A MODERN DAY EMMETT LOUIS TILL?: THE LYNCHING OF KINGSTON FRAZIER

Although I doubt it, however, it is fully within the realm of possibility that my fiery reaction to the lynching of 6-year-old Kingston Frazier in Jackson, Mississippi, is due to my knowledge of Emmett Louis Till’s lynching. These horrific crimes have several obvious corollaries.

  • Both lynchings occurred in the state of Mississippi.
  • Both of the victims were African-American children.
  • A mere 200 miles separate the dastardly crime scenes.
  • Kingston and Emmett were both snatched from the bosom of protection that family provides by a sinister element.
  • The lynchers of both of these African-American males should be considered domestic terrorists as their evil deeds are focused on exterminating a particular American population.

Relatively speaking, Emmett Louis Till’s offenses of touching the hand of Carolyn Bryant and offering a simple “goodbye” as he exited a convenience store are executable offenses when compared to 6-year-old Kingston Frazier’s offense of sleeping in the backseat of his mother’s vehicle as it was stolen. Surveillance tapes indicate that in the few moments that Kingston’s mother entered a grocery store, some thief stole the car that 6-year-old Kingston Frazier, one day away from his first-grade graduation, was slumbering in.

Once these thieves realized that a child was asleep in the back of the vehicle, they hastily ditched the vehicle on a dead end road and prepared for a hasty exit. Unfortunately for all of America, these criminals made the damning decision that their best chance of making a ‘clean get away’ was to pump a bullet into the head of young Kingston Frazier who was hopefully still slumbering in the backseat.

As previously mentioned, this barbaric crime reverted my mind to the lynching of Emmett Louis Till; however, there is one significant difference between Emmett Louis Till’s lynching in Money, Mississippi, and Kingston Frazier’s lynching; those responsible for the latter’s death were not member of some white supremacist group, in fact, they were not white at all, Kingston Frazier’s executioners were young African-American males.

When I heard about this abominable crime, there was a part of me that needed to see those responsible for it. A brief search presented a short video of the three culprits: Dwan Diondro Wakefield (17), DeAllen Washington (17) and Byron McBride Jr. As I viewed the video clip, I was shocked that I did not recognize any of these men; meaning that I did not recognize their demeanor, their posture or movements as none of them reflected the dignity, class, and refinement of the generations of black men that socialized me regarding what it meant to be a black man in America.

Kingston Frazier’s lynching by three young African-American males validates W.E.B. Du Bois’ piercing insight of what those who adopt their oppressors perspective become. I am certain that many are questioning my repeated use of the word lynching regarding this crime and may feel that the characterization is unwarranted. I feel that such contestation is wrong-headed for several reasons. When one considers that the definition of lynching is the killing of a person by a group due to some alleged offense or crime, the murder of Kingston Frazier reaches that threshold as he was killed by several individuals for the most daunting and unavoidable crime of all, being young, black, and male in a land whose inhabitants, regardless of their race/ethnicity, have decided that such descriptors add up to worthlessness and irrelevancy. Put simply, a vast swath of the American citizenry, many of whom are black, have been socialized to believe that persons of African descent do not have the right to live. In his timeless classic The Souls of Black Folk, Du Bois describes this infectious affliction when he observes that “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.”

There is no other reasonable explanation for the actions of Dwan Diondro Wakefield (17), DeAllen Washington (17) and Byron McBride Jr. than to accept the unavoidable reality that their mindset and perspective regarding fellow African-Americans closely mirrors that of white bigots raised inside a nation where both academic lessons and social customs contribute to a denigration of African-American males. Such reasoning is a sensible explanation that explains why African-American males commonly view, treat, and consider one another as mortal enemies worthy of an excruciating death.

