Latest Racist Killing Yet Another Fatal Reminder: Normalizing Racism Entails Deadly Risk

For Immediate Release 
March 22, 2017
Contact: Ricardo A. Ramírez, 202-905-1738
rramirez@advancementproject.org

 

Latest Racist Killing Yet Another Fatal Reminder: Normalizing Racism Entails Deadly Risk

 

Washington – Last night in New York City, a White man turned himself in to police after stabbing and killing of Timothy Caughman, a 66 year-old Black man from Manhattan. According to reports, the assailant, James Harris Jackson, traveled from Baltimore to New York City to kill African Americans because he felt “rage against Black men who get romantically involved with White women.” The national office of Advancement Project, a racial justice organization, released the following statement:

“Another hate crime has taken the life of an African American. The killing of Timothy Caughman should outrage all of us. Like Dylann Roof, James Harris Jackson harbored hate in his heart that took the life of another person who was dehumanized because he was Black. Jackson, motivated by White supremacy, went to New York to hunt for Black men, senselessly and tragically killing Mr. Caughman,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project’s national office. “The rise of hate crimes like this one are countenanced because of the White supremacist views embraced across this country and by those in power -- including those in the White House.  But this is not acceptable; we must continue to resist.” 

“Caughman’s murderer referenced his rage against Black men who are romantically involved with White women – a tragic parallel with the murder of Emmett Till and countless lynchings of Black men.  Throughout our history, Black men and women have been objectified and wrongfully labeled sexual predators, resulting in their death, harm and rape.  The persistence of this narrative is a testament the fact that White supremacy is alive and well in America.”

“Hate speech and encouraging violence, especially from the President of the United States, is dangerous and mortal. From Kansas to New York and beyond, the rise in hate crimes tied to Donald Trump’s rhetoric shows the unacceptable impact of his words. Indeed, there is an empowering effect on racists.”

“At this moment it is more important than ever to unite and protect each other. This is not the first time that people of color face existential threats in the streets. We come from survivors of racial terrorism -- our history is one of strength, resistance and resilience. We will overcome this latest, violent manifestations of White supremacy.”

“One of Timothy Caughman’s last messages on Twitter referenced his love for his country and our democracy. The question is, does his country love him enough to put an end to the White supremacist violence that took his life?”

As members of the press are faced with covering yet another killing of people of color, we call on them to observe common-sense standards – such as those listed in this document – and not criminalize victims in the coverage of their own murder, as was done in the initial coverage of Timothy Caughman’s murder.

 

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