"At Least Jackson Media Cares About One Murder Victim" by Jackblog | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

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At Least Jackson Media Cares About One Murder Victim

The Jackson Police Department announced an arrest this afternoon in the death of pro fisherman Jimmy Johnson. A Texas native, Johnson was only passing through Jackson to participate in a fishing tournament when he was shot and killed at a motel Sunday.

Rightly, there has been an outpouring of support for Johnson and his family over the past few days. And, also rightly so, there has been a fair amount of media coverage of Johnson's murder and the ensuing investigation. With today's news from JPD that a 17-year-old has been charged in connection to Johnson's death, local news and social media is once again abuzz.

The Clarion-Ledger has had three or four stories about the incident tacked to its front page all day while the comment sections of various news orgs are blowing up with comments about Johnson's death says about and means for progress in Jackson.

Johnson's was the 40th homicide in the city of Jackson this year, police records show. Yet, few have generated as much interest as the Johnson killing. There was the killing of William "Nod" Brown in September, which most people seem happy chalking up to the simple consequences of ghetto violence. And Quardious Thomas, whose cause of death was ruled self-defense because a homeowner claims Thomas was breaking into his unoccupied car.

So why does Jackson media seem to care so much more about Jimmy Johnson...

Than William Brown?

Comments

js1976 4 years, 1 month ago

At least Jackson cares about the only "murder" victim. Johnson was not firing his weapon at someone else over a dispute, nor was he trying to steal someone else's property. He was a true victim that walked out of his hotel to find someone else trying to take his property, and he lost his life for it.

Williams Brown and Quardious Thomas, according to law enforcement, died as a result of their own actions.

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bubbat 4 years, 1 month ago

Why does the JFP care more about the justifiable shooting of 2 people who were committing crimes more than a actual murder victim, who was shot for just answering his door at a motel?

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tsmith 4 years, 1 month ago

This is why Jackson is called Jack Town and will never be more than the shit hole that it is..

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

Bubba, don't be dense. You can't know if shootings are "justifiable" if they're not actually investigated. Some of y'all make it sound like if a shooting of a black man looks vaguely like it "might" have been justifiable under questionable laws, then they shouldn't even be thoroughly investigated.

This is the same mentality of the old west when it was cool to shoot a man on site if he was stealing a horse. This is not what civilized society, or a democracy, looks like. Mr. Brown's and Mr. Thomas' families are correct to be outraged at DA Robert Smith, the Jackson Police Department, the state Legislature and anyone who tries to make it sound like those killings didn't deserve a real investigation.

And we all know they would have been had the deceased been white. Whine all you want, but it doesn't change that.

As for tsmith, you just made yourself sound like an idiot. Congratulations.

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Scott1962 4 years, 1 month ago

I wonder why the murder of the black man who was run over by the white kid from Rankin County got so much more coverage than the average murder in Jackson? Why is that Donna? The fact that this man came to town living under the false assumption that Jackson was like the rest of the world in that he didn't have to fear for his life just for being here plays a large part in the story. He probably went online and read what a crime free but misunderstood city Jackson was in the JFP and assumed that he could walk outside of his hotel room without getting killed. He probably chose to stay in Jackson instead of Rankin or Madison county because he read how paranoid and irrational those people were. How they continued to talk about the crime in Jackson that just didn't exist according to JFP. The ole boy probably had no idea that he would come here, get killed, and you would make it racial and blame him for getting more coverage than some thug breaking into a car. I imagine he'd rather be alive and wished he'd read a paper that reported actual statistics and not just what they wanted to. Then again maybe it was just a slow newsday

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

That's easy to explain, Scott. The hunt and murder of Anderson was a night-riding hate crime where a group of white teens came into Jackson looking to commit violence against a black man. If you can't see how/why this discussing/preventing this kind of crime is of special interest to a community and a society (especially in the state that had the most lynchings), I doubt I can convince you.

