Sunday, April 01, 2007

I Have to Say Something

It's really been bothering me every time the case of Emmett Till has come up in the news that no one is speaking up about something else. The racist elements of this crime are horrifying, to be sure. But so are the elements of it which resulted in a 14-year-old boy (of any race) thinking it okay to sexually harass someone else simply because she was there, female, and thus "his" to harass. The same women-hating elements caused a handful of violent white bigots to believe it their duty to beat the life out of a 14-year-old child because that child dared to whistle at "their" woman. These men would have done the same thing to Emmett Till if he'd keyed their beat up old pickup truck because, for them, this situation was not about Till's race, but about what they believed to be their possession. There is no reason to think these same men would have hesitated to brutally murder a white man under the same circumstances. The severity of Till's injuries proves their interest was not a reasonable one of protecting the woman from further unwarranted and unwanted sexual harassment; rather, they were absolutely enraged and showing that they, and they alone, had complete control over her. Had either Till or the men who killed him had any respect for women (of any race), Till's life would not have been squandered that day.

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