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With Emmett Till Reference, Camille Cosby Invokes Oft-Used Cultural Touchstone

When Camille Cosby, the wife of Bill Cosby, issued a scathing statementon Thursday denouncing the verdict that found her husband guilty of sexual assault, she painted him as a casualty of an unfair, racist system. She blamed the media, the prosecution and the victim, and then made a comparison to one of the nation’s most infamous crimes.

“Since when are all accusers truthful?” Mrs. Cosby said. “History disproves that. For example, Emmett Till’s accuser immediately comes to mind.”

It was the second time in a week that a member of Bill Cosby’s inner circle linked him to Till, and while the comment drew immediate backlash, it was merely the most recent invocation of Till’s name as analogue. Beyond its impact on the civil rights movement, Till’s memory has inspired protesters, historians and documentarians to the present day; endured in popular culture as a synonym for injustice; and occasionally rekindled anger when used in unexpected ways.

Read entire article at NYT