Oprah Winfrey made a controversial statement that has made a lot of headlines over the past few days:
“It’s so easy during this time — Trayvon Martin, Trayvon Martin, parallel to Emmett Till, let me just tell you — in my mind, same thing. But you can get stuck in that and not allow yourself to move forward and to see how far we’ve come,” Winfrey said.
While she’s not the first to make the comparison, she could easily be described as the most notable to do so.
Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Fla., following a violent altercation with George Zimmerman in February 2012. Zimmerman, who claims he shot Martin in self-defense, stood trial and was found not guilty on murder and manslaughter charges by a jury. At least two members of the jury have publicly stated there was simply not enough evidence to convict Zimmerman.
In contrast, Till was savagely murdered by a group of white men in 1955 after he was spotted apparently flirting with a white woman.
The men took Till to a barn, beat him viciously and gouged out one of his eyes before shooting him in the head and dumping his body in the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi.
While both deaths are tragic, the sheer horror of the unprovoked gang-like violence and toruture that was inflicted on Emmett Till stands out in the minds of most as a clear and distinct evil. The murder of Emmett Till is far from a case that would be debated in the media or a court room, it would be labeled evil and racist, and a horrible reminder of a very dark time in American history.
After hearing Winfrey’s comment during the radio program, Pat couldn’t help but highlight it later in the interview. After making the comparison, Winfrey went on to say what she does every day is “all the truth to speak through her.”
“And that truth to her on this, on this particular day was that Emmett Till, who was kidnapped and brutally murdered by two guys just because he talked to a white woman is the same thing as George Zimmerman defending himself being brutally beaten with his head being bashed against the pavement and defending his life by shooting the guy,” Pat said. “Same thing, though.”
Glenn and Stu agreed.
“That’s — I mean, that’s such a disgrace,” Stu said.
“It’s despicable to compare the two,” Glenn said. “Despicable.”
Watch Oprah’s comments here: