White Elite (and those who pander to them) will no longer hold the reigns in Government/Politics and Economics. You don’t have to like the changing demographics but it’s gonna happen no matter what. You can’t kill or imprison ALL racial/ethnic minorities and those who align with them. The Human Rights you deny now-today could well be denied to you tomorrow. They say turnabout is fair play. One of my very best friends Anna who is of Native American/Irish ancestry believes it would be a fine day in America if Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, All other People-of -Color and Whites-who-align-with-them extinguished their own prejudices towards one and other and came together in Mutual Respect and Unity. As a Woman of Jewish European ancestry with a Strong Black Son I’m with her 110%; We ALL could make some Beautiful Changes Together!
Rest in Peace & Grace Emmett Till and Michael Brown and so many Others…YOU have not been forgotten and the fight for true Justice, Equality, and Peace continues on. My to Yours.
Thank You. In Peace.
Bonnie F. Walker, RN, BS, LNC

3 thoughts on “Specters of Racism: Emmett Till, Michael Brown & Beyond

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