It's also really goofy to say that the JFP says crime doesn't exist in Jackson. If select crimes do not lead media coverage every day and feed hysteria such as yours, they don't exist? Obviously, the crime against the white visitor was awful; so is every crime that occurs in Jackson and in our bedroom communities, whether a murder, DUI homicide, sexual assault of children, domestic abuse and rape. It would be unethical for us to feature that crime any more prominently than any of the others in episodic, hysterical coverage ... because certain people want us to. No life is any more precious than another. We never cover any murder just to be covering it or to make the very obvious point that crime is "bad." Seriously: Our readers are dumb enough not to know that?! That's quite the insult to hurl on Mississippians, no?

It is important to distinguish between the kinds of crime coverage a responsible media outlet does: Media should not cover crime episodically and "if it bleeds, it leads" because it is harmful to a community and its ultimate ability to prevent crime. And what inevitably happens (as it did with media in this case, as R.L. points out, is that media put the most emphasis on white victims and black perpetrators. Seldom are black victims, especially those perceived correctly or not as crime-prone themselves, presented as living, breathing human beings. We saw it months ago with the coverage of the white young man killed at MIssissippi State (who, it turned out, might have been involved with the drug trade) and the black kid at Jackson State killed by his cousin (no evidence of being a criminal). Regardless, media including the Ledger initially ran gangster-ish photos of the black victim and talked about the lost potential of the white one. This is an age-old problem that is ingrained in our culture.

Often, people whine that we don't plaster certain crimes on our front page, and it's usually the ones in white neighborhoods or against whites that they want to see get top billing. If we run a story (such as about Mr. Brown or Mr. Thomas), while people pile on complaining that they deserved it, blah, blah. Wash, rinse, repeat. It's embarrassing to the state, frankly.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

One thing we never do is pick and choose and cover crime episodically. We cover them in context when we do when there is a larger reason other than sensationalism. The main reason R.L. wrote about the Thomas and Brown killings is that they both raise important questions, and teach important lessons, about how laws like "Stand your Ground" and open-carry laws (which now everyone knows about) might actually cause law enforcement and districts attorneys not to investigate killings that should be, regardless of the ultimate outcome. They also prove the point that such laws make it easier even for would-be criminals to openly carry guns, a problem that urban law enforcement can't seem to get through the heads of many gun lovers.

Even in the case of Mr. Anderson, our coverage was anything but episodic. And it didn't take cheap shots at either Rankin County or Brandon for being responsible for what those kids did -- although there are certainly lessons in there that communities should consider if they actually care about crime rather than whining about black thugs. Thugs come in all colors, and that alone is a lesson many people in these parts don't seem able to grok.

Besides all that, you can watch a TV newscast any night and see selective crime coverage, and pick up the Ledger and get crime sensationalism, although they're not quite as bad as they were when we started the JFP. It's funny to me that you think we should spend our resources giving our readers the same useless drivel that you can find in any corporate media outlet or blog where people are too chickenshit to use their own names. You will continue to be disappointed in us on that front, I assure you.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

If people really care about reducing crime, you won't get it from "body bag media."

We dedicated an entire GOOD Ideas issue to the research behind what causes crime and how to prevent, as well as making neighborhoods safer. You can read that issue here, starting on page 14 (where we discuss the problems with "body bag media," in fact.)

I've found that there are two types of people in the world when it comes to crime:

  1. Those who want to use it for their own purposes: often to make "the other" look bad (usually people of color), or in the case of media, want to use it as a cheap way to get page views, ratings, etc).

and

  1. Those who want to figure out what causes it and change those causes to help keep kids from growing up to become criminals and to make the rest of us safer.

If you're serious about reducing crime, I urge you to choose the smart choice of No. 2. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of sound and fury, signifying nothing (except maybe bigotry and hate).

And what's interesting to watch about the hysterical responses to R.L.'s stories about Mr. Brown and Mr. Thomas is to watch people who salivate over "Stand Your Grown" and open-carry laws say anything to change the subject away from a discussion of whether those laws actually make our society more difficult and help put guns in the wrong hands. I know attempts to change the subject when I see them, which tells me our coverage is spot-on. Y'all wouldn't whine so loudly about the articles if you didn't think they raised issues that might affect public opinion.

