Biden to establish three-site national monument honoring Emmett Till

President Biden is expected on Tuesday to sign a proclamation creating what will be a national monument to honor 14-year-old Emmett Till, a black Chicago teen who was abducted, tortured, and ultimately murdered in Mississippi in 1955, and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley.

Till was visiting family in Mississippi when he was accused by a white woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, of whistling at her and making sexual advances.

His shot and brutalized body was weighed down with a cotton gin fan and dumped in the Tallahatchie River.

Two white men — Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, Bryant’s half-brother — were charged with murder and later acquitted by an all-white jury.

In a paid interview some months later, they confessed to the horrifying crime.

The Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument will span three sites in Illinois and Mississippi, a White House official who wished to remain anonymous told the Associated Press.

On Tuesday, Emmett Till would have been 82 years old.

When his young body was recovered from the Tallahatchie, his mother, Mamie, insisted on an open casket so the world could see what had happened to her son — a defiant, heartwrenching move that many say helped to galvanize the Civil Rights Movement.

According to the AP, the soon-to-be-announced monument “will protect places that are central to the story of Till’s life and death.”

In February, Biden hosted a screening of the movie “Till,” which chronicled Emmett’s short life and tragic, violent death.

He compared the child’s sickening murder to the brutal death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols at the hands of five black Memphis cops.

Biden’s speech, given during Black History Month, was seen by many as a hypocritical attempt to pander to black voters.

“You know, before 14-year-old Emmett Till left on his trip to visit his family in Mississippi, Ms. Till, a teacher who knew the history, reminded him: ‘Be very careful how you speak. Say “yes, sir,” “no, ma’am.” Don’t hesitate to humble yourself if you have to get down on your knees,'” Biden began, recalling a scene in the movie.

“That conversation is not in the distant past,” the president stated. “Same talk today. So many black and brown family — parents have to have that similar conversation with their children, worrying about whether they’ll come home from a walk down the street or playing in the park or just driving their car — like we saw Tyre Nichols, just last month — and becoming a victim to too many acts of hate and violence unleashed on those known and unknown.”

He went on to claim he “got involved in the civil rights movement as a public defender, as my colleagues know, when I was a kid getting out of law school. And I thought you could defeat hate, we — because we passed the Civil Rights Act and so many other things.”

Critics have debunked Biden’s oft-repeated claim that he was active in the movement.

The RNC even provided, in Sept. 2022, a video clip of Biden in 1987 stating clearly, “I was not an activist.”

Meanwhile, Biden has been accused of making a slew of overtly racist comments over the years, and he actually eulogized a former member of the KKK, Senator Robert Byrd.

But Biden isn’t the only one to invoke the Tills’ name when it is politically convenient.

In May, after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) recalled how she was intimidated by a black Democrat lawmaker who towered over her, California Governor Gavin Newsom accused her of “blatant racism” and declared, “This is the kind of dangerous rhetoric that led to Emmett Till’s death.”

And the announcement of the monument will come on the heels of a race-baiting claim by Vice President Kamala Harris that “in the State of Florida, they decided middle school students will be taught that enslaved people benefited from slavery.”

That statement was quickly fact-checked by Twitter’s community notes, which wrote, “For additional context, the new law doesn’t say slavery was good, or that it benefited the enslaved. It states that in some instances, the skills they developed were of personal benefit, but also teaches that slavery itself was and is bad, and should be remembered as bad.”

Melissa Fine

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