The system continues to oppress blacks, Crump says
Feb 18, 2019
Benjamin Crump speaks on Feb. 8, 2019, at South Carolina State University. (Photo special to The Panther by Larry Hardy, The Times and Democrat)
Benjamin L. Crump, founder and president of Ben Crump law PLLC, said the Orangeburg Massacre is relevant for the entire country with its system set up to oppress the black community then -- and now.
Speaking at the 51st commemoration for the Orangeburg Massacre at South Carolina State University on Friday Feb. 8, 2019, Crump highlighted the power of black people and the mission to oppress the black community. He said he sees it every day in the courtrooms around the nation while fighting for young black people.
“Intellectual justification is discrimination that they set up against you, your children and your children’s children,” Crump said. Crump compared the treatment of whites vs. black in the nation’s legal system.
He cited mass murderers such as Dylan Roof walking out alive after killing people at a Charleston church, contrasting that to black people being shot down while running away and posing no threat to police at all.
“One of the most cowardly acts anybody can do is shoot someone in the back,” Crump said.
“As horrible as it was that they killed Trayvon Martin, profiled pursued and shot in the heart Michael Brown in Ferguson, and how little humanity they offered, how horrible they killed Tamir Rice, Sasha Bland. When I think about all those horrible things, it is far more horrible how they kill our children every day in courtrooms all over the nation,” Crump said.
“White people will get a slap on their wrist for the same crimes that black people will be thrown in jail and records messed up for life with extremely trumped-up sentences,” Crump said.
Benjamin said Martin Luther King was not only speaking to black people, but to all people. He cited King quotes: “We as a moral people have a moral obligation to oppose injustice when we see it” and “Just because its legal does not make it right.”
He reminded the audience of the consequences of being a convicted criminal.
“Being a convicted felon keeps you from doing anything, even going to college. And worst of all, if you served any time in prison, you are not allowed to even get life insurance,” Crump said.
“So they treat black people just like the walking dead,” Crump said. “That’s what they want to define us as.
“If we do not define our people, we can’t count on anyone else to define us.”
Crump said older African-Americans must fight for their children and younger generations.
He cited Benjamin Franklin.
“Ben Franklin said that democracy is like two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is making sure that that lamb is well armed to contest that vote,” he said.
“Make sure our children are well-armed lambs to go out in this world and refuse to be slaughtered -- armed with education, intellect and courage,” Crump said.
Crump also referenced words from his personal hero, Thurgood Marshall.
“The basis of the American Constitution is simply that a black baby born to a black mother, the most uneducated black mother, inarticulate black mother, most impoverished black woman, has the same right as a white baby born to a white mother.”