Amy Tuck Revives State Flag Issue | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Amy Tuck Revives State Flag Issue

Whoa. How should we read this interesting turn of events? Does Ms. Tuck believe it will be politically expedient to have a rebel flag debate as part of her race against Ms. Blackmon? It seems rather desperate. One thing, though: This story is rather odd: Is she just answering a question about the flag? Or did she bring it up herself? It seems like an important piece of missing information.

Previous Comments

ID
136063
Comment

she brought it up herself. she remained strongly opinionless about it until now. the idea being that she could claim to be against the losing side when the time came instead of having a real opinion. politically expedient. that is her in a nutshell. truly pathetic.

Author
Jason Pollan
Date
2003-08-21T13:44:03-06:00
ID
136064
Comment

The whole thing is pretty pathetic, on a number of levels. First, she didn't even say she was FOR keeping the flag. She said (at least according to the CL) "When others stood up to change the flag, I did not." In other words, she simply didn't support the change. Which is (at least to me) different from actively supporting the idea of keeping the old/current flag. Second, it's totally lame that when this was an actual ISSUE and up for a VOTE, she didn't voice her opinion. I really don't think that the Lt. Governor can legitamately say that she wants to keep her opinion to herself on such a politically charged issue. That's just lame. Third, why bring it up now? The vote is over and done with, and since she's clearly not calling for action, what's the point? She sounds to me like she's trying to prove to the republicans that she really is one of them (what with the party switch and all). Personally, I'd like to think that it's not an attempt by her to bring race into the Lt. Governor's campaign, but who knows? I'd also love to see the statistics on how various segements of the mississippi populace voted (and what percentage of the voting population actually showed up at the polls that day). I've heard anecdotally that this issue does not split as cleanly along racial lines as we've all been led to believe, but I've never gone and looked up the statistcs.

Author
Kate McNeel
Date
2003-08-21T15:08:14-06:00
ID
136065
Comment

Hey, it worked in Georgia. When in doubt, use latent racism to score with the good old boys!

Author
kchilton
Date
2003-08-21T15:10:15-06:00
ID
136066
Comment

Two things: The Clarion-Ledger updated their story today adding in the important fact that Tuck was answering a reporter's question. I do see a big difference between her bringing it up and her responding to a reporter's question, at least in the motive. (Unless, say, it was a reporter from the Magnolia Report ). Now, I don't see it as a problem that the reporter asked for her view on the state flag; I think it's still very much a vital issue and should be discussed (it's in our voter questionnaires, in fact). Now, to Kate's point, I always cringe a bit when I hear people say that two-thirds of Mississippians want the Rebel battle flag as part of the state flag; obviously, two-thirds of people *who voted* on April 17, 2001, wanted to keep the flag. And there is a big difference. I've seen the turn-out numbers from that day and they were low as they are in most Mississippi elections. I'll have to dig them out to post them. (If anyone else knows them, feel free.) All that said, it strikes me that Tuck's answer on the question seems to be at least showing the race card, and that is indeed unfortunate. I suppose it's inevitable that the Party of Reagan (and the Southern Strategy) will try to appeal to certain backward sentiments, but boy do I hate to see it happen. And I have my doubts that it's going to work out well for Tuck -- if African-Americans are really inspired to turn out this November as I suspect they will be. Now, there's an interesting argument (see the "Social Republicans" Talk in the JFP this week; I'm posting later today) that says that increased black turn-out may help Musgrove, but not Blackmon if she can't also pull enough white votes, but the black voters go for Musgrove. That would be some outcome, eh? And, people like to say that Mississippians never think about race anymore. ;-)

Author
ladd
Date
2003-08-21T15:57:07-06:00
ID
136067
Comment

I'd hardly call the Magnolia Report an endeavour in journalism. It is more a hybrid of a MS GOP tabloid and psuedo store front for Kudzu Consulting. Any writer associated with the MR is more likely an operative, and not a journalist, understanding how Josh Gregory is connected to the state party at the hip. I think the key to this flag discussion will be if Blackmon doesn't talk about the flag. If she takes the high road then Tuck will be backed into a corner, strategically, regarding the issue. If it then comes up again it will be clear what card is being played. A number of influential GOPers here in the Capital City are highly upset that this issue even came up.

