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Plain and Simple for Feb. 2, 2017 / February 02, 2017
In 1955, a fourteen-year-old African-American named Emmett Till went to visit family in Money, Miss.

Till was from Chicago and his family warned him that things were very different in Mississippi.

Nonetheless, Till had a playful streak and found himself on a corner outside a store with friends.

He told his friends that he had a white girlfriend in Chicago.

They laughed at him and he went into the store.

On his way out, he said something like, “Bye, baby,” to the white woman at the counter.

The white woman, Carolyn Bryant, claimed that Till had whistled at her and made lewd advances even though there were no witnesses in the store.

Her husband, Roy Bryant, was out of town but he was enraged when he got home. He and his brother-in-law, J. W. Milam, went to the home of Till’s uncle and kidnapped him. They beat him to death and threw him in the river.

When his body was recovered, his uncle could not recognize him except by a ring he wore.

The authorities wanted to bury Till quickly but his mother had his body shipped back to Chicago. There she had an open casket so people could see the brutality of the attack. Even though Bryant and Milam were quickly acquitted, the Till case brought the horrors of segregation to the nation as a whole.

A recent book claims that Carolyn Bryant eventually confessed that she made up the story.

We all seem to think that these horrible outrages are in the past.

But what happens when the people in authority point you and your people out as the “problem” and someone less worthy than the regular population?

Will you be able to go to the police and tell them about a crime when you are automatically a suspect?

In America today, we are demonizing Muslims and immigrants.

Do we realize how many Muslims are on our police force or in our Armed Forces?

Do we think that Muslim countries will line up to help us when we treat their fellow Muslims like this?

If an immigrant is breaking the law, then I am totally in favor of either deporting them or putting them in prison.

If, on the other hand, they are peaceful and working hard, why should we persecute them?

We are a nation of immigrants.

Two of Trump’s wives and his mother were all immigrants.

As Christians, we are told to help the stranger (Exodus 23:9-12; Matthew 25:35-46; Hebrews 13:2).

If we do not want crimes like the murder of Emmett Till to become commonplace, we must learn to love the stranger.

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