Chasing Amy | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Chasing Amy

<b>Can Barbara Blackmon Make History?</b>

Read the full transcript of this interview on the JFP Politics Blog.

Lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Barbara Blackmon looked rather alone walking proudly through the sawdust at the Neshoba County Fair with her husband Edward Blackmon, Jr., handing out insect repellant towelettes (with a Blackmon sticker on one side) and smiling brightly at everyone who passed.

Blackmon had finished her stump speech, and was walking toward former Secretary of State Dick Molpus' cabin, where Democrats and members of the media gather for lunch on the political days of the fair, Wednesday and Thursday, every year. Although he'd spoken the day before, gubernatorial hopeful Haley Barbour stood pointedly ham-boning with supporters on a cabin porch literally feet away as the largely Democratic crowd gathered together in their little oasis in a fairground filled with rebel flags (it's about Ole Miss, many will claim) and Republicans.

The day before, Blackmon's opponent and incumbent Amy Tuck had spoken to a loud and boisterous Republican crowd, even choosing to wave the Mississippi flag, figuratively, of course. But Thursday was different; the Dems had fewer yelling co-eds and frat boys in tow, but enough to send a message. It was certainly more Democratic than the previous day.

But even among like-minded people in the "Democrats' safe place at the fair," as one attendee put it, the Blackmons still looked a bit isolated. It's not easy to try to make political history in a state like Mississippi where old habits, and prejudices, die hard, and the politicking is dirty and superficial if it's anything. And you certainly have to tread a lot of territory where African-Americans haven't always been welcome, like the path to the Neshoba County Fair pavilion.

Blackmon, 47, may be trying to get a message through, but the question for her seems to be whether she can stay focused on actual issues that matter to everyday Mississippians long enough to motivate enough voters to help her make history. Or is her candidacy too mired in muckety-muck to be successful in November?

The jury's still out.

Hard Work and Humor
This could be Blackmon's year: She is a qualified, strong, confident, very educated candidate with a fairly strong multi-racial support base. She is tough to the point of being brash, say some. But first she must get past opponent Amy Tuck, who often rankles voters—even supporters can be quick to call her "opportunist"—but who is enjoying the benefits of being associated with the national Republican machine since her party switch last year.

A Jackson native and a very successful plaintiff's attorney in a Canton law firm she owns with her husband, Blackmon is working hard to become the first African-American to win in a statewide election in Mississippi since the short political glory days for blacks, then Republicans, during Reconstruction. A.K. Davis was the first and Mississippi's only black lieutenant governor; after the South forced the end of Reconstruction, he was removed from office.

Blackmon grew up in Jackson as a member of a large family with limited resources. "Yes, m'aam, nine of us lived in a two-bedroom home," she said in a 45-minute interview. The family would spend their summers on her grandfather's farm in Utica—not as a vacation getaway, but to work the fields where the family grew their vegetables and tended the livestock that provided sustenance the rest of the year. "That's how we were able to have food on the table," she said.

Money may have been short, but lessons were many, she remembers. Her maternal grandmother owned a small grocery store in Jackson and, her paternal grandfather was a farmer in Utica; they were her primary role models. Her grandmother, a petite lady, "never, ever complained, and she never questioned God," said Blackmon, who had to attend Sunday School every week and is now a member of the Cade Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Jackson. "She also instilled in me a strong work ethic." As a child, she had to clean up her grandmother's house every Saturday and then redo it if it wasn't good enough. "I learned: If you do it right the first time, you don't have to do it over again. She gave me a meticulousness for detail."

Her grandfather taught her the power of play. "He was a fun-loving person; he instilled in us that sense of laughter and lightheartedness, and that you always need to have a balance. … All my life I got to see two black families working hard every day, but working for themselves."

Blackmon, who has two children, went on to earn myriad degrees before becoming a successful, and wealthy, attorney. She received a business degree from Jackson State at age 19 and a MBA from the University of Alabama at age 20. She started at Santa Clara Law School and later received her J.D. from Ole Miss. She also received a master's degree in Tax Law from New York University Law School. Before she returned to Mississippi from the East, she worked as an attorney for the Bristol Myers Company. Back in the South, she first worked as an associate attorney with the law firm of Banks and Nichols in Jackson before helping form Blackmon and Blackmon, where she is now managing partner. She has been a state senator for Madison, Yazoo and Humphries counties since 1992.

Viva La Difference
When asked for the biggest difference between her and Tuck, Blackmon points to her work ethic. "I have worked hard all of my life and have been able to have a successful business through hard work and above-the-board dealings," she said, seizing the chance to point out what she believes is a weakness in opponent Tuck. "When my opponent ran for lieutenant governor, she was unemployed but was able to obtain $530,000 in secret loans from secret backers. … I have always fully disclosed the sources of my contributions, and I have always supported campaign-finance disclosure laws as well as open government. There are distinct differences with my opponent in that regard."

There are also real differences ideologically between the two women, unlike in the governor's race, where it can be hard to tell who is more conservative. And Blackmon readily owns up to being to the ideological left of Tuck. "I would say, yes, that I believe I do maintain progressive ideas; I believe, though, that for fiscal affairs, I'm more a conservative moderate. On social issues, I am progressive." The fact that she uttered those words so easily may be one of the more remarkable aspects of her campaign for a top office in Mississippi.

Indeed, Blackmon's record proves that progressivism, which certainly won't sit well with all the state's voters. In the Legislature, she has unabashedly supported the poor, the disenfranchised, the elderly, people of color, young people—people who don't typically get the same audience with more conservative ideologues. She is a champion for public education willing to question the mantra of Bush-style "accountability." "No question, there are mandates but no funds," she said of President Bush's under-funded "No Child Left Behind" testing requirements for public schools. "We are going to have to provide resources (to pay for it)."

Blackmon also departs company on some hot-button political issues that get little analysis in the media, and that provide politicans easy sound bites. Like the School Safety Act of 2001. Blackmon was one of the few legislators who voted against the bill to make it easier for school officials to suspend and expel students for subjective reasons (such as being "disruptive," which can be defined very differently by different teachers).

"We needed due process," said the attorney who likes balance, "and we needed parents involved, and counseling in order that we try to save that child." Just saying that the bill was about making schools safer wasn't enough, she said: "We've got to have an environment conducive for learning; we do have to strike a balance with the individual rights of people." This is in sharp contrast to candidates like Barbour who is calling for more "discipline" in the schools (presumably to make it easier to kick out kids), while avoiding the specifics, in campaign ads. Likewise, Blackmon strives for more balance on juvenile and crime issues, wanting to ensure that crime-fighting includes prevention and poverty alleviation, as well as punitive responses.

This perceived liberalism could cost her dearly though, in this state, especially if African-American voter turnout is low as it traditionally is. Mississippi State political science professor Stephen Shaffer (who taught Tuck, and me, back in the early 1980s) said Blackmon's perceived liberalism is "her greatest problem. He added via e-mail, "Her voting record is pretty liberal on a host of issues, such as crime. Tuck seems closer issue-wise to the 'average' resident, from what I can see."

All the while, Tuck has attached herself to a far-right conservative agenda. She recently drew an endorsement from Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association in Tupelo. There's not much daylight to the right of the AFA.

In a Sept. 11 campaign letter, which seems to be the most clear articulation of her platform to date, Tuck illuminated the issues she thinks are most important to her would-be voters: "I'm running my campaign on the issues. I am conservative, pro-life, pro-gun and for the death penalty. My opponent is not. I've taken tough stands on redistricting, and I fought for civil justice reform. Again, my opponent voted against legislation that keeps doctors from leaving our state and businesses from closing their doors." … "The issues we will face in the next four years are just too important to leave to chance. Enacting more civil justice reform, continuing accountability in education, making sure God is in our public schools, and protecting the unborn are critical to our future."

A Wedge of Choice
Some say Tuck's rightward lunge is predictable in a state considered the most conservative in the nation, at least based on who turns out to vote. "In Mississippi, when you're running statewide, you are trying to create as much distance as you can between yourself and your opponent," says Leslie McLemore, Jackson City Councilman and political science professor at Jackson State.

The abortion gauntlet that Tuck threw down in that campaign letter is certainly one way to distinguish the two women, even if the hot-button issue has little relevance to state legislative matters. Blackmon is probably the first openly pro-abortion rights candidate to get so close to statewide office, McLemore said.

Again, Blackmon is unapologetic when she explains her views on the controversial procedure. "I know that we serve a forgiving God. I have always personally chosen life and just as I have chosen life, then I believe that it's within every person's right to do so within the confines of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision (Roe v. Wade)," she told the JFP. She is on record opposing "partial-birth" abortion and says she believes that as a state official, the focus should be on preventing teen pregnancy and assisting children already in such circumstances.

Surprisingly, Blackmon's abortion stance wasn't taking hold early in the campaign when Mississippians heard from the media a lot more about her opposition to tort reform or whether her race would be a factor in November. But especially since Sept. 8, when the National Right to Life organization endorsed Tuck (and Barbour)—and warned that Blackmon "holds a very extreme position and clearly supports abortion"—the Tuck campaign has seized every chance to tout the incumbent's absolute opposition to abortion rights.

Blackmon's resolve, or at least her savvy, seemed to crack Sept. 29 when she huffily responded to Tuck's abortion barbs by signing an affidavit saying that she had never had an abortion and then challenged Tuck to do the same. This shocking strategy seemed to be designed to dredge up old rumors that surfaced in Tuck's 1999 run for lieutenant governor that she, indeed, had had an abortion, said Marty Wiseman, director of the Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University. Then, the rumor—not substantiated to date—was being used against Tuck as a Democrat, perhaps to prove her "liberalism"; now it seems designed to show her hypocrisy as a pro-life conservative. Tuck has since said she, too, would sign the affidavit.

Political Suicide
Many political watchers are predicting that the challenge may cost Blackmon the election. "I do think the abortion challenge she threw down hurt her," Wiseman said of Blackmon. "There were few ways it could help her." And his MSU colleague Shaffer said abortion is a very dangerous issue for Blackmon. "[She] should not run as a pro-choice candidate, but as a candidate standing for a lot of different issues, only one of which is pro-choice," he wrote via e-mail.

Shaffer shared statistics from Mississippi polls conducted annually by his department that show that the state may be changing its views on abortion along with the rest of the country, albeit more slowly. "n 2002, 56 percent (of polled Mississippians) were pro-life, and 41 percent pro-choice with 3 percent undecided," he wrote. "Results then and in 2000 are split more than one would think in the Deep South." Such numbers, especially showing such a small split on a divisive wedge issue, certainly show how badly both candidates need voters to turn out.

Even some voters who agree with Blackmon's abortion stance, though, are turned off by her affidavit challenge. Many fellow progressive Mississippians, especially women, are now saying openly that they're more skeptical of Blackmon since she tried to shine a spotlight into what is legally considered a woman's right to privacy. And the rather-gleeful media reaction sure hasn't helped: "Sen. Barbara Blackmon may well have committed the single worst act of political suicide in state history," wrote Clarion-Ledger columnist Sid Salter on Oct. 8. And Tuck herself said, "I've seen a lot of low-road politics in my time, but this beats all," as quoted by the Associated Press.

Blackmon says it was Tuck's growing attacks on an issue peripheral to the office they're seeking that drew her response. "I was simply responding to some statements that my opponents had made in a direct-mail letter (quoted above), as well as when she was traveling across the state. I was simply trying to set the record straight in terms of my views. I simply said that I could indicate that I had never engaged in that procedure; if you're taking a position, you should articulate the reason you are taking that position," she told the JFP.

But will her reaction create a backlash that sinks Blackmon? Perhaps. Being that a man isn't in the race, Wiseman said, there are those who might have, for the first time, gingerly decided to vote for a black over a Caucasian. "Some old-line Democrats who have not yet departed the party are still in line to do that," he said. And there are a few independent-minded (white) folks who "might feel comfortable stepping out to the other side," he added. "Those are needed to add to (Blackmon's) highly invigorated African-American voting base. Finding that other 13, 14 percent of voters who would have to be white is going to be difficult." But Blackmon's challenge, Wiseman says, might give those white voters pause. But the stench of dirty politics is hard to shake, even if Tuck pushed Blackmon into the pig pen first.

McLemore agrees: "It sidetracked her campaign." He added: "It is going to dampen some of the crossover support that she was going to get, white folks who admire the intelligence of Sen. Blackmon, who have looked at her educational credentials and sees she has the formal education that few in public life have anywhere in the country. That's a reason to vote for her despite her color."

McLemore predicts that Blackmon is going to draw strong support from the African-American community, regardless of her position on abortion or her affidavit-gate. "The pride factor is at play. A number of people may feel differently about abortion, but because she's a black woman who is highly qualified, they'll say to their daughter, 'I want you to go to law school to be like Barbara Blackmon.'"

And, he says, it hasn't gone unnoticed that Tuck has also played another wedge issue, the race card, by declaring at the Neshoba County Fair that she was never in favor of the new state flag. Tuck was silent on her flag position back in 2000 and 2001 when she was still a Democrat; she and Blackmon even went head-to-head over Tuck's role in procedurally blocking a vote on a bill to change the flag. Suddenly declaring her support for the old flag now, and while running against a black candidate, is very telling, McLemore said. "It reflects, quite frankly, on how far we need to go to organize constituencies so politicians can't run and hide like that and alienate people. It's absolutely frightening."

Can I Get an Issue?
Going into the last couple weeks of the campaign, Blackmon really, really wants to debate issues—and not just the hot-button topics outlined in Tuck's campaign letter. She says she wants to get to the grit of economic development, prescription drug costs, education (especially early childhood learning), the economy, and job creation and training, which she calls the state's most critical issue. "We have lost 44,000 manufacturing jobs, and our workers need to be re-trained for the 21st-century economy," she said. Blackmon believes she will draw multi-racial support because she has presented a detailed plan "to get our economy out of the mud" (on her Web site; note that barbarablackmon.com is an anti-Blackmon site apparently set up by a Mississippi College student). "She has proposed absolutely nothing," Blackmon said of Tuck. "Our opponent has not offered any concrete plan addressing health care or senior citizens. … She will espouse campaign rhetoric, but she does not provide any detailed plan." (On Tuck's site, , several issues are summarized in sound bite fashion, with little in the way of policy explanations.)

Blackmon said she is frustrated because Tuck has, thus far, refused to discuss issues face-to-face with her. She wants five debates; Tuck has agreed to only one, maybe two, starting with one sponsored by Mississippi ETV on Oct. 30. Blackmon also claims that Tuck has not shown up at joint appearances on at least eight occasions to date. "The voters of this state should be outraged that she wants your vote, but does not think that you have the right to be able to look at the candidates side by side, eyeball to eyeball, so see if anybody's listening when they're responding to a question."

Wiseman of the Stennis Institute said that Tuck probably believes agreeing to debate Blackmon would show weakness. "One thing that usually tells you is that Tuck's polling numbers show she's got a lot to lose and nothing to gain by debates," he said. JSU's McLemore was blunter: "Sen. Blackmon is a better debater. In the state Senate, she is one of more outpoken, more articulate, and most quoted by press."

Blackmon said she would be happy to debate one issue raised by Tuck in her letter—civil justice reform (or "tort reform"). She has been roundly criticized for being a trial lawyer and for opposing the tort reforms presented in the 83-day special session called by Gov. Ronnie Musgrove last year that resulted in $500,000 medical malpractice caps, among other regulations proposed to stop what the insurance industry and U.S. Chamber of Commerce call "lawsuit abuse." The reasoning goes that in order to attract more large business to the state, the Legislature must stop what The Clarion-Ledger and tort-reform supporters routinely call "jackpot justice."

She is confident that she is on the right side of this issue, Blackmon said. "To me, it's about ensuring that our citizens have the right to access trial by jury when they feel they have been wronged by individuals or companies. It is very, very important that we strike some balance so that our citizens will continue to have access and the business community remains stable," she said, adding that industry often goes too far. She accuses Tuck of inserting a provision into tort-reform legislation that would allow nursing-home records to remain secret so that families who suspect abuse could not obtain the records. Blackmon also wants the Legislature to fund the insurance pool that passed last legislative session to enable doctors to have better access to medical-malpractice insurance.

Criticism by such people as columnist Salter who recently framed her race into those who support tort reform vs. those who don't annoys Blackmon. Listing campaign contributions to both candidates, Salter stated that the most dollars for both candidates are coming as a result of that divisive wedge issue—Blackmon's from trial attorneys and Tuck's from industry. (Several trial attorneys have also donated to Tuck.)

Blackmon points out that her highest donors are her and her husband's own law firm and the actor Morgan Freeman, who gave her campaign $100,000, in addition to several trial attorneys including progressive black attorney and nightclub owner Isaac Byrd. "(Salter) omitted that (Freeman donation) because it didn't fit his story," Blackmon said.

"That's what my opponent would like to frame it as, because she has no plan for addressing economic development, jobs or education," Blackmon said.

Previous Comments

ID
77230
Comment

The fact of the matter is that any employeer would be sued to the hilt if they asked a woman if she had an abortion in a job interview. In essence, isn't that what a campaign is - a job interview with the public. Yes, it is only one issue and I'm sure Ms. Blackmon has lots of good ideas. But, the point is she went where no other business leader / human resource executive could go with any of their employees. I sure hope your newspaper knows better then to ask peresonal questions of its employees, especially sensitive personal issues. It's legal to give drug and alcohol tests, but you can't go into the persons bedroom or doctors office to decide if they are worthy of employment. If I remember correctly you called out Mitch Tyner for what he was - a front, a phony. Why not call out Ms. Blackmon for proposing something illegal and in bad taste? Tell us more about the cases and clients she represented. The cars she drives. Better yet, show me examples of how she has helped the people of Mississippi as a citizen not a politician. Would it be great to elect an African-American to state-wide office? Sure, it would be great for a lot of states. But, Barabara Blackmon is not the one for Mississippi. Now Gary Anderson, their is someone who we should talk about and promote as an example of how far we have come. Instead we have Musgrove saying Haley poisons our children and Blackmon getting all worked up about Tuck's "body." Gee, do they just not have anything more to say?

Author
John L
Date
2003-10-16T17:03:18-06:00
ID
77231
Comment

The big business of politics has become so much less about public and civic service that prospective politicians will say/do nearly anything to get or stay elected--including things in poor taste and bad judgement. Civic engagement is at an all-time low nationally precisely because politicians, most of them, don't have anything to say --except, of course, something nasty about their opponent.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-16T17:19:07-06:00
ID
77232
Comment

Incidentally, Rev. Wildmon did support the proposed new Mississippi state flag in the 2001 Referendum.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-10-16T17:42:22-06:00
ID
77233
Comment

John, thanks for the advice about what to ask our employees; I think we have a list around here somewhere. But it's always good advice to hear. ;-) I absolutely agree that the affidavit challenge was tasteless. But I do question you're characterizing it as "illegal." From what I've seen, she has not asked Tuck directly if she's had an abortion, but said in response to Tuck's pushing on the issue that she would sign an affidavit saying she had not had one and challenged Tuck to do the same (which she apparently is planning to do). Again, I'll give you the tasteless part, but I really don't see the "illegal" part. Maybe a lawyer could update us? Otherwise, it is interesting to me that many of the same people who are all over Blackmon's tasteless affidavit aren't yelling about Tuck's tasteless embrace of the Mississippi/Rebel flag when she was running against a black candidate. I personally find both actions shocking. I could also rail on the tasteless missiles by both Barbour and Musgrove, starting back before the primaries with a certain colorful brochure mailed to Republicans, but I'll save that for another time. BTW, Blackmon had more to say on this issue, which I should have posted by Friday. I'm under the gun to prepare for a panel I have moderate in 45 minutes, so it'll have to wait another day.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-16T17:47:32-06:00
ID
77234
Comment

Ex, then maybe there is a pinhole of daylight on the right of Rev. Wildmon (grin) (not that I anywhere near think the flag issue should be a left-vs.-right decision; it should be right-vs.-wrong.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-16T17:50:14-06:00
ID
77235
Comment

confucius say: woman who backs other woman into corner will eventually feel pointy tip of high heel against face. it was distasteful, and it may very well cost her the election, but when you're dealing with a turncoat opportunist like Ms. Tuck, you gotta bring out the gloves.

Author
Jlosset
Date
2003-10-17T02:06:27-06:00
ID
77236
Comment

Jay, that seems to be the thinking of a lot of people I talk to. Many don't seem to think it's any (or much) worse than wrapped oneself in the rebel part of the Mississippi flag. Perhaps the two tricks will cancel each other out. We'll see.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-17T11:09:53-06:00
ID
77237
Comment

"Providing a rebate on student loans for those students who stay in Mississippi and encouraging entrepreneurship in classrooms are two components of a jobs plan announced Wednesday by lieutenant governor hopeful Barbara Blackmon. 'We know that education plus economic development equals opportunity,' said Blackmon, who began a statewide tour in Jones County Wednesday to discuss her education and jobs plan. 'Only through improvements in education will Mississippians gain opportunities to acquire the necessary skills needed to own and operate small businesses and to work for large corporations.'" The Hattiesburg American today

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-17T15:11:09-06:00
ID
77238
Comment

Babs is a big supporter of public education. That's why her son attends St. Andrews. One of those bad, bad private schools set up by pro-segregationist whites. I guess when the choice was a public school education or providing her child a solid academic foundation for life, she found a way to just forget all of that nasty past. Too bad parents of less substantial means won't get the same opportunity for their children. Like they say, the rich get richer and the poor, well, they get to reap the benefit of a public education while the children of politicians go to private schools.

Author
PCJoy
Date
2003-10-17T17:50:59-06:00
ID
77239
Comment

PCJoy, I'm not defending Blackmon's choice of St. Andrew's--I'm a believer in public schools all the way--but is it accurate to say that St. Andrews was set up as a seg academy?

