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Another Case for Graphic Pictures
Another Case for Graphic Pictures
By Mike Warren, Director of Rescue Rochester  •  April 6, 2007

Recently, Rescue Rochester held its annual pro-life banquet and had as the guest speaker Pastor Mark Holick of Wichita, KS. During his talk, Pastor Mark masterfully illuminated a tumultuous time in American history using the story of fourteen-year-old Emmett Louis Till. Emmett’s story gave understanding and justification to some of the tactics of the current pro-life movement.

The town of Money, Mississippi, was a segregated community when Emmett visited his relatives during summer vacation. His mother Lily was very hesitant and fearful of sending her young son to a state where horrible racist crimes were becoming more and more commonplace. Before Emmett boarded the bus in Chicago, she made sure he could recite to her the rules of behavior for a black person living in Mississippi in the mid 1950’s.

These were the rules Emmett was taught:
  • Never start a conversation with a white person.
  • When you meet a white woman on the sidewalk, move off the sidewalk, lower your eyes, never glance back after she passes by, never make eye contact, and always assume a position of humility.
While going to town for a soda pop, Emmett’s cousins challenged him to talk to the clerk in the store. Being 14 years old, Emmett Louis Till took the dare and had the audacity to start a conversation with a woman who clerked at the local Five & Dime store. For this transgression he died a tortuous and tragic death.

On August 28, 1955, just a few days after the incident in the store, the husband of the woman and a friend of his came to Emmett’s grandfather’s house. At 2:30 in the morning, they forcibly removed Emmett from bed and loaded him into their pickup truck. That was the last time Emmett’s grandfather saw him alive. After a search, the young teen’s mutilated body was found in the nearby river with a heavy cotton gin fan strung from his neck by barbed wire. It was obvious he had been brutally tortured and then murdered. There was a show trial where a racist judge, jury, and prosecutor acquitted the accused husband and friend. Yet Emmett’s work in seeing the racist current of the pre-civil rights south exposed was just beginning.

Emmett’s mom insisted that his body be brought back to Chicago. It was in Chicago where Emmett’s mutilated body was seen by an estimated 250,000 people.

At this open casket funeral, the firestorm of the modern civil rights movement in America was ignited. Over 200 daily newspapers and several weekly periodicals actually published Emmett’s story along with the graphic pictures of Emmett’s mutilated body. Rosa Parks said that these horrible and horrific pictures gave her the courage to stand up and refuse to move to the back of the bus. And shortly after Emmett’s funeral in the fall of 1955, a young black preacher organized the bus boycott, after Rosa stood for what was right. This of course, was Martin Luther King, Jr., who rose to lead the nation’s civil rights movement.

Graphic pictures of the innocent being violated has led others to action in many circumstances in history. It happened in the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s, and it is working as we display the horrible pictures of abortion in front of clinics in 2007.

Live children contrasted with mutilated aborted children prompt questions from the media.

Malachi Pictures are pictures of an aborted baby named Malachi. -And, though this baby is dead, just like Emmett his life still speaks.