The Mountain Top
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Politics and Activism

The Mountain Top

61 years after the death of Emmett Till, are we any different?

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The Mountain Top

Seventy-five years ago Emmett Till was born. He was a bright eyed child with big dreams and a life path. On August 24th, 1955, 14-year-old Emmett entered a grocery store in Money, Mississippi. Originally being from Chicago, Illinois, Emmett had no idea that African Americans couldn't talk to White people, let alone White females. He went in, bought some candy and on the way out was heard saying, “Bye, baby” to the woman. There were no witnesses in the store, but Carolyn Bryant – the woman behind the counter – claimed that he grabbed her, made lewd advances and then wolf-whistled at her as he sauntered out. Little did he know, this would be his final mistake.

On August 28th, 1955, Emmett was approached by Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam at his uncle's home one afternoon. The men forced their way into the back bedroom where Emmett was sleeping, and then they forced him to leave with them. Three days later, a fisherman found Till’s naked, mutilated body in the Tallahatchie River. It had been weighted down by a 75 pound cotton gin fan, which was tied around Till's neck with barbed wire. His face was so mutilated that his uncle was only able to identify his nephew's body by the ring that Till had been wearing, the one that belonged to his deceased father.

Sixty-one years later, are we really any different than that moment in time?

When I read about this moment in America's history, I like to compare it to the life we live today. And, in my opinion, we are no different. There are still minorities that are being treated as Emmett. No, maybe they aren't being beaten and mutilated, but they are being denied basic human rights and the hope for the life without discrimination.

Police brutality, refugees and constant gunfire for no reason. These are just a few cases that truly make this America, the "land of the free," a place with less freedom and more anger than we know what to do with.

This country needs a rewrite, a road less taken so to speak. We need a road that leads to a community worth living in and a country worth raising kids in. No person should be afraid to enter a certain part of town or to drive through a city because of their race, gender or sexual orientation.

We need to remember Emmett and many like him, Martin Luther King Jr., Mack Charles Parker and many more martyrs that chose death over the unfair justice they received. This country needs to remember this. This country needs a chance to change. The forgotten souls of the civil rights movement would roll in their graves to know that this country is forgetting the mountain top we are supposed to be striving for, but I haven't. I stand with those who are yet to be treated like normal citizens.

We have yet to reach the mountain top, and we have never been further.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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