On a warm June day in Jasper, Texas, during the summer of 1998, 49-year-old James Byrd Jr. gratefully accepted a ride from three younger white men. Mr. Byrd recognized one of them as someone he’d seen around town. These animals, their names no at all worth noting, didn’t take Mr. Jasper home in the predominantly African American section of Jasper. Instead, they drove out to an abandoned road on the outskirts of town. Once there, they beat him as they shouted racial epithets, they urinated on him, and finally tied him, by his ankles, to the back of their pick-up truck.
They dragged James Byrd Jr. for nearly three miles on an asphalt road until his right arm and head had been severed from his body. During the subsequent murder investigation, the FBI noted 81 different places along the road where pieces of Mr. Byrd were found. The three white-supremacists picked up Byrd’s shredded body and disposed of it in front of an African-American cemetery and headed to a family barbecue.
This crime terrified a family, devastated a community, and shamed an entire country – so much so that our nation’s Hate Crime Prevention Act carries James Byrd Jr’s name. It was vicious, violent, and vile.
Now please pardon the hell out of me for wanting to hit any of the many 22-year-old-low-testosterone-pumpkin-spice latte-drinking-man-bun-sporting-diaper-pin-wearing-girly-boy-college-students for being triggered and screeching “Hate Crime” because someone used pink chalk to write “TRUMP” on the sidewalk in front of their ivy league college dorm. They disgust me. They are everything that is wrong with our country – seriously, everything.
Shame on them, and all who try to conflate their puerile, petulant, poorly parented reaction to losing an election with the lynching of a man, father, and a son. They denigrate not only the memory of James Byrd, Jr. – but also the memory of Charles Moore and Henry Dee and Michael Donald and Emmet Till
It’s time to put down the crayons, the Huffington Post and come out into the real world.