U.S. Reopens Emmett Till Investigation, Almost 63 Years After His Murder

The 1955 murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy, remains among the starkest and most searing examples of racial violence in the American South.

Comments: 177

  1. Carolyn Bryant Donham must pay for the crime of false witness, and make restitution to Till's family. His blood is on her hands, knowing, as she did, that her words would lead to his death.

    This was complete contempt for human life, and a mockery of justice from the murder itself, to the failure of local la enforcement to treat this child's murder with any gravity.

    Ms Bryant Donham has lived a long life free from an repercussions from her lie. It is time for her to face the enormity of what she set in motion.

  2. Don't fall into a Trump Trap!

    All she said was that her story wasn't entirely true, and that the sequence of events might have been off.

    If the DOJ uses interviews with her to reinforce the story that Emmett Till did verbally accost and physically grope her, all they will have done is to drag Emmett Till into the mud like they did with Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.

    I know it is not fair. Had a white man tussled with a cop over his gun, he would not have been shot. Had a white man jumped on top of Zimmerman, he would not have been shot. And had a white Chicagoan, in 1955, traveled to a small Mississippi delta community and groped a woman, he would have been treated like visiting royalty. Not like they treated Emmett Till!

    So I agree. It's always racism, all the time. But we need to be wary of falling into traps like this. I see no good coming from this!

  3. Those sweet pictures of Michael Brown didn't help. I'm not sure if this is always the answer. Sometimes the "sweet child" story doesn't hold up.

    And because this is the Trump DOJ, I'm a little concerned that there's more to this story than the version we learned in 8th grade social studies classes.

  4. Of course no good can come of it. They can spin it either way:
    1. Her allegations were true, therefore this young black man, and by extension all young black men, “got what he deserved.”
    2. Her allegations of sexual abuse were false, therefore this woman who made such, and by extension all women who make such allegations are liars and must be ignored.

    Win-Win for the Grand Old Party of Racism & Misogyny.

  5. I'm so glad to see that some in government are still dedicated to seeking justice for Emmett Till. However, I am bothered by the first sentence of this article that states that the investigation was "quietly revived." Why the secrecy? Slavery is America's great national sin and we need to deal with its legacy head-on, out in the open. A truth and reconciliation commission wouldn't be a bad idea, although at this time in our history it's probably a pipe dream.

  6. Given the current political climate, the Department would doubtless prefer to conduct the investigation out of the glare of a media spotlight.

  7. Slavery and practical eradication of indigenous north american people ... both are America's national sins.

  8. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

  9. The Emmett Till case will not go away, nor should it. That lynching and murder of an innocent boy will forever shame America. Carolyn Bryant now confesses that she lied and that what happened to Emmett was wrong. Why didn’t she speak up 60 years ago? Mamie Till Mobley had to carry that pain and heartache till the day she died.

    Ebony and Jet publisher John Johnson had the courage to publish those awful pictures of Emmett after what the flower of the southern Confederacy did to him. According to this president, these "very fine people" flourished in Mississippi and the American South 60 years ago. America will never get over this terrible and unjust murder.

  10. I agree but we should not forget that there have been extreme racial incidents, including lynchings and violent riots in places like Kalamazoo, Michigan, San Francisco, and other places outside the South. This indicates that racism is not bound to a single geographic region of our country. If our European ancestors who immigrated here and moved westward could commit genocide against native peoples and support slavery as an economic driver of the early American economy, it should not surprise us that racism among the white population of our country continues to manifest itself in our time.

  11. This doesn't excuse her at all, but apparently Carolyn Bryant was terrified of her husband who was violent with her. I think she was probably very afraid to speak.

  12. In 1966 in Cicero, Illinois-an ethnic Chicago suburb-a 16 year old black boy from Chicago -Jerome Huey- was beaten to death by four white boys with baseball bats.

    Dr. King spoke at my local public park -Nat King Cole- on the South Side of Chicago in August 1966. He said that he came to the North because racism and bigotry was rampant South of the Canadian border. Dr. King was stoned in Marquette Park and remarked that the white ethnic Chicago mobs were more hateful and vicious than anything he ever saw in the South.

    Lequan McDonald was gunned down by Chicago cop while 17 years old and black.

  13. What is the statute of limitations on perjury? It probably wouldn't do much good to lock up an 82-year-old woman for lying in court. Her guilt conscious has likely kept her in an emotional prison for 60 years.

  14. I think it is arguable to what extent this woman, or many with her way of thinking about race, has what you or I might consider a conscience.

  15. No, probably not. Any sense of personal guilt was assuaged by the sick, sad belief that one more person she considered less than human was no longer cluttering up her world.
    Any present day concerns are based only on how our society has, fortunately, evolved. We are still racists, but its decline of acceptability is what moves her in her 82nd year - 68 more than poor defenseless Emmit Till.

  16. @Sharon J

    While I would like to hope that Carolyn Bryant Donham felt a shred of guilt, I highly doubt it otherwise she could have come forward any time in the past 22,885 days since Mr. Till was brutally tortured for four days and then died a slow, painful death, to recant her testimony.

  17. What possible use is it now? The killers are dead and can't be punished. Mississippi has a stain on it that can never be erased.

  18. One word....'closure'. The light of truth has meaning.

  19. Is our President planning another pardon?

  20. That is the most likely outcome.

  21. Now that it's safe to re-open the investigation into the murder of Emmett Till, and no harm can come to the murderers, things can be allowed to proceed. After all, what difference can it possibly make? Everybody except one person involved in the case is dead. It would be different if a similar case were to be more thoroughly investigated, in which the suspects are still alive, but no such case has come to public notice. The Emmett Till case was so horrendous that it might be difficult to find another case more recent with similar features, though there must surely be some as racism flourishes in the dark where people are afraid to speak up.

  22. OMG. This is a fantastic comment. Fantastic.

  23. Well this left more questions than it answered--the DOJ is re-opening this case and the only person surviving is the woman who made the accusation. Would it be fair to assume that they're thinking about bringing a case against her for making false allegations that got this boy killed?

  24. Emmett's death changed the way my white parents looked at racism forever. Racism is wrong was their message. They passed on those values to me and I have passed them on to my daughter. This country needs to work to eradicate racism now more than ever. Oh, how I wish Emmett could rest in peace but racism rears its' ugly head all too often. I weep for country and those who suffer from all forms of racism. My heart aches at these injustices. Civil Rights for all now and forever!

  25. Tell this to trump or better yet write trump a letter saying what you have just said.

  26. The Department of Justice? Jeff Sessions' department of Justice? This I've got to see.
    Come to think of it, maybe my doubts are unwarranted. After all, there's no one left to hold accountable anyway so whatever the findings, the Black community has known the truth from the beginning.

  27. Carolyn Donham is still alive. She could be who this is all about. People are defending not sending her to jail as you read this.

  28. Exactly. I'm sure they're going to find a way to justify his murder.

  29. Many whites have “known the truth from the beginning” too. It is inhuman not to see the injustice that was done to Emmett Till and that continues against black men and boys to this day.

  30. "Carolyn Bryant Donham, had acknowledged that the entirety of her story was “not true” but that she did not remember the precise sequence of events."

