It is important for Americans to remember their history so they can learn from it and not make the same mistakes as they have in the past. In recent history, in my lifetime, there was a great deal of social injustice in the United States where racial discrimination was openly practiced and enforced with lynchings and assasination by whites on our black brothers and sisters. Younger people may not remember this or have read about it in history books. It seems ironic when President Bush justifies an immoral and pre-emptive war in Iraq as a means of bring democracy and freedom to other parts of the world when we haven't had much of it in our own country for segments of our population such as African Americans as just one example. Through struggle some things have changed, but Americans must be vigilant if democracy and freedom are to be an actual experience and not just political platitudes. Medgar Evers was a nonviolent freedom fighter and he was killed by a domestic terrorist, Byron de la Beckwith just 43 years ago today when I was 16 years old.
One of the true heroes of the civil rights movement was Medgar Evers who was killed on this day, June 12, 1963, by Byron de la Beckwith. Beckwith was acquitted a couple of times by all white juries when the good ole boys lied about his whereabouts but Beckwith was finally convicted on February 5, 1994, over thirty years have the murder. Beckwith received a sentence of life in prison and he died in 2001 at the age of 80.
Medgar Evers was the Mississippi Field Secretary for the National Association for the advancement of Colored People, NAACP, and worked for voting rights and to end desegregation. For this work, and attempts to bring about social justice and positive social change, he was killed.
Medgar Evers was a saint among us and is a national hero and should be remembered for his leadership in the struggle for civil rights in the United States of America.