Down in Mississippi, they’ve put up the sign commemorating the death of Emmett Till — again. This is the fourth historical marker put up at the spot where the 14-year-old’s body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River after he was lynched. The newest marker is 20 miles from Money, Miss., where in 1955, Emmett Till traveled from Chicago to visit relatives. A trip to Roy Bryant’s grocery store led to his killing after Bryant’s wife, Carolyn, accused the boy of whistling at her. That was reason enough for Bryant and his friend J.W. Milam — both avowed white supremacists — to drag the teenager from his bed in the middle of the night, torture, and then lynch him by tying a heavy cotton gin fan to his neck with barbed wire. I recall these awful details so as to make plain what actual lynching is. And to note that President Trump’s recent tweet about lynching is more evidence of his appropriating African-Americans’ painful history to serve a twisted political narrative.

Emmett Till’s lynching was but one of the 3,446 African-Americans in the U.S. mostly executed by hanging between 1882 and 1968. This is blood-soaked, nauseating history that many would choose to forget and, scarily, others have been open about their wish to relive. That’s why the first Emmett Till historical marker was torn down and thrown into the Tallahatchie River, the same river where Till’s body was dumped that murderous night. The second marker was riddled with bullet holes. The third was marred with many more bullet holes. But, in a synchronicity that only the universe can arrange, the fourth marker went up a little over a week ago when Emmett Till’s relatives were in Mississippi to take part in the ceremonial siting of the new sign, made of 500 pounds of steel and bulletproof. Till’s cousin, Airickca Gordon-Taylor, told The New York Times, “My family is still being confronted with a hate crime against Emmett Till and it’s almost 65 years later.” Just two days later, President Trump sent a cavalier tweet describing the House led impeachment inquiry as "a lynching."

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham backed President Trump’s perversion of the term, saying of the impeachment inquiry, “This is a lynching in every sense.” Democrats and some Republicans, like Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, were quick to denounce, with Kinzinger saying, ”The painful scourge in our history has no comparison to politics … and Donald Trump should retract his tweet immediately.”

Mamie Till Mobley, Emmett’s mother, refused to let her son’s murder be just another lynching. She asked Jet magazine to publish a picture of her son’s mangled, bloated body so “everybody could see what they did to my boy.” The picture of his mutilated corpse inspired legions of young people to join the civil rights movement. Years later, Carolyn Bryant recanted the whistling accusation.

President Trump, I don’t know if you understand the reality of lynching. Whatever you meant, your tweet was another race-baiting siren call to your white supremacist followers. But know this: Emmett Till lives — on a new marker in Mississippi, in the psychic memory of those who were there, and in the lived experience of we who pledge never to forget what lynching is. That’s American history. And it’s bulletproof.