''We Found It Dishonorable To His Name...''
Lil Wayne's controversial "Beat that p***y up like Emmett Till" line from Future's "Karate Chop" remix has garnered derision from the family of the youngster who's 1955 murder was a catalyst for the burgeoning Civil Rights movement. Airickca Gordon-Taylor, Till's cousin, spoke to Dr. Boyce Watkins about the lyric.
“To compare his murder and how beaten and how bullied, beatened, and tortured he was to the anatomy of a woman was really very disrespectful,” said Taylor. “We found it dishonorable to his name and what his death has meant to us as a people and as a culture. It was offensive not only to us, but to our ancestors and to women and to themselves as young, black men. I just couldn’t understand how you could compare the gateway of life to the brutality and punishment of death. And I feel as though they have no pride and no dignity as black men.”
“Our family was very offended, very hurt,” Taylor shared. “Disturbed by it…Our young people they emulate what they see, what they hear, and what they’re immersed in. And then we question them as they grow up and become citizens and they’re supposed to be productive in society and they’re not productive. And society is already criminalizing our young, black men at every opportunity they have. So it just really concerns us that here you are using Emmett Till’s name in such an egregious way and you’re not having any respect for yourselves as well as our family. And that’s the biggest concern. We’re concerned about our young people as well as the image of Emmett Till.”