It looks like the U.S. Justice Department will make a long-overdue investigation into the brutual 1955 murder of Emmett Till. But you have to ask, why now? Why not 3 years ago, or why not 30? According to this New York Times article, it’s because new evidence surfaced in two documentaries about the killing. But I’m sure if you ask anyone of any race who around at that time, they’ll tell you it was no secret.
Lewis Nordan was a little white boy growing up nearby in Money, Mississippi when Emmett Till was murdered. He later went on to write a wonderful book called Wolf Whistle which retells the story through a fictional and surreal lens. It’s an excellent book and also a good way to digest and understand the people involved, and how this kind of thing could happen. (And it certainly did happen many times in the first half of the 20th century.)
It’s embarrassing that it’s taking our nation this long to deal with our murderous racist legacy. Medgar Evers’ killer and the Birmingham church bombers were only convicted more then 30 years after the fact of their crimes. At this rate, maybe we’ll even get the truth about Martin Luther King’s and Malcolm X’s murderers before the decade is over.