Oprah, Trayvon Martin, Emmett Till, and Malcolm X

I suspect that most people who are reading this don’t know anything about Emmett Till. Till was 14 years old when he was set upon by a group of whites and savagely beaten to death. His “crime”? He was flirting with a white girl. In an interview, Oprah said, “In my mind, same thing.”

The only similarities between Till and Martin is that they were black males. The circumstances surrounding their deaths were different in so many ways.

“The men took Till to a barn, beat him viciously and gouged out one of his eyes before shooting him in the head and dumping his body in the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi.”

Please explain to me how this is the “same thing” as to what happened to Trayvon Martin. In fact, the comparison trivializes the death of the young Mr. Till.

Oprah is stoking the flames or racial division with the comparison. She would do better by going into black communities and helping with some of the inherent problems that are not the fault of white people. She’s a billionaire. She should invest some of her money — not give it away — instead of sabotaging the great amount of good will that is found among tens of millions of white people. “Oprah’s audience is predominantly female, white, and over the age of 55.”

In addition to making such an absurd comparison, there are others who are using the Trayvon Martin shooting as a way to promote further gun control. Consider these comments by Malcolm X in his famous “Ballot or the Bullet” speech delivered April 3, 1964:

“I must say this concerning the great controversy over rifles and shotguns. The only thing that I’ve ever said is that in areas where the government has proven itself either unwilling or unable to defend the lives and the property of Negroes, it’s time for Negroes to defend themselves.

Article number two of the constitutional amendments provides you and me the right to own a rifle or a shotgun. It is constitutionally legal to own a shotgun or a rifle. This doesn’t mean you’re going to get a rifle and form battalions and go out looking for white folks, although you’d be within your rights — I mean, you’d be justified; but that would be illegal and we don’t do anything illegal.

“If the white man doesn’t want the black man buying rifles and shotguns, then let the government do its job.

“That’s all. And don’t let the white man come to you and ask you what you think about what Malcolm says — why, you old Uncle Tom. He would never ask you if he thought you were going to say, ‘Amen!’ No, he is making a Tom out of you. “So, this doesn’t mean forming rifle clubs and going out looking for people, but it is time, in 1964, if you are a man, to let that man know. If he’s not going to do his job in running the government and providing you and me with the protection that our taxes are supposed to be for, since he spends all those billions for his defense budget, he certainly can’t begrudge you and me spending $12 or $15 for a single-shot, or double-action.

“I hope you understand. Don’t go out shooting people, but any time — brothers and sisters, and especially the men in this audience; some of you wearing Congressional Medals of Honor, with shoulders this wide, chests this big, muscles that big — any time you and I sit around and read where they bomb a church and murder in cold blood, not some grownups, but four little girls while they were praying to the same God the white man taught them to pray to, and you and I see the government go down and can’t find who did it.

“Why, this man — he can find [Adolf] Eichmann1 hiding down in Argentina somewhere. Let two or three American soldiers, who are minding somebody else’s business way over in South Vietnam, get killed, and he’ll send battleships, sticking his nose in their business. He wanted to send troops down to Cuba and make them have what he calls free elections — this old cracker who doesn’t have free elections in his own country.”

  1. Eichmann was one of the major organizers of the Holocaust. After World War II, he fled to Argentina where he lived under a false identity until he was captured in 1960 by Mossad operatives in Argentina and taken to Israel to face trial in an Israeli court on 15 criminal charges, including crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was found guilty and executed by hanging in 1962. He is the only person to have been executed in Israel on conviction by a civilian court. []