Thursday, June 7, 2012
On this day 14 years ago in Jasper, Texas 49 year old James Byrd Jr. was beaten, urinated on, before being chained by his ankles to the back of a truck and dragged for three miles by three white young men. He was alive the entire time until his body hit a culvert and his right arm and head were severed.
This crime did not go unpublished. The three men were jailed, one was executed another is still currently on death row and the last is serving a life sentence.
Since 1998 James Byrd has ceased to be a household name. The atrocities committed against him have become generally unknown among the younger generations as June 7th has continued to be recognized as just another summer day. Sadly this isn't shocking. My beautiful black Americans have seemed to forget the importance of discussing our past, be it good or bad. We like to sweep the unpleasantness under the rug and pretend that this "Post Racial America" thing really exists. It's truly sad to say that my generation of children probably knows less about their history than any other before it. Hopefully the Trayvon Martin case isn't forgotten like this but if we don't start talking and stop forgetting it probably will.