Friday, January 04, 2008

* Indifference, Darfur & Emmett Till

Author draws civil rights parallel
between Emmitt Till case and America’s indifference over Darfur

by CTNewsjunkie Staff

Hartford Deacon Art Miller told a Windsor Art Center audience on Thursday that America’s “indifference” over the ongoing genocide in Darfur is similar to that which allowed Emmitt Till to be lynched in 1955.

Miller, who wrote “Journey to Chatham: Why Emmett Till’s Murder Changed America, A Personal Story,” is the Archdiocese of Hartford’s representative with the Connecticut Coalition to Save Darfur. The group formed in 2005 to get America to help end the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan. The east African nation has reportedly seen 400,000 people killed and some 25 million others displaced because of the conflict between the government-backed Arab Janjaweed and the native non-Arab tribes there.

But indifference, Miller said, is part of the problem here. He said that here in America, people are, in effect, condoning the Darfur genocide by doing nothing about it. That indifference, he said, is similar to what he saw in America during the defining event of his life - Till’s murder. Miller knew Till when he was a child.

From Miller’s perspective, American history is divided into two parts.

Those parts, he said, are the period before the racially motivated lynching of Till, his 14-year-old schoolmate, in 1955, and afterward, when America began to come to grips with the realization that only a racist society could condone such a killing.

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