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-17T17:54:22-06:00
ID
77240
Comment

From the Oct. 19 NYT Magazine profile of Barbour: "Then there is the matter of the lieutenant governor's election. In Mississippi, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor are obligated by the state Constitution to run separate campaigns and often have little politically in common except party affiliation. The incumbent, Amy Tuck, was elected as a Democrat but switched parties once in office. And when a black lawyer and legislator named Barbara Blackmon won the Democratic lieutenant governor's primary, Barbour introduced the novel notion of a 'Musgrove-Blackmon ticket' into his speeches. He has since kept it up, warning his mostly all-white crowds that 'Blackmon did a great job getting out her supporters.' By supporters, he means blacks. Blackmon, if elected, will become the first African-American to hold statewide office in Mississippi history. A laborer's daughter who grew up in inner-city Jackson, Blackmon graduated from college at 19 and subsequently earned three graduate degrees. Her presence on the ballot is expected to energize Mississippi's heavily Democratic black electorate. When she encountered Barbour after a labor meeting at which he made references to her, she told him that he wasn't running against her and requested that he desist. 'He told me I was right, and he wouldn't do it in the future,' she says. That has turned out to be Barbour's first broken campaign promise." http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/19/magazine/19BARBOUR.html

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-18T17:47:40-06:00
ID
77241
Comment

St. Andrew's was *not* founded as a segregationist school. It's always been affiliated with the episcopal church in Mississippi, which has a long history of civil rights support, and a very strong presence in downtown jackson. My kids, like Ms. Blackmon's, go to St. Andrew's. Because, as you point out, it provides them with "a solid academic foundation for life." End of story. It's not about race, at least for me. I am well aware that it is a privilege to be able to send my kids there, and I am thankful that I have the ability to send them to a school of such high quality. That being said, I think improving the quality of our public schools is of the highest priority, all across the country, and I'd be happy to have my taxes raised to pay for improvements in our state's schools.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-19T09:44:47-06:00
ID
77242
Comment

I'm sorry but as a proud graduate of the school in the late 70s, and with two siblings who graduated from there in the early 80s, you couldn't be more incorrect. While the school was established well before desegregation, and the church has been a trailblazer of local racial reconciliation as you suggest, the school itself was most surely viewed and operated as a haven from what was seen at the time as the rapidly darkening public school system. The school mission moderated dramatically in the mid to late 80s, as did all of the local academies at varying levels, to more fully embrace tolerance and diversity. But back then it was absolutely clear why I, my brother and sister, and our classmates were there, and why black students from the area were not. As a life long resident of this area, Babs is well aware of what St. Andrews was, and was not, back then. All I'm saying is that when it comes to education many politicians, especially Democrats, are hypocrits and all too often send their children to the best of the private schools while advocating that poor parents must continue to send their children to failing or struggling public schools. They insist that the parents with children in these public schools should only support making those schools better and not be given a choice to move their students elsewhere though they themselves have made that very same choice to do so. They speak out of both sides of their mouths. Poor parents are smart and do not like the rub. We only get one chance to educate our children. Babs has chosen education over principle for her children but does not support giving poor parents the same choice if funding for those without the means are to be paid out of public coffers. She choose not to abort her own babies but publicly supports giving others the choice to do so. She says one thing but in her personal life does the opposite.

Author
PCJoy
Date
2003-10-19T11:44:30-06:00
ID
77243
Comment

PCJoy, your arguments seem flawed in several ways. First, you say that St. Andrews was used by white people who support segregation back when you were there. Whether or not it was set up for that reason (and I'll let you two St. Andrews grads argue that out), it would be ridiculous to argue that only people who agreed with integration sent/send their kids there. Inevitably, at least some people used the school for nefarious purposes of keeping their kids away from black people. That possibility would be common sense to assume. Now, it doesn't follow, though, that the school therefore was set up for that reason, as the seg academies and Council schools were. (And, don't forget that most blacks here couldn't afford an expensive parochial then, and many still can't.) If one accepts your argument that St. Andrews is a "seg" academy, which happens to employ good pedagogy, you could argue that Blackmon is breaking a racial barrier, right? It seems bizarre to me to argue that a black woman sending her son to a mostly white school means that she supports segregation in some way. Now, the public-vs.-private school argument is cogent to me. And your point about "hypocrites" isn't a new one. When the Clintons moved to Washington, they were criticized for deciding to send Chelsea to that very good private school there rather than a public school with lesser academic rigor, and this is a tough issue. Now what you then say, though, is ridiculous -- that "they" (the Democrat hypocrites) say that parents shouldn't "be given a choice" of sending their kids to private school. I don't know anyone who has said that parents shouldn't be able to *choose* a private school. The question is over whether private schools should be publicly funded, thus siphoning even more resources away from public schools (and, by the way, making the private schools subject to the U.S. Constitution and federal regulations and accountability, which is a rat's nest many supporters of "school choice" have chosen not to consider). And your abortion statement, again, I find illogical. Are you saying that if one believes in abortion rights that one should be required to have an abortion? Probably not, but as written it sounds like it. I didn't agree with Blackmon's challenge, but it does sound like she was saying that she is personally opposed to abortion, but agrees with the constitutional right and the law that says that it is legal. It sounds like she was trying to point out the hypocisy of someone who might have had an abortion (according to rumor) then telling other women that they can't. Again, I didn't like the strategy on its face, but I also believe you're dramatically over-simplifying it in your effort to cast Blackmon in a negative light. Also, why do you call her "Babs"? Is she a friend of yours?

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-19T13:02:38-06:00
ID
77244
Comment

You've contradicted yourself there PCJoy. Don't you think Blackmon knows that "we only get once chance to educate our children"? I'm not defending her choice, but as the parent of a child in private school, I understand her dilemna. The public school my daughter is zoned for is horrible--below national average scores in reading and math and located directly across the street from several known drug dens (The NYT did a story last spring about the NYPD's 2-year investigation of the dealer who had commandeered a whole block). I went to public school in MS, as did my siblings, and we all managed to find our way into the Ivy League institution of our choice, but our parents were raising children in a different environment from the ones kids have today. Although I am a fierce advocate of public schools and vote against politicians who make education cuts, when my daughter enetered first grade I couldn't bring myself to send her to that school. The school was so bad that even if I were intimately involved in her school life, I don't think I could have made her experience there an entirely profitable one. My involvement couldn't change the school's location, or move the drug dens, or raise the reading and math scores of all the other students. If you only get one chance to educate your children, would you gamble their future for the sake of scoring political points or proving a point? That's called winning the battle but osing the war.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-19T13:05:00-06:00
ID
77245
Comment

And re choice, you've contradicted yourself again. Do you not understand the word "choice"? She made her choice but completely supports other people's right to make a different choice. That's what choice IS (some people also call it democracy). And that position is not contradictory. Its noble.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-19T13:06:43-06:00
ID
77246
Comment

That's insane troll logic on a couple of levels, pcjoy. 1. Sending one's kids to private school does not mean one advocates the notion that 'poor parents *MUST* send their kids to public schools.' if there's a debate in MS about a school voucher system, I'm not hearing about it. I'd love to, so point me in that direction, if you know something i don't. 2. I haven't, nor has Blackmon, said that poor parents are not smart. 3. Being pro-choice and being a parent are NOT mutually exclusive. As a parent, I understand all the difficulties of being a parent, and firmly believe that any woman who feels strongly enough about not having kids to actually get an abortion, should be allowed to. As for that mythical population of women who slut around and use abortion like birth control - are these really the type of people we want reproducing and raising children? When all children in the US are free from poverty and abuse, and have access to education and medical care, then we can talk. 4. As to the notion that St. andrew's was founded by segregationists, you damped that argument all on your own. and, if it had been, it is not now segregationist. it can be elitist, for sure, but for the parents there that I know, it's not elitism based on race. And, you yourself point out that it provides a 'solid academic base', which is incredibly important. if we are to boycott all institutions that were once segregationists, then only white men would be voting. The ugly part of this is that public education in MS is, while good in places, also mediocre to bad in other places. the Clarion ledger said today that class sizes in JPS range from 25 to over 35 students. At St. Andrew's the class sizes are much smaller. which is one of many reasons I choose to shell out an arm and a leg for tuition for my children there. Not because there's a paucity of minorities. Rather, because I feel like it provides a superior education, and I'm lucky enough to be able to pay for it.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-19T13:12:36-06:00
ID
77247
Comment

Nia, once again, we're posting at the same time! You characterize the education "dilemma" very well and much better than I could have said it, as someone who doesn't have children. I will add one thing: I am also the product of Mississippi public schools who ended up in the Ivy League. I was in third grade when we integrated in Philadelphia, Miss., and had some wonderful teachers (including Sid Salter's mother) and mentors who believed I could do anything I wanted; therefore, I did. My absolute fondest memories of my days there involve getting to know my African-American friends, especially my dear friend Doug Greer who banded with me in World History class to loudly question the teacher's seemingly limited world view (these days, we might be called "disruptive" and be kicked out for our precociousness). When I was at Columbia, sure, I discovered that my Ivy-educated counterparts had read books I hadn't, and routinely threw around words like "secular" and "sectarian" and, well, "pedagogy" more often than I did, but there were a helluva lot of things I learned at Neshoba Central High School that they had no idea of. So, it comes out in the wash, so to speak. Of course, the real challenge is to get people to support public schools long enough (and stop trying to take their resources away) that they again become strong institutions that most parents will want to send their kids to. And the point is very well made that it is VITAL for people who choose schools like St. Andrews to keep doing everything they can to support the public schools, even as they come increasingly under attack.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-19T13:16:29-06:00
ID
77248
Comment

If I might venture an opinion, while it's obvious that enrollment in and a good record at better secondary schools give students a better chance of getting into a top-quality college or university, the ultimate outcome of those students who follow that path is indecisive. The so-called Ivy League schools have just as much of an impressive record of turning out mediocre graduates as any other group of universities.

Author
simon
Date
2003-10-19T18:00:14-06:00
ID
77249
Comment

I'm not sure what your point was, Simon, but my point was not to say that Ivy League schools are definitively better than non-Ivies. (Why are you taking swipes at the Ivies?) I could care less if my daughter ends up at an Ivy or at MS State. I do care that she's not shot at during school or attends school with kids who have disruptive home lives and therefore (often) disruptive school lives. But it is undeniable, I believe, that the quality of Ivy League schools is among the best possible on this planet. Notwithstanding, some of the best schools are not Ivies. Being well educated is not an indication of success in life (by any definition), but it does offer an obvious advantage no matter what your life path is. And I'm not sure how you can quantify "mediocre graduates." What does that mean? Certainly not everyone who graduates from an Ivy League school goes on to become a multimillionaire investment banker. The car insurance agent who went to an Ivy may not be rollin' in the dough, but she has a grounding in world history and culture across many disciplines that is perhaps unequaled. The difference between an Ivy League education and that from probably most other institutions in the US is that the Ivies do not believe that education is a means to an end. They believe it is an end in itself. So that no matter what you do for a living or how much money you make, you have a grounding in world history, art, politics, economics, and science that makes you a better person. It's that attitude that also makes the top non-Ivy schools excellent. These schools don't educate people ONLY for a specific profession; they educate them to be people fluent in the history and culture of their world--in all its diversity. And speaking for my alma mater, Columbians are proud of their record of "mediocre graduates," which includes a long roster of US Presidents, Congressmen, Noble Prize winners, community activists, and Pulitzer Prize-winning writers.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-19T19:16:39-06:00
ID
77250
Comment

Donna: Someone once asked me what was my most humbling moment. I answered that it was the moment I realized that the high-school English teacher whom I hated because she was so racist was also the person who taught me how to write. In that wash cycle, things didn't quite balance out. For teaching me to write, I owe her a great debt. I value my MS public school education for many reasons, including teaching me about the depths of racism and ignorance and that a system/culture that keeps some of us ignorant ultimately keeps all of us down. Cheers to Doug Greer! I once was nearly expelled from school because on the first day of eighth grade I refused to read aloud from our brand-spankin'-new school books. The book referred to African Americans as "negroes and negresses" and to Native Americans as "savages." And not in historial context, in terms of describing the history of race relations. It was a hilarious episode! And scarring. I think the saddest thing, though was that the teacher and none of the other students saw anything wrong with the language of the book--and neither did the principal (who was black). After I'd been sent to the office, the principal threatened me with expulsion if I didn't apologize to the teacher and the class, telling me that he'd hate to have to call my parents and tell them to come get me. Not one to be bullied, I called his bluff and told him to call my half-negress, half-savage mother and tell her to come get me. I'll never forget the look he gave me. I think if he could have killed me and gotten away with it, he would have strangled me on the spot. I've got a lot of problems with Musgrove, but I have to say that his committment to education is genuine and laudable. It's the only thing that can move MS off the bottom of all those lists. Let's just hope the schools order good textbooks! :-)

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-19T19:42:22-06:00
ID
77251
Comment

Nia wrote: "The difference between an Ivy League education and that from probably most other institutions in the US is that the Ivies do not believe that education is a means to an end. They believe it is an end in itself. So that no matter what you do for a living or how much money you make, you have a grounding in world history, art, politics, economics, and science that makes you a better person." Oh, I'll dispute the fact that education makes you a better peron any day of the week. It makes you more educated, but certainly not a better person. A serial killer who reads Sophocles in the original Greek is still, after all, a serial killer.

Author
simon
Date
2003-10-19T21:06:27-06:00
ID
77252
Comment

Simon, you'll get no argument from me that there aren't some idiots in the Ivy League, and I know quite a few of them. I think you're twisting what Nia and I were saying above into a different meaning that wasn't there; the point I was making in reference to St. Andrews had to do with the fact that getting into "good" schools has become so competitive these days that many people feel like they have to send their kids to a school like St. Andrews if they want to have a shot at a competitive-admissions school--and still others believe that you can't get a good education at a public school. So many people don't even think their kids would be ready to attend college at all if they attend public schools. My point was that a public-school education can be very good in many, well-rounded ways-- if you have the right mentors and people pushing you and believing in you (same for privates). My comment, in context, had nothing to do with whether or not an Ivy League education is preferable, and it certainly isn't belittling those who don't attend Ivies. God knows, that's the last thing I would do. Personally, as the daughter of uneducated parents, I'm glad I was able to do that (after building a career and taking out student loans), but certainly not everyone needs to go Ivy in order to be educated and successful, or smart or happy. On the other hand, I come from a town where many smart kids with good grades are routinely advised to attend East Central or Meridian Junior (Community?) College before they try out Mississippi State or Ole Miss. There is nothing wrong with encouraging younger people to reach higher for as much education as they can get. And there's no shame in saying that (or, certainly, in attending a competitive school). I do find it funny: up North, some folks would look down their noses because I attended a state school in Mississippi; down here, some people try to make me apologize for attending Columbia. It's just weird to me. Education is a good thing, and the more the better. I'm proud of my Neshoba Central diploma, my MSU degree and my Columbia degree. Frankly, in my circumstances at the time, I was less likely to get the first two than the third. In your last comment, I think you're over-simplifying what Nia is saying. Perhaps the point could be framed as "a well-rounded education (Ivy or otherwise) makes it less likely that you're going to turn into a bad person, follow a life of crime, support mindless demagoguery, be a deadbeat dad or mom, or end up in prison, and so on." Of course there's no guarantee, and I actually feel kind of silly arguing this point. What I just typed seems one of the most obvious responses I've made to someone here, yet, so I apologize if it sounds trite. (And, Nia, I didn't know we attended the same school. Cool.)

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-19T22:43:55-06:00
ID
77253
Comment

It's a foregone conclusion that having an education does not make you a more moral person. And there are more than a few immoral people with Ivy League degrees (Can somebody say "securities fraud"?). But having an education certainly gives you a wider perspective of our world, which for most folks leads to being a more enlightened person. Donna paraphrased my intended meaning correctly. But to get back to the topic, I'm impressed by Blackmon's stance on "partial-truth abortion." It's commendable that she has seen through the misinformation campaign. And it's a shame that a surgical procedure (the first ever to be outlawed in the US) that saves women's lives has been outlawed because of a some people's religious over-convictions. Women who are having otherwise normal, intended pregnancies but unexpectedly encounter problems will die because surgeons can no longer perform the procedure without threat of prosecution.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-19T23:56:09-06:00
ID
77254
Comment

Okay, I did a little research, and here's the scoop on St. Andrew's School. It was founded in the early 1940s, as part of a national effort by the Episcopal Church, to found schools which could provide an excellent education. It has never excluded attendees based on race, creed, etc. It was founded well before any "white flight" movement, at a time when public schools were well regarded. St. Andrew's did experience an increase in attendance around the time of desegregation, but it was not founded as a "segregation academy", the way some of the other jackson private schools were. Now, back to topic...

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-20T10:10:04-06:00
ID
77255
Comment

Nia, I agree with you. If there was anything I left Mississippi looking for was a larger worldview and a wider frame of reference. When I was growing up, we didn't read any newspapers but the Neshoba Democrat and sometimes the Meridian Star. It was very easy to be so isolated that my people easily went along with the demagogues and didn't question and believed the hype that anything written outside the state with deeper research was simply "outside agitation." Some of that narrow-mindedness still exists here today, of course, but it's certainly getting better. (I'll talk another time about the different kinds of narrow-mindedness I found in other places, especially about the South.) Thanks for the update, Kate. I knew St. Andrews had a different history than the seg academies, but I didn't know the details. Onward. Happy Monday, everyone. I have tons of deadlines this week, so y'all keep the dialogue going in my absence!

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-20T10:23:58-06:00
ID
77256
Comment

Read a 'Truth test' on anti-Blackmon TV ad by "Progress for America," a group promoting an ultra-far-right agenda: http://www.thejacksonchannel.com/politics/2562634/detail.html

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-20T12:13:26-06:00
ID
77257
Comment

Word is that Progress for America (that paid for the anti-Blackmon ad) is run by Tony Feather, an RNC appointee by Mr. Haley Barbour and a national political operative who coordinated the last Bush-Cheney campaign. The group, however, calls itself a "grass-roots" organization on its Web site. These political machines are giving entirely new meanings to the old phrase "outside agitator," eh? Here's a bio of Mr. Feather from his political firm's Web site: http://www.flsphones.com/partners.htm List of Feather's clients (note that it includes the U.S. Chamber): http://www.flsphones.com/clients.htm And a promotional quote from Karl Rove on the site: "I know these guys well. They become partners with the campaigns they work with. From designing the program to drafting scripts; from selecting targets to making the calls in a professional, successful way they work as hard to win your races as you do." óKarl Rove Some other links re: Progress for American and Tony Feather: http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Progress_for_America http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Tony_Feather http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Soft_money&printable=yes

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-20T13:10:05-06:00
ID
77258
Comment

Read a piece in Final Call about Blackmon. The writer quotes an earlier JFP piece in the story, not this article (confused me for a minute). http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_1070.shtml

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-20T13:24:40-06:00
ID
77259
Comment

That Progress for America TV ad is shameful. I hope people see through it or at least that the ad's deceptiveness gets some air time as well.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-20T13:58:34-06:00
ID
77260
Comment

Wow, Blackmon must really scare someone (try Amy Tuck) if they sent in these big guns to try and shoot her down. It ought to tell people something. Makes me wonder how long Tuck and people in the Republican party (like Rove, maybe?) had been planning that little takeover by proxy of the Lt. Govorner's office. Maybe, just maybe, she decided midterm, but I have to wonder. I think they may be doing Blackmon more good than harm, though. I've overheard a person or two who I thought were likely Tuck supporters complaining about the sleaziness of the ad. And certainly, someone like Mr. Feather has a lot of goldarn nerve trying to pass himself off as a grassroots movement. This is sheer, unadulterated political chicanery. Worse, it's overkill - I don't think Blackmon has much of a chance. Unless . . . this so-called grassroots organization keeps running it's slimy ad and Amy Tuck keeps running those ads of hers slinging more mud, or just as bad, those where she sounds so strident and overbearing and says "I" about 50 times in the course of 30 seconds. People in my house (and I don't mean me, I'm the endurance type) have been known to do some frantic channel-flipping at the first "I". I honestly don't think that Blackmon was trying to say that Tuck had an abortion. I think she was reacting to the pressure Tuck was putting on her over the abortion issue. It was a major misstep, though, because of the way the media seemed to take it, and the way Tuck jumped on it and starting making political hay out of it. I don't know who put the spin on it - the media or Tuck. I'd like to know who broke it to them - Tuck or Blackmon. That might tell a lot about who understood it how, and why. But since Tuck is making such a big deal out of it, does anybody know if she got around to signing that affidavit yet? If she doesn't hurry up, people will start to wonder after all.

Author
C.W. Roberson
Date
2003-10-20T15:35:21-06:00
ID
77261
Comment

Last I heard, Tuck hadn't signed it, as of last week. It was reported that her office said she hadn't had time, yet. You're right: the media in this state have made absolutely hay of it, even as the GOP is sending in big guns to play race politics. I think Blackmon made a mistake, but what about all this race-baiting by Republicans!?! Once again, dumb old Mississippians are being played for prejudiced idiots. If the state's media outlets would call out what's happening, maybe the NYT Mag wouldn't come in and make fools of us for not reporting the whole picture. Re the anti-Blackmon ad: note that one of Feather's clients is the U.S. Chamber. Remember: Mississippi is considered a major testing ground for big industry to ram tort reforms through and limit lawsuits (and our media have so far played along very nicely, providing dutiful outrage for the Chamber's "lawsuit abuse" claims without investigating the small print, or even the large). The U.S. Chamber is clearly terrified that Blackmon (and possibly a Musgrove not up for re-election; he told me is considering calling for hearings to look into insurance reform this time around) will block the next round of lawsuit caps. And they seem willing to do anything to immunize industry from the threat of lawsuits; the U.S. Chamber is funneling tons of money into the state to defeat legislators they worry won't do their bidding this session. Always remember the investigative reporter's mantra: follow the money. BTW, I do think Blackmon has a shot; my guess is that both top races are too close to call. It's all about turn-out, and who exactly turns out.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-20T15:49:34-06:00
ID
77262
Comment

Well, I also noticed that Mr. Feather's clients include, AT&T, Green Bay Packers, IL Soybean Assoc. and Nat. Beer Wholesalers. Does this mean we are going to all switch to AT&T, become Packer fans and eat soybeans with beer if Amy wins? NO! I've read y'alls post and it is amazing how y'all digressed from the first post. And as far as mudslinging, you act like Ronnie and Barbara are saints in that arena. And y'all think Rush is a hypocrite!

