Glenn relates tragic history of Emmett Till in response to Oprah's controversial remarks

Warning: The above video clip contains a graphic image of Till's body after he was murdered.

Tuesday on The Glenn Beck Program, Glenn turned his attention on the shocking comments Oprah made regarding the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case. She compared that trial to that of the murder of Emmett Till. It was a quick comment, but does that mean the most influential celebrity should be excused for comparing two things that couldn't in truth be more different? Glenn corrects Oprah in a powerful TV monologue.

Below is Glenn's monologue:

Now, with everything that’s going on, the difference between right and wrong, truth and fiction, because we have not been truly taught our own history, is a little harder to find.  You have to do a little homework.  And that brings me to Oprah Winfrey and what she said passing in promotion for a new movie, what she said in passing about Trayvon Martin.

Now, I want you to understand, according to Forbes magazine, I’m what, I think number 37 most powerful celebrity in the country.  She’s number one, the most influential celebrity in America.  And here’s what number one just said.

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Oprah Winfrey:  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

Okay, so here she’s saying some part of it good, part of it good, part of it unbelievably wrong, unbelievably offensively wrong.  But does the truth matter?  Most people don’t know history, and so they don’t know.  Oprah Winfrey would get pummeled from the press for this statement if she wasn’t Oprah Winfrey, and she wasn’t on the left.

To say that Trayvon Martin’s death is no different than Emmett Till is a slap in the face of the memory of Emmett Till and anyone who suffered during segregation in the civil rights era.  But she’s Oprah Winfrey, so she gets away with it.  But not on this program.  These are two cases that are absolutely – they have nothing in common.  I can’t think what they have in common, honestly, nothing.  Let’s compare here.

George Zimmerman saw what he thought was a suspicious person, suspicious because he was roaming the neighborhood late at night in the rain.  He calls 9-1-1.  He tries to locate an address.  At some point, he encounters Trayvon Martin, and a struggle ensues.  Zimmerman suffered a broken nose and multiple head injuries during the altercation.  Remember?  This was held from the public for I think three days.  ABC finally released the picture of him coming in.  He’s got bangs on his head and a broken nose.

Zimmerman claims Trayvon told him he would die tonight.  He goes for the gun.  Zimmerman shoots Trayvon in what he claims was self defense.  Nobody was there, except these two, so we don’t really know.  But Zimmerman immediately calls 9-1-1 and reports what happened.  Again, do you see any similarity yet?

Still on the first case with Zimmerman, he wasn’t initially charged with a crime.  That was because all of the available evidence at the time suggested that he acted in self defense, but everybody gets all upset, and so let’s go and take it to trial.  During the trial, both the prosecution and the defense, the prosecution and the defense both say race played no role in this.  Help me out, Oprah, race played no role.

Zimmerman is acquitted of the charges by a jury of his peers because the juries agreed no evidence to suggest that Zimmerman acted with malice or intent to kill Trayvon Martin.  Now, that’s the one she says is exactly the same, same, to me, one in the same with the Emmett Till case.

I had to brush up on the Emmett Till case.  I remembered this morning vaguely on the radio.  I remember that it involved, I thought it was a gas station, but it was a supermarket.  I brushed up.  Let me tell you the story of Emmett Till.

He’s 14 years old.  He’s an African-American boy.  He’s from Chicago.  It’s 1955.  He goes to Mississippi to visit relatives.  Well, he’s bragging because Chicago is very different at the time than the South is.  His mom warns him don’t, don’t…be careful when you’re down there.  It’s not Chicago.  She even tells him that a week before his trip that a black man was shot dead in front of a courthouse not far from where he was going.  The killers were acquitted.  Why?  Because of racism.

She says be careful.  Well, he and his relatives and friends head over to a grocery store when he arrives.  It’s a small mom-and-pop place, 7:30 at night.  It’s run by a 24-year-old former soldier who’s away in Texas.  His 21-year-old wife, Carolyn, is running the store.  Well, Emmett is standing outside, and he pulls out a picture of a white girl and brags to relatives and some friends there, and they’re all young, that he had sex with her.

Well, his friends don’t buy it.  Down South, whites and blacks don’t even shake hands, let alone have sex.  And they don’t believe it.  And he said I’m telling you.  Well, they say, you prove it.  And he’s like how am I going to prove it?  You go in and flirt with her behind the counter.  Well, he does it because again, he’s from Chicago.

He goes in, he buys some gum, and then when he puts the gum down, she grabs the gum and the money, and he takes his hand and puts it on hers, first thing in the South you don’t do.  And then he looks at her and says how about a date?  In Chicago in 1955, maybe not a big deal.  In Mississippi, that sort of contact all the way around was off limits.  And the people, his friends and relatives who were all young, they’re all getting nervous for him outside, but he didn’t stop.

He then reached for her waist and said you know, I’ve been with a white girl before.  She pushes him away.  Feeling he’s proved himself, he then leaves the store.  But when Carolyn’s husband, Roy, returns home and hears what happens, a friend joins him to track down Emmett and knocks on the door where he is staying.  Now, does this sound so far at all like the Zimmerman case?  At all?  Doesn’t to me.