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js1976 4 years, 1 month ago

"This is the same mentality of the old west when it was cool to shoot a man on site if he was stealing a horse. This is not what civilized society, or a democracy, looks like"

Tell that to the residents that are being victimized repeatedly in certain areas of the city. In a civilized society you wouldn't have to worry about someone else taking your property that you've worked hard to obtain, so who is really to blame? Certainly not the homeowner protecting his property.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

Fortunately, the choice doesn't have to be between supporting the execution of an unarmed wayward kid you think is trying to steal your car (direct analogy to shooting horse thieves there) -- and not caring about people being victims of crime.

Unfortunately, many people don't seem to get that. And we will have more violence as a result. Yay.

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js1976 4 years, 1 month ago

Please enlighten me as to what choice you would see most fitting. Just allow the "wayward kid" to take your belongings hoping that law enforcement will come to the rescue? Sit back and do nothing because the poor kid is just a product of his enviroment?

Fortunately, most people in areas of high crime are fed up with being victimized.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

And, yes, I would allow a "wayward kid" to steal my car before I pumped him full of bullets. Because a car is a chunk of metal and a wayward kid is a human being who can change and be taught. And he's somebody's baby and grandbaby, and some day he might find the cure to cancer if someone helps him soon enough. Or be the daddy to someone who does. I believe in human potential and the value of human life, regardless of that human's skin color or bad choices.

You think a car's value is more important than a human being? I think I'm in the Twilight Zone here. How do people's values get this distorted? Serious question.

How is the morality of killing over a car a rational discussion in a civilized society? Chilling.

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bill_jackson 4 years, 1 month ago

Let me bottom line this for y'all. In the JFP mindset, a white person killing a black person deserves unlimited coverage whereas a black person killing a white person deserves little to none. That is all.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

So, JS, you're arguing that anyone should be able to pull a gun and kill anyone trying to "take their belongings" with no follow-up investigation to make sure that was even the case?

Do you really feel good about that precedent? You have a kid, perhaps with a mental disability, who on a dare tries to steal a car? The owner, who was in no danger from the unarmed kid, comes out and unloads a gun into him. Neither the police or the DA try to seriously ascertain what happened because ... the kid seemed to be guilty of trying to steal a car.

Would you devalue your own kid's life in such a way? Maybe you would. But at least wash the race issues out of your eyes and try to see what you're really arguing for/against.

And that dangerous precedent, folks, is the bottom line.

As for your comment, Bill, it is so absurd and goofy that it doesn't merit a response. You see someone mention race, and you start firing blanks. So to speak.

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uainsagent 4 years, 1 month ago

Ms. Ladd, trying to cut through the BS here, but the 17 year old child or G-Child, probably a foot taller and out weighs you by a 100 lbs. in the flash of a second if it comes down to your life or his. It will Be HIS brains on the deck not mine, and if you have ever been in a situation like this YOU DO NOT have time to ask for ID or to see if he has a Mama or G-Mama, or blame his absent father. Have you read the police report on any of these crimes? No you havn't that's what the DA goes by not yours or any one else's article in a newspaper.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

What is a G-child or G-mama? I don't know that lingo.

You don't know what we've read on these cases, but it's fun to watch you assume. R.L. is amassing a file; we're not done reporting on them.

Curious: Do you enjoy talking about a kid's "brains on the deck" as much as you seem to? The whole swagger-without-a-sense-tragedy is what strikes me the most about many of these posts. I get the filling some of y'all want to kill these kids. Maybe I'm wrong, but your posts do not dispel that sense. Maybe you should consider that. Of course, few of you post with your real names, so maybe you don't care that you come across that way to the world.

It's staggering, though, to read.

It seems to me that people who believe they need to arm themselves against crime (which is a valid argument from one perspective) wouldn't seem so joyful about the proposition of blowing away a young person who clearly has problems. It's one thing to believe in self-defense, but another entirely to see to enjoy the idea so much.

THAT is my overwhelming sense from reading these comments the last couple days. It makes me sad.