Author
Reader
Date
2003-08-21T18:19:34-06:00
ID
136068
Comment

Thanks, Reader. Your point about Magnolia Report is well taken. I was being facetious about it, although I realize my humor might have been a bit subtle for those who don't know as much about it as you do. In fact, a person saying they were from MR at the door came to a Blackmon luncheon I attended last week, and I heard later that he was from the Tuck campaign and videotaping the Blackmon talk. And that is a completely unsubstantiated claim, so take it as that. However, I must say that I often check out MR's links to articles; it certainly serves a purpose. I also think your Blackmon flag point is very good. The only problem, though, is that someone may ask her, tooóand that could back her into an uncomfortable corner. It becomes a bit damned if you and damned if you don't. I wonder what she would say.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-08-21T18:45:54-06:00
ID
136069
Comment

Donna, I hate to correct you, but, while this most recent statement on the flag was in response to a question, according to the CL article, "Tuck first brought up the flag debate during a stump speech at this summer's Neshoba County Fair." So, it's fair to say that it's an issue that she wants raised. Seems dumb to me, but hey, I'm not a political strategist.

Author
Kate McNeel
Date
2003-08-21T20:56:36-06:00
ID
136070
Comment

Good point, Kate, my eyes seemed to run right past that one. Hey, I was trying hard to give her the benefit of the doubt on it. ;-) But if she is purposefully trying to campaign on the flag issue, it sure sounds like she wants the divisiveness that comes with itónot that I mind having an honest flag dialogue, but using support of it as a weapon against her black opponent seems like blatant Southern Strategy to try to pull racist white voters to the polls. But, frankly, maybe we're at a point where Mississippians are ready to have the Southern Strategy exposed for all the nastiness that it is, instead of tiptoing around it. Maybe Tuck will help that happen by finally declaring her position on the flag vote of April 2001.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-08-22T09:47:42-06:00
ID
136071
Comment

In fact, a person saying they were from MR at the door came to a Blackmon luncheon I attended last week, and I heard later that he was from the Tuck campaign and videotaping the Blackmon talk. And that is a completely unsubstantiated claim, so take it as that." Too funny. Unsubstantiated or not, wouldn't surprise me in the least. The MR was different when Brian Perry was at the helm. While a conservative (but not a rabid one), he was a journalist first who wrote regularly for the Madison County Journal. He ran the site more like a journalistic enterprise as opposed to the party mouthpiece it has become. Must say I'm surprised that the campaign management of any statewide Dem candidate would allow someone access touting credentials as that of MR reporter. Let's face it , the MR is just a not-so-subtle front for some elements of the MS GOP. Some, mind you, not all. Btw, all of this taping that the major candidates are doing of each other really turns me off. Can there be a more obvious precursor to the preparations for negative campaigning? I know many people who also see the writing on that wall and share my disgust. I think voters of all persuasions are sick and tired of negative campaigns. But you know, the retort on both sides will be that they need to do it also to protect themselves because their opponents are taping. There's real leadership for you. The only problem, though, is that someone may ask her, too-and that could back her into an uncomfortable corner. She may be asked but so what? Would anybody really be surprised to hear that she voted to change the flag? I think, if she is asked she should tell the truth and answer the question. But only once and then never respond to the question again. She has to stay on message and not allow the Tuck camp to put her on the defensive.

Author
Reader
Date
2003-08-22T13:30:58-06:00
ID
136072
Comment

I've seen the turn-out numbers from that day and they were low as they are in most Mississippi elections. The turnout for that election was 42% of registered voters. I think a larger turnout would have reduced the margin of victory but not produced a new flag for the state. You've expressed your dismay over the flag vote many times. Yet, the one issue I don't believe I've ever seen you challenge those who want to remove the existing flag about is why didn't they get their vote out? They had their golden opportunity to produce change and failed, quite miserably I might add. I have heard Charles Evers, myself, comment on more than one occasion that the election was blown because those who wanted a new flag didn't get their vote out. It could have been an organizational snafu, a lack of leadership, overconfidence, that those who are anti-flag only care so much or some combination of the above. Yes, we may need to be cautious about drawing conclusions from that election but I also suggest that the lack of motivation on the part of the anti-flag forces to get out and vote is a key place where any serious inquiry should begin.

