The Dragging of James Byrd Jr.

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The amount of racism that still goes on today is sickening. People just can’t get along and too soon it turns into violence. Everyday, people get killed because they’re a certain color that others don’t like. For example, an African-American man got dragged by the back of a truck by three white men just because they hated black people. The black guy was innocent and did nothing wrong but these white men didn’t care.

On June 7, 1998, in Jasper, Texas an African-American man named James Byrd, Jr. accepted a ride from three white men. These men were Shawn Berry, Lawrence Brewer, and John King. Brewer, the man that was driving, knew Byrd from around town. It all started when these three men were driving around to find a certain party but couldn’t find it so they just kept driving around and drinking beers. When they couldn’t find any girls to chase, somebody got the idea that it might be fun to tie a chain around a mailbox, uproot it, and drag it down the street. It was fun, for a while, but once the mailbox excitement faded and the beer in their cooler started to run low, they wanted to take their fun to another level (King 23).

Moments later, these pranksters saw a black man walking in the road, minding his own business. So they asked Byrd if he needed a ride and Byrd believed someone would finally help him find the way since he was a little drunk and he got into the truck. Byrd got into the back of the truck and the men offered him some beer so he drank some. King was angry because of Berry’s offer to give a black man a ride. Then King started making very racist announcements and everyone just laughed, but Byrd pretended like he didn’t mind. The guys pulled over at a grocery store called BJ’s Grocery. There was no one around and though it was closed, it was at BJ’s that the events quickly built up to the beginning of the end for James Byrd, Jr. (King 24).

They drove down an old logging road, a trail that only a few people could find. When they were...
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