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js1976 4 years, 1 month ago

Donna, race is of no bearing in this issue as far as I'm concerned. Innocent people lose their lives at the hands of would be burglers trying steal "chunks of metal" or anything else they can get their hands on on a daily basis. So when that "wayward" punk kid intentionally places himself on someone elses property with bad intentions it's only fair to the homeowner to assume that he has to worst of intentions. I wouldn't expect someone to scream "Hey, lift your shirt so I can see if you are packing heat".

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

Let's play John Grisham for a minute: Picture this very same situation (the Thomas one), but the kid in the car was an unarmed white honor student (remember the shooter was black). I'm sure each and every one of you would be saying the very same thing should have happened. No investigation needed. Positive of it.

And I can only imagine how this story would change if Mr. Brown had been white. He would have been carrying a gun for self-defense from the black man who unloaded the gun into him 12 times. He would be a hero by now and plastered all over gun blogs as the reason we all need to strap guns all over us everywhere we go.

Not to mention, y'all would have wanted the shooter hauled to jail and kept there until the investigation was done.

Admit it.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

Also, to the man who brought up the James Anderson murder: Do you realize that his family asked the prosecutors not to ask for the death penalty for Dedmon at his trial? That fact is very interesting to put next to arguments that someone who pumped bullets into an unarmed kid allegedly trying to steal his car should not even be investigated -- because, y'all tell us, the kid deserved to die because he was trying to steal a car.

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tsmith 4 years, 1 month ago

If the late Mr Jimmy Johnson had "pumped the wayward kid full of bullets" he'd still be alive today instead of the other way around. Remember, he was only checking on his property when he was shot dead by a "wayward kid" that may have cured cancer had he been given a chance.

What a crock...

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

I want them both alive, tsmith. Neither of their lives is more valuable or important than the other one.

The tragic part is that we can do something about this if we could find the will and stop letting the guns-solve-everything crowd to control the dialogue.

I don't know much about the teen who shot Mr. Johnson, yet, but hope to. If our community can find the will to address the causes of violence, we can start curbing it. If we can find the will to support our public schools (yes, even after forced integration), we will stop more kids from choosing a life of crime. If the media will stop the "body bag journalism" that casts a hopeless light, and lets people like you control the narrative, we will have more young people of color growing up with confidence in their abilities. If we can force absentee landlords to clean up derelict properties that they rent to the poor, then children can stop growing up in atmospheres of hopelessness and "broken windows." If we can get people like you to value the lives of young blacks as much you value the life of an accomplished white man, we can create a world where we can stop the cycles of violence that resulted directly from black man being hunted down, abused and killed by whites because they wanted equal opportunities, or because they made the same mistake that whites made, but paid for it with their lives. And these days, some white folks still turn your ire on people who even want to address these historical issues in order to improve the present day. It's as if you just want to go to war with blacks. So tell me just what has changed, tsmith, at least for you and others like you who devalue the lives of black kids and defend killing an unarmed kid over a damn car? How are you better than those who came before us?

This is a double standard that makes our society more dangerous for all of us, regardless of race. Those of you who just want to shoot your way out of it are, purposefully or not, supporting the status quo. You are communicating the same thing to these young people that our nation told black citizens from our founding. They lives are not as important as yours.

What a crock, indeed.

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bill_jackson 4 years, 1 month ago

So in the mean time, stand down and let your means of making an honest living get stolen willy nilly. How much value did the Motel 6 shooter place on the late Mr. Johnson's life? I am guessing that this murder has garnered more media attention because the BASS tournament orginization seems to be a fairly close knit group of people, and throw in social media the way that it is these days, you might understand why the story spread the way it did.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

Rather than fill an unarmed teen full of bullets? Is that even a choice?

Why do all of you think it's either-or, that none of us has to choose to think one is better or worse than the other? IT'S ALL BAD. Is it impossible for your brain to wrap around the idea that all of these deaths are tragic, Bill, that all of these lives are lost, and that there are very real reasons for it beyond the fact that some of the people involved have black skin--a fact that seems to make some of you lose all perspective.

