Covering up a lynching—the ugly case of Alfred Wright
By ‘littleRed | 4/17/2014, 2:34 p.m.
Is mainstream media a part of the cover-up of the Alfred Wright lynching case? Despite all that has been revealed about this horrible case—and revealed by the people themselves no less—it has been next to impossible to find a mainstream media article other than a sound initial investigative piece done by CNN that spells out what is known to have happened to this point in its development!
The last people’s mobilization is an awful case in point.
On April 7, the New Black Panther Party organized its second rally demanding justice for this well-liked young man, who was found on Nov. 25, 2013, with his eyes gouged out, his throat cut, an ear cut off, his teeth knocked out and with a shiny dime placed next to the body after disappearing suddenly on Nov. 7, 2013.
In story after story from mainstream media outlets, almost none of them say how Wright was found as just described. They acknowledge the local autopsy, which called the death a drug overdose. Some have stealthily acknowledged that the family had to get their own autopsy done, but they will not say what it revealed, that the mutilation, the gouged out eyes, the cut throat—and not to mention blunt force trauma to the head and upper body—are indications of a homicide!
The rally was to dramatize the role of a lead Texas Ranger Danny Young in the cover-up of the case. The Black Panther Party was joined by the National Black United Front, the Nation of Islam, the Texas Abolitionist Society, Jay Morrison of Young Minds Can, members of Wright’s father’s church in nearby Jasper, Texas, and Wright’s parents and friends.
The party, which led a caravan of supporters from Houston listening to “The Ballot or the Bullet” by Malcolm X 50 years ago, was originally going to do an armed demonstration like the first one they did in Hemphill, Texas, where Wright was found, to send a message to all sides that African-Americans were not going to sit back on a lynching, that they were going to do whatever was necessary to protect themselves. To keep that from being made the issue, the party instead organized a more conventional mobilization. The participants gathered and rallied peacefully outside of the Rangers’ headquarters in Jasper. Each speaker simply laid out the purpose of their solidarity and participation and brought out some key aspect of the killing and the cover-up. The annexed footage shows the family’s spokesperson, Morrison, in a very C.T. Vivian kind of way, appealing to the conscious and “common sense” of the phalanx of Rangers arrayed to “protect” the headquarters. Just as interestingly, this same footage does not come from any of these media outlets. It comes instead from Yatori Kupenda, a former law enforcement professional who helped organize the people’s search team for the Rev. Douglas Wright, Alfred’s father, after the Rangers ended their four-day search. Kupenda actually found the body in the area where the Rangers and local law enforcement said they already searched. They then had to stand guard over Alfred Wright’s body overnight until some credible authority figure could take proper responsibility. None of that was properly treated by the stories that followed.
| All of that happened! None of that was properly treated by the press.
The rally was disciplined and peaceful.
At the rally’s end, to heighten the drama and sense of urgency on the issue, Krystal Muhammad, the national chairperson for the New Black Panther Party and principal organizer of the demonstration, sought to bring the key players, including Alfred Wright’s mother, Rosalind, into the building to formalize their demands to have Young address them. They were denied entry by the phalanx of Rangers who then began pushing the organizers away from the door! In their backward obsession with securing the property, the Rangers even knocked an 84-year woman down to the ground!
Embarrassed by the senselessness of that and confronted with a more angry crowd, the Rangers retreated and locked the building down. They would re-emerge on the outside! Two mainstream media outlets were there, cameras rolling, and got all of that footage. Yet none of the stories ran how all of that went down.
By the way, CNN was nowhere to be found after having done a meaningful investigation when the story broke.
Gloria Rubac of the Texas Death Penalty Abolitionist Movement, a Texas organizing legend in her own right, made these telling observations.