Well, this is where these two guys, racists, knocking on the door, they demand to see the “N-word” who did all the talking.  And they take Emmett out to a pickup truck, and they drive off into the night.  Does that sound like the Zimmerman case?  They bring him over to Roy’s house where they pistol whip him, beat him with a gun, slashing his face hard with the gun.

Emmett’s defiant.  He’s from Chicago, and Roy’s friend becomes enraged.  He explained it later after the trial – because of double jeopardy, he  actually was open about it, and he explained it in Look magazine.  This is what he said:  “I never hurt a n****r in my life.  I like n*****s – in their place – I know how to work ’em.  But I just decided it was time a few got put on notice.  As long as I live and can do anything about it, n*****s are gonna stay in their place.”  That’s what he said.

Emmett doesn’t have any idea what he’s dealing with because he’s never seen it before.  He’s never seen deep-seated hatred like this in the South.  He remains defiant.  He starts to brag about having sex with white women, further enraging the men.  “I stood there in that shed and listened to that n****r throw that poison at me, and I just made up my mind.  ‘Chicago boy…I’m tired of ’em sending your kind down here to stir up trouble.  Goddam you, I’m going to make an example out of you – just so everybody can know how me and my folks stand.’”

They’re no longer trying to scare him.  They’ve made the decision to murder Emmett.  Does this sound like what George Zimmerman did?  But wait, there’s more.  They then take Emmett out and drive him to a ginning company.  I find it ironic that if I remember right, it was the Progressive Ginning Company.  There, they grab a large industrial fan that had been discarded, and they drive him to a remote location.  They force him to strip.

They say to him, “you still as good as I am?”  He says yes.  Now, he’s covered in blood.  His cheekbones have been broken at this point.  They had taken a finger and gouged one of his eyes out.  “You still ‘had’ white women?”  Yeah, he says.  Rage, hatred, racism, they put a gun and shoot him in the head.  Emmett’s dead instantly.  But they still weren’t done.  They take barbed wire, and they run it around Emmett’s neck, and they attach it to the fan, and then they throw his body into the river.

Three days later, fishermen find his body eight miles downstream.  His head is almost flattened by the pistol blows.  Emmett’s mother insisted, insisted – good for her – on an open casket so the whole world – before I show you this picture – don’t put this picture up yet – so the whole world would never ever forget, so they could see what happened.  I’m going to show you this picture, but I warn you, look away, because it’s not a picture you can unsee.  This is what mom wanted us to see.  Now, you tell me, you tell me this has anything to do with Zimmerman, that this is anything like it.

This picture, thank God, spread nationwide in the media, and the public was outraged everywhere, except in Mississippi.  Both men were acquitted of the crime by a jury of their peers, and because of double jeopardy, the men bragged about their murder in Look magazine.  Really?  Help me out, Oprah.  How are these stories like each other at all, at all?  It’s offensive.  And I would go as far as calling it evil to compare these two events.  One is blatant racism and pure hatred and evil.  The other had nothing to do with race and was tragic all the way around.

Let me tell you something, we have people who are playing on race right now, and we can’t be part of that.  We just have to teach our children, because we’re not going to change the world.  We’re going to teach our children.  We’re going to change our children.  I don’t think the Zimmerman thing had malice involved.  I think it was stupid.  I think he was stupid.  Zimmerman was stupid for going, but it’s not the same as torturing and executing a 14-year-old and then bragging about it.  And it’s a disgrace.

It diminishes what African-Americans suffered through.  It’s offensive.  It’s wrong.  Right or wrong, the truth matters.  Don’t fall into the trap of playing this game.  And this is what we get from the most trusted and the biggest celebrity in America.  By the way, one of the most compelling tellings of this story will be found in this book.  How ironic, how ironic, that one of the best tellings of this story that is currently out on the market is told by a guy who they’re also calling a racist right now.

People like Oprah are too busy promoting their own agenda and their own movie.  I feel sorry for her.  We’ll continue to tell the truth.

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.

Several months ago, at the Miss Universe competition, two women took a selfie, then posted it on Instagram. The caption read, "Peace and love." As a result of that selfie, both women faced death threats, and one of the women, along with her entire family, had to flee her home country. The occasion was the 2017 Miss Universe competition, and the women were Miss Iraq and Miss Israel. Miss Iraq is no longer welcome in her own country. The government threatened to strip her of her crown. Of course, she was also badgered for wearing a bikini during the competition.

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In an interview, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, said:

When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback. I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary. The director of the Miss Iraq Organization called me and said they're getting heat from the ministry. He said I have to take the picture down or they will strip me of my title.

Yesterday, Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posted another selfie with Miss Israel, during a visit to Jerusalem.

In an interview, she said that:

I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies; I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other. There's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis.

This is, of course, quite an understatement: Iraq, home to roughly 15,000 Palestinians, refuses to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate country, as it is technically at war with Israel. The adages says that a picture is worth a thousand words. What are we to do when many of those words are hateful or deadly? And how can we find the goodness in such bad situations?