    The truth may be painful but it is always clear and easy to remember; it's the lies and cover ups that become murky, muddied and difficult to recall "precisely".

    I am at a loss as to why the federal government is "quietly reviving its investigation". This entire horrific injustice, investigation and findings should be shouted from the roof tops across the country. Emmett Till, his mother, and his entire family deserve that, at the very least.

  31. Now that it's safe to re-open the investigation into the murder of Emmett Till, and no harm can come to the murderers, things can be allowed to proceed. After all, what difference can it possibly make? Everybody except one person involved in the case is dead. It would be different if a similar case were to be more thoroughly investigated, in which the suspects are still alive, but no such case has come to public notice. The Emmett Till case was so horrendous that it might be difficult to find another case more recent with similar features, though there must surely be some as racism flourishes in the dark where people are afraid to speak up.

  32. I would not be surprised if "Team Sessions" concludes Emmett Till was culpable.

  33. A positive step, indeed. But nowhere near as positive a step as one that might have been undertaken by the DOJ in 1955. Interesting that AG Sessions has chosen to wait until there was virtually no one left that could be held accountable, huh?

  34. "quietly revived" is a subjective term used by the author, not by the government. Unless there is some new bombshell information to bring forward, why would the government need to shout from the rooftops that they were reviving the investigation. Then people would only criticize Sessions for trying to politicize it. No, best to revive it and see where the new info may lead, if anywhere, before shouting anything from the rooftops.

  35. “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” Ms. Donham, the person that accused Emmitt Till 60 years ago. Does that sound contrite to you? Doesn't to me.

  36. The Department of Justice "investigating" the case? Be careful. Alabama Jeff Sessions may be seeking to show that Emmett Till was not the victim of white violence but instead was killed by "gang violence." This is the government that just pardoned a group of white nationalist militiamen. They are seeking to go back and rewrite history. This turning point in the movement may be a target.

  37. I was 11 when Emmett Till’s grotesquely-mutilated corpse was fished out of the shallows of the Tallahatchie River and published in Jet Magazine. I now, all these years later—and having read just about all of the published source material about this atrocity—wonder why a DOJ under racist Jefferson Davis Beauregard Sessions III, the attorney general under the racist president, Donald Trump, wish to re-open this case.

    Carolyn Bryant’s belated (recent) confession that her original testimony at the 1955 Mississippi trial “was untrue” came some 60+ years too late to help the young Chicago teen.

    It is to be greatly feared that “new evidence” in this matter would be suppressed or destroyed by this administration. General Sessions, always and forever an implacable foe of any black person’s civil rights or the guarantees and privileges attending to any American citizen of color, certainly wouldn’t pursue any prosecution of any person now alive who may have been implicated in the kidnapping and murder of young Till. It simply wouldn’t be acceptable in the South—or in the Oval Office.

    White Southerners are famous for their denials of any crimes against black people. Till’s particular death has always been interpreted by African-Americans as the template for “racial justice” in America. The dynamics of the Till killing speak to a government’s excusing of a child murder of a most horrific kind—and the inescapable conclusion that when it comes to black people and law, it doesn’t exist.

  38. It could be that "General" Sessions is pursuing justice. I understand that in these extraordinarily overheated times, that's a really difficult concept for some to consider, but cartoonish caricatures never really advance the truth, anyway.

  39. Whatever "new" evidence that is found will not change the fact that an African American boy was brutally tortured and murdered by White Supremacists. If Emmett Till had been white, and the claims of the woman in the store were true his torture and murder would not have happened.

  40. Amen!

    Emmett Till lived in my South Side Chicago neighborhood.

    I did not know him nor his family. But my mother, aunts and uncles walked to his funeral and wake. Seeing them cry and weep was traumatic. Seeing his corpse in black media aka Jet and the Chicago Defender gave me nightmares. Because of what happened to him, I was never allowed as a kid or teen to go South to visit family in Georgia and South Carolina.

    Mamie Till- Mobley's second husband Eugene was my local barber. I attended Mother Mobeley's funeral and wake. The South Side Chicago street aka 71st that divided Chicago by color aka race has the honorary name of Emmett Till Way.

  41. Thank you for your touching memories.

  42. Absolutely! She needs to be interrogated until she changes her story, and admits that he didn't aggressively grope her!

  43. What if he did?

  44. Look how cynical we've become wondering why this DOJ under Sessions would reopen the case after it was concluded that "the statute of limitations had left them without any charges they could pursue".

    Is it to exonerate all involved? To prepare for another pardon? To put on a show (see, we care, we're not racists) when there will be no consequences for those who killed him?

  45. While long overdue, these times suggest to me that this is an attempt by the Dept of Justice to distract us from the present danger of the Trump presidency.

  46. You know, most Black folk are worrying about liberal white folk taking over their neighborhoods and pushing them out more than Trumps supposed racism.

  47. Absolute proof that President Trump is pushing his racist agenda.

  48. The story of Emmett Till, and so many others, should be placed firmly in U.S. history textbooks, and taught in every public school. The deadly treatment of African Americans, throughout its existence, has been The United States' version of the holocaust.

  49. As long as we're going there, I'd say our treatment of Native Americans was/is worthy of the holocaust label, too...

  50. It always fascinates me how every country feels it needs its own version of the Holocaust to somehow validate its standing in the world among important nations. You’d think we’d try and aspire to something higher. Virtue only comes at the expense of someone else’s immorality, I guess. People should learn how to be good on their own, or is that asking too much?

  51. ChesBay,

    Hi. I've worked in educational publishing for a quarter century. Emmett Till IS in virtually every relevant textbook and/or ancillary product—and has been for almost two decades.

  52. I seem to have read DOJ has a whole bunch of Civil Rights cases they recently abandoned. Is that right?

  53. The society that supported the men who kidnapped and tortured Emmett Till is still dominant. Examples include James Byrd, Jr., Matthew Shepard, the hundreds of men, women and children unjustly killed by police (and wannabe police), the thousands of innocent people in prison and on death row. And Trump. It's hard to believe that people who are capable of so much injustice and brutality consider themselves superior to everyone else, but look what they've gotten away with.

  54. This can't be good. This is an administration that has made tweaking the left into an art form.

    My fear is that they know something many of us don't know, and that their investigation is going to somehow be used to besmirch the honor and innocence of Emmett Till, just like similar investigations were used to besmirch the honor and innocence of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.

    For instance, rumors have long circulated that Till's father was a serial rapist, and that he was hung by the United States Army (he was a service member) for crimes of this nature. Is this true? If the investigation confirms this, will it be widely shared? And other rumors have indicated that young Emmett was getting into trouble in Chicago, and exhibiting some of the same behavioral patterns that his father did, hence his mother sending him down south. I have even heard that the move to Mississippi was to escape the Chicago Police who were looking for him.

    I know it's crazy to think about, but what if this woman who is still alive winds up confirming or standing by her original account, that Emmett aggressively groped her? If the investigation uncovers this, will it be shared?