Author
Reader
Date
2003-08-22T13:32:36-06:00
ID
136073
Comment

Ohh, ohh, ohh, I got it!!!! We can let Amy Tuck and Kenny Stokes wrestle in One Jackson Place!! The match of the Century! Will Tuck's signature move, the "Flag-flame-fanner," outpower Stokes' "Foot-in-mouth, a la Lott?" Will celebrety guests Ann Coulter and Maureen Dowd start their own fight in the stands? Will Micheal Savage's play-by-play commentary make any sense at all? Does anyone care?

Author
Dickson
Date
2003-08-22T15:06:05-06:00
ID
136074
Comment

Clarion Ledger, August 3, 2003: But Blackmon, who is normally outspoken on the Senate floor, has been evasive on some issues on the campaign trail, refusing to say where she stands on such matters as the state flag and abortion. http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0308/03/ma02.html

Author
C.W. Roberson
Date
2003-08-22T16:51:32-06:00
ID
136075
Comment

Which is not to say that Blackmon was wrong to refuse to answer. It seems to me that she is refusing to make race an issue, which is taking the high road. It looks as if making race an issue is Amy's objective, a way to galvanize the folks who don't usually vote to get out for her. I was told that a lot of people (all white) registered to vote in the special flag referendum who said they'd never voted before. As far as the flag vote being split along racial lines, as I stood out there in front of the polls waving a new flag, I can tell you all the folks flipping me the bird and calling me obscene names were of one color only, including one little old blue-haired lady; the ones smiling and giving me the thumbs-up came in more than one color. The friend I waved to, who didn't recognize me behind the flag I waved, I talked to later. I mentioned that I'd seen him pass and had waved to him. He said (his face reddening at the memory) "I didn't see you out there. The only person I saw was some damn fool waving that new flag." Imagine how much redder it got when I smiled and told him I was that damned fool. Took him a couple of months to decide he was talking to me again. Over something I'd been told was "just a piece of cloth."

Author
C.W. Roberson
Date
2003-08-22T18:18:48-06:00
ID
136076
Comment

You've expressed your dismay over the flag vote many times. Yet, the one issue I don't believe I've ever seen you challenge those who want to remove the existing flag about is why didn't they get their vote out? I realized that I haven't responded to this, yet; I tried last week and this screen was deleting my comments when I posted. So fingers crossed this time ... Reader, I appreciate your comments on this thread; I think they have added much to the discussion. On your point on the flag vote, I have been critical of the pro-new-flag campaign in the past, but I'm not sure if I blogged about it. Apparently, the strategy was to quietly target people likely to vote for the new flag, rather than having a loud and very honest campaign about the problems with the Rebel battle flag here in the state, instead of focusing on what other people think of us. Many people are simply unaware of the full story about what the flag was used to justify, and why it's a slap against all of our heritage as Mississippians, black and white. I believe--and I say this respectfully as someone watching then from outside the state--that it was a flawed strategy (I know: that's obvious now). I believe Mississippians are much more likely to respond to the truth, as painful as it might be and in detail. In other words, I agree with you that the new-flag folks should have done *much more* to get out the vote, even at the risk of getting out more of the vote on the other side. And, frankly, had 95 percent turned out and still voted 2-to-1 to keep the old flag, at least the argument that Mississippians have spoken would ring true. All this said, I don't think we're ready for another "referendum" on the flag, not yet anyway. It's not a buried issue, though, by any means; I believe we need to keep talking about the flag and its meaning, even as we work hard to continue racial reconciliation efforts. Per your Blackmon point, I think you're right: She should just say she voted for the new flag (if she did) and not get caught up in Tuck's game about it. I think I've said it already, but I do find it breathtaking that Tuck would play the flag card. It's so transparent--and if it does get her elected, does she really want to be elected because she's willing to wave (so to speak) a rebel battle flag against her black opponent? I guess so.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-08-25T18:58:04-06:00

COVID-19 has closed down the main sources of the JFP's revenue -- concerts, festivals, fundraisers, restaurants and bars. If everyone reading this article gives $5 or more, we should be able to continue publishing through the crisis. Please pay what you can to keep us reporting and publishing.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

comments powered by Disqus