A historical marker created in Mississippi to memorialize and educate the public about the 1955 kidnapping and lynching death of 14-year-old Emmett Till was destroyed by vandals who obliterated all visible information about the death that helped galvanize the civil rights movement.
Mamie Till Mobley had an open-casket funeral for her son to show how racial terror was used to brutalize and murder her son, who was visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta when the incident happened. Allan Hammons, whose public relations firm made the marker, told NBC on Monday that someone scratched the memorial with a blunt tool in May, and during the past week, a tour group discovered that the vinyl panels containing words and photos about Emmett had been peeled back off the metal marker on the Money, Miss., monument.
“Who knows what motivates people to do this?” Hammons said, noting that traffic signs are common targets for vandals and shooters in rural areas. “Vandals have been around since the beginning of time.”
The sign was erected in 2011 for the Mississippi Freedom Trail, which is a series of state-funded markers at significant civil rights sites. It was constructed in front of the long-closed Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market, where a then 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant said that Emmett whistled at her in August 1955.
Because of Bryant’s accusation, Emmett was later kidnapped, tortured and killed by her husband, Roy Bryant, and his half brother, J.W. Milam. The men were acquitted by an all-white jury, but they later confessed to the crime in a paid interview with Look magazine.
According to NBC, a second Emmett Till memorial, located several miles away, where his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River, has been repeatedly shot.
Hammons told NBC that the Freedom Trail marker in Money cost more than $8,000 and will cost at least $500 to repair.
Just goes to show you that white people don’t want to be reminded of the racism that still exists in our country, all while continuing to carry it out in the most disrespectful ways possible.
And let me save you some keystrokes in the comments: We know not all white people, but I still said what I said.
Carry on, grays. Carry on.
Read more at NBC.