    My fear is that this will be like the Cologne incident; where a little harmless groping by youth will be used to demonize young people of color. And I can easily see Trump and Sessions trying to bring Emmett down in the eyes of the public, like their fellow racists did to Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.

  55. I have repeatedly searched using Google to find out more about Emmett Till Sr. There's little to be found. There was a court martial in the small town in Italy where he was, but getting the transcript of it and finding out who judged him is well neigh impossible. The woman he was with in Italy made no complaints.

    White USA Army officers in the town, nearly all from the Deep South, thought Till Sr. needed to be severely punished to inspire Black US Army soldiers in Europe to behave every bit as well as they would in the Jim Crow South.

    Emmett Till Sr. was hung in the courtyard of the prison where Ezra Pound was held. Pound refers to the hanging in his diary.

  56. 1. The woman has been clear Emmett was innocent.
    2. The story that his father was a serial rapist is lie created by white supremacists. This is easy to trace.
    3. There is no such thing as “harmless” sexual assault or harassment, like groping. The answer to racism is not sexism.

  57. Michael Brown wasn't innocent. The forensic evidence demonstrated clearly that he attacked a police officer and tried to steal his weapon. That wasn't fake news and it's disrespectful to innocent victims like Emmett Till to compare the two scenarios.

  58. This case epitomizes why publishing photographs of the ugliest aspects of our lives is so important and powerful. If Emmett's mother hadn't insisted, and the Ebony publisher hadn't had the courage, this lynching, as with so many others, would be forgotten. The bravery and persistence of Bryan Stevenson opening the museum in Alabama that marks the long, ugly tradition of lynchings in the U.S. is another example: if we have to look, we have to face it, we have to change.

    The fact that the public -- or at the very least members of Congress -- have not had to look at photos of what AR15s did to first graders' bodies at Sandy Hook School, or teenagers at Parkland High School -- or countless other schools, concerts, and church services -- is deliberate. It's not because of scruples, it's because of the NRA and the gun manufacturers they shill for. Seeing is believing. Right now, we don't have to believe the reality we are living.

    Until we have to look at the photos of what military weapons do to children's bodies -- equally as fraught with malice and institutional backing as what was done to Emmet Till -- nothing will change and mass shootings will be a feature, not a bug, in American culture.

  59. Very good points. You know how Operation Rescue and other anti-abortion protesters display graphic posters of fetuses? I would like to see those in favor of gun restrictions start to display graphic photos of bodies damaged by assault style weapons.

  60. Amen!

    We went to Montgomery for Bryan Stevenson Museum and Monument event. The nearly 5000 blacks who were known to be lynched covered by the museum and monument only goes to 1950.

    Rosa Parks thought of and felt Emmett's death on that fateful December 1, 1955 day when she kept her seat on that bus.

  61. When we have to look at the bodies of mutilated children action is taken. Similarly, seeing images of children in cages forced Trump to take action to rejoin the children with their parents.

  62. Sessions is a dyed-in-the-wool bigot, and will probably conclude that the teen killed himself; and, miraculously, then tried to frame "innocent white folk."

  63. While an important step, the DoJ should focus more energy on investigating and closing down those organizations that perpetuate racial hatred in our country. Instead, the DoJ and GOP appointed judges pursue their narrow interpretation on 1st Amendment and disregard the factual reality that 'dog whistles' from POTUS instigate hate speech that results in violence.

  64. You don't think addressing a historic injustice is a pushback against the resurgence of bigotry and hatred?

  65. False equivalency. One issue has nothing to do with the other. Somehow I doubt your comment arises from real concern for African American men dying from violence. The first priority is to bring an end to the institutional racism that creates the conditions in inner cities that lead to violence. Not to make snarky comments about it as an implied justification for what happened to Emmett Till. The same institutional and societal racism causes crimes like the torture and murder of Emmett Till. Do not try to confuse the two, I bet you know the difference. If you didn't know and secretly acknowledge how horrific the murder of Emmett Till and all the other murders and lynchings of blacks by whites really was and is, you would not feel compelled to try to justify it in some way by making the comment that you did.

  66. See. "Dog-Whistle Politics : How Coded Racial Appeals Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class " by Ian Haney Lopez

  67. I was brought up in the deep South during segregation, and dispute this woman's words.
    “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” Ms. Donham told Dr. Tyson, a senior research scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University."
    When she lied about what Emmett Till did to her, she bloody well knew what was going to happen and that it would happen pretty much as it did.
    She should, in my opinion, be arrested for aiding and abetting murder.

  68. Look at photos of white families smiling in the background of lynchings, which includes people still alive today. They will not have to answer or at least discuss their role in what happened, and many get incensed at the idea of "white privilege". African Americans at least deserve a sincere apology, and promises/actions to ensure it won't happen again.

  69. It's so important that the case information linked includes historical context, including the absence of anti-lynching legislation as obstructive and lynching as a popular activity, not one done rarely or in the dark of night.

    New York Times, do you know Emmett Till? If not, why are you referring to him by his first name as if he is familiar? Please refer to him by his last name as is common and respectful.

  70. Just FYI, the NYT is using his first name because of his age. I was a newspaper reporter for 25 years: if the subject is a child (under age 18), then journalism style requires use of first name. Having said this, though, I have seen writers refer to 16- and 17-year-olds as ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’ That is incorrect.

  71. Emmett Till will never have justice in this country.

    There are hundreds and hundreds of crimes today where some justice could still be obtained. We all know their names:

    Tamir Rice (he was only 12 years old)
    Michael Brown
    Trayvon Martin
    Eric Garner
    Philando Castile
    Walter Scott
    Eric Harris
    Alton Sterling

    But, just like Emmett Till, nobody is going to do anything about these crimes until they have been dead for 60 years. Then their memories will be exhumed and crocodile tears will be shed, just like we are doing here.

    God Bless America - Land That I Love (but that don't love me)

  72. There are and were poor white people. I agree with you that the people who knew about the killing and did nothing to stop it should also be prosecuted. It is not white privilege it is green privilege, it is about how much money you have, remember O.J.? Do not let stories like this cause you to be racist. We can all find reasons to be racist or to not be, it is up to each of us.

  73. Amen! Well!

  74. I know the feeling for many is that it’s too little too late but there is cultural (and possibly legal) value in looking back and formally acknowledge that a grave injustices had occurred especially considering the recent backlash that groups like BLM have received.

  75. I hope this is good news for the Till family and civil rights defenders.

    I do not trust the current "justice" department to do anything but destroy civil/human rights. Hope I'm wrong.

  76. Ancient history, let the boy rest in peace already, what is it with this country that we have to continue to pull up the past.....over and over and over.

  77. Yes, A child is murdered in cold blood. let it go. Lets forgive war crimes too. Don't worry, this way they will never happen again.

  78. Why do we "pull up the past"? Because many of us, despite the current horror of a President, still care about justice.

  79. We do that on the off chance we may learn something from the past. Unlikely but still worth trying.

  80. Reopening the Emmett Till case will serve to gin up trump's white supremecist base to rage against unnecessarily dredging up unpleasantnesses that are "long forgotten" (by them). Taking down Jim Crow statues of turncoat generals of the Civil War is disrespecting Southern heritage; reinvestigating a heinous crime perpetrated against a young black man is raking up old hurts. Either way, the racists win.