Author
Huh?
Date
2003-10-21T10:30:34-06:00
ID
77263
Comment

You're aptly named, Huh?. Read all the posts in a thread before you criticize. There has been a lot of criticism of both Musgrove and Blackmon on these threads by people representing various viewpoints.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-21T11:34:42-06:00
ID
77264
Comment

You, know something, Huh?, I haven't commented on Rush. (I've never even heard the man's radio show). I had no idea that he was running for office in Mississippi, or maybe I would have been talking about him. I don't care for some of the things Tuck has done while she was in office - I don't like the way she swapped parties (and it wouldn't have mattered if she'd been a Republican swapping to the Democrats), but most of all, I don't like the way she renenged on her promises to support educational funding. I don't think much of her mudslinging ads, so it's hard for me to chastise Barbara Blackmon too much for lashing back. As for Musgrove and Barbour, both of them have done so much mudslinging (and so little else) that I can't tell who is the worst at that I like what Musgrove has done for Education, and I liked the way he tried to hold the legislature to a reasonable budget, in spite of the fact that they simply would not listen. Still, all things considered, unless something changes between now and Nov. 4, I don't plan to vote for either one of them. Most likely I'll vote for Sherman Lee Dillon, unless I find out he was at Black Hawk. More than any of this, though, Huh?, I don't like the way Haley Barbour, Ronnie Musgrove, Amy Tuck, and just about all the other politicans in Mississippi claim to be against racism, to uphold equality and to be for all Mississippians, but the first chance they get to go to some sleazy rally held by segregationists, there they are. And Barbour allows his picture to be on their website without being willing to at least call for them to pull it (whether they actually pull it or not is beside the point). You want to talk hypocricy? There's your Grade A, Primetime hypocricy and it goes across the political spectrum, across parties. Personally speaking, I think it's way past time for this sort of political expediency to end. I want someone I can vote for who has a spine and at least a dash of integrity. Is that too much to ask?

Author
C.W. Roberson
Date
2003-10-21T13:49:16-06:00
ID
77265
Comment

With all due respect... who started the mudslinging? The first Haley ads I saw were positive ads. The first ad from Musgrove immediately started attacking Haley. And when someone tries to draw a difference between themselves and another candidate, as Amy did with her position on abortion vs. Barbara, that is not mudslinging. And I think we all know what Barbara's response was after that. Not that he who is without sin, etc... but it must be a sign of desperation that they felt they needed to throw the first punches. Oh and Nia, I did read the posts and you a somewhat correct. But, the reality of the thread is it is anti Amy, anti Haley. You know what would be cool? Threads about the good things Musgrove and Blackmon have done. And to all, when you attack Amy and say Amy hasn't done this or that, you are attacking the Musgrove administration. They pushed education, they pushed tort reform, etc.. And its not up to Musgrove or Amy or Haley to follow through with the funding of education bills passed, its up to our legislators to do that. So, lets go bang on their heads and make change where it really needs to made! Did you hear that Barbara?

Author
Huh?
Date
2003-10-21T14:34:16-06:00
ID
77266
Comment

Huh, did you get Barbour's mailings before the primary?

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-21T14:39:23-06:00
ID
77267
Comment

No, but I probably don't live in the right zip code, wink, wink. Please post it! But, did it attack Musgrove personally or did it just point out the poor performance of MS under Musgrove?

Author
Huh?
Date
2003-10-21T14:58:19-06:00
ID
77268
Comment

Has MS ever performed anything other than poorly under any governor? Seriously?

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-21T15:39:05-06:00
ID
77269
Comment

It pains me say it, but the state was doing pretty good under Fordice's first term. We were the envy of the US for a while when we had millions in the bank and two new economy's developing - communications and casinos/tourism.

Author
Huh?
Date
2003-10-21T16:17:37-06:00
ID
77270
Comment

Fordice's first term did psot some impressive gains, but to my knowledge MS has never been envied by any state in the US.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-21T16:45:36-06:00
ID
77271
Comment

Well you see that's the benefit of living out of state for a while and seeing how other see our state. Most of the time they see it from the past and wrongly I must add. I am referencing an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that pointed out how well MS was doing at the time and how out of 50 states we were one of about 3 who had money in the bank while others stuggled to meet budgets. It noted our new conseverative, and at the time first in a long time, Gov. and the new industries developing in MS. The article ended wondering what other states could do to match the progress MS had made.

Author
Huh?
Date
2003-10-21T17:07:43-06:00
ID
77272
Comment

I've lived out of the state for a lot longer than a few years, and no one envies MS's poor educational system, it's low-wage jobs, it's poor race relations, or its resistance to looking squarely at its past. And a few hundred thosuand dollars in the bank isn't enviable either. The only thing that other states MIGHT envy MS for is the progress its made within the past year or two regarding computers in classrooms. And the author of that agenda-chasing article didn't write a very well-rounded or well-researched piece. A lot of the facts about MS's economy were left out. Sure, MS's rate of personal income growth was much higher than those of other states during Fordice's first term. But--BIG but here--average per capita income was still much lower than the average for the other 49 states, inlcuding the Appalachian states. And it's just pathetic to rank behind them. The one fact balanced agaisnt the other tempers the outcome a bit, doesn't it? Talk facts, not rhetoric, Hug?.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-21T17:22:28-06:00
ID
77273
Comment

Huh, what year was that article? Can you remember any specific key words? I just did an AJC search for itóit sounds very interesting, and I say that seriouslyóand it didn't pop up. But I'll try again if you provide some more specifics. Meantime I thought this was an intriguing quote from a Nov. 15, 1991, William Raspberry column in the AJC, considering our current political discussions on the site: "The reasons for Ray Mabus's†defeat for another term as Mississippi governor likely included both†impatience with the pace of the progress he had promised and the race-tinged appeal of Kirk Fordice."

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-21T17:30:13-06:00
ID
77274
Comment

Ooh! There goes that race-baiting again. Sorry, I know that was flippant, but I couldn't resist.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-21T17:32:42-06:00
ID
77275
Comment

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-21T17:36:30-06:00
ID
77276
Comment

Just curious, but what state has good race relations. What country? Also, what exactly is considered good race relations? Is there such a thing? What about honest race relations? Is it better to live in a place where we say we are multicultural and tolerant but scratch the surface and the problem arises or a place where there is some deep seeded problems, but they are not hidden. I don't know, but the first step to any solution is knowing the problem. The next step is to apply anti-itch cream, or spermicidal jelly.

Author
jimjam
Date
2003-10-21T18:05:38-06:00
ID
77277
Comment

You see someone tries to say something good about MS and it gets all twisted up. The article was written sometime between '95 and 97'. It had nothing to do with the other issues you raised Nia. It only complemented the progresses in the areas I mentioned. And for your info. MS had about $76 million the bank at one point during the Fordice Adminstration. And I know that because people were bemoaning the fact he didn't spend it on certain programs and funding. For research purposes, ladd ( i trust your seriousness, as noted in your defense of Jackson vs. the C-L), the $76 million stands out to me in the article. But no I don't recall when. There is also a chance that I read it in NC somewhere because I travelled for business there all the time. But, I was based in Atlanta which is why I am thinking it was the AJC. But I do know I was excited that a positive article was written. Enough to call home and ask my Mom if it was true. You know that can happen Nia despite all the other shortcomings we have in MS. You can envy the beauty of someone's nose or eyes even if they have crows feet and you don't.

Author
Huh?
Date
2003-10-21T18:10:35-06:00
ID
77278
Comment

Huh, if the posters here didn't care so much about this state, and know how many wonderful things (and people) it has to offer, we wouldn't bother trying to have these thoughtful discussions about making it better. I just don't happen to think that the state has to be on the bottom if we take unflinching looks at our problems. Imagine if the economic successes you speak of with Fordice had happened in a state that was also leading the way in racial reconciliation, instead of mired in his hateful dogma? Imagine the businesses (and creative individuals) you could attract then? The point, to me, is that we need to love our state enough to kick and pummel it (and each other; intellectually, of course) a little to make it better. We need to reject politicians who talk us down, and appeal to our worst instincts. We need to open the channels of communcation (knowing that debate is not easy or someone easily agreeing with you, Huh, if it's truly thoughtful). And we need to do everything in our power to improve our race relations, poverty, crime, education levels, and so on. All that together will, indeed, lead to amazing economic development. There are so many bright Mississippians, of all races, who will flood back here if there are opportunities and openness waiting. We really do have homing devices.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-21T18:35:27-06:00
ID
77279
Comment

Honest race relations IS good race relations, JimJam. And MS isn't being honest with itself. That was my point. The next step is an honest, whole account of our history, warts and all. There's a lot of good. But pretending that it's all good is dishonest. And pretending that all the good stuff came from one ethnic group, or one gender, or one nationality is dishonest and stupid, not to mention disastrous, as MS is proving with applomb by being at the bottom of so many quality-of-life lists. Thanks Huh? for the correction on the total of MS's bank accounts. But that begs an obvious question: Why DIDN'T Fordice spend some of that money on improving schools or building community centers to keep young people off the streets and out of jail? Why didn't he build more drug treatment centers instead of more jails? Maybe he did, but I don't recall that. And it's precisely because I know that MS is filled with beautiful people and courageous lessons for the rest of the country--and the world--that I'm challenging "us" to get rid of the filth that we also harbor. It makes all the beautiful things about us shabby and worthless by comparison. Poor race relations shouldn't be a side issue or an afterthought; it's the main course.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-21T21:07:03-06:00
ID
77280
Comment

Sorry I haven't chimed in y'all but I've been busy. The only thing I wanted to comment on in this thread is about St. Andrews. That is perhaps, the best school in the area, if not all of Mississippi. If I had children I'd homeschool until the 8th grade and then send them to St. A's (although I am not religious). The school reminds me of Jesuit in New Orleans, a school founded on stringent academic requirements, not race! If you want to attack some private schools for their white flight-iness then look at all these schools that have "academy" in their name. Usually their sports teams are called the Rebels. One of which I'm thinking of is Leake Academy. A horrible school! I think they teach kids that the GOP is the only political affiliation in the country. I know they teach kids the Civil War is the reason for southern problems, instructing students that the South was some kind of utopia before the war.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-22T13:11:16-06:00
ID
77281
Comment

A short answer to the above question "Can Barbara Blackmon make history?" uh...no! She's not the right candidate and no one in MS will elect some one just because they are the first black candidate. Her positions are weak and her whole candidacy fails to persuade anyone. Yes, she's better than the scary Tuck, but the sad fact is, she won't win. Mississippi is almost Republican to the core and that will show in the coming election. Oh I just can't wait for the thing to be over. I'm so sick of those ads! Do the people making those ads really think we're all stupid?

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-22T13:14:25-06:00
ID
77282
Comment

Just as an aside, Mississippi has had statewide elected officials who have not been Caucasian - Hiram Revel is the first to come to mind - holy cow! - a Republican, too... Also, I'm a little disappointed that Gary Anderson has not been mentioned at all as being a historic first... (but this is a Blackmon thread, I know, I know...) Nia, I'd love a full accounting of our past good and bad - if we'd examine it, decide we can do better and then MOVE ON! Recognizing that Mississippi has had piss poor race relations and other problems in the past isn't the problem - only a base fool doesn't acknowledge that - it's focusing on that aspect of our State's history to the exclusion of everything else is a problem. There is a lot of good in Mississippi and in Mississippians - there's lots of evidence of that on this blog - I try tyo focus on the good things we have and how we can make them better...

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-22T13:37:14-06:00
ID
77283
Comment

Good post Fielding! Actually John L posted the fact that Gary Anderson was being overlooked by the JFP as an example of others who can make history. Did you know a Hispanic is running for Sec. of State? Cool!! But, he's a Republican, so you won't here about that kind of diversity in these pages.

Author
Huh?
Date
2003-10-22T14:15:44-06:00
ID
77284
Comment

Fielding, for the record, I'm not talking about MS's poor race relations in the past. I'm talking MS's poor race relations in the present. I'm simply syaing that you can't untangle the present without looking honestly at the past.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-22T14:19:17-06:00
ID
77285
Comment

Since I haven't seen this in ANY newspaper in MS. Here is the complete list of candidates for State office. So Reformers, Greenies, Rep's, Dem's... Here's the 411. http://www.sos.state.ms.us/elections/Candidates/2003_Certified_Candidates.pdf

Author
Huh?
Date
2003-10-22T14:19:19-06:00
ID
77286
Comment

Let me expand on my earlier statement, "Nia, I'd love a full accounting of our past good and bad - if we'd examine it, decide we can do better and then MOVE ON!" Let's examine Mississippi's past history to see what mistakes we've made and how they were made - determine the lessons to be learned, apply them to the greatest extent possible - and then MOVE ON! to bigger and better things. There is so much good in the people of Mississippi - (I have always been a glass half full kinda guy) - let's harness that energy - especially that of the young people - and move this state to a better status within the community of states. To paraphrase (and I hope not butcher)Faulkner, Mississippi's past will never stop being a part of who and what we are - it is always with us. That doesn't mean we have to carry the full load of our past with us all the time. Let's choose to accentuate the positive things here. JFP certainly has a role to play - we all do. I love telling people I know from other states about the good stuff here - I'd like to have an even longer list of accomplishments - heh heh

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-22T14:50:42-06:00
ID
77287
Comment

Fielding, I'm not trying to beat a dead horse, but the words you use are exactly those used by people who's definition of "let's focus on the good things" is "black people should forget about the past even though we've not learned anything, still don't appreicate the cultural achievments and values of nonwhite people, and don't have any plans to behave differently." When most white people say "move on" what they really mean is "pretend that slavery, jim crow, and the 60s didn't happen and that everything's just fine." Well, things aren't just fine. And for a lot of black people they're bad--not entirely because but certainly partly because racism didn't just go away because MS swept it under the rug. It would be nice if one of the things on that list of accomplishments could be "We teach our children whole history not just a whitewashed version that depicts white people as brilliant-but-evil slaveowners, black people as mindless sheep, and native people as wild mushroom-eating gullibles. We teach our children about how there were wars among native peoples and how some owned slaves. We teach our children how some native people refused to be made slaves. We teach about how some black people risked life and limb to hold onto their languages and culture while others tried to bleach themsleves into acceptancce by whties. We teach our children about the white man who risked life and limb to marry his free black wife." When we can say things like that, Fielding, we'll be living up to our potential. But as long as we keep denying the biggest problem that keeps us down, it'll never happen.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-22T15:21:52-06:00
ID
77288
Comment

You know, Nia - I don't think I'll reply to any more of your posts - when I say something I mean just that and no more - I don't speak in "code" and I do not appreciate in the least your implication that I am a racist shill... You say things are bad for blacks? Well, here's a news flash - things are bad for some whites also - I refuse to look at all situations through a "race focused" prism - I take people at their word and expect people to take me at mine.

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-22T15:31:24-06:00
ID
77289
Comment

I always find the "move on" mantra a bit odd, especially in a state that voted to keep the Rebel emblem as our official flag and where a lot of people feel more passionately about Colonel Reb than they do about the need for good education. Sometimes "move on" comes from the same people who will grab symbols of so-called "white heritage" when it's convenient and use them to get votes -- but whine when others say we should "move on" from those symbols. We either mean the "move on" thing, or we don't. The irony, I think, is that if many white Mississippians weren't holding on so strongly to the past, and its race traditions, then we could, indeed, "move on." Young people are perfectly willing to live and go to school in mixed schools and communities; you don't come out of the womb bigoted, or even distrusting other races. You're taught to. Fielding, I think what Nia might be saying (much better than I) is that if you and I and other white people will de-emphasize the idea of "talk about it quickly and then forget about it; move on" and instead just focus on open communication and working together, indeed, to understand the past and accentuate the positive, then we will seem more credible in our efforts to reckon with our history, and less like we're trying to quickly sweep it under the rug. I mean, it takes some people years of therapy to get over a divorce; this reconciliation thing is going to take time and work (and it's certainly on its way already), but we can't rush it because it makes us uncomfortable. And she's so right: An 18-year-old graduate of a white academy shouldn't be shocked when they get to college and learn that the state's past isn't as glorious as they've been told. What kind of education is that? We can handle the truth together; what we can't (and aren't) handling is the attempts to keep it away from us. What I like to say is that the current and upcoming generations of Mississippians can look at our history as shared, because it is. Slavery and Jim Crow is part of my history, not just Nia's. Black people's struggle for freedom here, helped by other races, is part of all of our heritage, and a glorious part of which we can all be proud if we understand it. We can take pride in how far we've come as a state if we know how far we had to come to this point. It does not hurt me to know, and to feel compassion for, what my people did to Nia's people. In fact, to sound trite, the truth really can set you free ... if you face it squarely.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-22T15:47:22-06:00
ID
77290
Comment

Feel free not to reply, Fielding. That's your choice. I wasn't insinuating that you are a racist. If I thought that, I'd just call you a racist. Surely, you've seen by now that I don't mince words. (What were you saying about expecting people to take you at your word since you take them at theirs?) I was simply pointing out that the language you use is used by other people for very different purposes than those you laid out. If I was using language that other people use in a hurtful way, I'd want somebody to tell me because I would like to distance myself from them and their "code" and rhetoric. You could have just done that instead of getting your panties all in a bunch. Defensive, Fielding? And I wasn't saying that things are bad only for black people. I'm saying that in addition to all the problems that everybody faces, nonwhite people, in MS in particular, face the additional burden of trailing their white counterparts in quality-of-life measurements. And that's due partly to the aftereffects of institutional racism that haven't been overcome yet. Raising all the boats the same rate, will still leave nonwhites at the bottom. You have to DO something to even out the water level. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout! The "race prism" isn't the only one through which I veiw the world, but I have sense enough to know when its use is required to see clearly.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-22T15:48:02-06:00
ID
77291
Comment

Thanks for the link to the Secretary of State's office, Huh. We talked in the July 24th primary issue about Gary Anderson's chance to make history, as well as Cindy Ayers-Elliott and Roger Crowder, who didn't survive the primaries. There will be more on Anderson in the next issue, but I'm sure you will be very disappointed that he is not slated as the cover story. To recap, as we say in the story above, Blackmon can become the first black lt. gov. in Mississippi since Reconstruction. She or Anderson (or both) would be the first statewide black elected official since Reconstruction.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-22T15:53:27-06:00
ID
77292
Comment

Diogenes: "Mississippi is almost Republican to the core and that will show in the coming election." This isn't exactly true, Diogenes, unless you're referring to white Mississippi. Mississippi is 37 percent black, most of whom do not poll Republican. The political wisdom right now is that about half the voters will turn out to vote in this one, and that she needs from 20 to 30 percent of the white vote. Also, the number I've heard from experts, overall, is that if 31.5 percent of whites voted "progressive," the politics of the state could change dramatically. (Any political experts out there know the current partisan/ideological percentage split among whites in the state?) Conservatives are going to turn out a lot of voters in this election; I believe it all comes down to turn-out among black voters and more progressive whites. I don't think the fat lady's sung just, yet.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-22T16:16:19-06:00
ID
77293
Comment

Does anyone else get the feeling that this country is headed towards a huge split? 1861 all over again? Maybe we need a good ol' Civil War. We've let them damn Europeans and Africans corner the market on Civil Wars here lately. We could kill 25 times the amount of folks they did in around half the time. Think about it: The races don't seem to get along. Nationalities are always pissing and moaning with each other. Whites live in this area, Blacks over there, add in a little Tokyo here and a Chinatown there. Spanish speaking folks all live over in this area, you get my drift. Liberals hate conservatives and vice versa ("my mama and your mama sitting on a fence..."). Debate does not exist; it always ends up in name calling and "we might be bad, but you are worse." Too many folks will not even consider a differing point of view. (By the way, your opinion is just plain stupid, you idiot! I bet you molest children). Throw in some different religions and, presto, let the fighting begin. From today forward debate is dead and should be replaced with bullets and knives. If you are really broke, use sticks and rocks.

