RACISM 


Do you understand racism? If someone can give me a legitimate explanation I'd love to hear it. I never realized how much racism still exist until I moved to Mississippi. I see it almost every day. Sometimes it's not real obvious but it's always there. The bad thing is that people around here don't think they're racist. I hear all the time that racism doesn't exist in Mississippi anymore. I've heard people make statements that they should have their own beauty pageants. I know that there are high schools around here that still have separate proms and graduations. Shortly after moving here I stopped at a convenience store and as I was walking to the door an old black man approached from the other side. He got to the door first and stopped. By the time I got there he was standing there with his head down so I opened the door for him. We both stood there for a few seconds till he finally said after you sir. I said no after you. He smiled and said thank you. I replied you're welcome sir. I realized there was something wrong when most of the people I told about this didn't see the problem.

I live not far from Philadelphia, Mississippi which, if you didn't know, was the setting for the movie Mississippi Burning. Three civil rights workers were killed and buried in a dam there in the summer of 1964. I was almost seventeen then and had planned to be on a bus of freedom riders leaving my home town for Mississippi. Problem was, being a minor, I had to have my parents permission and they refused. They said it was to dangerous and they were right. I remember when I first heard about the murders wondering if it was anyone I know and thinking it could have been me. Recently on the anniversary of the killings a local newspaper ran a series of articles. Local talk radio was outraged. All the people said 'it's all in the past, everybody involved is dead and buried, why won't the leave it alone". According to what I've heard one of the men involved owns a bar in Meridian, Ms and one is a security guard in Jackson, Ms. A friend said it was rumored, but never proven, that their father was indirectly involved. I'm sure there are others. Looks like the only ones dead and buried are the workers themselves. James Chaney, one of those murdered, was from Meridian and is buried there. Even now his grave is vandalized on a regular basis.

There is a mobile home on US highway 80 between Newton, Ms and Forest, Ms, about halfway between Jackson and Meridian, that flies a Klan flag. A former neighbor invited me to dinner one night and living by myself I quickly agreed . I was actually having fun and enjoying the company until we sat down to eat and I noticed above his head on the wall a framed enlarged picture of a lynching. Surrounded by a bunch of white grinning faces hung the body of a black man. I'm sure I was staring and I guess he thought I liked it because he then proudly began to tell me the story of the picture. It was taken at a small town about fifteen miles from here and one of his relatives was in the picture. That is about as much as I heard because I quickly blocked him out, shoveled in the meal and excused myself. Tell me there's no racism in Mississippi. 


Address hate mail to ME.



 

Related Links

Freedom Summer a daughter visits that summer with her freedom rider father.

Peace Page A source for the fight.

EracismAn online campaign against racism started by Teen Projects. Join the cause.

We are One - Stop the Prejudice  Express your opposition to intolerance and prejucide, wherever it occurs.

KKK Just to prove they're out there.

 United White Klans For anyone that thinks that racism doesn't exist anymore in Mississippi.

White Camelia Knights of the Klu Klux Klan Very disturbing page.

Hate Page of the Week This guy has a hard job but somebody has to do it. Exposing them for what they are.

 Antigay Politics of the Religious Right A ten page report exposing the antigay agenda of the religious right.


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