Of course, the story spread on social media. There is nothing wrong with that. What is tragic is that so media, and the people they serve, devalue so many people's lives. You don't even hide it. You've said the unarmed teen deserved it because he was stealing a FREAKIN CAR.

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bill_jackson 4 years, 1 month ago

You, Ma'am, are the one making this all about race, not I. And I was not referring to the car thief but rather the Motel 6 incident. Nice try,though.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

We're talking about all of them. See post above.

Obviously, the shooter at Motel 6 didn't value his or his victim's life. Neither did Dedmon et al.. That's the point. We must stop devaluing any lives (and instilling inherited hate and distrust) and work to reverse the deep problems that our disgusting past caused. No devaluing of life is acceptable, including by you. It all leads to senseless violence one way or the other.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

And I don't have the power to make anything be about race any more than you're able to make something not about race. But we can stop the hate and value all lives.

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David 4 years, 1 month ago

Donna, your ideal world seems to be filled with people who are always considerate of others and take into account each person’s future potential when determining the appropriate response level to any given situation. Someone who is breaking into another person’s home or vehicle to take something that doesn’t belong to them has already decided what their future potential is and you can rest assured they are not the least bit interested in abiding by the rules of the fantasy land you are hoping for. Why do you think the property owner should care more about the criminal’s future than the criminal does? In the real world that we all live in, there are two sides to crime, the right side and the wrong side. You seem to always be defending the wrong side.

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tsmith 4 years, 1 month ago

Obviously the teen at motel 6 WAS armed! I see no reference to race in my comments either, but you sure turned it into a race issue. I don't care what color you are but if you come messing around with me, my family, or my stuff you will suffer the consequences and I'll sleep fine at night. I'm supposed to call "time out" and investigate the criminals intentions and/or if he is armed? I think not, it's your choice for pursuing crime.

I know, I know, you're gonna call me a bad ass, an idiot, or some other 3rd grade playground comment like you did above.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

Of course he was armed. I wonder where the gun originated.

I haven't defended that kid, nor R.L., or anyone else I've seen -- except to say that his life is as valuable as any other human beings. I sure would like to see our community actually try to help save kids before they devalue their own lives enough to kill someone else. It's a double tragedy.

If my believing that offends you, so be it. I haven't said he shouln't be punished if guilty. That was a heinous crime. But it's too late to stop it. My interest is in stopping future ones. And the culture of violence you'd advocating won't do that.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

The wrong side? Haha, David. Where did you get that? I love when people come here and try to put words in my mouth. And should I take it that you are the arbiter of the "right" side?

So let me be clear here: Your argument is that someone should be able to shoot someone they think (or say later; who knows?) is trying to steal their car multiple times -- and there be no follow-up investigation. That is what is being discussed here, you know. We're not talking about a young man who broke into a house with a gun in his hand and threatened the homeowner. Facts matter before you start trying to put words into my mouth.

And, no, brain science shows that teen brains are not fully formed, and many do stupid things. Most people know this because they've either been one, or raised one or more.

It's remarkable to me how many of you seem to think this precedent would never bite you or a family member in the ass. Do you assume these laws will only be used against young black thugs, and can't touch you? If you don't assume that, is it your contention that a young member of your family would never try to steal something and then get whacked for it, with no follow-up investigation? "Good" white kids often steal things on a lark, including cars for joyrides. I hope yours makes it home alive should he/she try such a dumb gambit.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

Let's try a quick hypothetical. Let's say the teenage son of Gov. Phil Bryant or Haley Barbour (or fill in the blank with the name of a prominent white man) got mixed up with drugs in school (even happens in academies you know). Or, he has a mental-health issue. Or, he and his friends are just out on a crazy lark because all teens think they're bulletproof.

On a dare, or under the influence of drugs or part of a hazing or whatever, he or his friends decide he should go try to steal a car parked in somebody's driveway in front of one of thise big houses in northwest Jackson (heck maybe even in Eastover). The homeowner hears the car door open and creeps out with a weapon. He sees the kid in his car and unloads his weapon on him.