Author
jimjam
Date
2003-10-22T17:06:08-06:00
ID
77294
Comment

Glad you're not in charge, JimJam.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-22T17:16:30-06:00
ID
77295
Comment

Yikes, JimJam! What'd you have for lunch? I think our country has always been split; we've just never been honest about it. I hope I haven't infuriated Fielding to the point where he doesn't post anymore, but I also think you can't be afraid to say things that people might not like. That's why we're in this mess in the first place.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-22T17:27:21-06:00
ID
77296
Comment

From Philip. Ladd, I'm no stat expert either, but I do remember a C-L story saying the Old Flag won out by about 5-to-1 or so among white voters. That's only 14% of the whites statewide who voted for a new flag. So as expected, Blackmon WILL have her work cut out for her. The C-L ran an interesting map about the Flag Vote patterns. Madison and Oktibbeha Co's were the only 2 majority white counties that voted FOR the new Flag, although both these counties are around 40%-45% black. Knowing that the white population of both counties are highly educated (Oktib. is home of MSU), I decided to do some nickel-and-dime statistical snooping. From the U.S. Census "American Factfinder" for Madison, Miss. (This IS a site to bookmark, believe me!) White, 93.4%; Asian, 1.2%; Black 4.9%. Then, I went to Canton's courthouse to get a precinct breakdown of the Madison COUNTY vote for the U.S. Pres and the "Flag Vote". I don't remember how the vote went precisely, but I do remember that after subtracting 95% of the black population, I came up with approximately the following for the WHITES in the city of Madison: Old Flag: ~ 65% (+ or - 2% or so); New Flag: ~ 35% (+ or - 2% or so) Still an Old Flag Blowout, but the very fact that 35% or so of the whites voted to CHANGE the flag shows me there is nevertheless a healthy undercurrent of progressiveness up in Jackson's richest and whitest suburb (albeit of the mildly conservative variety, if that makes any sense). NOW, let's look at how I estimated the white Madisonian (again, City Of) voted in the 2000 PRESIDENTIAL election. After factoring out 95% of the Black population in this suburb (5% of that pop are bound to be Republicans, after all), I came up with, Bush: ~86%; Gore ~ 12%; Nader ~0.5% (again, I don't exactly remember, but I'd allow for an error of 5% either way, just to be safe). So, we have a practically impregnable fortress of Republicans, with 1/3 of their residents voting FOR the NEW FLAG!! Since upper class whites are often a harbinger of things to come - this does present some interesting possibilities, even among dyed-in-the-wool Republicans (albeit the Country Club, Ole Miss Greek set). I'll let you all draw your own conclusions about my analysis' reliability, ditto for my drawn conclusion of at least lukewarm, even closeted, hearts and minds for change even in Madison. As an aside, I read in the C-L where "South End" residents really demolished the "Old Courthouse Gang" in the last County elections up there - the C-L claimed (if I recall right) that they see these people as antiquated, corrupt, and out of touch with (sub)urban life. What do you all think about this? After all, present rich and upper-middle class white attitudes are often the future's general white attitudes. BTW, needless to say, look for Tuck to stay in office for another 4 years. Striking changes in the old guard will have to wait at least another 10 to 15 years.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-22T19:06:06-06:00
ID
77297
Comment

jimjam, I'm assuming you are saying that out of frustration and simply going stark raving mad because our nation's diverse people have trouble understanding each other. Sometimes I do have evil fantasies parallel to yours, trust me. But you know what? There's NEVER been such a thing as a simple time, except perhaps in the "caveman" days, and even then the possibility of not finding a deer on a hunting expedition could be pretty agonizing. 80% of our problems could be solved if we just follow the advice "Do unto others..." and (quoting Geo. Carlin, "Bill" and "Ted") "be excellent to each other". That alone would work wonders.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-22T19:26:27-06:00
ID
77298
Comment

Very interesting analysis, Philip. It brings to mind Todd's piece about the Cultural Creatives ("new progressives") last issue. I really think race is one of those issues that don't (or shouldn't) divide easily into the old liberal-vs-conservative, Dem-vs.GOP paradigm: http://jacksonfreepress.com/comments.php?id=1771_0_9_0_C I'll have to give your number-crunching some thought before saying much more. One thing that comes to mind is that I suspect that the rather weird flag vote isn't as representative of voting patterns as we might think; some whites and blacks who might vote "progressive/moderate" on other issues and for candidates might have voted to keep the old flag (hard to imagine to me, but that's what "they" say), and at least some probably didn't turn out. (As in young people.) BTW, here's a piece The Clarion-Ledger ran today about Blackmon. Not a lot there, considering she spent a whole hour with them. http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0310/22/m17.html

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-22T19:31:36-06:00
ID
77299
Comment

Philip, you're hilarious! The two counties with the majority of their white residents voting for a new flag makes sense, Oktibbeha being home to MSU (Where's Madison?) and possibly, a sizeable portion of those non-black residents were Hispanic/NA/non-US people affiliated with State. I haven't thought out your statistical methodology, but it makes sense to me off the cuff. Are upper-class whites really a harbinger of things to come? [Seriously? I'm curious.] Yes, we'd all be much betetr off if we followed the golden rule. But some people only want to be nice to people who think/look/watch TV like they do. I firmly believe that K-6 education should include classes in cultural anthropology and world history. If we all grew up learning to appreciate the contributions of all the world's people to our collective world culture, there'd be fewer wars, fewer conflicts, and a hell of a lot more peace.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-22T19:43:53-06:00
ID
77300
Comment

Madison the town is the richest suburb of Jackson. Madison County includes well-to-do-suburbs, Canton and poorer, largely black communities. (If a Madisonian out there doesn't agree with that assessment, or if I left something out, please update us.)

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-22T19:51:12-06:00
ID
77301
Comment

Thanks for the intel. I don't know southern MS as well as I know the northern half of the state.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-22T20:08:22-06:00
ID
77302
Comment

"But you know what? There's NEVER been such a thing as a simple time, except perhaps in the 'caveman' days, and even then the possibility of not finding a deer on a hunting expedition could be pretty agonizing." LOL. Careful, though, that can still be pretty agonizing for some. ;-D Considering JimJam's "split": Indeed, we've always faced splits in the country that we had to work to bridge. It was interesting to be in NY during the last presidential election. I went to Florida to cover the election debacle for the Voice, and it continually amazed me how many national journalists were befuddled to find that there was a red-vs.-blue cultural divide in the country. Duh. (Of course, I had journalist friends who thought Tsongas had a real chance back when, so what can you say?) Did y'all read that piece everyone's favorite almost-conservative intellectual David Brooks wrote in the Atlantic Monthly to "explain" the split? He drove all the way (65 miles) across the "meatloaf line" (Maryland border) to Franklin Cty., Pa., from his elite D.C. suburb of Bethesda, Md., in order to see how the other half lived. He happened to go to the town where Todd's mom owns a bed-and-breakfast, and the only town where we saw "God Bless the World" on a sign outside a restaurant soon after the 9-11 terrorist attacks. This sho wudn't the "other side" I grew in. I nearly split a gut over that piece. This probably adds absolutely nothing to the dialogue, but I enjoy thinking about it. So humor me. ;-)

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-22T20:25:19-06:00
ID
77303
Comment

I didn't read that story, but that's pretty funny! :-) I don't think the split that's coming will be racial or ethnic or even along party lines. I think it will be the spiritual v. religious folks. Those who believe their various religious doctrines literally will be pitted against those who have a more relative, let's-be-nice-to-everyone view of the world.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-22T20:35:26-06:00
ID
77304
Comment

Ladd: some whites and blacks who might vote "progressive/moderate" on other issues and for candidates might have voted to keep the old flag (hard to imagine to me, but that's what "they" say) Philip: It's not hard to imagine once you sit down and think about it. I'd say two types of people might vote that way, given sufficient provocation (a) the last remnants of "Southron" Dems (mainly rural whites over 70 yrs old), and (b) Populists (liberal/prog. on econ issues; conservative on social ones). I'd think these voters would mainly be 60 and under rural white blue collars, espeically the "angry white male" types. I'm sure you can imagine such people getting p.o.'ed at "jobs going to Mexico and China" AND fanatical about "Southern Heritage".

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-22T23:00:27-06:00
ID
77305
Comment

True enough. I'd rather see than getted p.o.-ed about "jobs going to Mexico and China" AND fanatical about being played to like hick pawns in a race game. But maybe that's just me.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-22T23:07:27-06:00
ID
77306
Comment

And before somebody starts complaining that I'm calling my brethen "hick pawns"--I'm not. I'm saying that they're being played by the world's greatest lobbyist and his nouveau-evangelical running mate as if they are. Sorry: I seem to be getting punchy. You wouldn't believe the research I'm up to my eyeballs in. It definitely makes my eyelashes curl. (Sorry, I'm being coy again, so I'll go away now.) 'Night.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-22T23:11:56-06:00
ID
77307
Comment

I agree with Nia that most Mississippians have such an ignorance of history, of what really transpired in the past, that it affects race relations today. I'm white and when I'm around other MS whites racial jokes, inuendo and epithets fly. When I tell people they shouldn't say things like that, especially if they're Christian, then I'm accused of being too PC or a communist. Most of these white people claim they are just "funning around" and don't even intend for their comments to hurt anyone. This is usually followed up by the statement, "I'm not a racists, I have black friends." If one were to investigate, the black friends might be some one who works at a car-detail service and he cleans the dude's car once a month, or a black man and his son might mow the white fellar's yard once a weekóthat's the extent of his black friends. Racism is the biggest problem in Mississippi. I might stress that racism exists within all racial groups. Whites aren't the only racists out there, but they have more power to use their racism to disenfranchise and to retard the minority populations. While working on an M.A. at Ole Miss, I TAed for a professor teaching a class called 'The South in the 20th Century' and when we got to the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Bertrand showed footage of kids being hosed down in Birmingham. We then read actual newspaper accounts of riots at Jackson State. Several obstinate students challenged these primary sources, claiming it was something put together by the liberal media to discredit his grandfather's generation. Out of 40 students in the class, about 15 of them would not be swayed, the all thought the Civil Rights Movement was treasonous and caused some of problems today. How sad.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-23T13:10:46-06:00
ID
77308
Comment

I just got back from speaking to a Northwest Rankin high-school class this morning. What great young people! Anyway, after I mentioned having grown up in Neshoba County where the three civil rights workers were killed, one of the students mentioned just seeing "Mississippi Burning." I told him why I thought it was a bad movie, which largely had to do with telling civil rights history of Mississippi through the stories of heroes other than the ones who really were the heroes. Then one of the (white) students asked me to explain what happened in 1964, why the young people were there in the first place and so on. From what I could see, no 11th grader in that class knew anything about those murders, or Freedom Summer (other than from that movie), and they had no idea of the major impact of all of this on our history, or how it helped lead directly to civil rights legislation. I say that not to criticize them. It is not their fault that they do not know our history very well. They seemed mesmerized by the story, especially hearing that the Freedom Summer volunteers were mostly students not much older than themselves. I asked if any of them were familiar with Ghandi's principles of non-violence, which the CRM was based on. They shook their heads. A couple said, "Who's Ghandi?" And these were clearly smart, interested kids. And they have some great, involved teachers, including the one who invited me. A young black man in the room said his father was with Emmett Till when he walked into the store in Money, Miss., before his murder in 1955. Wow. The teacher was surprised to hear that as well. I suggested that he tell his father's story in detail to the class during another session. The point is: there is a huge gap in our knowledge of our own history. Fingerpointing at the reasons for that -- which are complex -- won't really help. What will help is simply and honestly filling the gap.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-23T14:42:07-06:00
ID
77309
Comment

Whoa, Mr. Bill Minor has added a lot of information (as always) to the Lt. Gov. fires, including the fact that Tuck first ran for office as a "pro-choice" candidate. What a column. Take a read.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-23T14:53:41-06:00
ID
77310
Comment

Interesting, Ms. Ladd! I watched a C-SPAN call-in show last spring about teaching history at public schools in America. One MS history teacher called claiming his colleagues (fellow teachers) didn't consider the subject of history to be very important in high school curriculum. The caller then stated that he and other history teachers were hired "off-thes-street" and the administrators never really poked into what these individuals learned, which would qualify them to teach history. The caller saidm, in conclusion, at every interview he had been to, the school principal asked him "which sport I wanted to coach" more than any question relating to teaching or history. Based on this one individual, who seemed quite knowledgeable, I must conclude that MS public schools just don't take history very seriously. P.S. Thoreau inspired Gandhi's principles of non-violence. Perhaps, Jesus inspired Thoreau.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-23T15:20:22-06:00
ID
77311
Comment

When I was in school in MS, our history classes began with Europeans boarding boats for the New World and ended with Reconstruction. The only time I ever heard anything different was in the sixth grade when we learned about peons in pre-Columbian Mexico. Sad.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-23T15:23:28-06:00
ID
77312
Comment

Had my parents not been actively involved in the Civil Rights movement, I wouldn't have known anything about it. None of the kids I went to school with knew anything about it either. That's a good example of how the US didn't quite get integration right. We de-segregated, but we didn't really integrate.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-23T15:25:37-06:00
ID
77313
Comment

I know what you mean, Nia. It's hard for a young person to suddenly be confronted by their own ignorance in college or the bigger world. Who knows how old I was when I actually learned the meaning of the words "Jim Crow"? (The kids today did know what Jim Crow is.) Also, I don't mean this as an indictment of public schools. Many public-school kids I've met recently seem much more grounded in Mississippi history than some (not all, of course) kids in private schools. So this is about the bigger culture of silence, I think. And thanks, Diogenes, for mentioning Thoreau, and Jesus and for spelling Gandhi correctly, which I must admit I don't usually do, as you can see. It seems an especially egregious name to routinely mispell so my face is red.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-23T16:04:58-06:00
ID
77314
Comment

Donna, your link didn't work to Mr. Minor's article, but I have it here: http://www.djournal.com/pages/story.asp?ID=44144&pub=1&div=Opinion I'm glad someone brought up her bar exam, because! I was just asking a friend of mine if he remembered where the reference to that was from when she ran before, and I found Minor's article. I wish Minor had written how the whole thing went. As I remember (but I'm not sure how accurate this is, which is why I wanted the reference), she failed three times and then sued (all the way to the MS Supreme Court) to get her three best answers from all three tests counted so she could pass. Talk about having chutzpah, she has that, for sure. And, I didn't know that she had come out as pro-choice before, either. If she just had some integrity to go with the chutzpah.

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-23T17:47:46-06:00
ID
77315
Comment

Thanks for the updated link, C.W.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-23T17:54:31-06:00
ID
77316
Comment

Here are some more stories about Tuck v. Blackmon: Running Rivalry http://www.djournal.com/pages/story.asp?ID=44134&pub=1&div=News Tuck calls Blackmon 'radical' http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0310/23/m12.html In addition: Blackmon named in lawsuit http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0310/24/m04.html

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-24T14:16:49-06:00
ID
77317
Comment

Here are more stories about the lawyer-suing-lawyers saga that Blackmon popped up in today. The attorney bringing the suits, Kevin Muhammad, was reprimanded recently for ethics violations. http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0310/13/m02.html "Kevin Muhammad, a Fayette lawyer who also represents the fen-phen users suing the attorneys, must also pay more than $10,000 in fines and attend ethics courses, Harrison County Chancellor Jim Persons ruled. "The Williamson suit filed by Mr. Muhammad has caused Shane Langston great personal and professional embarrassment," said Larry Jones, Langston's attorney. "Mr. Langston does feel vindicated by Judge Person's dismissal of the suit and the significant monetary sanctions he imposed on Mr. Muhammad personally." Muhammad is the attorney who sued Wyatt Emmerich and "60 Minutes" on behalf of the jurors in that big "jackpot justice" show CBS did. http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0212/10/m02.html Muhammad accused of filing frivolous lawsuits http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/6789255.htm

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-24T20:39:26-06:00
ID
77318
Comment

Here's a lengthy story on WLOX, Pascagoula: http://www.wlox.com/Global/story.asp?S=1494651&nav=6DJHIhQn The Magnolia Report http://www.magnoliareport.com/Lawsuit.htm

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-24T20:49:10-06:00
ID
77319
Comment

I imagine I'm older than the rest of you. I have grown children (or rather they're not children any more). I didn't realize what they weren't getting in school until after both were out of high school and I began to get involved in some things (having more time). I'd talk about things that had happened in the 60's and 70's and they'd sit and look at me, with their mouths hanging open, and finally told me that they'd never heard any of this in their history classes. I didn't even know half of it in the 60's (when I was still in high school). Local papers didn't cover it all, by a long shot, and the slant they put on things, you would hardly believe. I understand that the Jackson TV stations used to have "transmission problems" when national news covered things in Mississippi the Sovereignty Commission didn't want known in the state.

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-24T21:23:26-06:00
ID
77320
Comment

That whole case is troubling for a whole lot of reasons, and the bugs aren't through coming out of the wood yet. There'll be more twists in this case than a two-hour-long episode of Law & Order.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-25T00:04:27-06:00
ID
77321
Comment

CW, several years ago I was a TA at Ole Miss, working under a variety of history professors. My mentor taught various Southern Studies classes and I held study and help sessions. Most of these kids were in their early 20s, 23 being the average age. None of them knew anything about MS past race problems. We looked at photos of sit-ins and other protests from the Jackson area, as well as the long sit-in at the AFB in the Delta. Many of the students denied this really happened. One said since the historical evidence was printed in the New York Times that it could not be believed (this was long before the plagairism thing) because the NYT was a blatantly liberal, Yankee, South-hating publication. Some of the denials that Dr. Bertrand and I encountered were stupifying. The students were generally reactionary when showed historical evidence of the recent past in MS. The whole affair had me disillusioned, especially when a female student told me about her high school history classes. This student went to a high school on the coast, either Pascagoula or Moss Point, and she said that in U.S. history and eight grade MS history, they didn't get beyond WW2 because their history teachers said "it was too controversial." It kind of makes me wonder what they did teach, if anything. Other students said their H.S. history teachers were football coaches and didn't really expect much from their students. Consequently, the didn't read. On another note, I do know that various school districts in this state ban certain textbooks, especially history textbooks that present an unfavorable view of the South during the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. Perhaps this is why so many Ole Miss college students were ignorant of the state's past.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-25T11:11:18-06:00
ID
77322
Comment

Dio, this reminds me of a column a young education writer of the Delta Democrat-Times (oh, but for its past) wrote about the Colonel Reb dust-up a few months back. (It's not still linked, unfortunately.) She is a graduate of Ole Miss and wrote this glowing piece about how that goofy (and recent) mascot illustrates the heritage of the state and such. She demonstrated no knowledge of the state's race history -- and, mind you, she is an education writer in the Delta. I found the piece very telling about the history that's being taught, and not only in high school here. I mentioned the column to Hodding Carter III (whose father ran the DDT in its more glorious heyday) in e-mail, and I don't think he'd mind if I share his response: "One thing is obvious. They still don't teach decent contemporary history at Ole Miss on the evidence of this column." Or at least not in the classes this young woman took. Or she didn't pay much attention.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-25T11:24:51-06:00
ID
77323
Comment

I could be WAY off here because I don'tr ead this paper that often, but I don't find the DDT particularly "objective," which scares me a bit beause the editor is a black man. He's one of two black Republicans in the Delta. [joking]

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-25T11:36:29-06:00
ID
77324
Comment

This is so sad, that our students are not being taught history, as though it were not important. I admit that I was not particularly interested in history when I was a student, and it's proved to be a shortcoming I've spent the last several years trying to alleviate. There are still things I learn that I am amazed I never knew before. For instance, I knew a lot about the Kent State protests and shootings, it was THE major news story for quite a while. After all, it was about middle-class white students, wasn't it? Yet, until about three years ago, I didn't know about the protests and shootings in Jackson at Jackson State University. They were African-American students. Isn't it amazing it took me that many years to find out? I'd bet you that most people in Mississippi don't know yet. From a recent news story: On May 4th, 1970, four white students were killed by National Guardsmen during antiwar protests on the Ohio Kent State University campus. On May 14th, 1970, African American students at Jackson State University in Mississippi staged demonstrations against the war and racial discrimination. Mississippi National Guardsmens and Police fired over 460 rounds at a student dormitory... killing two students and wounding 12 others. Today that dorm is still pock marked with 160 bullet holes. I was living in Memphis at the time, you'd think I'd have read something about the JSU incident, wouldn't you? By the way, I wanted to post something to the Barbour blog, but there was no window for it. Is there a limit to the number of posts allowed or is it just my computer's glitch?

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-25T11:49:07-06:00
ID
77325
Comment

Ah, Nia, you have this thing about Donald Adderton, too, huh? Once in a blue moon, I agree with him, but usually I find him unbelievably aggravating. Don't you just love that little part in his hair? [grin]. One of my favorite editorialists is Hilliard Lackey. I'm sorry that the Clarion-Ledger doesn't see fit to carry him any more, but at least I can find him on The Mississippi Link now.

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-25T11:59:06-06:00
ID
77327
Comment

I'm embarassed that I didn't know about the Jackson State incident until I read your post, CW. The state legislature should be challenged to push school boards to buy historically accurate textbooks and school districts should be forced to teach them. How can our young people--or us older folks for that matter--find their place in the world if they don't even know it?