  81. Dave Chapelle has said that Donald Trump's MAGA is the "Emmett Till event" of our generation.

  82. I hope the investigation into the murder of Emmett Till by the federal government will be anything but “quietly revived”. While his brutal torture and murder almost 63 years ago “remains among the starkest and most searing examples of racial violence in the South”, other than residents of Chicago’s south side, only a very small percentage of Chicagoans ever heard of Mr. Till or his horrific murder. That kind of ignorance is unforgiveable and unacceptable.

    Perhaps this investigation will finally bring some degree of a fruitful conclusion and the much needed and overdue justice to Emmett Till and his family. Maybe then the name of Emmett Till and that “example of racial violence in the South” will finally be taught and discussed in the schools and remembered throughout the city of Chicago.

  83. Glad to see one comment has been removed for its vile racist screed; which demonstrates just how significant this case is. It would be another significant stance for the U.S. Department of Justice to reopen all unsolved Lynchings.

    The U.S. can spend money, support and expertise in tracking Nazis; Nazi collaborators and stolen art work-globally. It certainly can spend money time and expertise in tracking U.S. monsters from our own hideous era.

  84. Unbelievable! Is this really AG Sessions Department of Justice reopening this investigation? How did this get past the AG?

  85. The NYT should note that the Justice Department was instructed by congress during the Obama Administration to reopen unsolved Civil Rights cases.

    It was Public Law No: 114-325: Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Re-authorization Act of 2016. Obama signed this bill which expanded the the responsibility of the DOJ and FBI to open unsolved Civil Rights violations (only deaths) from cold cases up to 1980.

    The bill expresses that all authorities with jurisdiction should: (1) meet regularly with civil rights and other organizations to discuss the status of DOJ's Emmett Till Act work; (2) support the full accounting of all victims whose deaths or disappearances were the result of racially motivated crimes; (3) hold accountable under federal and state law individuals who were perpetrators of, or accomplices in, unsolved civil rights murders and disappearances.

    The DOJ and FBI are also expected to keep families informed, and release documents promptly if requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

  86. Why do stories of past hate crimes always seem to dance around naming names of alleged perpetrators. Hopefully some measure of justice can still be found after all these years - but anonymity until proven guilt is not a right I am aware of.

  87. Hopefully the Department of Justice can find a way to get a testimony from Carolyn Donham. It would be worth it to give her immunity just so we have a better ideas of events.

    There's a good chance that her ex-husband (Till's murderer) pressured her to lie for him. And that she meekly took this easy way out to fabricate (or at least exaggerate) her interactions with Emmett Till.

  88. years ago i watched the footage from that trial (in the documentary Eyes on The Prize) and remember being startled by the body language when her husband was hugging her in celebration after being acquitted. I got the sense that was a woman who was scared to death of her husband.

  89. I think the "new evidence' is that she was complicit in the whole thing. I suggest to you her fear was fear of being held to account for the hideous murder of a promising young man.

  90. Stop making apologies for this woman. Carolyn Bryant chose to lie. It was a common practice for white women to call their consensual relationships with black men rape once those relationships were discovered by other whites OR to claim rape by a black man who hadn't had sex with her at all. Bryant was (still is) a racist whose lies resulted in the death of a young man who had done NOTHING to her.

  91. What happened to Emmett Till was horrible.

    What's more horrible is that race relations haven't improved all that much in the 63 years since his death. Black men are much more likely to be killed by police than white men. Black men are much more likely to be incarcerated than whites. Black men are much more likely to get the death penalty than whites. For the same crimes.

    Open/concealed carry laws coupled with "Stand Your Ground" laws has created an environment where terrified white men can legally murder a black man. Not because his life was threatened, but because he PERCEIVED his life to be threatened. You know, by rap music, or maybe underwear pulled up over sagging pants.

    Having a biracial man, Barack Obama, occupy the White House seems to have amplified the racist feelings in this country. Donald Trump seems to feed on it, allowing racists to no longer hide their feelings.

    So I ask, if a white woman in Mississippi claimed a young black male sexually assaulted her today, would he fare any better than Emmett Till? The only real change would be the location and party doing the lynching.

  92. Even white people have a right to protect their lives and property. People of any race who refrain from breaking into other people's homes or cars are not shot by homeowners (who have a right to protect themselves). People of any race who do not want to be incarcerated or given the death penalty should refrain from harming others.

  93. @me
    If someone breaks into your car or home, they are, of course, breaking the law, and should be punished according to their crime. If you shoot them because you catch them, you have become a murderer-- a completely different class of crime. This is 2018 and the US has hopefully matured into a civilized country. This is no longer the Wild West.

  94. Lock her up...she lied and that beautiful boy died because of it.

  95. I remember growing up and hearing about this, I remember seeing his open casket photo and thinking there is no way that is real. In fact it was too real. I'm now 29 and I still get chills from thinking about this young innocent life tortured and murdered and for what? A bloody lie. It's disgusting, and the saddest part is nothing has changed too much since then. Innocent black men have been slain, taken away from their parents and kids and no real justice delivered just an almost swept under the rug situation. When you bring it up and we try to protest we're in the wrong... I don't know when this will get better, it could be another 60 years when a black male or female can feel safe in Amerikkka

  96. The graphic photographs of young Mr. Till in his coffin sparked the Civil Rights Movement, the horrendous description of how that murder was committed continues to shock. Those brought to trial for this act were acquitted. A short time later they were paid to tell their story to "Look Magazine" and there they admitted to killing the child.

  97. To clearly understand the pain which remains from the killing of this young man, one must visit the National Museum of African Americans.

  98. “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” Ms. Donham, and yet she remained silent until when, just recently? How does she not know, feel or realize that it was HER words that led to Emmett Till's torture and murder?

  99. My cynical side says this is just a way to divert attention from the biased way that today's criminal justice system treats black Americans. While there is value in exploring the Till case fairly and honestly, there is probably more value in focusing on today. How can you want to see justice for Till but not fully support today's Black Lives Matter movement and other efforts to reform policing and the criminal justice system?

  100. I still remember the day the Jet magazine with the picture of Emmett Till came to the house. To this day, I still don't know how to put my reaction into words. My mother saw it too. It was her subscription. I didn't say anything. She didn't either. This was a time in our country where film and TV codes were strictly enforced. You didn't show anything even slightly violent. The courage of Mrs. Till and of John Johnson, publisher of Ebony and Jet, were remarkable given the times they lived in. Those who say forget about the past don't really understand that as Faulkner once said "The past is never dead. It's not even past" I'm still that little girl, opening the Jet magazine and beginning to realize that there were things out there in my world that I would never be able to forget.

  101. This is a timely reminder of America’s dark history of white supremacy that we must use constructively in this age of Trump with its unwelcome and potentially dangerous lean toward fascism and inappropriate manifestations of nationalism. We must heed the lesson this history has taught us: that in a large democracy which features millions of people of differing backgrounds competing for their slice of the American pie, social hatred is an unfortunate but real force with socioeconomic roots that must be diligently destroyed with as much social, spiritual, philosophical, legal and political power we can muster.

