Breonna Taylor And Emmett Till Are Not Collateral Damage

September 23rd will forever live in inglorious infamy.

In 2020, it was the day that the world learned that a grand jury decided that no charges directly related to the death of Breonna Taylor would be filed against the assaulting officers. A decision that the State knew was controversial at best as they geared up for protests and uprisings with an increased law enforcement presence the day before.

Murder…officially sanctioned by the State of Kentucky.

A deadly shot in the arm to remind America that Black lives truly do not matter under the auspices of both any state and the federal Constitution; only property does. Louisville Metropolitan Police Department Detective Brett Hankison was charged with three felonious counts of wanton endangerment.


For shooting into the home of Taylor’s neighbors, hitting their walls while he and his two counterparts participated in Taylor’s murder.

Those neighbors, by the way, coincidentally are White.

The Taylor verdict reinforced the fact that in Amerikkka, Afrikan people are merely collateral damage.

The auto-prescribed veil of suspicion hovers like moonlight in an otherwise empty sky. It illuminates the mind of their hunters of what they could really be doing in their homes, their neighborhoods, and even in their minds.

The murder of Black bodies by law enforcement in Amerikka has been sanctioned by films like Birth of A Nation. It has been reinforced by the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision issued on March 6, 1857.

Delivered by Chief Justice Roger Taney, this opinion declared that African Americans were not citizens of the United States and could not sue in Federal courts.

While the world mourns the death of Supreme Court “Justice” Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Afrikans born in Amerikkka know that the Court she tried to righteously uphold bears the scars of Amerikka’s racial indignation.

However, any remedial student of history knows that life is cyclical and unfortunately, this is the second time that September 23rd proved a deadly lesson in Amerikkka.

Requiem For Emmett Till

On September 23, 1955, a jury acquitted Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam for the kidnapping and murder of 14-Year-old Emmett Louis Till in Mississippi.

Domestic terrorism sanctioned.

A grand jury indicted Bryant and Milam in the murder of Emmett Till on September 6 and their trial began on September 19 in the Tallahatchie County courthouse in Sumner.

A Chicago native, Till was visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi, when he was accused of harassing a local white woman. Both Bryant and Milam went to Till’s uncle’s house at twilight and yanked Till from his bed.

It was the last time he would be seen alive.

It was the spark that created an upsurge of activism and resistance that became known as the Civil Rights movement. The sight of his brutalized body pushed many who had been content to stay on the sidelines directly into the fight.

His mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, insisted that her son be displayed in a glass-topped casket, so the world could see his beaten body.

In 1956, Bryant and Milam confessed to Look Magazine that they indeed murdered him.

In the Look article, titled “The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi,” the men detailed how they beat Till with a gun, shot him, and threw his body in the Tallahatchie River with a heavy cotton-gin fan attached with barbed wire to his neck to weigh him down.

Within the account, Milam says that he didn’t originally plan to kill the boy until he didn’t show fear.

“I never hurt a nigger in my life. I like niggers — in their place — I know how to work ’em. But I just decided it was time a few people got put on notice. As long as I live and can do anything about it, niggers are gonna stay in their place…”

The two killers were paid a reported $4,000 for their participation in the article.

Will you be surprised when the Louisville officer-murderers who killed Breonna Taylor, Myles Cosgrove, and Jonathan Mattingly release their memoirs? How about Detective Brett Hankison, who endangered her White neighbors?

The tone of Amerikkka was born of hostility towards Black people. Even when we are in our beds we can be victimized. Since Breonna Taylor’s death, there have been more incidents of police brutality and there will be more bad verdicts to come. This is a surety.

The Amerikkkan dream is a myth and like the great Fannie Lou Hamer said, “until all are free, none are free.”

Let’s just hope this country doesn’t burn to the ground trying to protect its core ideals of imperialism over a population of folks no longer pacified by merely stating, “Black Lives Matter”.

For then, in contrast to Gil Scott Heron, the revolution will become a reckoning that will indeed be televised, retweeted, and reposted.

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