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-25T12:01:13-06:00
ID
77326
Comment

The DDT isn't objective, of course. And it has a roller-coaster of a history. Under the Hodding Carter family, it made history for being so outspoken about race issues (read the biography of Hodding Jr. by Ann Wauldron, I believe is her name, if you get a chance); Hodding (a former segregationist) was one of the few white editors who would speak out about race -- and his views became more and more progressive over the years. After his death, the Freedom chain (the most conservative in the country; flagship Orange County Register) bought the paper, bringing a major about-face. Now, Wyatt Emmerich owns it; he also owns papers around the state including the local Northside Sun (which about every issue has a story about a "black man" committing a crime in Jackson on its front cover, although it's mostly read in the suburbs). Emmerich ownership typically means very superficial community journalism infused with a kneejerk conservatism; they don't rock many boats unless the boat is owned by a "liberal" -- which is truly ironic considering that Wyatt's daring grandfather, editor of the McComb Enterprise-Journal, was also deemed a hero by many for allowing his own race views to become more progressive in public, and despite the White Citizens Council's ire. Neither Hodding or J. Oliver Emmerich were perfect--who is?--but they were willing to take stands that could have cost them their lives or their livelihoods. I consider them both heroes.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-25T12:01:13-06:00
ID
77328
Comment

That's amazing, Donna. I hadn't known all that background. Another fine example of how much we can find to appreciate about each other is we just take the time to learn.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-25T12:04:02-06:00
ID
77329
Comment

Guys, I appreciate your honesty about what you don't know about our history; maybe if smart and educated Mississippians like y'all admit publicly what you don't know then it'll show others that there's no shame in seeking out the truth, even at a later date. I, personally, learned more about Mississippi's race history sitting in a class in Columbia's African-American Studies Institute than I ever thought about learning here. And, of course, I've filled in blanks over the year by reading books and old news reports. Here's a link to a piece by Geoff Edwards, a student at Jackson State, did for us about the Jackson State shootings a few months back: http://jacksonfreepress.com/talk_comments.php?id=928_0_4_0_C

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-25T12:08:17-06:00
ID
77330
Comment

By the way, I'm on a committee that's bringing the "Without Sanctuary" exhibit to Jackson in January.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-25T12:10:55-06:00
ID
77331
Comment

Also, all, much of this history is available right here in the Smith Robertson museum downtown, which is an old black school (where Richard Wright attended for a while). On the fourth floor, you can visit a number of exhibits containing all sorts of materials and news clippings about the area's race history. One clipping is mired in my head: a news story about an upcoming lynching that could not be stopped. Also, the artist Paul Campbell did a painting of the bullet-ridden wall of the Jackson State dorm that is handing in Smith Robertson. Very powerful.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-25T12:17:35-06:00
ID
77332
Comment

In my senior year in college, I took a class with a famous professor (James Shenton). The class was called Race and Ethnicity in America. When we turned to the 60s and Freedom Summer, any one of the other 12 kids in the class could have told you more about the 50s and 60s than me. And my parents participated in Freedom Summer! I made it my business after that to start reading history books. Like CW, I'm making up for the past.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-25T12:19:45-06:00
ID
77333
Comment

I don't know if it's the fourth floor, come to think of it, but it's the top floor. And the museum gets wonderful traveling exhibits. It's really a jewel in the city; I wish every single person in the area, black or white, would visit the museum. And the SR has wonderful openings and events: music, food, dancing, you name it. I love this city. ;-D Also, C.W., the Barbour window is working for me. Try again. I hope there's not a limit!

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-25T12:19:51-06:00
ID
77334
Comment

I'll have to add that to my list of "things to do when you're in Jackson." Now I have to run. I've gotta' go buy a witch costume for my little one, complete with a small broom and a white-haired wig.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-25T12:22:20-06:00
ID
77335
Comment

Ooh! I saw that exhibit online, or I read about it at any rate and saw some of the postcards and such. Very powerful.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-25T12:24:23-06:00
ID
77336
Comment

Nia: "Like CW, I'm making up for the past." Me, too, girlfriend, me, too. Re: Freedom Summer -- what's funny is its potential to really grab the imagination of young people (like with those high-school kids I spoke to last week). This was about dynamic young people coming together, singing, dancing, eating, laughing, defying the odds, getting arresting and facing danger together. It's a wonderful story about American spirit and the power of youth -- we'll sure be telling it in 2004, the 40th anniversary of Freedom Summer. I'm also on the board of the committee that's helping JSU turn the old COFO headquarters on Lynch Street into a museum and interactive center. It's so sad: right now, the building is near falling down. No one thought to preserve it over all those years. They were too busy building parking garages downtown. BTW, to young people reading these posts. We really need younger people (under 40, especially under 30, and teenagers would be glorious) to help with a lot of these projects. I really want to mobilize the hip-hop generation, so to speak, to make sure that we use music, art, dance, interactive media, whatever, to make our history come alive for young people. We need more of you on our boards. and committees to help figure this out. So, if you are interested in getting involved in some way, please get in touch with me directly. Right now, I need young people to help in a number of ways on both the "Without Sanctuary" exhibit plans and the COFO project. Be in touch!

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-25T12:29:20-06:00
ID
77337
Comment

Oh, I want to be a witch, too, this Halloween. I have a witch hat around here somewhere -- and no snide comments from the peanut gallery! ;-D Have fun, Nia -- I have to write a cover story RIGHT NOW, so I'm out, too. Peace, all.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-25T12:30:30-06:00
ID
77338
Comment

Lordy, I know someone who tried to get that exhibit to Mississippi two or three years ago and couldn't talk anyone into it. I've never been to that museum either (I don't get to Jackson too often), but I'm going to have to put it on my "to-see list," too. Have y'all read "Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi" by Dittmer? It's a fantastic book, and I kept finding people in there that I know, at least slightly, that I had no idea were involved in Freedom Summer. It was one of those eye-opener books I've read in the past few years. I'm almost afraid to find out how much more I don't know about Mississippi history, I've already uncovered so many gaps in my historical knowledge.

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-25T12:40:27-06:00
ID
77339
Comment

If anyone is interested in why Southerners are ignorant of history, it's all tied up in the lost cause phenomenon. I would suggest reading Charles Reagan Wilson's Baptized in Blood. Also Ted Ownby has a series of books about southern religion and the splits many denominations have had with their northern counterparts. The splits, of course, were racially motivated. Ownby also takes up the subject of socio-economic backgrounds and differences between the races in his three books. He touches on history and how southerners have typically avoided disciplined study of it. Also, look for my mentor's book coming out soon and to be featured on C-SPAN's booknotes series. I don't know the title of the book but his name is Michael Bertrand and the book takes up the subject of race relations in southern, central Louisiana (coming out in Feb.). I know for a fact that education majors at Ole Miss can pick a specialty area, i.e. English, Math, Social Studies and so on. Those Ed. majors picking social studies must take 12 hours of history, poli-sci, anthropology or sociolgy (and economics) to complete their education degree. All incoming freshmen at UM take HIS 105 and 106 which are surveys in U.S. History. In my opinion, Ed. majors taking Soc. Stud. are deficient in their knowledge of U.S. History. Ole MIss offers so many humanities-based classes that will fit their specific areas in education that none of the Ed. majors I met took enough history classes to teach history. Ed. majors from any MS school have an inside track to teaching in this state. But, me, for example, I have a BA in History and Philosophy, and an MA in History, yet I cannot teach in the state of MS without taking 18 hours of Ed. classes. I am more qualified to teach world and U.S. history than are most Ed. majors. Yet, if I care to take the alt. route toward a teaching license then it will cost me alot of money, and agony enduring those boring Ed. classes. TN and LA have an easier path toward teaching history for someone taking an alt. route toward certification. I taught in both states prior to earning my MA, yet, I did go through the teach for America plan in order to get certified. MS needs to alter its alt route to certification if we want qualified teachers in all areas of public ed. The current alt route is forcing qualified people out of the state!

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-25T15:07:25-06:00
ID
77340
Comment

Dio, in the last year or so, I've been reading literature about the whole "lost cause" phenom, including Wilson. I sure didn't understand the history of U.S. religions and why they split, although in hindsight I realize it's probably all painfully obvious if we think about it. It's very sobering to read, but it sure does explain a lot. Your comments about requirements to teach in Mississippi are very interesting. I'd like to talk to you off the blog about that for something I'm working on. (Not until after I put this issue to bed Monday, though.) Finally, I wanted to recommend a book that gives a pretty good round-up of the history of the press in the state, including Carter, Emmerich and Hazel Brannon Smith (the white woman who dared to print the Mississippi Free Press in the 1960s and stand up to the coots of the Citizens Council. Talk about a hero.) It's called "The Press and Race: Mississippi Journalists Confront the Movement" (University Press, 2001). I believe Lemuria has copies if you're in or around Jackson. We are definitely going to need a BookBlog, eh?

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-25T16:07:58-06:00
ID
77341
Comment

Uhhh, yeah, let's get that book blog going. :-) CW, I don't know Adderton well at all, but I'm always surprised by his editorials. More than one black leader in the Delta has expressed their dismay at his editorials though. I don't know any white people in the Delta so I have no guage for how they view him. He does seem like a very engaging man though. Diogenes, does this mean we can count on you to start the movement to get a congressperson to sponsor an eduction reform, "let's finally teach history properly" bill?

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-25T21:37:12-06:00
ID
77342
Comment

My take on Mr. Adderton is that he seems like a nice man in person. And he hates young people in print. The man can write off an entire generation of young people in half a sentence. Bah, humbug.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-25T21:56:41-06:00
ID
77343
Comment

Nia, people around here (not all Mississippians but most) don't want to know history. They want to live in a fantasy world in which things in the past always were better than things today. It really is too controversial. If anyone teaches real history in public schools, parents will get upset because they don't want their innocent kids exposed to what their grandparents allowed to happen. Seriously, parents didn't learn the correct history and most don't want their kids too. But then again, we are approaching the realm of beliefs. Most MS parents believe certain things about our past, usually untrue things. Their faith is a immovable.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-26T00:54:37-06:00
ID
77344
Comment

Dio, there you go generalizing again, but I agree that this is clearly true with some (too many) Mississippians. The truth is, our past is difficult and painful, and many people choose to hope it just kind of goes away rather than face it. (And many of the people who did awful things are still among us, so it's all especially raw.) The problem, of course, is that it doesn't just go away, and the legacy of it certainly doesn't. So we're left with open wounds that politicians exploit, making it all painful all over again. Thus, no matter how painful, I believe we have to face the past and heal our wounds, not because outsiders want us to, but because it's the only way Mississippi is ever going to have a glorious future.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-26T01:45:58-06:00
ID
77345
Comment

Snap out of it [insert famous Cher slaps Nicholas Cage sound]! Diogenes, stop wallowing in pity. If people couldn't grow and change their minds, then people would still be barbecuing each other for lunch. As Donna pointed out in another thread, even people with extreme views can change and grow. That's what makes us human, not the technology or the hateful thigns we do. If you're a student of human culture/history, as you say, how can you study it and walk away with such a jaded opinion of us? Don't you find anything redeeming about people?

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-26T11:06:54-06:00
ID
77346
Comment

Absolutely, Nia. HOPE is not a four-letter word. (Oops, yes it is. Oh well.)

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-26T12:17:16-06:00
ID
77347
Comment

dio: They want to live in a fantasy world in which things in the past always were better than things today. Philip: People may be ignorant of slavery, segregation, etc.. But to say they pretend things were better than today (at least where race is concerned) is to WAY overstate the case, at least in the Louisiana Delta - and my side of the river has the same set of problems as on the east side of The River. I'm not saying this is true, but if you hear someone saying "the past is better than today", may I suggest that it's because of higher crime, much fewer drug problems, much lower teen pregnancy, much fewer government regulations in general, and the like - NOT with race. Believe it or not,the great majority of people where I live (even my parents age since at least the early 70s) DO NOT see legal segregation as a glory age (well, my grandfather did, but he was born in 1914 and would be 87 were he still alive). They make SHARP distinctions between the poor ways we treated blacks and the "no drugs, no out of control teen sex, etc." aspects of our past. dio: It really is too controversial. If anyone teaches real history in public schools, parents will get upset because they don't want their innocent kids exposed to what their grandparents allowed to happen. I'm not going to argue that it's controversial, don't teach it (within limits. Ask later if you want to know what my limits are). However, I would like to know if you think parents and teachers would react any differently in highly liberal school if a history teacher said hippies, etc., were responsible for the drug culture and much of the psychological trauma our Vietnam Vets suffered (spitting on them disembarking at the SF airport, screaming "Baby Killer!" at them, etc.). Do you think those parents would get upset at their teacher for teaching them such things? (esp in places like Boston, Ann Arbor, Madison Wisc, and Oakland) If you think so, then by your standards THEIR children should be taught such things about the radical left (and I agree Miss teachers should teach a sober, serious account of Miss's past - but with the overall theme of the need to reach out beyond our history and understand and forgive each other). Still, it's just as hard for some Miss adults to face up to evils they did in the recent past (recent meaing "within the older people's living memory") as it would be for SF hippies to face up to the horrible way they contributed to the trauma many GIs suffered upon returning from Vietnam - however botched up that war may have been. If you want a serious account of the recent past taught, then let it be in the spirit I just mentioned. It would help considerably speed the day where the past truly is the past.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-26T12:27:27-06:00
ID
77348
Comment

oops! I meant my grandfather would be eighty-NINE...

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-26T12:30:09-06:00
ID
77349
Comment

Phillip, good point about history within the memory of living people, although I think you may be generalizing a little with the statements about leftwing hippies. Maybe it's because I lived through it, having started out favoring Goldwater's 'just bomb 'em' mentality, and finally coming to the sad realization of how horrible and unnecessary (and unwinnable) the Vietnam war was. There were people who did as you said, spitting on them and disrespecting them, and there was a certain amount of mainstream disrespect as well. This was indefensible, unbelievable, but not the main cause of trauma suffered by servicemen who were in Vietnam, in my opinion, just the last straw, the unjustified placing of blame on their war-weary shoulders. The kind of war they were forced to fight, the sorts of things the higher-ups ordered (the napalming of civilian villages, just for an example), their own dislocation upon returning home to find that what they were told in their restricted news was so different from what the rest of us were seeing on TV every night, all of those factors caused them tremendous trauma. God bless them, no wonder they had such difficulties when they came back. I knew so many men who were totally changed when they came back, it was heart-rending to speak to them and see the extent of the changes, to understand how they were suffering. They were blamed for things which should have been placed squarely on the shoulders of the administration and the Pentagon, who appeared to be looking for scapegoats themselves. Teaching history straight out, without trying to assign blame, but presenting both sides, seems to be an admirable way to go about it. Let the students assign blame, if they must, just present the facts as best as possible (although I have to say that truth is in the eye of the individual beholder/historian many times). Just don't leave things out, for goodness sakes; history books don't need to editorialize to the extent they did when I was in school, just present what happened as objectively as they are able.. And Nia, on Adderton, I have never meet him, except in his editorials. I'm white, but I think I have a different way of looking at things than many whites around me in my income level and "class" (I have to call myself a redneck - born, raised a redneck, but evolved into a more progressive redneck than most). The comments I hear on his editorials are along the line of vindication for beliefs they have that don't seem common (to me) in the black community or the more liberal or progressive communities. They'll say, "Well, look, this black man agrees with me, I'm right, and even black people agree." There is a tendency to generalize it into a broader black base than exists, again, in my opinion. Maybe he's the polar opposite of me - he's a conservative African American and I'm a progressive redneck.

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-26T13:48:36-06:00
ID
77350
Comment

Philip: "I'm not saying this is true, but if you hear someone saying 'the past is better than today,' may I suggest that it's because of higher crime, much fewer drug problems, much lower teen pregnancy, much fewer government regulations in general, and the like - NOT with race." Ladd: Philip, I'm putting a marker on this comment, but I'd really like to discuss this more in a couple days after we get this issue out, and I can think clearly about it. I'm somewhere between you and Dio on this point; race is definitely wound up in discussion of these issues in complex ways, and I don't think we can just say that race isn't a factor in many of these discussions about how great the "past" was, even though the jury is still out on whether race is a means or an end in attempts to roll back to the "past." Not sure if that makes sense, but I will return to this one in a couple days. I think it's a very compelling topic, but I only have so many brain cells to go around on a press weekend. ;-D Philip: "I agree Miss teachers should teach a sober, serious account of Miss's past - but with the overall theme of the need to reach out beyond our history and understand and forgive each other." Ladd: I'll leave the hippie analogy for y'all to talk about, but I certainly agree with this statement, as I think would the vast majority of people who want uncensored history to be taught (not just by teachers, but by parents, and mentors, and community members, etc.). What else would be the goal? To just make white people uncomfortable with race history? Guess what: They/we already are; unfamiliarity breeds fear and contempt. I certainly don't think understanding and forgiving is possible without a full accounting of history. We'll keep living in fear and distrust of each other until that point.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-26T13:53:14-06:00
ID
77351
Comment

C.W., you could be onto something. "Progressive redneck" could become the new swing voter, you know like "soccer mom." I kind of like the sound of that.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-26T13:57:44-06:00
ID
77352
Comment

Nia, no. And, I am not wallowing in any kind of pity or anything else for that matter. Among all of my family and friends, scattered throughout this land, I'm the only one of the bunch who does not need anti-depressants. As a student of history, I find that the discipline usually focuses on the darker, depressing sides of humanity. That is why I used to tell my students to never consider majoring in history in college. History as a discipline is dark, depressing for a variety of reasons, most notably, values change over time and when we look to the past we have difficulty leaving our modern values at the door, so to speak. Consequently, we see the past as being a very bad time, regardless of the era. We see the people of a particular era behaving immorally because we cannot escape our values and mores. That is the most difficult aspect to studying history or anthropology, being able to write and leave your moralisms out of the document. That is why I choose to write elsewhere, so I can put my moral opinions into what I write. Writing on blogs, for example, is my release. Historians of the future will look at the late 20th early 21st century and will do the same thing: illuminate the worst aspects of mankind because they will be writing from the context of their moral values. Further responding to your post, we continue to bbq people today (Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and a million other places) and there have been few instances in history when altruism motivated humanity. Philosophically speaking, we are still dealing with the same human problems today that our ancient ancestors dealt with.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-26T21:01:15-06:00
ID
77353
Comment

Phillip: "I'm not saying this is true, but if you hear someone saying "the past is better than today", may I suggest that it's because of higher crime, much fewer drug problems, much lower teen pregnancy, much fewer government regulations in general, and the like - NOT with race." Drug use in America has been out-of-control since we set foot on this earth. Drug addiction IS our heritage, whether we like that or not. Read any newspaper from 1750, 1850 or 1950 and look at some of the ads. In the first two centuries, snake oils and potions were common. Some of these contained heroin and other opiod type drugs, very addictive. Alcohol has been used on this continent since the first settlers arrived. During Lewis and Clark's journey to the NW, they brought barrels of whiskey with them. Meeting natives, they traded them whiskey, sometimes presenting it to them as a gift. One native cheif said, "why do you give us something that obviously makes us fools?" No gov. regulations means that vigilante violence goes up, as it did in the South, East, North, West, Midwest, Canada, and on and on. No gov. regulations and you'll see marriage licenses from centuries ago when 14 year olds married 12 year olds, sometimes they were first cousins also. You can't tell me that teen sex is any more out of control today than it was in our history (U.S. History). Look at the Jackson Daily News from, say, 1920 to 1929. Read the papers daily and pay careful attention to some of the editorials warning parents that their children are behaving immorally, i.e. having sex out of wedlock. Otherwise, you are putting words in my mouth Phillip. I never said that people think the past was better vis-a-vis race relations. People think the past was better all around, as evidenced by the text of your post.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-26T21:10:50-06:00
ID
77354
Comment

Phillip, in responding to the last portion of your post, I say this: I could not continue to teach history in public schools. I gave it up 8 years ago. My principals some had problems with my reading lists that I assigned. They wanted me to keep primary source documents out of the classroom. I used primary sources on occasion, to augment the poor textbooks we used. Primary sources is history without the filter. Some of these sources need to be analyzed in conjunction with other primary sources, i.e. literature, newspaper articles, gov. documents, photos, speeches, TV footage (if any), first account interviews, and on and on. Basically, one principal I worked under told me to keep the primary sources out of the classroom altogether, he wanted me to "keep it simple." I couldn't do that because then I wouldn't be teaching history. I worked until the end of the school year and then quit. I began working on my master's almost immediately after my last teaching job. Contrary to common opinions, Phillip, history is not a story. History is analysis, usually in logical form. Some historians take great liberties while others are very strict and objective. That is why we go back to evidence in the form of primary sources and then we can think of the past based on our analyses of these sources. I taught my students that way, I showed them primary sources and then let them make up their own minds as to what the evidence said about the past. I let the evidence do the story telling and if you've seem some primary sources, you'd know there's not much glitter and glamour to them. I firmly believe that is the way history should be taught. I never gave an objective test in my classes. My students had to tell me in writing about the past. If anything, my students might not have known precise dates, but they sure as hell could make an argument and they could analyze a primary source document.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-26T21:25:58-06:00
ID
77355
Comment

dio: you do have a point about the past not ACTUALLY being better all around. I should have said many people thought the past was better because there was a greater IMAGE of propriety and polish back then (in short, hangover 19th Century Victorian morality). Heck, in the 50's, if I understand right, it was considered lewd for pregnant women to go out in public!!! Imagine how shocked the older people were by the time 1970 rolled around!! To the older people, the 50s and before were a time of "superior class and appearances", if not actual superior morality. That is what I mean by people thinking the past was better independent of race. Do I think pre 1965 people were right to cover up the drug, sex, or even exaggerated courtesy? (i.e. expressing simple disagreement with one's politics, religion, and so forth being a personal insult). No I don't!! Exaggreated polish and propriety keeps dirt that ought to exposed swept under the rug (I still see plenty of that attitude even today, which IMO is 90% of what keeps us from airing things that need saying, racial issues or not. Ask me about discussions I've had with my brother some time). The exaggerated propriety is fading away from the culture bit by bit, of course - so that's a hopeful sign. It's slowly getting more and more acceptable to express disagreements on social / political issues to others.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-26T22:57:38-06:00
ID
77356
Comment

This might be better discussed somewhere else, but...aversion to discussing sex and drugs publicly is a relatively recent phenomenon (1800s). It started in NW Europe. Diogenes, I applaud your approach to teaching history. But I still don't understand why you think it's so dark. I agree with you that we are still struggling with most of the same problems we've been trying to overcome since the beginning of civilization. And though we haven't solved them yet, we are making some progress. Yes, we still BBQ each other. But believe it or not, we're much kinder about it these days. WMDs aren't a new concept. Every ancient civilization used them, like they were candy. There was no Geneva Convention. I'm not saying everyone abides by it, but at least we've got sense enough to have one! And these days we have the concept of religious freedom. That didn't exist a few hundred years ago. Neither did the concepts of women's rights, children's rights, or animal rights. We've got a ways to go, but we're gettin' there.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-27T00:21:39-06:00
ID
77357
Comment

Phillip, older people have always been shocked by changing values over time. The thing about the past 50 years is that technology has improved at a quicker rate. Given the fact we have more technology, we can spread our information more quickly. If you are upset about what you see, read, and hear on the news or in popular entertainment, then avoid these things. The choice is yours. Other than that, I really didn't understand your post. I especially didn't understand the point about pregnant women in public. Do you have a problem with that? Do you want pregnant women to be shutins? How will they make a living? Nia, I haven't really seen much historical evidence that supports the better side of humanity. Perhaps we humans have never really considered the good accomplishments of humanity worthy of recording for future generations. Try this, go read some newspapers from the past and compare the news with what you read today. More than likely, you will read bad news from the past. We do the same thing today, we read and hear about bad stuff happening in our world. Someday, a future historian willl look to our society and write about it and people will read it an say "how depressing, those folks in the 21st century really had it bad." One thing I noticed in American history is how hard people had to work 100 years ago, 200 years ago. I also get disillusioned of how many people fought for the rights we enjoy today, except today, we only honor our war dead, and not the many people who fought and died to make our society a better one. Keep in mind that had there not been a labor movement, we'd be working next to our children for 16 hours a day. Remember that if it were not for Civil Rights protesters, we'd have segregated schools, lunch counters, and football teams. Remember if it were not for woman suffragists, women would not be able to vote, and consequently would not hold any office in this country. I could go on and on. One thing that is disheartening, Nia, is so much bad has been overcome and few, if anybody, even recognizes it.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-27T20:11:20-06:00
ID
77358
Comment

dio, Let me repeat what I said in my last post ""Do I think pre 1965 people were right to cover up the drug, sex, or even exaggerated courtesy? (i.e. expressing simple disagreement with one's politics, religion, and so forth being a personal insult). No I don't!!... (following is my take on how this attitude is also the root of Miss & surrounding area's tendency to keep their mouth shut about other aspects of life...including race). Do i REALLY come off as the type of person who thinks pregnant women should be shut ins???? You are confusing my interpretation of how the pre 1960s generation thinks with what my personal beliefs are. Pregnant women are seen in public all the time!!! Do you not think "I" would find this normal??

