“Injustice Files” Not Racist

Filmmaker Keith Beauchamp posted on his Facebook page a comment sent to him about his upcoming series, “Injustice Files,” which will air on cable television.

The comment was from an irritated white man, “Greg,” who objects to Beauchamp’s series, which will concentrate on cold murder cases, many of which involve the murders of black people that were never solved.

“Greg” calls Beauchamp a racist, and says that he is only interested in “demonizing” white people. He mentions a double homicide in Atlanta where, I am supposing, two white people were murdered and the case is still unsolved. He asks what would happen if John Walsh only “profiled” black suspects on his program…

And so on.

I read “Greg’s” post several times, shaking my head more each time I read it. Surely he knows that in this country, the scales of justice have not been balanced as pertains to people who lost their lives during the Civil RIghts Movement. . Surely he knows that literally scores of murders of people, black and white, went untried, that in scores of cases, even when a suspect was known, no arrests were made, and blatant lies were told about how they must have died. Surely, he has read how it happened, over and over, that in spite of compelling evidence against a person who might have killed a person during that time period, jury after jury returned a verdict of “not guilty,” allowing murderers to go free and leaving families feeling betrayed and violated.

Surely, he remembers how Myrlie Evers had to fight to get authorities to pay attention to the case of her husband, and how that case was “cold” for years and might still be, had it not been for her persistence. Surely, he feels some measure of outrage that the murderers of the three Civil Rights workers, killed in the South, never paid for their crime? Does he know that Viola Liuzzo, a white woman, daughter of a Tennessee coal miner was a 40 year old mother who died in that struggle? Does he know that she drove, alone, to Alabama, to work for justice and though it was pretty much known not only that members of the Klan murdered her, but who, exactly, those men were, her case was pretty much ignored by law enforcement officers in that state?

I shook my head when I read “Greg’s” comments because they showed why America is so sick when it comes to race. Too many Americans do not want to take their heads out of the sand; it is easier to just “blame the oppressed” (I refuse to use the word “victim) for having been oppressed, and in that way, assuage their own complicity in what has gone on.

For years, local and state governments, as well as the federal government, turned their heads as lynching was happening everywhere. A black person (and some whites as well) merely had to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and say the wrong thing, and a lynching was on. I guess “Greg” doesn’t know the story of how scores of white Americans would head on over to a lynching, bringing picnic lunches and cameras, to take pictures of a soul hung from a tree. I guess he never heard of how black people were not only hung, but their extremities and genitals often cut off and their bodies burned…

It’s part of our history, and it’s grotesque, but the saddest thing is that these American citizens were killed and slaughtered and nobody cared.

This program is about unsolved Civil Rights cases. Thank goodness.The fact is that is that way too many cases involving horrendous murders of these brave and committed people have gone cold. Thanks to some people who do care, like Beauchamp, some of these murders are being solved, and it’s only right. It’s right, and it’s long overdue.

Wanting to find out who killed someone’s father or mother or child doesn’t make one a racist, Greg. It makes one a person of conscience who wants to see justice. The families of those people who were so badly treated and forgotten deserve to see justice just like anyone else.

A nation cannot get well unless and until it acknowledges that it is ill, and America has been way too reluctant to acknowledge that its most devastating illness has been and continues to be racism. The same Constitution that you quote has lofty phrases that speak of freedom and liberty, and the Declaration of Independence says that “all men are created equal.” OK, so the founding fathers didn’t mean black people when they wrote that, any more than they meant American Indians or women to be included in the equality mix …but time and history have allowed people to understand that declaration in its fullness.

All people ARE created equal, Greg, and are indeed endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ..among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness …and justice.

Beauchamp’s series will not demonize whites, but will show that hard work has resulted in justice for some families who have suffered for far too long.

That’s a candid observation.

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Comments

  1. Well Pastor as always you hit the nail on the head; let me share with you what came out of a culture diversity class last semester, 1) the white students could not believe that they had white previledge, 2) they could not see were racist was still present after all we have a Black president not to mention that it took people almost six months before they put president at the beginning of his name, 3) there were Black folk in the class that did not want to speak up. How does this relate to what you wrote about? If people are not willing to be accountable for the unjust that is present how can they be truthful of the inbalance of our criminal justice system. The only reason why the cocaine law changed is because they start locking up their folk (white) now it is time to look at the unfair legal system. Pastor it is my opinion that it is not for them (white folk) to realize that their is still injustice in the criminal justice system as it relates to our community; it is for us to realize that we still have work to do. I thank you for your post.

    Sistah
    Chynia

  2. I’m a hispanic man with enough African ancestry to be seen as black, and I must say, there is something about the way Beauchamp comes across on the promos for “The Injustice Files” that is unsettling. He emanates hostility. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and see the program of course, and certainly no informed, ethical, rational person isn’t outraged by the possibility of Jim Crow era killers escaping justice. But this guy – at least in the commercials – comes across more like Farrakhan than Martin Luther King.

    • cassady2euca says:

      Wow. I don’t see his hostility. I see that he’s serious, and intentional, but hostility, no, I don’t see it. I am glad that you will give him the benefit of the doubt and watch the program. My prayer is always, when it comes to race in America, that the lessons can be taught in a way that will not cause them to be ignored or rejected.
      Thank you SO MUCH for your comments!

  3. I don’t know anything about the show, but I think it’s silly that “Greg” thinks that a show highlighting unsolved murders of black people is automatically demonizing white people. First of all, I doubt that the show will only feature cases of African American unsolved murders, but even if it does, America’s WHOLE history has given the spotlight to Caucasian Americans. So…if a show highlighting crimes against black people is demonizing white people because it is showing white people in a bad light, then surely on the other side, our millions of history books highlighting only white people is glorifying the white race. So if “Greg” is going to take offense to the show, then he should most definitely be rallying against the history books for glorifying white people and IGNORING everyone else. Or maybe he thinks that it’s okay when you show all of the wonderful things that ONE race had accomplished, as long as you leave out the bad parts. There is nothing wrong with shedding light on unsolved murders, period. Whether they pertain to black, white, red, or yellow victims. And especially because, historically speaking, those were the “least of these” who got treated as second class citizens and deserve, just as much as anyone else, to have their cases heard.

    • cassady2euca says:

      In talking with Keith Beauchamp, I was advised that the cases highlighted will not all be about black people, but to be sure, many unsolved and ignored murder cases of that era went ignored. You are right: highlighting unsolved cases of black people who were murdered does not demonize the white race, but it clearly does illuminate the injustice that has gone far too long ignored.
      Thank you for sharing!!!

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