Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Mississippi's still burning

While things have changed with regard to race relations in many parts of the south -- it's nice to see that Mississippi has decided to hold on to its reputation as the worst state in the country for African-Americans.

My dad was born and raised in a small town in northern Mississippi. His parents were still using the N word until they died. One of my most vivid images of that town was one afternoon back in the 1970's when a little black girl squatted and peed on the sidewalk on the town square because none of the shopkeepers would let her in to use the restroom. Let that sink in for a moment.

Now we have two new images out of the Magnolia State that only serve to confirm that white supremacy is alive and well in the Deep South.

First we have a voter in Olive Branch (who supposedly is a nurse at a hospital in Memphis) wearing a shirt that depicts a confederate flag with a noose in front and the slogan "Mississippi Justice." Early claims that he was a poll worker seem to have been proven not to be true.

Then we have one of Mississippi's senators, Cindy Hyde-Smith, telling a crowd that she would sit in the front row of a public hanging if cattle rancher Colin Hutchinson invited her. She claims this was a joke to show how much she appreciated his support but, but the only folks buying that excuse are wingnuts wearing MAGA hats. The governor, Phil Bryant, of course had nothing to say since he doesn't want to piss off his white supremacist supporters.

There is a reason that Republican office holders refuse to make statements on the record about these events. It's because a large part of their base hold the same beliefs. Under Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy" the Republican party recruited conservative Democrats (the same ones who fought to keep Jim Crow in place) to join the party. Thus the party of Lincoln went from fighting the evils of slavery to fighting for the preservation of discrimination.

So, for all of y'all who want to blame black folks for simmering racial tensions due to police violence and overt racist behavior, here are Exhibits 1 and 2 as to why you don't know what you're talking about.

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