During a break in action at the White Sox-Twins game on Saturday, a graphic appeared on the park’s big screen with the intention of informing the crowd of some famous individuals that were born in Chicago. It included people like Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak, legendary actor/director/drunkard Orson Welles, and Emmett Till. Yes, that Emmett Till.
In case you’re in need of a history lesson, much like the creator of that graphic probably did, Till was lynched in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman outside of a grocery store in Mississippi. Over 50 years later, the woman would later admit the whistling never happened, but that didn’t stop her husband and her husband’s half-brother from kidnapping Till, brutally beating him, shooting him in the head and leaving his body in a nearby river. The image of his mutilated body in an open casket was placed in The Chicago Defender and Jet for the world to see, and he posthumously became an icon for the Civil Rights Movement.
It’s hard to imagine how the person who decided on using Till’s photo—one that was taken by his mother on Christmas when he was 13—could plead anything even close to ignorance on the issue of placing Till’s name next to some supposedly lighthearted trivia. The simplest Google search points out what he’s best known for within the first sentence of his Wikipedia description. At best, this was the result of an idiot who picked three random names from a “famous Chicagoans” list that had no descriptions on it. At worst, well, I’d rather not think about it.
h/t Michael and Bryn