  102. I'd like to say that the Civil Rights movement was already begun before Mr Till was murdered. If somehow Mr Till had not been murdered it would have continued on and still succeeded. I am sure all concerned would prefer to have done without the boost his death gave the movement.

    The Civil Rights Movement wasn't a bunch of accidental bus sitting old ladies. BTW Ms Parks was part of a long running well planned and executed plan to do exactly what she did. She wasn't an old lady put upon once too often as too many of us were incorrectly taught. She was there that day on that particular bus to do exactly what she did to get that case into a courtroom where the Movement could once more show us all what those words the founders put their names to actually meant.
    The Civil Rights movement was a group of very smart well educated people who knew and loved the system the founders designed and used it against the nogoodnik's among us to make it into what it purported to be but wasn't.

  103. The article, “U.S. Reopens Investigation Into Emmett Till Slaying” had caught my attention. The monstrous murder of Emmett was none other than an example of white supremacy. Although this was in 1955, it still comes to show that we have a racial dilemma. Our country has built up on the racial differences that have been passed down through generations, with the belief that whites are superior to blacks.

    This case was brought up again after more than 60 years, “based upon the discovery of new information.” This new information consisted of the confession from the woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, who had started the situation which led to Emmett’s death. Donham admitted to lying about Emmett touching her in provocative ways. However, she did not remember the sequence of events.

    We have grown up in a society where racism is the norm. A big controversy we face today is white police shooting/attacking blacks. This is 2018 and we have still not yet overcome the racial bias in our country. So the question is. Why are we not having a discussion about how to fix this? Our society is a very diverse culture, so why is it that we still consider others less than us, not equal, why are so many dying because of our opinions? I would like to think that as time passes we are growing and learning from our past mistakes, but unfortunately I don’t see that happening.

  104. A white woman lies and a Black child is tortured and murdered. I guess 2018 is a good a time as any to “investigate” this murder. Now how about an actual investigation into Michael Brown’s murder in Ferguson now that we all know the cops lied both the cops and the prosecutor’s office suppressed evidence? Oh that’s right, I forgot, Black teenagers are as terrifying then as now - only now the USA simply allows cops to lynch them.

  105. How do we know the police lied in that incident? Police honesty definitely can be questioned given what we've seen, but from what I recall, the witnesses that testified against the police officer had stories that were all over the place and inconsistent with each other. The witnesses that testified FOR the police officer (that Brown charged the officer) all had a relatively consistent story. That tells you something.

  106. Equating Michael Brown’s demise with Emmet Till’s is a slap in the face of every black male that experienced being lynched due to the color of his skin.

  107. Sorry, but the DOJ, criminologists, and the WaPo journalist who crafted the original narrative about Brown's "murder" all concluded that the evidence bore out Officer Wilson's account. It amazes me that people still peddle this original story. This doesn't mean there isn't inequality in our criminal justice system.But facts do matter. That's how you win allies and build coalitions. The other way, i.e., sticking by an account in the face of facts, helps to grown cynicism. Is it pride, a misplaced sense of loyalty, some ham-handed political tactic?

  108. Well, Mr. President. Were some of young Emmett's killers "fine people"?

    Sorry, New York Times! That was a low blow.

    But it was my first thought. Upon reading your article.

    This I note! You chose to publish a photo of young Emmett Till. When he was still alive--healthy and (I hope) reasonably happy.

    The photo of his frightfully battered and disfigured body--no! THAT you refrained from publishing. For obvious reasons.

    Full disclosure: I am a white person.

    I used to teach down in Philadelphia. The vast majority of the kids I taught were black.

    I think about the Emmett Till murder continually.

    I see continually ("in my mind's eye, Horatio!") the scowling, hatchet face of Mr. Donham. Sitting in court. I suppose he reckoned his chances of paying the PENALTY for his unspeakable crime as pretty slim.

    He was right.

    May I make a dreadful confession?

    I imagine conducting this abominable man to the gallows--

    --and carrying out the sentence myself.

    God forgive me! And yet. . . .

    . . .did ANY man--even in the old South (with that long record of flogging, burning, lynching)--so deserve the noose as Mr. What's-his-name Donham?

    I have read an account by another man--a black man!--who had similar dreams. At the time, of course.

    He went into prison administration.

    And came to disbelieve in capital punishment.

    Even for Mr. What's-his-name Donham.

    That reasonable attitude should be MINE as well.

    But it isn't.

    Not yet.

  109. If Timothy Tyson’s account is accurate, Carolyn Bryant Donham may be guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice, but not Emmet Till’s death. The most reliable version of the Emmet Till case so far is the one presented by historian David Halberstam in “The Fifties.” Halberstam wrote that Till’s cousins dared him to ask Carolyn Bryant for a date after he bragged that he had white girlfriends back home in Chicago. Bryant told her sister-in-law the teenager asked her for a date, which was probably true. The sister-in-law told her husband, J.W. Milam, who was the half-brother of Bryant Durham’s husband, Roy Bryant. J.W. told his half-brother Roy. On the witness stand, Carolyn Bryant apparently embellished her story to ensure her husband and brother-in-law were acquitted, though it probably wasn’t necessary. The jury probably would have voted to acquit even if she had told the truth.

    No witnesses at the time said that Emmett Till wolf-whistled at Carolyn Bryant. Relatives told journalists that the teenager spoke with lisp that Carolyn might have mistaken for a whistled. Few historians regard the wolf-whistle theory as credible. But it doesn’t really matter. As Carolyn Bryant told Tyson, ““Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him.”

  110. This is the Sessions DOJ putting a very thin veil over themselves to make out the USAG is not the racist scum we all know Jefferson Sessions to be as his record of "public service" proves without possibility of doubt.
    We all know that woman consciously and willingly lied to get Emmet Till murdered. Whether or not she was conspiring with her husband to have an excuse to kill him, or she was just a hateful shrew who hated black people so much Mr Till's obvious confidence and happiness and good looks enraged her, we won't know unless she finally confesses.
    In the end that is what they will tell us with phony regrets that they cannot prosecute her now. They may wait until she is dead, that seems to be the custom in such cases.

  111. Well, the DoJ & Sessions will be in for another "butt chewin'" once trump gets back from bromance with putin. How dare they even investigate this lynching as a crime("wasting taxpayer money" says trump). There were "fine, good people" in the crowd holding the rope. Mr. Till's family is indeed owed many things but this investigation will not produce anything for them. The sad part in all this is this investigation is just a front & for show. Sessions, trump, et al are bigot to the core & really don't care about any crimes against African-Americans or anyone of any color other than white. This will produce a few more pieces of paper for the history files but no justice, not under this administration. Crimes against the people of this country have increased under trump & his administration of hate. Don't hold your breath for any image of justice now.

  112. While I agree that it is high time that the Till lynching was investigated more, why is this taking precedence over the murder of Tamil Rice, or Mike Brown, or any number of young black boys whose murderers are still free?

