Roland Martin: America Should See Carnage from Newtown Shooting Massacre as We Saw Emmett Till

Newtown school shooting victims
Roland Martin: America Should See Carnage from Newtown Shooting Massacre as We Saw Emmett Till

Roland Martin is stoking controversy in his latest column that appeared on, saying that America needs to see the carnage from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting — an Emmett Till moment. Emmett Till was the black teenager who was killed in 1955 by racists because he allegedly spoke to a white woman, Carolyn Bryant, and her husband and relatives beat the teen to a pulp. His mother decided to have an open-casket funeral service for him, with his bloated and disfigured body in view for the world to see the brutality her son suffered.  Um, no thank you. I don’t want to see those precious children that way.

“One of these mothers from Connecticut should do an Emmett Till moment; show the picture of their child dead in the classroom.”

That’s a text I received earlier this week from my TV One show producer. When I got it, a chill immediately went through my body just thinking about the possibility of seeing the carnage in such a photo.

When taping this week’s edition of my show, “Washington Watch,” Sirius/XM Radio host Joe Madison somberly said the same thing. Joe remarked that Emmett’s mother, Mamie, insisted on an open casket for her son so the world could see what was done to him by racists in Mississippi.

Many Americans may not even remember Emmett Till, a precocious 14-year-old black teenager from Chicago who went to visit his family in Mississippi. He allegedly flirted with a white woman in a store, and the woman’s husband and his brother later went to the home where Till was staying, pulled him out of his bed, took him somewhere and beat him to a pulp, gouged out his eye, blew the back of his head away with a gun, attached a cotton gin with barbed wire around his neck and dumped his body in the Tallahatchie River. […]

In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut, mass shooting, we have seen numerous photos of the beautiful, smiling faces of the 20 children and six adults slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The images we have become accustomed to include them singing at a piano, sporting the gear of a favorite sports team and others. When we think of them being memorialized it’s in the context of teddy bears, candles and flowers.

Americans want to remember them as vibrant and fun-loving children, but will that actually shake the conscience of America to do something about how they were gunned down in the classroom?

What if one of the mothers or fathers of the Newtown 20 demanded that police give them a crime scene photo of their child and they chose to show it to the world? Can you imagine a modern day Mamie Till Mobley, wracked with pain but filled with resolve to show the nation so they could bear witness to what hate did to their child? Source

  • Fred Beloit

    This Martin thing is like Booker’s attempt to throw a hand grenade into a panel on TV discussing gun illegalization. He said, ” Have any of you seen someone shot? I have.”

    In other words none of you reasoning people have a right to say anything about guns unless you have seen someone shot. That’s clearly not a hand grenade. That’s merely a smoke grenade intended to shut people up with a strictly emotional argument. Demagogs specialize in this technique.