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-27T20:29:53-06:00
ID
77359
Comment

Donna wrote: C.W., you could be onto something. "Progressive redneck" could become the new swing voter, you know like "soccer mom." I kind of like the sound of that. Is it just me or is that term a little too reminiscent of Theodore Bilbo?

Author
Ex
Date
2003-10-27T20:36:32-06:00
ID
77360
Comment

Diogenes wrote: Try this, go read some newspapers from the past and compare the news with what you read today. More than likely, you will read bad news from the past. We do the same thing today, we read and hear about bad stuff happening in our world. Someday, a future historian willl look to our society and write about it and people will read it an say "how depressing, those folks in the 21st century really had it bad." And future editors and publishers would continue to say "if it bleeds, it leads."

Author
Ex
Date
2003-10-27T20:44:06-06:00
ID
77361
Comment

Nia wrote: Philip, you're hilarious! The two counties with the majority of their white residents voting for a new flag makes sense, Oktibbeha being home to MSU (Where's Madison?) and possibly, a sizeable portion of those non-black residents were Hispanic/NA/non-US people affiliated with State. I haven't thought out your statistical methodology, but it makes sense to me off the cuff. Nia, also bear in mind that Nissan announced that their new plant would be in Canton in November 2000-- only a few months before the referendum. My opinion is that it was a financial decision by people living in Madison County. As far as people living in Oktibbeha are concerned, here's something to consider. I recall attending an Egg Bowl game in 1991 in Starkville where Bully (the costumed student-- not the dog) tore up a Confederate Battle Flag to the cheers of the MSU student section.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-10-27T21:01:31-06:00
ID
77362
Comment

Ex, I'm sure economic considerations were part of it. But what is there from preventing both economic considerations AND the feeling to move ahead by voting for the new flag? Let me say something about the David Duke election in La, which I think is highly relevant to Miss. - especially regarding the cultural and political climate of the Mid South. During the 1991 race, all seven parishes that went for the incumbent - a reformist, Harvard MBA-educated who got beat in the primary election - voted for the notorious crook Edwin Edwards over Duke (and Edwards is in the Fed's Pen in Ft. Worth for racketeering, fraud, and all sorts of stuff). I lived in one of those seven parishes at the time - Lincoln, home of La. Tech University and Grambling. It never went for Duke despite being surrounded by an ocean of Duke parishes (thank La. Tech for tipping the scales against Duke in Lincoln Parish. Grambling alone could not have done it, though no doubt it did help). ALL seven of those parishes have a wide pool of educated, upper and middle class people - just like Madison Co. . Having lived in such a parish, I can assure you that genuine disgust for Duke himself was the biggest motivational factor - economic concerns were secondary. If this disgust played such a role in these seven parishes, then why couldn't it have also played a role in Madison Co? (granted, only 1/3 of the white residents voted for the new flag - but that's a hell of a lot better margin than the white votes in other Miss Co.s). South End Madisonians, being of relatively high income, are also more apt to travel widely and presumably more likely to read "brainy" publications than the rest of Miss (outside the college counties). I don't know about you, but I'm starting to see a pattern here, even if Madison Co. still has a way to go before becoming truly open. The elements and practice are clearly there.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-27T21:39:23-06:00
ID
77363
Comment

Philip-- I don't see a statewide pattern yet because of what you already mentioned previously-- Oktibbeha and Madison were the only two majority white counties to vote for the new flag. If education is the answer, then why didn't the people in Lafayette and Forrest counties (both majority white town-and-gowners) vote for the new flag? And why just Madison? Why not any of the counties in northeast Mississippi such as Lee or Alcorn? I agree with you that the elements are in place in Madison, but it hasn't spread statewide yet in my opinion.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-10-27T21:59:45-06:00
ID
77364
Comment

Ex, I don't think education is the only factor. Let's not forget culture and tradition--in this case, bad ones. And re Nissan, I don't think it was on this thread, but I postted my htoughts on whether the plant will really bring as many jobs as the lobbyists claim it will. IMHO, it won't. But that remains to be seen. Hopefully, I'm wrong. And re the Confederate flag being ripped to shreds by Bully, I would guess the MSU students would have cheered the tearing of an Ole Miss flag even if their mama was on it.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-27T22:39:17-06:00
ID
77365
Comment

You have strong questions about what I say, especially concerning Lafayette (home of Ole Miss). First, about the Forest (Hattiesburg, home of USM). Even though it's a college town, two main things worked against it voting for the new flag (a) the size of the school in relation to the city (USM can't really have the impact on Forest and Lamar that MSU has on Oktib.) (b) the prestiege factor - MSU is more prestiegeous - and hence more likely to attract progressive-minded students body - than USM (apologies to USM students and grads). Lee (Tupelo) is not a Univ county. Also it's not nearly the size of Jackson. It also has a fairly low % of people with college degrees (18.1% in 2000, compared with 37.9% for Madison in the same year). All this tends to inhibit potential for a strong new flag vote. Alcorn is like Lee, only more so. Lafayette (Ole Miss) had both these things too, as it's very similar to Oktib. (apologies to MSU studs/grads.) -- which brings in Nia's culture argument. I don't know for sure, because I've only been to Starkville once. But the "buzz" I've heard is that MSU isn't nearly as steeped in "tradition" as Ole Miss is. Although I think it's not unusual to see "tradition" types here, this group doesn't aggressively impact MSUs culture to the extent that Ole Miss's "tradition" set does. If anybody out there disagrees with me, I'm all ears. BTW, education alone, as Nia says, does NOT change a person's heart. But it can expose good hearted people with integrity to facts and ideas they have to confront.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-27T23:39:46-06:00
ID
77366
Comment

I don't think it's education (as in, schoolin'), so much as exposure to new things, people and ideas. Most of us seek out like minded people to hang out with, and so become convinced that our opinions are the only real, right ones. However, since moving back to MS, my husband and I have met a few of what we call "openminded rednecks." Now, I don't want to open the redneck debate again, so let me explain. They're people, who by accent and actions seem to be rednecks - they love to hunt, they're from small towns, they have not travelled much (and seem to have little desire to do so), and so forth. But. when engaged in political or social discussion, they reveal themselves to be genuinely thoughtful and inquisitive people, who have deep wells of sympathy and emphathy for those around them, and are truly looking to understand issues and do the right thing. It really doesn't have to do with formal education, so much as that open minded curiousity about other people. I think where MS gets lost, is that it's hard for these people to find a place and a voice - because their "natural habit" attracts people who don't approach life the way they do. It's hard to find people who want to go blow up a beaver dam and then head home for an in depth political discussion. Which is why I am so addicted to these Blogs as a gathering place for us all to argue. (And, can I just say, when I was out of town last night, I dreamed 3 nights in a row about JFP. In one, I won a million dollars, and donated $100K to JFP. I need help, for real.)

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-28T10:42:59-06:00
ID
77367
Comment

That's hilarious! And it must be contagious becasue I dreamed about JFP a few nights ago. I dreamed that I went to my local deli for coffee one morning and for some reason Kate, Donna, Fielding, Philip, etc. were all sitting there having coffee. Now I have no idea what you guys look like but somehow you were all there, sipping coffee in NY.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-28T10:52:44-06:00
ID
77368
Comment

Hee! Let's plan a field trip!

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-28T11:06:17-06:00
ID
77369
Comment

Philip-- A few comments. You've made good points, which I agree with mostly. I've made these points with Ole Miss grads in another site shortly after the flag referendum. Being a graduate of both MSU and USM, I agree that MSU folks are generally not beholden to tradition. We're practical people and just maybe when compared to culture-minded Ole Miss grads, MSU folks are-- dare I say it-- progressive farmers. Of course, I'm not saying Starkville is a hotbed of liberalism. When I was a student, the College Republicans were (and are still) dominant and the Libertarian group was really vocal as well. I have to quibble slightly with you with regard to USM. As far as USM folks are concerned, my impressions are that we are generally open minded as well. I have fond memories of my years there. In retrospect, I should have made a better selection other than Lee and Alcorn counties when comparing to Madison, however. DeSoto County being a suburban county in a metropolitan area would be a better basis for comparison.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-10-28T16:40:00-06:00
ID
77370
Comment

Mmm... coffee...

Author
Ex
Date
2003-10-28T16:57:01-06:00
ID
77371
Comment

I just spent an hour catching up on these posts... (this blog, livejournal, and friendster are probably going to banned under the PATRIOT act soon for weakening our economy... ). I love this dialog, especially about openminded "rednecks." Sure, they're out there, and they're a curiosity to consider, as are (to me, at least)conservative African-Americans. I really must chime in on the alleged progressiveness of USM versus MSU. I attended USM and have many good friends who went to MSU and have visited there numerous times. Plus, my Dad's an alum. USM has a far larger African-American percentage of the student body than State, the greek system is tiny compared to Ole Miss and State, and the art/music scene in town (and at the school) is a lot more vibrant than Starkville (not neccessarily Oxford, I know, I know...). I don't think that State being a higher-tiered, more prestigious school equals more progressive students. Anyone else agree?

Author
JLosset
Date
2003-10-28T19:29:38-06:00
ID
77372
Comment

Ex, Nia, and Kate, Like I said in my 3rd or 4th post on this site, I think all of us are right in our respective contexts ñ we just need to fit the puzzle pieces together. This discussion is the perfect example of this. Everything weíve talked about is intertwined. Ex, USM: I would guess USMís openness is due to location. Itís only 100 miles from N.O. and 70 or so from Biloxi (from what I hear, Missís least uptight, if not actually progressive, area). BTW, Univ. La. at Monroe is similar to USM in most ways seems (in fact, I drew heavily from ULM/USM comparisons to explain why Forest voted Old Flag, just as Ouachita Pa. [Monroe] went for Duke). Yet, by your accounts USM seems more open than ULM. On the other hand, Monroe is fairly remote geographically (4 ? each to N.O. and Memphis, 5 to Dallas and about 6 to Houston); which contributes to much of its cultural isolation despite being in the same state as N.O. This is good for USM, though like I said, USM canít have the impact on the Híb area that MSU has on Oktib. DeSoto (suburban Memphis): Metro Memphis is a bit more complex to explain because itís split by state lines. Without throwing out more numbers at you, DeSotoís percentage of graduates is even lower than Lee Coís, while the Germantown / Collierville in TN is as far ahead of Madison as Madison is ahead of Lee (in fact, an outright majority of Germantown has bachelors or higher. In short, eastern Shelby Co., TN is Memphisí South Madison, while DeSoto. Is Memphisí Rankin. Therefore, if the state line were 30 miles further north, I think you would see a clearer pattern of educated people voting for the New Flag. ContinuedÖ..

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-28T19:36:51-06:00
ID
77373
Comment

Nia, A localeís culture is definitely a factor in how it votes, too; thereís no question about that. We talked of Ole Miss and MSU. Now let me bring in another comparison ñ San Francisco Bay and Dallas-Ft. Worth. Both metros are of roughly comparable size. Both are prosperous high-tech areas. Both are among the 10 largest metros in the nation. Yet SF is one of, if not THE, most liberal / left-leaning metros in the nation (in the city of SF itself, Nader got almost as many votes as Bush, if I remember right). By contrast, DFW is probably the most conservative of the 10 largest metro areas (though not TOO conservative; large metros will be large metros). Neglecting the countyís social views makes for a shallow study. Kate, I repeat what I said about Nia and more - even a high level of education by itself does nothing to change hearts. Like you said, itís curiousity. I know a Good Ole Boy who didnít even graduate from high school, yet I have 100 times more respect for his character than those many Yuppie wannabes. Socioeconomic status says NOTHING about oneís character, integrity and as you said, curiousity about people outside their own clique. Somehow we have to inspire people to branch out beyond people who are ìjust like themî (in that respect, growing up in that La. Delta town DID help me. Although I absolutely despised that town because I never could really be myself without boring the hell out of others, it did force me to get to know people who I had nothing in common with). Kate, honestly, I think your post cut through all the claiming / counterclaiming and lay the issue bare: How curious, non-cliquish is the individual, regardless of race income education and occupation? Now if we can find a way to objectively and reliably measure this trait in individuals (yeah, right!), THEN I think you ought to get the credit for the idea . Until then, itís a matter of one-on-one communication and breaking out of cliques.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-28T20:01:15-06:00
ID
77374
Comment

Philip, I like the idea! Let's invent a device, the curiosity-meter. We can go IPO in a matter of months, with the right business plan. Re: DFW vs SF Bay Area, I have a theory. Or at least, I heard one once, on NPR. It was an historian, discussing California. He had this whole thing, where California has been "leading edge" (or completely cracked, depending on your point of view) since the time of the gold rush. Basically, you had alot of men move to the area in a very short time (I want to say that the population of the state went from 30,000 whites to 300,000 whites in a year or two, but that may be entirely wrong. But I remember it was an order of magnitude change, in under 3 years.) With the gold rush, came money. So california started off with cash-based agriculture (as opposed to subsistence farming) and immediate metropolitan areas. He said it was probably mostly like living in a frat house, as most of the population increase was in the form of men moving in on their own (if married, wives and families stayed put, and the men sent money home). Also, this type of lifestyle tended to attract a certain personality, which created a certain culture, which has persisted to this day. So, the modern Silicon Valley area was founded on speculation and get rich quick schemes. He had a couple of other examples of this kind of thing, and, of course, it fit nicely with the whole internet bubble, as well. So - that's one theory on why northern california is the way it is - 150 years of an economy based on speculation and get rich quick schemes.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-28T20:47:23-06:00
ID
77375
Comment

Jlosset, I agree with you now, and apparently most others do too. Intresting that you brought up racial diversity for USM vs MSU. I don't know the breakdowns, but racial diversity is certainly important - especially when it comes to having the opportunity to meet others different from yourself. At ULM and Tech, both about 30 miles apart, most people seem to stay to their own cliques of people without getting to know others on a deeper level (not just on matters of race either). Like I said in the "Jackson's Future" post, people who are neither Preps nor "Rednecks" are few and far between - and mostly ignored because "we have nothing in common with them, even though I don't actually dislike them". By contrast, at U of Memphis, which I attended for a few years, there are probably more "bohemian-looking" types there than Preps and "Rednecks" combined (U of M is a bit thin on the latter group, but the former is not particularly uncommon). In fact, I consider this diversity of personality types in addition to race to be U of M's greatest asset (I'd say 25% black of various sorts, 40% white "bohems" and 20% white Preps, with the others as foreign students and a wide variety of "others" who are fairly easy to plug into). This diversity of personality types especially was such a relief to me when I got used to seeing this (about 4 or 5 mths after my arrival here). There's even a small but somewhat vocal gay community here (and in Midtown Memphis in general) Can Jackson do it too? After all, it has more or less the same culture as Memphis once Midtown is subtracted. I think it's an obvious "yes" answer - as evidenced by Fondren, Belhaven, and Millsaps College.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-28T20:56:36-06:00
ID
77376
Comment

To Donna, I believe you when you say there are more and more "different" people in Jackson every day. Don't worry about that. It's that I've had to work and study most of the time while I was in Ridgeland. I was living there because it was the closest "big" town to NE La that is even moderately prosperous, and I had to stay close to home to be with the family while Dad was dying (in fact, I was smack on the brink of moving to Ft. Worth when I got the news). But next time I get back home (Xmas probably), I plan to swing by the area and spend time in the "other" Jackson I spent so little time in.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-28T21:06:08-06:00
ID
77377
Comment

JLosset-- While you are right that USM does have a larger African-American student body population (23.3 percent) than MSU (17.7%) or Ole Miss (12.9%), something to consider is that MSU has a relatively high number of international students (741 of the 1,765 enrolled in all public Mississippi universities) according to the IHL's Fall 2002 Enrollment Fact Book.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-10-28T21:22:50-06:00
ID
77378
Comment

Yikes. Boy, do I have some catching up to do, but I've been through the ringer. We put the paper to bed today after I wrote a big-ass story and we through a particularly onerous production cycle (involving misfiring tech) that I won't bore y'all with. (Kate, I'll take that $100,000 gift any time!) Anyway, I'm beat so too tired to say anything clever. But I am glad to see that y'all carried on -- and I do mean carried on -- in my absence. And it doesn't look there was a killin' while I was gone -- unless Nia cold-cocked Fielding and stuffed him under a table in the corner of her coffee shop. Only in Nia's DREAMS, eh? OK, I'm free associating now, so I'll leave. I'll be catching up on all the chatter over the next few days. And we'll have a new issue up very soon for y'all to fight over. G'night, Donna

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-28T23:25:47-06:00
ID
77379
Comment

Hey! Wait a minute. I wouldn't cold-cock Fielding. And I certianly wouldn't stuff under the coffee table at the deli! He wouldn't fit. :-) Philip, are you a Libra? Here's my question: If Blackmon loses, what's next? And what will Tuck do if Ronnie wins? Musgrove and Tuck both have a conservative agenda, but they also both play party politics. Would the Musgrove/Tuck combination create a whole new friction in Jacktown? And what about a Barbour/Blackmon duo. I don't see their superhero outfits matching.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-29T00:09:46-06:00
ID
77380
Comment

Nia: Philip, are you a Libra? Philip: Damn you're good! I'm not lying. Still, I don't believe in astrology though. Nia: And what will Tuck do if Ronnie wins? Musgrove and Tuck both have a conservative agenda, but they also both play party politics. Would the Musgrove/Tuck combination create a whole new friction in Jacktown? Philip: Kind of hard to say. But I'd place my $100 on the line "probably not drastically different than before" Nia: And what about a Barbour/Blackmon duo... Philip: Please!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-29T00:56:11-06:00
ID
77381
Comment

Nia, Ronnie won't win. Too many things against him, i.e. his status as a democrat, the poor MS economy, the "crime-wave" in Jackson and MS, his status as a democrat, the Barbour attack ads are working, his status as a democrat, and did I mention his status as a democrat? That is certainly working against him. Basically, when the economy is doing poorly, whatever the reason for it, the incumbents lose elections. Tuck might defy this little nugget of political gravity for various reasons, i.e. her status as a Repooblican, her mean-ass look, her status as a Repooblican, and you all get the point. I may eat crow, but I say Barbour by 68-70% and Tuck by about 60%. Please god, let this durn thing be over with, I hate the ads from all candidates. Whoever wrote the ads thinks we are all stupid!

