No rest for Emmett Till as white nationalists invade new bulletproof marker to shoot propaganda video

November 05, 2019 at 05:00 pm | News

Mohammed Awal

Mohammed Awal

November 05, 2019 at 05:00 pm | News

File photo

A group of white nationalists on Saturday breached the premises of the new bulletproof memorial unveiled to honor Emmett Till.

The bulletproof memorial was unveiled last month after previous ones were repeatedly vandalized to erase the memory of the civil rights martyr.

The group was caught on camera attempting to record a propaganda video in front of the memorial.

One man can be heard in the video posted to the Summer Courthouse and Emmett Till Interpretive Center Facebook page saying the monument represents the “civil rights movement for blacks.” “What we want to know is, where are all of the white people?” he continued.

The group can be seen scrambling for their cars after sirens go off, a newly added security feature to protect the monument in another clip.

Patrick Weems, executive director of the Emmett Till Memorial Commission said the group was captured on camera by a new surveillance system that was added when the bulletproof memorial was unveiled on October 19.

“This is the first incident we’ve seen of what appears to be white nationalists making a propaganda video,” Weems told NBC News.

The Tallahatchie County Sheriff’s Office has been monitoring the site since the incident.

The group was carrying a white flag with a black St. Andrews cross, a symbol connected to a neo-Confederate group called the League of the South in Alabama.

Southern Poverty Law Center identifies the League of the South as a hate group that “increasingly embraced violence, criticized perceived Jewish power and warned black people that they would be defeated in a future race war.”

Till was 14-year-old when he was kidnapped in Money, Miss in 1955. He was beaten and lynched for allegedly flirting with a white cashier at a local store, which was a huge offense at the time. 

The marker was erected near the Tallahatchie River where Till’s body was found days later but was repeatedly vandalized, the latest was this year.

“This marker answers the question as to what we do with our history,” said Reverend Willie Williams, co-director of the Emmett Till Memorial Commission, which advocated for the new marker. “Do we learn from it? Do we use it to help our society have greater respect for humanity? This answers that.”

The U.S. federal government last year reopened the murder case of Till following the discovery of “new information”.

The new information was unknown but it followed the publication of a book by historian Timothy B. Tyson, who quotes a white woman, Carolyn Donham, as acknowledging during a 2008 interview that she wasn’t truthful when she testified that Till grabbed her, whistled and made sexual advances at a store in 1955.

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