  113. It's been over 30 years and not only have those involved in the Crown Heights pogrom not been brought to justice but it's still not
    even called a hate crime but a "dispute between communities caused by a car accident". Any reason the
    Emett Till crowd doesn't show the same compassion towards Yankel Rosenbaum and his family.

  114. There is no question about who killed Tamil Rice and Mike Brown. We do not definitively know who killed Emmett Till.

  115. evidently because new evidence has 'recently' come to light.

  116. Have you ever noticed that the deeper we get into the 21st Century, the more The Narrative becomes obsessed with splashing the latest breaking Front Page News about Emmett Till?

  117. If only the symbolism of reopening this investigation could effect any positive outcome--but it can't. The inhumane racism that brutally killed Emmett Till and so many other innocents never vanished, it just went underground only to regularly raise it's heinous specter again and again as young Black men were once again murdered with impunity--and their murderers found, in a court of law, to be "innocent" and let free because racism is a foundational feature of our society. That Trump, as ineffectual and idiotic as he is, easily enabled that hate to come out of the shadows, long before he stupidly questioned President Obama's legitimacy, suggests that the racism of many was always simmering underneath just waiting to be loosed upon innocent victims. I'm ashamed of this nation, ashamed that the supposed "freedom and liberty for all," is not factual. I'm ashamed of the millions in Trump's base who deny their racism while fully supporting a man who is clearly racist to his core.

  118. On one hand, Attorney General Sessions is doing all he can to make sure that White people who falsely testified against American Blacks in the past, but who can be construed under the law to have possibly been telling the truth, are exonerated to the fullest extent possible. On the other hand, the friends and relatives and neighborhoods of Blacks who died at the hands of Police, all need to be punished further, if it can possibly be construed that the Black victim had been a criminal in the past or may have been committing a crime at the time he was killed. Some will say a Black boy doesn't deserve to die just because he was shooting water from a water pistol at his hot feet in flip flops on a hot day, folks like that are giving far too much benefit of the doubt to Blacks, and not enough to White Police carrying and shooting firearms. AG Sessions wants to make sure that does not happen.

  119. The reason for investigating the Emmett Till murder is the same as any kind of travesty like this in the past, you only can only reconcile when the truth comes out. When you have people down south who to this day say either "it was in the past" or worse "the boy must have done something wrong to have that happen" or people elsewhere who want to ignore it, then yes it needs investigating. Especially now when you have the whitewashing of history, where apologists try to pain slavery as 'not that bad' and Jim Crowe as "local custom", When white supremacists are being given political power and the tacit support of politicians, then this is needed. When you have people like Mike Pence who claim that the civil rights laws weren't needed, that his state of Indiana showed that, then you better (Indiana for several years held the dubious distinction of having the most number of lynchings in the US in the 20's and 30's, and the Klan was very powerful there).

    The other reason is through this people can wake up to the reality of racism, that it comes in many forms. Those who did this were beastly, but what about all those people who ignored this? Those who get angry at black players protecting during the National Anthem, who don't understand why blacks have any reason to be angry, maybe if they see these aren't isolated incidents but rooted in history, might understand.

  120. “I don’t think this is something the South is going to forget easily,”

    The Emmett Till case should never be forgotten anywhere. Ever.

  121. What happened to 14-yr-old Emmett Till must never ever be forgotten. And Ms. Donham should be held accountable for her direct involvement in his horrific torture and murder. How can she live herself? She must not have a soul. In my mind, she is the devil incarnate.

  122. Giving the increasing harassment of African-Americans recently (or maybe it's always been thus but no one was paying attention before), this story is anything but "ancient history". That said, even if someone were to be tried and convicted, Trumpanov would probably pardon him.

  123. When the BarbequeBecky's, PermitPatty's and their devilish sisters and brothers threaten to call the police on blacks, what happened to Emmett Till is the outcome many of them secretly want.

  124. Even in the evil recesses of Mississippi, there's no statute of limitations on murder. And in this case an innocent fourteen year old boy was tortured to death for days and his body mutilated and tossed into a river. In Mississippi this has never before been considered a crime if the child was not white. Some of the sadistic murdering racists who had been identified lived out their lives and were never ever held to account.
    Let us not forget that some of the many very willing accessories, who if I understand the law correctly are also guilty, are also guilty.
    Racists like the commenter "There" say "Ancient history" and want us to let the old villains continue to go unpunished. If these commenters really wanted Emmett Till to rest in peace, they would have for decades favored both bringing his murderers to justice and letting his true story see the light of day,

  125. Kathleen, I think that Jim realizes this move is not a genuine effort at addressing an historic wrong. You on the other hand seem to have been completely taken buy this con game Sessions is playing in an attempt to obscure his racist nature.
    There is only the woman who instigated the murder, we all know she intentionally got Emmet Till killed. what we don't know is why or if she was conspiring with her husband to do it or did it on her own knowing he would kill Mr Till. Whatever the case she won't be prosecuted and she is very close to death.
    So this opening of the investigation works as propaganda and will deliver no justice.

  126. This case absolutely deserves to be revisited and newly adjudicated should new evidence point to additional suspects, perjury, or unexamined evidence. That poor child suffered a heinous death and his soul deserves some dignity, even if the America of 1955 was unwilling to accord him such at the time.

  127. I wonder if Candace Owens and Turning Point are coordinating with the White House. This looks more like a gesture than a sincere effort on part of the WH.

  128. "I don't think this is something the South is going to forget easily"

    Nor should the South be permitted to forget it easily. I'm 62 years old, and this is one of the ugliest, uncalled for offenses I can remember. The ship that would have dispensed some measure of justice has long since sailed. May we never, as a nation, forget the horrible violence inflicted upon that youngster simply because he was of a different color than his troglodyte attackers.

  129. Justice delayed is justice denied.

  130. Although it has been 63 years since this atrocity, Emmett Till's murder still is an open wound. If the Department can provide any answers about this horrendous crime, it should do so. We can only hope that with the passage of time and their realization of their pending mortality, witnesses will finally reveal their secrets.

  131. Are they reopening this case in an attempt to prove that Emmett Till got what he deserved? I can't imagine this administration wanting actual justice for someone who was a victim of a racially motivated hate crime.

  132. Agreed.

  133. Such a beautiful boy in the hands of such non-human monsters. Since the monsters are now also dead (having been allowed to lead their "normal" lives, whatever that means to monsters like that), one can only hope that - after death - they were forced to reap what was sown. Terrible terrible injustice. And it continues.

  134. I grieve for Emmett Till and the many thousands of other African Americans who have died in the streets, the rivers, the fields, the front yards and back yards, the homes and the workplaces where racial hatred thrives.

  135. Sorry, but this is, or should be, legal water under the bridge.

    Hate crimes statutes are, as they say in South Park, a savage hypocrisy that will, hopefully, one day be stricken from law books. It is fundamentally unfair for someone acquitted of murder or assault or whatever in state court to then be charged with crimes in federal court for the same conduct. And we shouldn't much care what motivates a killer. After all, the law says that prosecutors in murder cases don't have to show motive. But a successful hate crime prosecution hinges on exactly that, motive.


