Hartman states, “…by re-presenting the sequence of events in divergent stories and from contested points of view, I have attempted to jeopardize the status of the event, to displace the authorized account, and to imagine what might have happened or might have been said” (11). In many ways the Jet article is doing exactly this, it is attempting to displace an authorized account. It serves as a counter history to the Times article because it is a revisiting and revision of the accounts otherwise told of Emmet’s murder. One can easily see the differences in the articles from the language utilized to the images or lack thereof. The Jet article disrupts the narrative most notably with images that offer everyone the opportunity to, in a sense, reconstruct the past by looking into the casket.
The Times article is a censored version of the real story. It is brief and devoid of details choosing strategically the manner in which the instance is described. The title is “Slain Youth’s Body Seen by Thousands” whereas Jet titles their article “Nation Horrified by Murder”. The times article is surrounded with “business as usual” snippets of news while Jet grants this story a few pages. The Times article is guarded in its language describing everything very lightly, saying the boy was shot and beaten, but there is no mention of the fact that his face was crushed, that he was found with a 200 pound fan tied around his neck or that he was naked. Jet is the one who discloses those details and notes on the very bottom that despite rumors the child wasn’t castrated a real fear and an act reminiscent of the lynchings that were valorized in the south. The Times article includes as its last sentence the mention of Communists and if to further disconnect the reader from the reality of what occurred.
Ultimately, Jet addresses that which the Times article would not, it revisits the violence and places it right before you. As Hartman says, “ My effort to reconstruct the past, is well, an attempt to describe obliquely the forms of violence licensed in the present, that is, the forms of death unleashed in the name of freedom, security, civilization and God/the good” (13). Jet’s article acts as a counter history because it too looks to the past for the purpose of affecting the present. Emmets murder was unleashed in the name of the “good”, for the “security” of the white woman and because of the freedom of two white men. The Jet article does very much what Hartman does to Venus, “ My account replicates the very order of violence that it writes against by placing yet another demand against the girl, by requiring that her life be made useful or instructive, by finding in it a lesson for our future or a hope for history” (14). Jet does a similar as the article revises the initial account, revisits the violence and ultimately requires that Emmet be a lesson for the future.