He pleased, as someone says above, to see the kid's brains splattered all over the car.

Should there be no investigation of the death of this kid? Should JPS and the DA walk away, saying that a homeowner gets to come outside and blow a potential car thief who is unarmed and not trying to break into his home to hurt him. The kid just made his decision. Should we be gleeful about his death?

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js1976 4 years, 1 month ago

"Should we be gleeful about his death?"

I'm sure I can speak for the majority of us commenting here that we are not "gleeful" about the death of either of these men. I can assure you that I would have preferred to see both of these men still alive today. Doesn't change the fact that we are all responsible for our own actions.

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js1976 4 years, 1 month ago

"I love when people come here and try to put words in my mouth"

The feeling is mutual. Might want to consider this statement before concluding that everyone commenting here has racial motives.

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Duan 4 years, 1 month ago

Not justifying the death of William Brown vs. the death of Jimmy Johnson.

But here lies the difference besides race -

This was an out of town visitor, who was competing in a professional event in Mississippi , in turn in the Jackson Metro Area.

It places a stinch on the activities of our city, as is the same in New Orleans when people come from out of town and are harmed by a local during mardi gras.

You just don't want those kind of crimes to happen. It's cold to say it, but being Mississippi - we have enough issues already - so when you add that to the books - it's a self slap to the head, saying to yourself - "Damn, we didn't need this!"

The issue with William Brown was an internal/personal conflict - just like the man that killed his brother in law in Lauderdale county - so of course you address that as a domestic dispute and charge it to the game.

The random murder of an out-of-town visitor has far reaching consequences on the image and stigmas on a city such as Jackson. It's sad to say, but its the truth.

Its bad when my some of my favorite Jackson Advocates have to put on Facebook neighborhood watch post.

But there's a serious disconnect in our area, where some feel like they have to relegate to crime to get ahead! As Jackson Advocates we cannot continue to ignore these actions!

I'm not saying leave Jackson, but we need to acknowledge it and then come up with solutions to curb the violence.

The first I would recommend, is to JPD to start having open forums with the teens in JPS - take polls - talk to these kids to see if they know there are options out there to improve their quality of life, what steps they can take to avoid getting in a life of crime.

We can't talk at these kids, this generation wants to be heard and they want their opinion to be valued.

O.k. enough with my soap box - just wanted to add my two cents.

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bill_jackson 4 years, 1 month ago

"The deep problems that our disgusting past caused" If that is the case how do you explain similar incidents that happen in more liberal Northern states?

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David 4 years, 1 month ago

Wow Donna, you did it again. "Do you assume these laws will only be used against young black thugs, and can't touch you?". I never mentioned race. Criminals and Blacks are not interchangable words no matter what your opinion is or how many papers it sells. You can't accuse anyone of putting words in your mouth and then turn around and do it yourself. And yes, the wrong side. All too often you and your staff defend the criminal. I am not saying that a 3 year old stealing a Hot Wheel at Wal Mart deserves to be dealt with in a lethal manner but someone that prowls around on other people's property with every intention of stealing should understand that there is the potential of paying for that decision with their life. If that Deadmon moron had been met with a few shots to the skull after running over another human being, I would say the same thing about him.

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js1976 4 years, 1 month ago

In reference to Duan's comments, an incident like this does place a "stinch" on our city. Especially givin the fact that this is the first Bassmaster event to take place in our area in over a decade. What do you think the chances are that it will be another decade before they return?

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

David, you just turned a question I asked into a statement. Seriously? You must read more carefully before telling me what I say/think.

It is a serious question that people need to consider: When it is a member of your family and not the people many perceives as "thugs" who have hopeless lives that they de-value (see above), do you want the same standard applied? A home owner gets to come out of his home (thus, endangering him more should the kid be armed) and unload bullets into your son/brother/cousin who did something stupid and bad, but not life-threatening--and the police and district attorney refuse to investigate the case. You can't twist my words in any way to lessen the seriousness of that question because that is exactly what so many are arguing for.

