Dried and spattered blood covered his body.
Arms and legs both mutilated.
Bullet holes still visible on the 14-year-old boy’s corpse.
His face unrecognizable and neck maimed from hanging below the willow tree.
Little Emmett Till hailed from our city of Chicago before being brutishly lynched and slaughtered by two white men in Mississippi in 1955.
Flirting with a white woman.
This is the sheer reality of racism and lynching in the United States — a historic culture that incentivized white Americans to rape, beat and torture African Americans to keep us from seeking equality or liberation.
So when a student at our institution was quoted in a recent article for The Phoenix saying “I can say that I’m afraid of being lynched if I walk out on the Lake Shore Campus… I might get some very mean words,” for his support of President Trump, we understand the ignorant and destructive historical implications of such a statement.
Take your pity-baiting elsewhere.
Let’s be clear: Lynching is not an insult or a hate crime. It is terrorism. It is radicalized, radicalized and rooted in white supremacy.
It emerged at the genesis of the transatlantic slave trade as a tool to dehumanize and control African Americans, and later, to keep us from exercising our constitutional rights.
While you fear putting on a hat or button that espouses your support of a political ideology, we have no choice but to wear the same black skin every day and be potential target practice for any trigger-happy cop or white supremacist extremist.
While you fear ridicule or patronization, my mother fears a phone call that the police have murdered me for nothing more than the color of my skin and the locs in my hair.
While you claim to fear terrorists from more than a thousand miles away, black folks have grown accustomed to living among them.
You see that image above?
It’s not ISIS. It’s not Boko Haram. It’s not even the Ku Klux Klan.
It is your everyday white American citizen from the beginning of the slave trade until roughly 1950.
Lynching was a public spectacle that white men, women and children attended for pastime as if it was a community festival.
Today we live in an era where blacks still cannot attend church without fear of brutal assault by a white supremacist.
Suggesting you fear being lynched is to spit on the legacy of African Americans who have endured a history of cowardly and senseless massacre at the hands of those you pretend are guiltless and vulnerable.
To support the president under the guise of protecting our country, while failing to acknowledge or even mention domestic terrorism at the hands of the white community, is racist, bigoted and a complete exoneration of this country’s violent history against communities of color.