Brandt Schafer Applied Ethics Dr. Donahue 12 November 2013

Brandt Schafer
Applied Ethics
Dr. Donahue
12 November 2013
The Murder of Emmett Till
10. The moral identity of a person develops throughout his or her life and is dependent
entirely upon the environment he or she lives in. This is the meaning of the phrase “It
takes a village to raise a child.” Therefore, if an individual goes his or her entire life
believing one concept is morally correct and another concept is immoral, he or she will
have great difficulty supposing otherwise. In early to mid-twentieth century America,
blatant racism and sexism was rampant in white men, so by social standards, it was
abnormal to regard Asian or African Americans and/or women as fellow human beings.
These discriminations were direct response to the enactment of the fifteenth and
nineteenth Constitutional Amendments, as well as the Pacific War and Civil Rights
11. One of the most significant procedures to avoid tribalism is to never give in to peer
pressure. Even if a horribly immoral act or crime runs rampant in a community,
“everybody else is doing it” should never function as an excuse. Individuality in its core
is the antithesis to tribalism, and activists such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King
Jr. serve as evidence to its importance.
12. Over five hundred African Americans received lynching or other such torturous
murders in the same manner of Emmett Till, and such a ritual was in that time observed
as typical. The context of Till being a teenager was not enough to faze individuals out
of their belief the act was acceptable.
13. The death of Emmett Till harmed the reputation of whites in Mississippi, as it implied
to whoever witnessed the event that they did not hold any empathy for their fellow
people, even if the victim was a fourteen-year-old boy. The persistence of his mother to
convey the message to everyone caused the case to spread to every corner of the
Earth, which reportedly included the likes of Denmark, Japan, etc. Their views were
against a portion of the entire world, and the idea of making the United States look
depraved placed a great burden upon them should they not change their ways.
14. A Patriot’s History of the United States failing to include the case of the murder of
Emmett Till is a prime example of selective history and politics. Nobody prefers to
mention his or her mistakes, and always records the past in a manner that displays
oneself as positively as possible and the opposition as negatively as possible. It also
fails to mention Malcolm X and his strife for equality. In the eyes of the author, the
reasoning of the white man is always better than the reasoning of others, so they can
twist the laws and morals of their people and readers as they please.