Statement from Carl Dix:
James Means and Will Sims—Black Men Lynched by White Racists!
November 28, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
James Means, a Black 15-year-old, was shot dead by William Pulliam, a 62-year-old white man, near a Dollar General Store in Charleston, West Virginia. The two had exchanged words when Means bumped into Pulliam as he was entering the store. After Pulliam left the store, he encountered Means and exchanged words again, and that's when Pulliam pulled out a revolver and shot Means twice in the stomach.
After the shooting, Pulliam went home, ate dinner, and hung out with a friend. When the police arrested him, Pulliam told them Means was “just another piece of trash.”
A 15-year-old boy, described by family and friends as someone able to “light up a room, even on the darkest of days,” is dead at the hands of a white man who saw him as just a piece of trash.
This reminds me of what Roy Bryant and J.W. Milan, two white men, did to 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955, in Money, Mississippi—lynch him because they felt he didn’t know and stay in his place—but this lynching happened on November 21, 2016, not the 1950s—back when Jim Crow segregation was in effect and enforced by lynch mob terror!
This wasn’t the only lynching of a Black man this month. Will Sims, a 28-year-old Black man who was an accomplished musician, was targeted by three white men who beat, robbed, then shot him and left him to die on the streets of El Sobrante, California, just north of San Francisco, on November 12. One of the perpetrators of this murder has been arrested, and police say they believe Sims was targeted because he was Black.
In his talk Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About, Bob Avakian spoke of how the lynchings of Black men in the South back then meant that a death sentence hung over every Black person, one that might or might not be carried out but was always there. He went on to say that today, the killings of Black people at the hands of the police meant that there was still a death sentence hanging over every Black person, one that might or might not be carried out by some killer cop but was always there. The lynchings of James Means and Will Sims point to an ugly development—that, increasingly, white racists are joining the police as the potential enforcers of the death sentences hanging over the heads of every Black person in this country.
Horrors like these happen all the damn time in this country. They stem from the white supremacy that courses thru this country’s veins. I remember Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis being killed by racists. And I remember Tyre King, Paul O’Neal, and many other Black people killed by police in 2016 alone. All of these modern-day lynchings are unacceptable. They must be called out for what they are, and they must be STOPPED!
And these two murders happened in the age of Trump, together with the many, many attacks on Muslim women who wear hijabs (religious scarves covering their heads); the students chanting “white power” and “build the wall” as they marched through the halls of their high schools; and the white mob that threatened people protesting the police murder of Joshua Beal in Chicago. They point to what it means to “Make America Great Again.” White supremacy, unbridled and on steroids. These attacks, together with the team Trump is assembling—white nationalists, immigrant bashers, and Muslim haters—underline the need to build a powerful fight against all the reactionary shit that has been/is being pumped up and normalized through the ascendancy of Trump.
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