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US Congressman Bennie Thompson’s Statement on the White Supremacy Group’s Gathering at the Emmett Till Memorial, November 4, 2019:

The fact that people are still attempting to sow division in Mississippi is sad. This is the only memorial in America that has to be bulletproof.

In years past, the signs have been stolen, thrown in the river, replaced, shot, replaced again, shot again, defaced with acid and have had KKK spray-painted on them. The vandalism has been targeted, and it has been persistent.

The signs were placed near the spot where Till’s body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River in 1955.

The 14-year-old African American was tortured and killed by two white men after false accusations that he flirted with a white woman. His death became an important catalyst in the civil rights movement.

Those who continue to deface this memorial are saying to the world that Till’s death was justified. 

Unfortunately, being stupid and racist is not a crime. However, their symbols of hate portrayed at the Emmett Till memorial continues to put Mississippi in a bad light and is further proof that we still have a long way to go in the fight for racial justice.https://facebook.com/CongressmanBennieGThompson/photos/a.10152179441653380/10157037422033380/

Actually, it is fortunate, for most people, that being stupid is not a crime.

It is also fortunate that being racist isn’t a crime, considering the way allegations of racism are being weaponized and abused by new immigrants from India and Latin America, and their offspring. Whereas African American descendants of slaves were forced to come to the United States, these new – mostly economic – migrants came by choice. New migrants have undermined African American Rights for over half a century by stealing Affirmative Action and minority contract set-asides designed to help African Americans lift themselves up; stealing American jobs, AND making allegations of racism to get their way. New migrants weaponizing fake allegations of racism makes it all the more difficult to address true, die hard, racism, which falls predominantly upon the shoulders of African Americans. It would be nice if Bennie Thompson paid more attention to the poor, and poor children, in his constituency, instead of focusing so much on poor migrants at the border. Bennie Thompson’s district is one of the poorest in the United States, if not the poorest. Hopefully, either he will shift focus back to longstanding poverty in the Mississippi Delta, or a Democrat who cares about American poverty in America will primary him.

Martin Luther King recognized that you can’t stop people from being racist, but you can change behavior.

However, this is much more than being racist, and is tacitly threatening to the black community of the area. African Americans first arrived in the United States 400 years ago – in 1619.

Damaging the sign should certainly be a crime: “We Found Photos of Ole Miss Students Posing With Guns in Front of a Shot-Up Emmett Till Memorial. Now They Face a Possible Civil Rights Investigation. Three students were suspended from their fraternity house, Kappa Alpha, after we shared an Instagram photo one of the men posted that was taken in front of a sign commemorating the murder of the 14-year-old black youth in 1955. by Jerry Mitchell, Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting…” Article and pictures here: https://www.propublica.org/article/ole-miss-students-pose-with-guns-in-front-of-shot-up-emmett-till-memorial

Current Mississippi Attorney General and candidate for governor, Jim Hood, may have reopened the Emmett Till case: “HOOD: INTERVIEWS CONDUCTED INTO TILL CONFESSION Posted by Mark Rigsby on Apr 05, 2017 at 7:00 am Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood confirms his office is investigating recent statements made in connection to one of the tipping points of the civil rights movement – the murder of Emmett Till. The victim of Till’s supposed sexual assault says she lied about what happened. MPB’s Mark Rigsby reports… http://www.mpbonline.org/blogs/news/2017/04/05/hood-interviews-conducted-into-till-confession