If African-Americans were not afflicted with a psychosis that causes them to hate one another with a vile and insanely jealous hatred, the lynching of Kingston Frazier would lead to a mobilization resembling that which occurred in the wake of J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant’s lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Louis Till. The fact that as a collective we will do nothing more than take a momentary pause and issue a cowardly non-specific prayer regarding this matter speaks volumes about how serious we are about protecting the many Kingston Frazier’s in our midst that must find someway to navigate around the myriad dangerous people and obstacles that threaten their future on a moment-by-moment basis.

We must relentlessly demand that Kingston Frazier’s lynchers face the sternest punishment possible. Failure to issue such a demand continues our worst tradition of providing a place of refugee for individuals whose destruction of both our community and black lives rivals that of white supremacist groups.

There should come a point where we love one another enough to decide that we have enough of this foolishness. It is time for black America to set standards and hold every segment of their society to those criteria. A major step in this endeavor, particularly in regards to preventing future black-on-black lynchings is to expel those who do not warrant the privilege of living in our midst from the bosom of protection that they have misused for far too long.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2017

2 thoughts on “A MODERN DAY EMMETT LOUIS TILL?: THE LYNCHING OF KINGSTON FRAZIER”

  1. And I failed to mention, mom just happened to not have her paperwork for the car in order which resulted in a considerable delay in releasing the Amber Alert. Lots of coincidences, ending in a horrific result…

  2. I’m not completely convinced that these young men are responsible for this. At most, I don’t believe that they acted alone. Think about it: Mom just happens to leave the car running with son inside for a brief ten to fifteen minute window. These boys just happened along at that particular moment and thought “Yeah, let’s jump out of the car we already have and steal this junky old looking car for no apparent reason…not even bragging rights for rolling in a nice ride! Just for whatever! Pay no mind to that unassuming deputy in the parking lot…we’re all good!” One was already out on bail, with the other two having no priors, so let’s all get real stupid here and just execute this little six year old witness so we’re in the clear, because, hey, it’s not like there were people in the parking lot from which we stole the car that may have seen us and we’re pretty sure that THIS particular, large chain, popular store has no cameras like every other store does. Not to mention, if we get caught for this murder, our lives are ghost, especially inside prison, because everybody loves child killers! Yes, we’re thuggish, smart and savvy enough to terminate a little boy’s life to save ourselves but we’re senseless in every single other way. (Let it be noted, that in all my dealings with incarcerated, hardcore criminals in my work, I don’t believe I’ve ever met any who were so ruthless and evil that they could, unprovoked, heartlessly murder an unknown, small child, without them having multiple prior convictions of serious offenses prior to committing such an act. Barring mental illness, there’s a consistent lead up. And yet, we have three such individuals all in the right place, at the right time. Hmmm.) Additionally, an eye witness who provided the information that led to their capture just happened to be paying careful enough attention to get enough info to lead authorities to these boys but not quite enough attention to notice it was indeed a carjacking at the time. Interesting. (We should also discount the fact that eye witness accounts are horribly unreliable, even in broad daylight and when people are paying close attention.) And there you have it! Before the end of the next business day, all are in custody, with a tidy little confession from one to wrap it all up. Even more interesting. And of course we can count that confession as 100% reliable because the police in Mississippi have never been known to be, shall we say, overly aggressive in their interrogations of black males and teenagers are never totally terrified in these situations with no one beside them and haven’t ever been known to say whatever it takes just to make it all stop. Yes, this is all very interesting to me. Personally, I need to see more conclusive evidence. True enough, there’s no absolutes in human psychology, and they may have committed this egregious crime. But, what we’ve been presented with thus far is insufficient to convince me. I do believe it should be as the law says: Innocent until proven guilty. Furthermore, I cannot believe that everybody has so quickly forgotten what history has taught us about the way young black males are treated by the ‘justice system!’ We’ll most likely never know the true story and even though I reserve the highest of doubts about our justice system on it’s best days, I do believe the court of public opinion is the most ruthless, most biased and most hateful court of all and these young men had no shot in hell from the word go. God be with all affected by this travesty…and RIP little man; you didn’t deserve any of this.

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