    What happened to Emmett Till was a horrible thing, one of biggest travesties of justice in U.S. history--recall that the killers, once acquitted, confessed what they did to Look magazine, which paid them $4,000 in a wink-wink-nudge-nudge deal that had the money categorized as a settlement for a hypothetical libel suit that was never filed. It was as bad as bad gets. But we shouldn't go correcting these sorts of things through wink-wink-nudge-nudge double jeopardy.

  136. I agree in principle about the unfairness of the dual sovereign double jeopardy jurisprudence, but the only Supreme Court that agrees with us is New Hampshire’s if I recall correctly. SCOTUS and all other state supreme courts I’m aware of have ruled the other way.

    I also tend to agree in principle that the double jeopardy argument would be relevant because hate crimes should be considered included offenses under murder, unless they are deemed to be aggravating circumstances and not crimes in and of themselves. That’s because I think not examining motive when examining murder is just a denial of how humans evaluate ethical decisions. But again, I’m in the minority on that as well.

    Having said that, your own argument is contradictory. If you think motive isn’t, and shouldn’t be, an element of murder then the hate crime (motive) cannot be an included offense and doble jeopardy wouldn’t apply regardless of the dual sovereign double jeopardy jurisprudence.

    Plus, you’re presuming that the ones who would be tried are the acquitted ones. Maybe they confessed after acquittal so that the real culprits or other accomplices wouldn’t be charged.

    So, there are good reasons to reopen the case. This murder was so despicable that even if reopening doesn’t lead anywhere, it’ll make the perpetrators sweat and that’s always a good thing.

  137. At Last!!!! It's never too late, but this almost was!

  138. Is the Justice Department sure it wants to hurry into this? There may still be someone alive who can identify the murderers.

  139. When will they re-open the case of the Black Panther leader Fred Hampton? He was murdered in his bed by Chicago police and FBI in 1969 and to this day no one has been held responsible.

  140. And neither this Attorney General nor this Department of Justice will ever investigate or hold anyone responsible.

  141. Am I paranoid, or it is possible that Jeff Sessions is planning to produce a new report that says, "Who knows what really happened? There are good people on both sides..."

  142. Maybe he’ll say it was a suicide.
    Either way, this is pointless posturing by the DOJ

  143. We'll see what happens.

  144. J. Edgar Hoover murdered Fred Hampton.

  145. Sessions is a morally toxic hypocrite posturing as a legit law man in order to gin up support from those he oppresses.

  146. I want that woman to admit to her lies in a court of law. I want the world to see her for what she is; a monster. That woman has lived her life. Her lies took away Emmet's chance at life.

    There's still time for some sort of justice for Emmet. His mother, Mamie, devoted her life to getting justice for her butchered son. Mamie is with Emmet now, but she and Emmet still deserve a chance to rest in peace.

  147. The room that holds Emmet's coffin, in the National Museum of African-American History and Culture is sacred space. You can tell from the faces of the people who leave. It took me some time to work up the courage to enter. As I looked at that old coffin, all I could think of were the pictures of Emmet's horribly disfigured face. The image of Mamie weeping over her son is one of most searing images in American history. She represents every Black mother who wailed over her child knowing that they never get justice.

    Give Emmet Till and his mother the justice that they deserve. The United States CLAIMS to be a Christian country. Well, God is watching. God was watching on the night that child was brutalized and God is watching now.

  148. For those looking for more on Emmett Till, I strongly encourage you to check out "Wolf Call" and "Dar He: The Lynching of Emmett Till", both produced and starring a wonderful actor Mike Wiley in one-man performances. He truly brings this story to life and was my first real introduction to this horrible tragedy.

  149. This reopening by AG Jeff Sessions will serve to exonerate the murderers. Not bring Justice.

  150. a deeply cynical ploy on the part of Jeff Beauregard Sessions, who has spent a lifetime standing for segregation and against civil rights. This man should not work for an Amazon distribution center, much less our attorney general. There is NO new information here, this woman said she lied years ago, Sessions is trying, once again to muddy the waters against a clear view of his stance on civil rights, which, quite simpley, is he is against civil rights and equality..Just look at what he has done as attorney general - denying, delaying, re-doing, anything Obama did to try to get a clear picture of how blacks and minorities are treated differently, by the cops and by the corporate powers.. sickening..

  151. The lynching of Till was a horrible crime.
    Nothing justifies that crime.

    There are two different sets of lies Mrs. Donham told.
    What did she tell her then husband Bryant and what did she testify to at the trial of Bryant and Milam.
    What Donham told Bryant triggered Bryant and Milam's decision to lynch Till.
    It is hard to know exactly what happened between Till and Ms. Donham.
    My guess is Till made a suggestive proposal but nothing as strong as what Ms. Donham later testified to at trial.
    But what did Donham say to her husband.
    But ANY interaction between a black male and a white female was sufficient to set off Bryant /Milam's anger.
    But to repeat nothing Till may have said or even if he touched Donham's arm justifies lynching Till.
    Ms. Donham's testimony may have helped Bryany and Milam be acquitted.
    However my guess is that given the situation in Mississippi in 1955 the two killers would have been given acquitted even if Mrs. Donham had not lied.
    Of course Till was not an isolated case.
    Many blacks who tried to register to vote had been lynched.
    More decisive in giving impetus to the civil rights movement was the murder of three civil rights workers , Cheney, Schwerner and Goodman in summer 1964.
    And much of the outrage was because Schwerner and Goodman were white.
    Blacks had been murdered for years and very few people cared.

  152. When I first heard of this, I was a bit puzzled, knowing the slant of the current administration regarding such matters. I then heard in an interview the suspicion that it's a "political show".

    Of course, what else.

    Maybe there are some lower level FBI and Justice department officials who are honestly interested in the continued pursuit of justice, but how can there not be any ulterior motives with Sessions and Trump in the picture.

  153. I understand why people comment this decision is coming too late, and that justice should be sought for more recent victims of hate crimes. Still, I often feel that Americans need to reach that point where they can apologize and forgive. To do so, they have to face the truth. So it would actually be a big deal to get the murderers finally officially recognized as guilty.
    Of course, there's no revenge to be obtained anymore, but there's still the possibility of justice. And an apology. It would matter to his relatives probably , to historians, certainly: that would be in history books. It matters.

  154. I disagree that the DOJ should focus on more current cases. I think it's important that Carolyn Bryant Donham face a court of law and admit how her heinous lies led to the horrifying murder of a 14 year old.

    So many disturbing things about this case so many years later, don't know where to start. For one, why would Carolyn Bryant go to such lengths to fabricate a story who in the very worst version of events was just behaving like a slightly rebellious, hormonal teen boy? Second of all why has she been allowed to live on those lies for so many years?

    My personal theory is that Till might have walked in on Bryant in a compromising position with a man not her husband. Since it was a small town she panicked and made up these lies. Whatever the case is, it's hideous and if she doesn't get her due punishment in this life I surely hope she will in the next life.

  155. Without documentation (either a photo, video, voice recording etc) no one would believe how black people are treated - even to this day. What bothers me is that when I first heard of this as a child learning about American history from across the Atlantic, I was in shock and disbelief. Now as an adult I feel numb to it. As a black woman, this story and all the many undocumented acts of horror is what I can expect from from my fellow brethren - especially the ones who see, hear or speak no evil.

