Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland co-authors an MSNBC article pushing the claim that the murder of Emmett Till in 1955 is somehow just like the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and both are part of a “vulgar” 400-year history of the oppression of minorities in America. The piece essentially claims that no progress has been made for African Americans.
Saying that “familiarity breeds contempt,” Strickland and MSNBC see no difference at all between Till’s murder by racists in 1955 and the shooting by a police officer of a young man who had allegedly just perpetrated a strong arm robbery.
Although Strickland never says exactly who is doing the blaming, the article says that “the victim” is being blamed for the Ferguson shooting and subsequent riots and that “instead of trust and healing, the streets of Ferguson were full of tear gas and militarized police.”
Without having all the facts in the case to know what “justice” might be–as the officer’s side of the story has still not been fully revealed–Strickland next claims that “in the place of justice, there is only anger, reminiscent of scenes we have seen before.”
What we’ve “seen before,” Strickland says, is the death of Till, a boy who was brutalized almost a decade before the Civil Rights Act for allegedly whistling at a white woman, in an incident symbolic of how blacks are “viewed as less than human” in this country.
Till and Brown’s death “illustrate” a “divide” that is “rooted in 400 years of oppression” in the U.S., the article claims. In fact, the piece gives the impression that the Civil Rights Act never occurred.
Then, instead of looking to the actions of the Democrat Party for having destroyed the inner city, the economy, and the black family, Strickland points the finger at some shadowy cabal–one he never names directly, making his piece seem a flat-earth-styled screed–for oppressing blacks in America.
The “dire fates” of blacks in America, Strickland asserts, are a “result of generations of suppression and inequality, devaluing the lives of African Americans to the point where we invest little in economic equality, education and the other types of policies that create opportunity in other parts of America.”
To MSNBC and Ted Strickland, the United States is just as it was with Jim Crow-like policies that are rooted in “systemic racism.”
In the end, this article is exactly the sort of race-baiting in which MSNBC has been engaged since the first night of unrest in Ferguson, if not since the network debuted.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.