Not to mention that it sets up a bad person to pretend that the kid (who was perhaps selling drugs for the adult?) shoots the "robber" and then act like it was an attempt at theft. We had that happen in northeast Jackson back when Melton was mayor. So no investigation and people like some of y'all don't even know you just let a murderer go free. (Not saying that happened with Thomas, by the way. This is a what-if scenario.)

As for Dedmon, what he did was awful and horrifying. But like Mr. Anderson's family, I have compassion for him as well, although that does not mean I believe he should go free. Even in that extreme case, I don't believe he should be executed. And the most important part at this point is how he got that way, what forces led him there, what rhetoric about blacks led him to lead that posse of kids to do what they did. What were the roots of his violence? It's the same questions. Asking them doesn't mean he goes free, but it does mean that some other people might live, and kids' lives not be ruined, in the future if we're serious about it. Maybe that's not as fun for you as imagining "a few shots to the skull," but it is the more useful approach.

I also do not believe that the murder of James Anderson is a "black eye" (as a Clarion-Ledger reporter wrote this week) or creates a "stench" on Rankin County or Brandon. It means the people of that community need to come together to prevent it from happening again just as it does here. But violent crime happens everywhere, and we need to dig out its roots everywhere and solve it together, not just spew bloodthirst. That just leads to more violence. The kind of sensationalistic, blame-game "body-bag journalism" that so much of the media do just hurts our communities and creates conditions for more violence.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

By the way, all, just to be clear: There is nothing you can say or do to scold us out of talking about the disparate treatment of different ethnicities by media, officialdom or the general public on crime issues or anything else.

You. Are. Wasting. Your. Time.

These are research-based problems, and we're not going to bury or ignore them just because a discussion about race disparities makes some of you uncomfortable or angry (strangely).

So in your comments going forward, I suggest you leave out the whining about the mention of race and move discussion to a higher level. Otherwise, it's just noise.

When I get a minute, I'll post some links to various research that can move this conversation beyond its 101 tone. Buried in work obligations right now, though.

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js1976 4 years, 1 month ago

"So in your comments going forward, I suggest you leave out the whining about the mention of race and move discussion to a higher level. Otherwise, it's just noise."

Funny, you are usually the first to "whine" about race. Just as you have done in this discussion.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

No, js. THe whining is about us daring to talk about race. Discussing disparities is actually important dialogue. Some of you are just trying to silence, and that's boring, predictable stuff that adds nothing to a larger conversation about violence and racial disparities. You just don't want the conversation happen, thus giving ammunition to those who say white Mississippians have our heads in the sand (or worse) on race issues. Could you be more predictable?

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js1976 4 years, 1 month ago

"Could you be more predictable?"

If you want to see just how predictable I am, have RL write a piece the next time some "wayward" white boy gets killed in a situation similar to Brown or Thomas. My reaction will not change, because the skin color has no bearing in the matter as far as I'm concerned.

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David 4 years, 1 month ago

Now you want the comments about a story on racial inequities in news reporting to be whine free about race. How about we change the focus of the comments to hypocrisy? That would probably be appropriate.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

All stories should be whine-free. ;-) You've offered nothing so far but a defense of blowing a kids' brains out for trying to steal a car. Are we to be impressed?

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Duan 4 years, 1 month ago

"I also do not believe that the murder of James Anderson is a "black eye" (as a Clarion-Ledger reporter wrote this week) or creates a "stench" on Rankin County or Brandon. It means the people of that community need to come together to prevent it from happening again just as it does here. "

Ladd - I beg to differ that the crime against Mr. Anderson does not put a stench on the citizens of Rankin County - because you did not see leaders of Rankin County distinguish themselves from the actions of those young fellas that committed the crime against Mr. Anderson. Knowing that the crime would draw national attention - instead the leadership snubbed their nose and were very condescending of the matter towards the situation, at least from my viewpoint on the matter. Call it the liberal media or the Haters of all things Mississippi - but we knew what was coming so, to portray the state and county in a better light - you have to make that extra effort going forward.

