The Women Who Cried Wolf In 2016

During the summer of 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was visiting family in Money, Miss., when he was taken from his bed in the dead of night, beaten by two men and then shot in the head for allegedly flirting with a white female clerk at a local store. Four days later, his badly decomposed body was found in a nearby lake. The two men responsible were placed on trial for murder, but an all white jury acquitted them of their heinous crime.

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The point of this rehashing of the past isn’t to offer readers a refresher on a very familiar and tragic history lesson on the civil rights movement, but to illustrate that when a white woman casts blame on a black man, civility, kindness and the belief that one is innocent until proven guilty is a luxury often not afforded. In 1955, a black teenage boy whistling at a white woman was indeed a major offense. Yet in the 21st century, with the advancement of technology, the legalization of interracial marriages and the election of the nation’s first black president, when a white woman says a black man did something—even if there’s no real proof—no rock goes unturned and a cloud of criticism, and in the age of social media digital side eyes are sent said black man’s way.

The five women mentioned vary in degree of severity with the lies they told. Some caused men who already have an unsavory image in the public eye to be viewed as the bad guy even more, while others led authorities on a wild goose chase for individuals that didn’t exist, but any black man would’ve fit the description had the truth not been revealed.

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Little white lies aren’t so little when its a matter of life or death. Check out the five women who cried wolf in 2016.