Oprah Winfrey made headlines on Monday after saying that in her mind, the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till are the “same thing.”
Glenn Beck responded on his television program Tuesday with a thorough overview of both cases, saying Winfrey’s comments are a “slap in the face to the memory of Emmett Till and anyone who suffered during segregation and the Civil Rights era.”
“These are two cases that have nothing in common,” Beck said. “I can’t think what they have in common, honestly.”
Beck began by recapping some of the details of the Trayvon Martin case, which are likely familiar to many at this point. He noted that Zimmerman, who fatally shot Martin in 2012 in what a jury recently ruled was self-defense, had multiple head injuries and a broken nose after his encounter with Martin. He also noted that both the prosecution and the defense said race played no role in the case, among other things.
Emmett Till, on the other hand, was a 14-year-old African American from Chicago who was tracked down, then mercilessly tortured and murdered after flirting with a white woman.
Beck told the story in detail, explaining how Till was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he was killed, and how his mother initially didn’t want him to go on the trip. He spoke about the “racists” who knocked on the door where Till was staying late at night, “demanding to see the n-word who did all the talking,” before kidnapping the child.
“Does this sound so far like the Zimmerman case at all?” Beck asked. “Doesn’t to me.”
Beck noted that because of double jeopardy laws, Till’s killers spoke openly about what happened that night after being acquitted. They spoke about how they felt they needed to “make an example” out of Till, ruthlessly beating him, forcing him to take off his clothes and asking whether he still thought he was as good as they were.
After Till said yes, his attackers shot him in the head, “but they still weren’t done,” Beck said. The men then tied barbed wire around Till’s neck and threw his body in the river.
“How are these stories like each other at all?” Beck demanded. “It’s offensive, and I would go so far as to call it evil to compare these events.”
Though what happened between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was a tragedy, Beck said, “It’s not the same as torturing and executing a 14-year-old and bragging about it, it’s a disgrace. It diminishes what African-Americans suffered through.”
“The truth matters,” Beck repeated. “And this is what we get from the most trusted and biggest celebrity in America.”
Watch the entire segment below (content warning: the following clip contains graphic images):
The full episode of The Glenn Beck Program, along with many other live streaming shows and thousands of hours of on-demand content, is available on just about any digital device. Get it all with a FREE TRIAL.