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-29T11:03:18-06:00
ID
77382
Comment

But if the ads wor, it's only because people believe them. I've still got my fingers crossed because although I'm no hige fan of Musgrove, I think he's much less sleazy than Boobour.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-29T11:16:11-06:00
ID
77383
Comment

Forgive all the spelling errors. I haven't had my coffee yet and I stayed up all night trying to finish a story.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-29T11:17:14-06:00
ID
77384
Comment

Dio, if Democrats can't get elected, how is it that Musgrove is governor? Nia, I don't think the ads work. I think all they do is depress people, and decrease voter turnout. But, I've never seen any studies on the subject, so that's just my opinion. But, I think the same people that tell us politicians *have* to run negative ads are the same ones that tell us Jackson won't support an alternative newspaper. And lo and behold, here we are.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-29T11:35:25-06:00
ID
77385
Comment

I think you're right, Kate, which would explain why the only people who do vote are the minority of eligible voters. Everyone else is turned off and tuned out. And, yeah, Dio. Obviously Democrats get elected. Otherwise, explain Clinton (twice), Musgrove, etc. And Musgrove is a conservative Democrat, which should earn him brownie points in the Deep South.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-29T11:59:17-06:00
ID
77386
Comment

Anytime I see "Dio," I can't help but think of Ronnie James Dio. *grin* Seriously though, he does raise a good point in that it seems that politicians who run away from the party label tend not to do well. Regarding Musgrove's elections, it has certainly helped him that he faced incumbent Eddie Briggs in 1995 (who if I recall correctly, did not have much support from Gov. Fordice) and Mike Parker in 1999 who ran a very positive campaign. I don't recall Parker's campaign airing attack ads.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-10-29T12:55:32-06:00
ID
77387
Comment

Nia, I never said that democrats cannot get elected. Clinton didn't win Mississippi if I recall correctly. Clinton won because the Repooblican vote was split. Remember Ross Perot? (they ought to do a 'where are they now' show on him) Mike Parker was a poor candidate, that is how I attribute Musgrove's election four years ago, then again, I don't remember much from back thenóI didn't live here. I still think Haley will win because he promises to whip them young-uns! Everybody wants their young-uns whipped! Seriously, Barbour's good-ole-boy mentality, along with the neo-con revolution in this country provides the right mixture of coattails that will help him get the gov's seat (the governor's power is very limited in states like MS). Musgrove is less sleazy than Barbour, but then again, Democrats have their skeletons, and their particular platforms that I disagree with. Regardless of who our next gov. is, I doubt many things change quickly. Well, I take that back, Barbour will install a police-state rather quickly.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-29T13:28:17-06:00
ID
77388
Comment

Hahaha! Let's hope he's not that bad. Let's hope that he'll tire quickly of not being a big-wig in DC and go back to being a lobbyist who pulls strings rather than a governor who has his strings pulled.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-29T14:55:01-06:00
ID
77389
Comment

Diogenes, while you didn't exactly state that democrats can't get elected in MS, you did list it as a negative for Musgrove 4 times in one paragraph. Which heavily implied that you think that a democrcat can't the state. Hence my comments. Personally, I think that the Gov's race is going to be really close - which kind of bums me out, because I would rather vote for Dillon than Musgrove. But, I think Musgrove needs all the votes he can get to keep Barbour out of the office. For pure entertainment value, I think the best combo would be Barbour/Blackmon.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-29T16:01:25-06:00
ID
77390
Comment

My point was, Musgrove can't get elected. Perhaps if the democratic party would find a candidate worth voting for, the state wouldn't be a hotbed of Repooblicanism, or neo-conservativism, or whatever you call this new age of war and spend politics. How Musgrove got elected is beyond me. I'll research it and get back to you tomorrow. I'll stick to my guns and say Barbour by 68-70%, though. Dillon's getting my vote regardless, my little protest to both parties. Both parties don't deserve my vote!

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-29T16:39:15-06:00
ID
77391
Comment

For me, that's a failing of Musgrove, not Democrats. And, I don't know how he got elected, since I wasn't here then either. But I know what you mean about Democrats fielding a worthy candidate - it'd be nice. We need to start our own betting pool on the outcome of the major races. Loser pays for drinks at the next Hal and Mal's lounge?

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-29T16:47:19-06:00
ID
77392
Comment

A co-worker just informed me that Musgrove became gov. on the laurels of a legislative vote. Apparently neither Musgrove nor Parker won a majority of counties and the traditionally democratic leg. decided for the voters of MS. What a waste of election money! Anyway, I'll research just why the MS leg. is overwhelmingly democratic and why the state's voters usually pick a Repooblican for executive offices, i.e. president and gov. I'll get back on this tomorrow.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-29T16:50:32-06:00
ID
77393
Comment

Barbour/Blackmon: Now that's must-see TV! I'd watch that all day every day. Beats reruns of the Simpsons any day.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-29T17:07:26-06:00
ID
77394
Comment

Just wait until the court races begin. Those are going to be interesting.

Author
jimjam
Date
2003-10-29T18:31:14-06:00
ID
77395
Comment

Barbour/Blackmon? Oh oh oh. I'd love to see that, but I don't think it's even likely. This thing about the third party vote is really what has the Republicans worried, since it could throw the whole thing into the legislature again. I'm trying to catch up, and I don't know who up there said progressive farmer, but I betcha didn't know there used to be a big magazine by that name. I used to read it when I was a kid and we were visiting my aunt's farm. That, Post and Life, were the magazines she took, and she always kept the old issues in her storage house. I could sit up in her mimosa tree on a nice crook in the trunk and read my heart out. Heaven....

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-29T18:37:37-06:00
ID
77396
Comment

Diogenes-- The 1999 election is well documented. Musgrove won a plurality of votes, but not a majority. Parker and Musgrove each won 61 electoral votes (derived from who received a plurality of the votes in each of the 122 legislative districts). Accordingly, the state legislature was constitutionally bound to decide.

Author
Ex
Date
2003-10-29T18:39:39-06:00
ID
77397
Comment

If only someone would see fit to give all this money to education instead of politicians! Over $10 M for Barbour, over $6 M for Musgrove, and those races for judges' posts always bring in top dollar.

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-29T18:39:52-06:00
ID
77398
Comment

dio: Apparently neither Musgrove nor Parker won a majority of counties PLEASE, Somebody!! Tell me this Wrong!!!! Majority of counties is taking it way too far!! Nia: "Southern Dem". I could be wrong, but isn't that phrase you used to describe Musgrove usually reserve for pre-integration segregationists? Dio: Miss will never elect a Democrat. U.S. Congressman Gene Taylor, from the Coast, is a Democrat. Granted he's a conservative one but certainly not an "Old Tymie" Southern one. In fact, severaly years ago I obtained a video from the Australian Broadcasting Company's Washington Bureau that featured Taylor. On his basic bedrock principles, he said he wasn't switching to the Republican Party because he was standing against the Southern trend against switching to Republican (sorry, I don't remember exactly what he said, but that was the context). Taylor told the journalist "Hitler insisted everybody switch to the Nazi Party, Stalin insisted everybody switch to the Communist Party" - so he was sticking to the Dems based on principle BTW, you will see that he's not an 'old geezer'. He was born in 1953, so he was only 11 when the Civil Rights Act was passed and 21 when Nixon resigned. Dio: I may eat crow, but I say Barbour by 68-70% and Tuck by about 60%. Philip: Where Tuck is concerned, I'd not wanna wager too much that you are wrong. Barbour? I think your estimate is a bit high. Bush took the state by 57% I believe. Miss is 36% black (95% voting Dem) and about 62% white (about 85% vote Rep). Of course this depends heavily on turnout, which I admit to have no clue about. But I will say this: I think for Barbour to get in the upper 60s, there would have to be an extremely high black turnout coupled with a significantly lower than average white turnout.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-29T19:49:37-06:00
ID
77399
Comment

OMG, what a snafu!! I meant Barbour to get into the 68-70 range would mean an extremely low black turnout and a significantly higher than average white turnout. And given the CCC controversy, there are going to be a lot of p.o.'ed blacks

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-29T19:53:00-06:00
ID
77400
Comment

Poll Results - for what they're worth http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0310/26/m01.html "A telephone poll of 623 likely voters was conducted Oct. 21-23 for The Clarion-Ledger and The Associated Press by Washington-based Ipsos-Public Affairs. The sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. Among the findings in percentages if the election were held today: Governor Barbour 50 Musgrove 45 Others 2 Lieutenant governor Tuck 50 Blackmon 40 Reives 2 Treasurer Reeves 44 Anderson 43 Dilworth 2

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-29T19:55:24-06:00
ID
77401
Comment

This thing that was in the Boston Globe was probably worse than the cofcc thing - because of the words Barbour said when he ran for senator, that remark about his aide saying coons would likely be at the next stop, and Barbour saying "if the aide persisted in racist remarks, he would be reincarnated as a watermelon and placed at the mercy of blacks." This one just floors me. The reporter (a northerner, no doubt) thought the aide's remark embarrassed Barbour - if it had, why would Barbour have shot back with an even more racist comeback? http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2003/10/29/barbour_campaign_shows_gops_racist_side/

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-29T22:13:20-06:00
ID
77402
Comment

Philip: I think we all knew what you meant. :-) And re "Southern Dem," I think you're right, though I didn't mean it in that sense. I'd forgotten that it has a another conotation. Given the margin of error for that poll, the governorship could very well end up being decided by the legislature. So CW, if you don't think it's even likely we'll end up with Barbour/Blackmon, what's your pick?

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-29T22:16:36-06:00
ID
77403
Comment

I'm not much of a gambler, and the governor's race looks too close to call. If I were forced to put my money somewhere, I'm afraid I'd have to say what I have been thinking from the start of this whole campaign - Barbour/Tuck. I hope I'm wrong, especially about Tuck, because I think the woman is bad news. One analyst has already hung it on black voter turnout, and if it's anything like it was for the flag referendum, I'm afraid Blackmon (and probably Musgrove as well) is doomed. I don't understand young African Americans not exercising their right to vote, after their parents and grandparents put their lives on the line to make sure they got those rights. It's baffling. I'd give Anderson a good chance, though, partly because of low candidate recognition; a lot of people probably don't have any idea what color he is, and if they've seen Tate Reeves (who has done a lot more advertising, at least in the northern end of the state), I doubt he made much better an impression on them than he did on me. The man comes off as a whining, spoiled rich brat.

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-29T22:30:59-06:00
ID
77404
Comment

Some good DOES come from errors :P "there would have to be an extremely high black turnout coupled with a significantly lower than average white turnout." How can we get this to come about :P (as though we were a bunch of "evil conspiracists"). Let me run a tongue-in-cheek scenario Hmmm, Either Stringfellow or Agnew (I'd say the former is better in this case) get on the Democratic ticket and Bill Lord, a high muckety-muck in an obviously racist orginization, on the Republican ticket (in that case, the Rep's would probably be hard-pressed to even hold on to Rankin, esp N. Rankin. Madison? Don't even bother!). PLUS heavy rain statewide on election day and the two preceding days before would help too (with blacks highly motivated to vote FOR a black candidate fairly acceptable to whites, the Country Club and soccer mom set of whites, not particularly hostile to Stringfellow AND hostile to Lord, voting too.) It's a fantasy, I know. But if you have a more realistic scenario, I'm all ears

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-29T23:25:46-06:00
ID
77405
Comment

P.S. I also meant to add to the black vote "...AND outright energized to keep the CCC from winning the governorship" Working Class Whites? It's a mixed call, I'd say, but I think by a THIN margin they would go for Lord.

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-29T23:28:45-06:00
ID
77406
Comment

I'm thinking Barbour/Tuck, too, which saddens me. Though it saddens me less than young black people not voting. I'm mystified, too, CW. I don't know why they don't vote.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-29T23:38:54-06:00
ID
77407
Comment

For me, I get annoyed at anyone who doesn't vote. And I know alot of people who don't vote. Even a bunch of my co-workers in California who didn't vote in the recall election! It was *so* frustrating to hear about. People seem to not vote because they buy into the notion of "they're all crooks, there's no real difference between republicans and democrats, etc.". Basically, the theme I've been harping on for weeks - the negative campaigning combined with crappy reporting make it all look like one big waste of time. During the Gore/Bush election, Molly Ivins wrote a great article about how, while the differences between the republicans and democrats are often very small, it is those small differences that have huge impacts on the lives of those living on the fringe. Even making things a *little* bit easier for some can be the difference between life and death. What is life, if not a series of small choices? I really think Musgrove/Blackmon have a shot at winning, but it is going to be close.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-30T10:31:33-06:00
ID
77408
Comment

I've got my fingers, arms, and legs crossed for them because the alternatives are even worse. And Ivins is right.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T10:54:45-06:00
ID
77409
Comment

I have been busy the past couple days with future funding and strategy issues at work, as well as a venture capital forum I attended (as well as the twins at home keeping me hoppin') - sorry I've missed some of the recent postings. I will try to give you a ball park figure on this stuff, however... Dio, I will save you a little research on the last gubernatorial race - Parker was ahead in the polls up to the ending weeks of the race - and he decided he could coast to a victory. Mike didn't do what he needed to do to win - a hard serious concentrated effort in the last week or so is a MUST in any election - even you believe you're going to win. I would bet Haley is planning just such a push and Musgrove should also. Philip - you're right - that is fantasy - Bill Lord will never be a statewide candidate - although I bet Blackmon will try again. Kate - you are correct - it will be close based on current events and stats - I will go out on a limb and say: Barbour 52% Musgrove 47% other 1% I can't predict what the percentages will be in the Lt Gov race, but I believe that will be closer than the polls suggest. And I think Amy will win. Gary just might win the Treasurer spot - I hope so - he is way more qualified than his opponent - and I predict if Gary wins he will be Mississippi's first black governor - in about 8 or 12 years.

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T11:58:03-06:00
ID
77410
Comment

Don't anyone have a heart attack on my post - ;-) heh heh

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T11:59:16-06:00
ID
77411
Comment

Phillip and all others, polls are such a farce! Look at what Phillip posted, 623 people were polled. That is no way a representative population! I was, furthermore, polled in Louisiana several years ago. The questions were so ambiguous that I could not answer "yes" and "no" like the pollster wanted. One question I was asked had something to do with gang violence and if I thought one candidate over the other was tough on gang violence. I responded that I couldn't answer that question unless the term "gang" was defined. Another question dealt with education and if I thought one particular candidate was the education candidate. I responded that I'd like to know who's decidedly anti-education because they certainly won't get my vote. Another question dealt with crime in general. I responded that I would like to know which candidate is pro-crime, because that candidate would not get my vote. In conclusion, the questions were insulting to my intelligence and the lady doing the polling chuckled as I gave her my responses. She thanked me for participating and she added that I gave some of the more interesting answers to the poll. So, the poll questions are about as stupid as the TV ads, and therefore, polls are hardly reliable, firm evidence that someone will win with x percent of the vote. I said Barbour would get that much, 68-70%, because I was being hyperbolic. Also (for you Ms. Ladd) I was generalizing because I have yet to meet a self-described democrat in MS. All I meet, since I've been here, are Repooblican to the core!

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T12:16:41-06:00
ID
77412
Comment

Hi Fielding! :-0 With regard to Democrat v. Republican, I think MS is an exagerated example of what's going on all over the country. Most people don't like either party. They side with one not so much because they identify with it because they identify LESS with the other.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T12:26:53-06:00
ID
77413
Comment

I used to work for some Dems, and I can say honestly that the national Dems made me embrace the Republican party. That doesn't mean I blindly follow the GOP line - but I find it fits my political philosophy much better than the Dems. And perhaps the Republican trend in Mississippi will indeed be reflected nationwide - I sure hope so... And Haley should have fired that a** on the spot - no matter who it was.

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T12:36:58-06:00
ID
77414
Comment

Diogenes, I'm a self described Democrat. Or at least registered that way. And I did grow up in Jackson, so it can happen. You must be hanging out with the wrong crowd! Polls can be lame - but 600+ people is probably reasonable statistically, IF they also did their sampling correctly (as in, didn't call 600 households in Jackson only - which, knowing the CL, wouldn't surprise me). I did get a call from the Barbour campaign, asking if he would have "my support". I very politely said "not in a million years."

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-30T12:43:28-06:00
ID
77415
Comment

That's the worst thing that could happen for Republicans, Fielding. Because until the Republican party drops it's barely-disguised racist policies and attitudes, minorities will never join in large numbers. They'll flock instead to the Greens or whoever else happens to have stumbled into a national party. Large numbers of some Hispanic groups are predominantly Republican, but Hispanics (perhaps because they cover so many different "races," nationalities, and cultures) don't vote as a block. Gov. Davis found that out the hard way. Interestingly, the Hispanics groups who vote largely Republican also consider themselves white, not of African descent or NA discent. The other alternative is that minorities will join and will change the face, literally and figuratively, of the party. That would likely create the biggest example of white flight in American history. You didn't comment on Haley's remark, Fielding. Indefensible, is it?

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T12:52:52-06:00
ID
77416
Comment

Fielding, what "republican trend in Mississippi" are you referring to? That's a pretty vague statement, and I'm resisting the urge to make assumptions about what you mean there. My perception of Republicans in MS is that they tend to be more conservative, more religious and more white than in other places in the country. Certainly more so than the republicans I know in California. So, personally, I really don't want that trend reflected nationally. For years, my hairdresser in Berkeley was convinced that the republican party would eventually split - the religious right finally separating from the main republican party, and allowing the republicans to return to a more moderate stance on social issues. I wish it would happen. But that's probably a topic for another thread.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-30T13:08:53-06:00
ID
77417
Comment

I wouldn't want that particular trend reflected in MS either, Kate. I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that when Fielding said "Republican trend" he meant people switching from Dem to Rep. And given what Republicans in MS stand for, as you described above, I figured that would be the "worst" thing to happen to the party from their perspective.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T13:31:36-06:00
ID
77418
Comment

Dio - there's an art to making polls say whatever you want them to - as Disreali has been quoted, "There are lies, there are damned lies and then there are statistics." Who is sampled makes a huge differnce, as Kate alludes. It's not foolproof, but it usually works. What specifically is this "worst thing" you mention? A trend to the GOP? Doesn't sound bad to me at all. The Republican trend I refer to is that 30 years ago - as the saying goes - the Mississippi Republican party could have met in a phone booth. Every elected official in the State was a Democrat or non-partisan. The GOP is genuinely competitive on a statewide and local level now. Haley's remark/reply was stupid as well...

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T13:31:56-06:00
ID
77419
Comment

You're not that stupid, Fielding. His comment wasn't stupid. It was racist. Admit it and stop trying to play down what he did. By "worst thing" I meant that people who are switching to the GOP are largely very conservative and on the religious-right. That demographic doesn't mesh well with most minority groups because that demographic also is known for being intolerant of minorities, women's rights, gay rights, etc. If those groups don't join the GOP, the GOP will become less effective as another party rises to prominence. If they do join, it won't be the same party.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T13:42:53-06:00
ID
77420
Comment

The religious right began it's big push around 30 years ago, in the 1970s - and it does seem like those are the people attracted by the republican party in MS. Which is one of the reasons that I'm fascinated with the Governator in CA. As Ellen Goodman said in one of her columns, it's truly hilarious to see President Bush have to embrace a republican who's pro-choice and tolerant (or better) of gays. It makes total sense to me that Californians, in dumping a democrat, chose the moderate republican over the right wing McClintock. If the MS republican party could show that much 'diversity', I'd be much happier. As it is now, it seems mostly like the party of white, right leaning christians. Which is a huge limitation, especially in the long run, and (I hope) on the national stage.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-30T13:50:59-06:00
ID
77421
Comment

You are making a huge generalization about what Republicans in Mississippi stand for - let's review for just a moment what the Democrats stand for, shall we? Democrats have been in control of the State Legislature for years - and they have consistently underfunded the State Dept of Human Services. They sure are bad people. By God, most of the people who go to the Dept of Human Services are black - why the Legislature must be racist!! Oh my goodness, has the Mississippi legislature had Members that make inappropriate remarks? Don't they have a statue of Bilbo in the Capitol? Haven't they refused to change the State Flag? My goodness gracious! Holy cow - they're racist!! broad generalizations off/ I would rather be GOP than Dem any day of the week...

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T13:51:23-06:00
ID
77422
Comment

Fielding, Haley's remark was worse than stupid. I'd have a hard time voting for anyone who thinks in such a way that a comment like that can pop out. On Amy and Barbara - I just love the way Amy's man over at Magnolia Reports can overlook little tidbits like this one from the Clarion Ledger: A judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit against seven Mississippi attorneys accused of scamming asbestos victims out of millions of dollars from settlements, saying the suit "clearly intended to harass, intimidate and embarrass" them. Sen. Barbara Blackmon, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, was a defendant in the suit in which 15 named and 200 unnamed victims from Holmes County were suing for $200 million. The plaintiffs also wanted the original asbestos cases to be reopened. The Holmes County lawsuit also named the state senator's husband ? state Rep. Edward Blackmon ? and attorneys Shane Langston, Dennis Sweet, T. Roe Frazer II, Richard Schwartz and Richard Freese as defendants. Judge Gray Evans in an order Wednesday wrote that all claims against the defendants were dismissed because there were no specific allegations against them in the complaint. The order also said the suit was barred by the statutes of limitations. The suit was filed on Oct. 21 and the general election is Nov. 4. Evans ordered a Nov. 14 sanctions hearing for Kevin Muhammad, the Fayette attorney who represented the asbestos victims, saying Muhammad's lawsuit "is part of a continuing pattern of abuse of the judicial system" by Muhammad.

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-30T13:51:48-06:00
ID
77423
Comment

Uh, Fielding, I never said I wanted the Democratic trend in MS to catch on nationally. I think both parties here are bizarre distortions of themselves. You're the one who held up MS Republicans as the model for the nation. This same party that's running horriffic attack ads over and over and over. As Nia would say, you're too smart to want *that* for the the nation. I can deal with it if you want a reasonable, tolerant republican party in control, but not if you're advocating the racist, negative campaigns I've seen here.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-30T13:56:24-06:00
ID
77424
Comment

The Republican Party I am a follower of believes in free markets, free minds and the choice of people to make up their own minds about issues. There is not even close to the amount of group think that the Democratic Party represents today. The Democrats today are a gathering of special interest groups who have often conflicting agendas - and the Democratic Party is, in general, angry not because of anything other than they are not in power. Enough stirring for now - have to work...