  156. As a new graduate student in this country, and taking my first class on "Race" I found Till's murder, a young boys's merciless killing, on trumped up charges and lies, due to racial hatred chilling and frightening. And I still see Mississippi through that lens. Even if the FBI were to open the case, there will never be justice for Till. There were the few who did the actual killing, but these evil men were supported by a social system and culture which was truly horrific. You feel that culture is resurfacing in the US again post Trump, as more and more racially motivated acts are resurfacing in some people. And this lack of humanity is frightening.

  157. I heard this news on an NPR talk program yesterday...one of the participants asked, "Why now?" It actually is quite obvious. The GOP is looking for the Black Vote come November. Too bad that they still represent a danger to all people of color. Let us hope that the electorate can see through this obvious treat and bite the hand that is offering it. The "investigation" is already poisoned by the motive.

  158. These crimes, when brought to court, should be prosecuted as murder. The state proves murder; the defendant is convicted; he goes to prison or worse.

    This endeavor, even if 60 years late, is laudable and must continue.

    However, the bemoaning that "hate crime" legislation can't be used is out of order, as is the whole PC category of hate crime.

    For centuries, we have had laws against murder and all the other abominations to which Blacks were subjected in the South of half a century ago. And which continue at a reduced rate today.

    Hate laws are therefore redundant. They have one purpose: to single out the lives of various groups as more precious than others: minorities, women, LGBT people are especially prominent among these.

    This is called "discrimination". But, we do it right: our groups are the right ones to favor. The sin of the past wasn't discrimination per se, but discrimination against the wrong groups.


    Equal protection of the Law?

    Emmett Till was mutilated and murdered. The appellation "hate crime" says: "hey, this was a crime!", as though grasping the obvious is a credit to our sensitive times.

    C'mon. It was always a crime. The problem wasn't that nobody knew that. The problem was that white justice didn't count Black people as human, and therefore not covered by the legal code.

    Victory came from securing the enforcement of existing laws for crimes against Blacks. That took guts.

    PC hate laws don't.

  159. Face it. There’s no earthly justice to be had for Emmett Till.

    America looked at the horrific photographs of this child’s mangled body in his coffin and said, “that’s all right with me.” America looked at the photographs of Mamie Till brought to her knees by anguish and grief as she stood by her child’s body and said, “that’s all right with me.” America looked at the photographs of Emmett Till in his coffin and considered the terror this 14-year old child must have endured the night he was so ruthlessly murdered and said, “that is all right with me.”

    This is the reason there are no laws with which to charge Carolyn Bryant, the chief architect of this vicious crime.

    She laughs at her country today with her confession. But in her mockery, she’s a symbol of justice in America. Everyone knew she lied.

    But the Till case (and all the other cases of lynching) is not just about the South nor even Money, MS or all of Mississippi. It’s about all of America—its past, present and future. It’s about what Edmund Burke said of evil and good men; what Martin Luther King, Jr. admonished about the American moderate. There’s no irony in the fact that all America has for Emmett Till and his family are meaningless words and rote emotions; the same as Carolyn Bryant. Keep it.

    Let “Justice" reopen the case and affirm, yet again, there’s no justice in America for Emmett Till. And, yes, this is true, because justice for Emmett Till will be done by the Lord.

  160. It’s a national reckoning. I support it.

  161. When I hear that the current Department of Justice (hah!) is reviewing cases from yesterday, today, tomorrow etc., and doing something about the overt racism that takes place daily, I might pay attention.

  162. A proper investigation should have been done 63 years ago and a disinterested Federal prosecution should have followed. Unfortunately, the FBI and the Justice Department were too racist to do their duty. No one believes that the racist Jeff Sessions is doing anything meaningful.

  163. Read Dr. Hubert Eaton's book "Every Man Should Try." (I helped him put this into publishable form.) It opens with the event which compelled him to become a lifelong activist who used his resources to desegregate public facilities (hospital, golf course, YMCA, schools) in Wilmington NC (he also mentored Althea Gibson in tennis when she was a teenager). The event? In Winston-Salem NC, when he was a teenager working at a lunch counter, he touched a white waitress on the arm to ask her what time her watch said. She screamed (I guess today she would be a me-too-er, "he touched me!"). Hubert and Emmett and the 2 North Carolina "ladies" had much in common. Except that he did not get murdered; he lived to tell the tale.

  164. This is a political trap for anti-racists, it has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with political theater. Anything to get a rise out of people. That they would use the gruesome murder of a child to do so is reprehensible.

    Don’t expect the old lady who lied to go to jail.

    This case catalyzed for the public both the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, the two constitutional pieces of legislation passed by Congress that Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions thinks the least of. He has publicly denounced the Voting Rights Act.

    These new developments are just bait for both the fringe right (who are gearing up for white nationalist rallies around the country) and everyone else bound to speak up and out about the terrible injustice of racism.

    Trump wants to yank everyones’ chains and he’s masterful at it, choosing those topics and situations that are so obviously awful that he knows his white nationalist base will go nuts with hatred and everyone else to go nuts with criticism all so he can claim he’s a victim and host other base will believe him, like they so stupidly always do.

  165. Not much change in this country.

  166. My God, finally there is a possibility of justice. And that woman who lied, and 'fessed up to her lie, she should be prosecuted along with all the people in law enforcement in that town who enabled this wretched crime and allowed the murderers to go free.

  167. By the time Sessions' Justice Department is finished, Till will have committed suicide and be guilty of disorderly conduct.

  168. Who was responsible for releasing all the gruesome details of one of the most despicable tortures and death of a human being in American history based solely upon what someone claims. This is why Donald J. Trump fears the power of the press in America and wants it destroyed unless it supports all his claims.

  169. Perhaps an even bigger and more ominous question is whether Carolyn Bryant (Donham) originally fabricated the story to her husband, driving him and his half brother to go after Emmett Till. Then once the murder was done, she (and perhaps they) felt compelled to stick to the story to increase chances that the jury would deliver a not-guilty verdict.

  170. Just another opportunity for a Trump pardon.

  171. Not to be too cynical, but "a remember the Alamo" story for November? Keep DNC herd together?

  172. You " guess is Till made a suggestive proposal but nothing as strong as what Ms. Donham later testified to at trial."

    A 14 year old made a suggestive proposal in 1956 in Mississippi? You must be very young and I'll read. The only thing to 'piece' together is the thinking, the moral foundation that the beasts that beat this boy to death and the conclusion only prompts more questions. The was no thinking, no moral foundation, but hate and a love of violence ruled.

  173. Elie Wiesel would never have given up on an atrocity like this. Nor should we. Emmett Till, his family, and all black Americans (ALL AMERICANS!) deserve for this case to be re-opened. Is it a ploy by AG Sessions? Quite likely.

    It should happen regardless.

  174. I am guessing Jeff Sessions hopes to convince us Till’s death was a suicide?

  175. "The racism sure was awful back then."

    What a cynical gesture.

  176. Good. Go for it!