Discrimination In The Civil Rights Movement

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The United States experienced a dramatic shift in the avenue of racial discrimination with the end of the African-American Civil rights movement in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The purposes of these social movements were to arouse national awareness towards racial equality and successfully led to the official and legal recognition of abolishing racial discrimination. Yet like many areas throughout the country, my small rural hometown of Oxford, North Carolina was not quite ready to accept this integration. In May of 1970, Oxford was the stage of the tragic racially inclined murder of Henry ‘Dickie’ Marrow by several white oppressors known as the Teel brothers. This act of violence eventually went on to lead to several continuous retaliatory instances…show more content…
The Teel brothers were suspected to have ties to the local Ku Klux Klan (KKK) chapter in Oxford. Later, this Klan group succeeded in intimidating townspeople and hindering investigations. Due to the brother’s connection with the KKK, none of the witnesses would dare come forward and incriminate the Teel brothers. So not only was the murder itself grievous, but the group went on to further lower themselves by bullying and threatening other innocent people. Instead of admitting to their heinous actions, the three men sought help from their willing ‘brothers’ to bully and persuade black and white people alike into submission and essentially cover-up the whole incident. I understand that in the face of punishment, people will do anything to ‘get away with murder’, but how can so many people feel no remorse in essentially erasing one man’s existence? It is sickening to realize that the KKK could be so effective in brainwashing an entire town. Meanwhile, the African American community likewise gave into emotion and engaged in a poorly thought out and executed plan of retaliation. Instead of fighting for Marrow’s justice and their own rights in a civil manner, the African Americans in Oxford choose to cause more damage by creating chaos and classifying…show more content…
Even though the beating and subsequent murder took place outside a public store during daylight hours in the center of town, not a single witness came forward to help Marrow or prevent the crime from occurring. What kind of person can just stand by and watch? To make it worse, not one person spoke for Marrow in the aftermath nor was anyone willing to incriminate the Teel brothers and their accomplice. While this is likely due in part to the KKK’s influence, it is still appalling to know that so many people in my own town could potentially turn their backs on my well-being. To go on, these same eye witnesses were never questioned by authorities until 48 hours after the incident occurred. This is a perfect example of how the Oxford police were indifferent to the crime and had no interest in pursuing justice. It is one thing to realize that so many townspeople would care so little, but it is the police’s job to care and effectively ‘protect and serve’. The racial killing of Marrow was not only grossly unnecessary but also morally lacking. It is hard to believe that even in the 1970’s so many people in my own town could so readily display such a disgusting side of human nature. As a result of this event, I sincerely question who I really know and trust in Oxford and whether such an incident could occur again. Even today, I have doubts that a different outcome would

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