On Monday, the NAACP compared the death of Trayvon Martin to Emmett Till’s lynching. “In 1955, a young black man in Money, Mississippi, went to the store to buy some candy. Fifty-seven years later, another young black man in Sanford, Florida, did the same,” Roslyn Brock, Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors, wrote in a Monday morning email to NAACP supporters.
“Both trips led to a murder — one of Emmett Till and the other Trayvon Martin,” Brock continued. “NAACP supporters, it wasn’t right when it happened in 1955, and it wasn’t right in 2012.”
“And courage is refusing to allow two black boys to be vilified for walking while black, and rejecting the notion that our children are seen as potential threats instead of the loving sons and daughters we raise them to be,” Brock wrote.
Brock’s email set the tone for some of the speakers at the organization’s national convention, which is being held in Orlando, Florida.
Sirius XM Satellite Radio host Joe Madison said on Monday that Martin’s killing was “nothing more than a modern-day lynching.” He said, “George Zimmerman became the judge, the jury, and the executioner of an innocent child.” Yahoo! News reported the audience cheered when Madison made his remarks.
NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous said, “No one can explain to me how, if this young boy [Trayvon Martin] was white, somebody wouldn’t be in prison right now.”
As the Orlando Sentinel reported, the NAACP also “moved its focus to larger goals: enacting laws that ban racial profiling, restoring the federal Voting Rights Acts, halting gun violence and changing the way society views young black men in general.”
Jealous told the convention that, “These are times of great possibility, but also times of great peril.”