But to each his own on how this is all portrayed and every one has their own level of objectivity on all things metro.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

Duan, the point is that it is useless to use a crime to point fingers at each other in ways that aren't useful. All of these crimes are "black eyes" on all of us if we don't use history and research-based information to do something about it so it happens less often (and, no, that doesn't replace prosecution, etc.; binary thinking is useless). The young woman murdered in Madison, or the drunk man who killed a family of kids a few years back with his car leaving the reservoir, are not black eyes on those towns, either: that's just a dumb cliche that plays into a blame game. If we want to do more than point fingers (or gleefully pull triggers), we're going to need to work a bit harder as a community.

We can replace those kinds of cliches with real information if we will on what can be done. And that starts with modeling a community that values every life the same, which I've seen way too little of on this thread and others recently. There is much more talk about blowing brains out than mentoring and education and facing poverty, and that is backward and counter-productive.

Saying any crime is a "black eye" on a town or county is always counter-productive. It's finger-pointing at it's most simplistic. So every community around here has a black eye based on recent murders. We're all even. What's next?

For those that it's not obvious to, the media's treatment of some killings as more tragic than others, especially when so obviously do it by race (oooo, that word again!) sends the message that lives of certain people in certain communities mean less. This, along with other disparate treatments, leads to notions that lives are not meaningful. The devaluing of life is what sets up people to commit senseless violence. We all play a role in reversing this cycle, and the media are very responsible (and know it; this is a huge topic in the media academy that is often ignored in the desire for sensationalism).

This goes all the way back to the Kerner Commission's report on the causes of urban violence in the 1960s and its warnings to media. If you haven't read it, yet, it might set a foundation for more education and understanding of the very vital role that media pay in perpetuating violence. This is a topic we will continue talking about regularly because it would be irresponsible not to--and because we believe in preventing violence in every way possible.

If this angers some of you, so be it. It's never been easy to talk about race disparities in public in Mississippi, so nothing new there. We must do it anyhow.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

A media-money quote from Kerner (the use of "negro" was more accepted in the 1960s):

The Media and Race Relations

Our second and fundamental criticism is that the news media have failed to analyze and report adequately on racial problems in the United States and, as a related matter, to meet the Negro’s legitimate expectations in journalism. By and large, news organizations have failed to communicate to both their black and white audiences a sense of the problems America faces and the sources of potential solutions. The media report and write from the standpoint of a white man’s world. The ills of the ghetto, the difficulties of life there, the Negro’s burning sense of grievance, are seldom conveyed. Slights and indignities are part of the Negro’s daily life, and many of them come from what he now calls “the white press”—a press that repeatedly, if unconsciously, reflects the biases, the paternalism, the indifference of white America. This may be understandable, but it is not excusable in an institution that has the mission to inform and educate the whole of our society.

Sadly, the media have yet to go the distance on these recommendations. The uneven treatment of victims (as in R.L.'s post above) is just one of many, many ways most of the media just report from a "white" perspective.

And, of course, when the report came out, there were the inevitable complaints much as we've seen above. But it didn't change the need to talk about these problems then or now. Good luck trying to stop us.

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bill_jackson 4 years, 1 month ago

And that was published when? Indeed, let's go living in the past, because nothing has changed since the 60s, now has it?

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

It says above when it was published, Bill. Please read more carefully before responding to save us both time.

How silly to say that "nothing has changed since the 60s." Of course, it has. The whole point is that the media must work harder to reflect those changes, and not act so much like it did in the 1960s. Again, we've come full circle to the point of the above blog post -- the one so many of you have ignored and, I'm guessing, didn't actually understand based on some of the characterizations of what people actually did not write. Putting words into people's month is about as useful as showing up to refute something without even trying to understand it first. Meh.

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bill_jackson 4 years, 1 month ago

I see that you don't get sarcasm.

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donnaladd 4 years, 1 month ago

Ah, that was sarcasm. Why be sarcastic about such a thing? We're not arguing that we haven't changed. The point is that the media have a responsibility to reflect life today, not continue their selective reporting of the past. Why that premise deserves sarcasm completely escapes me.

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