pitt courier 1 oct 55 p4
OCTOBER 1. 1955 on . - is in of secretary that if it If the and - can he the the Jo the Till will HBfMttaill, (Continued from Page 1) chair and pointed out Bryant and Milam as the "midnight visitors" to his home. j "There they are," he said . . . and as he 'said it, some inner well of courage steadied his voice and stilled the shaking of his accusing finger. It was a dramatic moment . . . and Moses Wright was a courageous figure! The itragic figure of Mrs. Mamie 7 V"' r.W.w 1 - Fir This memorial to the war dead of the Confederate army stands in front of the courthouse of Sumner; Miss. The statue is standing at parade rest while delivering a a left - handed salute. Bradley, as she told her story from the witness stand. I The incredible speed with which the jury acted. The trial took five full days, with the exception of a few minutes . . . the i verdict was reached in SIXTY - SEVEN MINUTES! AMERICANS WHO have never visited Mississippi . . . who have never been subjected to the "fear complex" . . . can't possibly understand what happens to a Negro in this state. The Civil War was fought to make ALL AMERICANS free! But Mississippi is still living in a civilization 100 years removed from 1955. Sure . . . Negroes outnumber the whites in this state. But the whites have the law . . . the guns . . . the power! They are a nation unto themselves, and the verdict today (Sept. 23) was a brazen attempt to "tell the world" that "nobody can run our business." In an earlier story I told of interviewing a dozen whites here. I .told Courier readers, then, that every white man I talked to, told me that Bryant and Milam would not be found guilty. Mississippi was out to show up the NAACP! Mississippi was out to show up Congressman Charles C. Diggs Jr., the "Nigra" Congressman from "up Nawth," that he couldn't intimidate them! Mississippi was out to show them "damn Yankee" newspapermen just how "justice" is administered in our state. Mississippi was out to show America that we can run our own business, without outside interference. And fo ... a jury of their peers . . . twelve white good men and true, made a rriockerv of justice in SIXTY - SEVEN MINUTES, and gave this nation a black eye in the court of world opinion which we'll never live down. I LISTENED TO the wife of Roy Bryant. I heard her testimony and wondered if "God in His heaven" approved the things she said. What she said couldn't be disputed . . : because Emmett Till's story will never be told! . The prosecution says he's DfiAD. But the defense has contended that the swollen, distorted, head - battered, bullet - pierced victim dragged from the Tallahatchie Rivertl was NOT Emmett Till. Who he was, they didn't aay . . and didn't give a damn. Just another "nigra!" And a "nigra V life is not Important . . . not in Mississippi! The jury had what it needed to return a verdict. "We, the jury, find the defendants. NO GUILTY." I honestly believe that Judge Curtis M. Swango Jr. conducted a fair and impartial trial. I honestly believe that District Attorney Chatham prosecuted sincerely. BUT IN THE LIGHT of the verdict, there are some questions which come to my mind, and which will probably never be answered. Why was there such a rush to have the two men tried? Was the defense strategy to "hurry up" the trial ... to take full advantage of the "resentment" of the whites in the community over what they called "outside interference?" Was the prosecution given sufficient time to garner all the evidence necessary for fuller prosecution? Is there a definite movement to "get rid of Negroes in Mississippi?" I've heard it said too often by whites here, that there are i "too many 'nlg - ras'" to the state? ' Why was the murder trial given precedence over the kidnapping charge? Even though the jury was "excused" when Mrs. Bryant gave her testimony, it is my firm conviction that every juror hearing the trial knew what Mrs. Bryant said . . . knew that she told the courtroom how "a Negro man" was supposed to have grabbed her by the arm . . . "he grabbed me around the back and on the hip" . . . asked her "What's the matter, baby, can't you take it?" WHAT IS THE meaning of the phrase: "Tried by a jury of his peers" . . . when no Negro can serve on a jury in this state, because! they are denied the right to vote! The trial itself had a regular Hollywood setting. When the verdict was returned the defendants were mobbed by friendly whites, whose very attitude seemed to say: "See, we took care of you. You had nothing to worry about. You're at home in Mississippi, boys, and we know how to take care of our own.'' Even the skies wept today as Mississippi meted out "justice" as they too well know how! The rains made it impossible to work ... so the 180 - seat courtroom was jammed with almost 500, who shouted approval when the full impact of the jury's verdict struck them. Negroes were conspicuous by their absence . . . as the i jury filed in! Chatham and his assistant, former FBI lawyer Robert Smith, seemed stunned. Against local prejudice and heavy odds, they had lost a case, which they felt they should have won. Asked for a statement, Chatham turned a tired face towards me. "The trial by jury is one of the sacred guarantees of our Constitution. I accept the verdict and abide by it." Thus ended "Black Friday" in Mississippi ! the incident took place shortly happening, another shot was . ' protection to a Patterson, as was St.