Emmett Till, 14 years old and black, was murdered in the Mississippi Delta town of Money 58 years ago for whistling his appreciation of a pretty white woman. The outrage — not just the murder, but the speedy acquittal at trial, by a jury of twelve white men, of the obviously guilty murderers — helped ignite the civil-rights movement. You would think that the Emmett Till story would be just the kind of thing to teach to American kids during Black History Month. A Los Angeles charter-school teacher named Marisol Alba thought so, and got her students to work up a presentation on the Emmett Till case. The administrators at the school quashed her presentation and reprimanded her. When she protested, they fired her, along with a colleague who had voiced support. Emmett Till’s wolf whistle, you see, betrayed him as a sexual harasser. We can’t celebrate that, can we? One parent who complained to the school about the firing of Ms. Alba said that the school principal used the term “rude” to describe Emmett Till’s actions. That, of course, was also the opinion of the lad’s murderers. Like the worm Ouroboros, political correctness consumes its own tail.
Posted on the old blog 4/5/2007.