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T14:08:12-06:00
ID
77425
Comment

I want a reasonable, tolerant - Conservative - Republican Party to be in power. That would reflect my thinking and philosophy -

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T14:11:18-06:00
ID
77426
Comment

Fielding, first of all your post about the Dems not being in power can easily be stated when the Repooblicans are not in power. I would venture to say, furthermore, that the Repooblicans are angry regardless of whether they have power or not! I do, however, tend to agree with Fielding to a certain point. The Repooblican Party does love freedom perhaps a little too much. Fielding, there has to be some regulation from a governmental standpoint or else society will turn out like the middle ages. There must be some governmental regulations of the business community, particularly of ethics violations (Enron anyone?). Greed runs this country and the people who do business here. Greed is almost synonomous with the capitalist system. I must say, though, most Repooblican politicians repulse me because they have such a one-track mind and cannot think outside the box, nor for the longterm. Nia, I don't think the Repooblicans have racist beliefs. Maybe one or two of them do, but not as a group do they have racist beliefs. If their policies are racist, that is because they cannot think for the longterm and usually assume everyone has Christian ideals like they do and everyone will behave. Speaking of the Repooblicans, did anyone hear NPR's All things Considered last night? They did an excellent piece on how the Evangelicals have hijacked the Texas Repooblican Party and have angered fellow Texas Repooblicans! let me find the link and I'll post it shortly.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T14:25:44-06:00
ID
77427
Comment

Here you go again, Fielding, with that either/or mentality. Nobody said the Democrats were a model of civil society. In fact, we've said the opposite several times. Kate: "As it is now, it seems mostly like the party of white, right leaning christians. Which is a huge limitation, especially in the long run, and (I hope) on the national stage." That's what I meant by my admitted generalization. This is the image of the Republican party in MS whether they like it or not. What else do they expect with Haley Boobour and his compatriots running around saying things like that? And if you want a reasonable, conservative party (Republican purposely omitted since you say it's not about partisanship) in power, then you should vote for Musgrove. He's no big prize, but at least he doesn't go around making nasty racist remarks to reporters! Fielding: "You are making a huge generalization about what Republicans in Mississippi stand for - let's review for just a moment what the Democrats stand for, shall we?" Is this the GOP you stand for, Fielding? How is what you said above a defense of Republican behavior? Why didn't you just give examples that prove my generalization was wrong? The answer: You can't. So you gloss over that and give negative examples of Democrats. Good one. The only stirring going on here, Fielding, is in your own pot. Too bad you refuse to look in it.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T14:34:33-06:00
ID
77428
Comment

Dio, if you espouse racist policies, then you're racist.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T14:37:49-06:00
ID
77429
Comment

Reasonable, tolerant? Doesn't that cancel out G.W. Bush? Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Delay, and on and on down the office-holding road? I think they are tolerant, of people on the same side of the political aisle they are on, but I wouldn't go so far to say they are generally tolerant! Especially, especially when all these Repooblicans started questioning people's patriotism when they opposed the war. That is exhibitive of intolerance!

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T15:00:41-06:00
ID
77430
Comment

Nia, the RNC is not sitting in some smoke-filled room conjouring up racist policies. I doubt the MS Repooblican Party is doing that. I would say demographics and economic concerns rule out most non-whites to the party. This does present a big question though: why do poor whites identify with the Repooblicans, esp. here in MS?

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T15:14:57-06:00
ID
77431
Comment

No, it doesn't Dio. You should read what they say - instead of what's reported on ABC/NBC/CBS or stated in the New York Times/Washington Post. And yes, the Republicans are / were angry when not in power. In fact, any party not in power is angry - it's all about power. I will gladly give a Republican example of racial tolerance - Abraham Lincoln. Also, in 1869, the first blacks entered Congress as members of the Republican Party, establishing a trend that was not broken until 1935 when the first black Democrat finally was elected to Congress. Hiram Revels from Mississippi was the first black US Senator. "I knew that however bad the Republican party was, the Democratic party was much worse. The elements of which the Republican party was composed gave better ground for the ultimate hope of the success of the colored man's cause than those of the Democratic party." FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, chapter 47, p 579 (1941). [Quotation 1600, p 300] There are more recent ones as well, the majority of Senators voting to get the Civil Rights Act of 1965 were Republicans. More recently, the creation of the ADA was a Republican administration - Bush 41's administration. Republicans have a long and rich history with basic principles: Individuals, not government, can make the best decisions; all people are entitled to equal rights; and decisions are best made close to home. The GOP has taken political stances generally in favor of laissez- faire, free enterprise, and fiscal responsibility and against the welfare state. more...

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T15:32:01-06:00
ID
77432
Comment

Dio, no one thinks the GOP is sitting around thinking up racist policies. I repeat: If you espouse racist policies, then you are racist. The "demographics" and economic principles of the Republican party consistently have a disadvantageous effect on non-white communities (Why does the Republican party tout the Rockefeller drug laws as one of their great accomplishments?). Over time, it becomes instiutional racism. That's why although blacks are more conservative than their white counterparts, they just don't vote Republican in large numbers. 95% of blacks in MS vote Democrat. This also answers your own question about why poor whites identify with the Republican party. Tolerant wold also exclude Barbour, not to mention the fact that he's a one-man special interest lobby.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T15:33:55-06:00
ID
77433
Comment

At the time of its founding, the Republican Party was organized as an answer to the divided politics, political turmoil, arguments and internal division, particularly over slavery, that plagued the many existing political parties in the United States in 1854. The GOP proposed and passed the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed voting rights regardless of race, creed or previous condition of servitude. Setting another precedent two years later, the Republican Congress turned its sights toward women's issues and authorized equal pay for equal work performed by women employed by federal agencies. Still more recently: In 1989, President George H.W. Bush 41 appoints Louis Sullivan as Secretary of Health and Human Services President Bush appoints General Colin L. Powell as Chair of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff President Bush appoints Condolezza Rice as Director of the National Security Council In 1990, Gary Franks is elected to US Congress (CT) In 1991, President Bush appoints Clarence Thomas to U.S. Supreme Court In 1998, U.S. House of Representatives elects J.C. Watts (R-OK) to be Chairman of the House Republican Conference In 2001, President George W. Bush appoints General Colin L. Powell as the Secretary of State; Roderick R. Paige as the Secretary of Education; Condoleezza Rice as Advisor of the National Security Council; Alphonso Jackson as the Deputy Secretary to Housing and Urban Development; Claude Alien as the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services; Leo S. Mackay, Jr, as the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Larry D. Thompson as the Deputy Attorney General; and Stephen A. Perry as Adminstrator of General Services Adminstration Would you like to see more? (by the way, Rod Paige is originally from Mississippi...)

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T15:37:43-06:00
ID
77434
Comment

And for years, Cong Bennie Thompson has refused to meet with his own constituents - unless there is a black in the gruop of people who ask for the appointment. This may have gotten better in the past couple of years - but I know this to be a fact. Is that racist?

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T15:41:09-06:00
ID
77435
Comment

Are there members of both parties who can be held up as poor examples? Yes! Does this mean you should abandon both the Reps and the Dems? That is your choice - and that is one the great things about this country - vote for who you want - for whatever reason you want -

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T15:43:30-06:00
ID
77436
Comment

And to bring this blog back to the orginal purpose (or at least what I think was the original purpose) - I will vote for Amy - not because I love her positions, but because I don't want to see a trial lawyer in the Lt Gov's chair.

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T15:45:34-06:00
ID
77437
Comment

Fielding, dude, chill. My questions/responses were to your statement that you wanted to see the "republican trend in MS" extend nationally. And I'm still not clear on what trend you're talking about, unless its just the fact that you want republicans in power. My point was merely that my percpetion of the MS republican party is not very good. It seems to me to be too strongly aligned with the religious right, and that, quite frankly, scares me. I'm not attacking the republican party as a whole. It just seems to me that in MS, more than in other places I've lived, Rep = white and Democrat = non white, and pretty much everyone assumes we're all christian. And that's the trend I don't want to see nationally. And, don't treat the rest of us like idiots by invoking Lincoln as your prime example of as republican. We all know the party has changed alot in the last 150 years. I'm still not seeing how your defense of Bush translates into "the trend in MS" that we need to see nationally.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-30T15:52:41-06:00
ID
77438
Comment

I'm chillin'... I think that it may your perception that could be revised, Kate. Talk to Danny Covington - former GOP candidtate for the 2d Congressional District in Mississippi. Danny is currently a member of the Postal Board of Governors in DC - mostly because he was beat in his effort to unseat Thompson - he is black, by the way.

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T15:56:23-06:00
ID
77439
Comment

Fielding, you can't possibly be trying to tell us with a straight face that the current Republican Party is the Party of Lincoln. Please. You have to know about the seminal party switch that occurred due to the Civil Rights Movement when Southern Democrats started defecting to the GOP. It is just not the same party that ended slavery, and this is a simple fact for anyone who has kept even one eye on political history in the U.S. So please don't defend the GOP based on what it did back in the 19th century. This is a different Republican Party. And is this kind of weird factual glitch and twisting of history that makes southerners look bad. What: We don't know our own history? See my Haley Barbour cover story this week for some discussion of the party switch. On this topic, this is a very good example of why teaching/studying recent history is very important. How many young Republicans in Mississippi don't even understand the origins, and the compromises made by, their current party? And I'm sorry Fielding you're going to have to do a lot better on justifying your choice of Tuck by saying her opponent is a trial attorney, even as you're advocating (arguably) the most powerful corporate lobbyist in the world as governor of Mississippi. This simply makes no sense, especially in light of some of your comments earlier about why you consider yourself a Republican. (I'll get to some of the earlier ones as I continue to play blog catch-up, but I just couldn't let your latest string of comments go by without saying something.)

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-30T15:56:28-06:00
ID
77440
Comment

Actually, Abraham Lincoln isn't exactly a good example of a tolerant Republican. He freed the slaves because he thought they should all be sent back to Africa. He didn't believe in ebony, ivory, and harmony. He believed in separate but equal. Not to mention the fact, that the Republican party then is leaps and bounds away from what it is now. "I knew that however bad the Republican party was, the Democratic party was much worse. The elements of which the Republican party was composed gave better ground for the ultimate hope of the success of the colored man's cause than those of the Democratic party." FREDERICK DOUGLASS, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, chapter 47, p 579 (1941). [Quotation 1600, p 300] The script has been flipped: That's how black people know feel about the GOP. And (again) that's why they don't vote Republican! Duh! Stop and think about why blacks wouldn't vote Republican. Why wouldn't they? Blacks as a group are the MOST consevative voting block in the US. Why don't they vote Republican? Obviously if Rep. Thompson won't meet with his white constituents because they're white. That is racist. Duh. Fielding, why are you so defensive about race? Just can't admit there's a problem? If Republicans espouse racist polices, then they're racist, regardless of their skin color and regardless of how many minorities they appoint. I don't think all Republicans espouse the same principals as the national Rep leadership. But at the end of the day they're the face of the party. And the fact that you just can't admit Boobour is racist proves my point. Black people WON'T vote for Barbour because they see him for what he really is and despite the fact that they probably agree with most of his politics. White people vote for Barbour in spite of his racist habits and remarks because racism isn't important to most of them. It's somebody else's problem. Higher taxes are more vexing to them than DWB or drug sentences that give blacks longer jail time than whites--if they get jail time at all. Now I really have to go write the stories I'm working on. My editors are going to kill me. You'd rather see a racist in the governor's chair than a trial lawyer in the lt. gov chair. Oh yeah, that makes sense.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T16:05:09-06:00
ID
77441
Comment

Fielding, and Nia, I think this would interest you too. If Repooblicans really think the best decisions are made at home, then why do they overwhelmingly support legislation and policies inconsistent with that belief. They also support policies/leg. that is inconsistent with their small government platform. In regard to drug laws and policing, the GOP wants more government and less interference by lawyers or the average Joe. They also want to lock up addicts and throw away the key rather than focus on treatment and the causes of drug addiction. A more "hands-off" approach to drug addiction would be legalization (or decriminalization) and that way it would be the families of the addicts who are responsible for treating addicts. (Nia, I think the GOP policies on drug crimes locks affects whites too. If it were an institutional form of racism then somewhere in the law it would say that certain races would be locked up longer than other races. The affects of the 'invisible hand' might make it seem like GOP policies are racist, but actually they are rather more class-based than anything else) Similarly, the GOP wants (usually) the Chrisitian religion to be the sole, reigning religion in this land. They base their politics and creedos on stuff right out of the Bible! They assume that everyone wants to be a Christian, that everyone accepts the Christians' values and beliefs. In this regard, especially that young whipper-snapper from PA, they want the government to regulate who and with whom people have sex with. That is entirely a pro-big government position and it takes those type decisions out of the home, out of a particular locality. The GOP has not even addressed these inconsistencies and they need to in order to attract voters. I think the GOP is concerned about laissez-faire economics but certainly not a hands-off approach to other aspects of society. Personally, I think the GOP is more about conformity than anything else, not racism. They'd be happy as larks if everyone had the same ideals, beliefs, values, lifestyles as they have. Of course, economics rules this out, some of us in society have to be bottom-feeders. Regardless of how technologically advanced we are, someone has to flip burgers, someone has to till the earth.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T16:13:28-06:00
ID
77442
Comment

Agreed re Lincoln, Nia. But it strikes me that we need to start at the first step here of showing that the current Republican Party isn't even the one associated with the man that has turned out not to be as great as he has been thought to be. (Whoa: that sentence is about as confusing as the path the GOP has followed!) ;-) Really, it just kills me to hear Republicans now talk about how they're not racist because they were the ones who ended slavery, blah, blah, blah. Or, in converse, to say that Democrats now suck because they were the party of the Dixiecrats. THIS JUST ISN'T TRUE. Perhaps if our history lessons didn't just skip over much of what actually happened in the 1950s, 60s, 70s and now even 80s, then we could all move on to discussing what's wrong with all the damned parties, and what we can all do about it, rather than defending one or another party based on faulty information or political rhetoric.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-30T16:17:28-06:00
ID
77443
Comment

Nia, I know what I'm talking about here: Lincoln freed the slaves as a war-measure, nothing else. If you could present some evidence to back up your claim about Lincoln, I'd appreciate it. Until you do, it is just a mis-informed opinion. Lincoln's actions were prefaced by his desire to keep the nation together, not race. He might not have held the same values as we do, typically in today's society, but to claim he was a racist is simply monday-morning quarterbacking from a historical standpoint. You are generalizing about blacks not voting for Barbour. I know several who will, probably because they own businesses, not because they like the guy. I also know a black guy involved in the NCAAP and he will vote for Barbour as a protest because he feels Musgrove has slighted their cause(s). You do have a point about Fielding, though. To try and prove that a party is not racist by providing a list of appointments is admitting that there really is a problem there. Fielding, certainly you can come up with a better counter than to say, "we're not racists, look at how many minorities we've appointed!"

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T16:19:57-06:00
ID
77444
Comment

Neither party is totally consistent, Dio. Additionally, the GOP doesn't want Christianity to be a national religion - but it has problems with Christians not being able to practice their faith. And the only way you or anyone else will be a bottom-feeder is if you don't get off your lazy buttocks do something about it... Yes, Nia, I am sensitive about race - it matters to me as a Mississippian - it matters that more than one viewpoint on race in the State is put forward. It matters to me that Mississippi has had horrible, terrible, heinous things done in the past - it matters to me, personally, that things aren't like that anymore. How can you equate Mississippi in the 60s to Mississippi today? And I don't believe Haley is a racist.

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T16:21:40-06:00
ID
77445
Comment

Ms. Ladd, generally speaking, the problem with the two big parties is that there's just too much cash flowing through each and every GOPer and Dem. who holds office or runs for office. Insurance lobbyists, for example, pay off candidates from both sides in exchange for votes on legislation beneficial to their cause. That way, they always have someone in their pocket. Democracy (or representative style gov.) is not the best form of gov. and it certainly isn't the cheapest. Plato warned us 2500 years ago about the dangers of this kind of system, basically that nothing ever gets accomplished! So, maybe it isn't the Parties per se, but the system that feeds them!

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T16:26:03-06:00
ID
77446
Comment

Fielding, first if someone who flips burgers 40 hours a week is lazy, then you simply haven't worked in the bottom-feeding industries! How on earth can a burger flipper at McDonald's find the time to improve their lot in life? They work all kinds of different times, usually at the manager's behest, i.e. working early a.m. one day, all night the next. Secondly, I'm talking about GOP inconsistencies, not all parties at-large. By stating they all have inconsistencies, in no way counters my argument that I have presented to you. Lastly, give me one instance in which a Christian has not been able to practice their faith!

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T16:30:13-06:00
ID
77447
Comment

Fielding, since when have Christians not been able to practice their faith? And why should this be an issue for the republican party, if, as they say, they are the party of inclusion? I don't hear them lobbying for a national holiday for Yom Kippur, for instance.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-30T16:30:27-06:00
ID
77448
Comment

Kate has a good question here. Why would the GOP lobby for any religion whatsoever, if they feel the best decisions are made in the home, or a particular locality. Then certainly they'd lobby for Islamists in the Dearborn, Michigan region.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T16:39:52-06:00
ID
77449
Comment

Fielding wrote: "the GOP doesn't want Christianity to be a national religion" First, you going to have to back up this statement because there is a whole bunch of at least circumstantial evidence that the opposite is true, including quotes from President Bush that I could dig up for you with little effort. Second, Fielding, what do you mean by: "it matters that more than one viewpoint on race in the State is put forward"? So often what it means is that Group A tries to talk about the realities of race problems and legacies and then Group B denies that it's true or even that some of the things ever happened. (Like Southern Democrats bolting to the GOP because President Johnson signed civil-rights legislation. This isn't Orwell's world; we can't just deny that it happened because it's uncomfortable.) This all isn't about choosing sides, Fielding! It's about being willing to turn it all inside out to figure out how best to move our state/country forward. But you seem convinced that I, for instance, have chosen one side, and you the other. Do you understand that you, and the people who think like you, are creating that divisive paradigm?! I'm willing to examine all sides. Are you? You end your last posting by saying "How can you equate Mississippi in the '60s to Mississippi today?" Who in Sam Hill has done that on this site??? You're just making things up here to fit your script. Thank the Lord that Mississippi is not the same as in the 1960s -- if so, few blacks would be voting, lynchings would be happening all around us with no police response, and the White Citizens Council would be running our lives. Hell no, it's not as bad anymore -- but that does not mean that it's perfect. And just because it's "not as bad" doesn't mean we should be happy with it, does it? Especially when those problems have strapped this state economically, culturally and educationally. And, if you turn off the pro-GOP ticker for a moment, can't it bother you at all that in a state where pro-Rebel flags folks yell at its opponents that the "issue is dead and buried forever" and that "the people have spoken" that it is people YOU are supporting who are bringing the flag issue up, putting it on TV and using it for cheap votes? If Barbour's ads accusing Musgrove of "Attacking Our Flag" isn't racist, or a racist ploy (if that is somehow different), just what is? And has it occurred to you that if "our" people would stop doing that, then perhaps people (businesses, etc.) outside the state would stop thinking we're racist. Mississippians are the ones holding ourselves down, no one else. What happened to all that "personal responsibility" your chosen party likes to talk about? Isn't it time we stepped up and said that we know racism when we see it, and Mississippi has come too far to stand for that anymore? We are the ones being played, Fielding.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-30T16:44:38-06:00
ID
77450
Comment

That's funny, Kate. Dio, I'm not spouting unsupported opinion. Check out Lerone Bennett's book on Abraham Lincoln and the flurry of research that followed. I'm not saying the book is the best researched effort I've seen or that everything in it is presented in the appropriate context. But many of the FACTS about Lincoln's motivation in signing the Emancipation Proclamation are very telling. Did he change his mind about black people over time, after seeing how valiantly they fought for the Union? I'd say that he likely did. But his motivatin in freeing the slaves was as much (or more) about seeing them sent back to Africa and curbing the political power of the southern states than anything as noble as actually believing that blacks and whites were equal and that slavery should be completely eradicated. Fielding, I didn't equate MS in the 60s to MS today. I don't think I mentioned the 60s. And of course you don't belive he's racist because you excuse away his wholly inappropriate, intolerant behavior. You got mad at Dio because he called white MSians "rednecks." Granted, I thought that was wrong, too, but you didn't react that way to Haley's racist comment.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T17:10:39-06:00
ID
77451
Comment

Amen, Donna.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T17:27:21-06:00
ID
77452
Comment

Nia, I'm not familiar with that book, but I'll check it out. Remember that books get published because they stir controversy, not because they are the truth. Looking at primary sources, as I've done when working on my dissertation, the Eman Proc. was an entirely ineffectual war-measure that dimished the legal gray area in regard to run-away slaves during wartime. The Eman Proc had no force in counties firmly under Union control, it only freed slaves in counties in rebellion. Since those counties were in CSA control, the Proc was ineffectual. It was solely a war-measure. Since Lincoln died before the passage of the 13th-15th Amendments, we cannot really speculate on what he wanted or did not want for black people, post-slavery. Without having read the book you mentioned, and based on the research that I have done on Lincoln, I would say the author is either dreaming up some evidence in support of the their argument or they have found some mystical pieces of evidence that I have not found as of yet. I'll check it out though because you've piqued my curiosity. I can, btw, think of a 1000 reasons a book like this was published and researched, basically it would add fuel to the fire of Confederate apologists. Back to the mini-topic you started, though, Lincoln was a racist by today's standards, but that is applying anachronistic modern-day values to a past era and an historical no-no. This very facet of studying history is what makes it so difficult, as I've tried to explain in previous posts. Being racist in Lincoln's day was the norm, and actually they had a science to back it up, albeit a flawed science. But that was modern for them...what is modern and contemporary for us can never be applied to past cultures. If it is done so, it is usually done by those who are mis-informed.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T17:45:06-06:00
ID
77453
Comment

Well, guys, while y'all were busy in here being divided (smiling here), the University of Mississippi student body was busy coming together in a nonviolent, silent protest against Richard Barrett's particularly virulent brand of racism (which he was spouting, using Colonel Rebel as a toehold into giving a speech). I know there were at least 300 shirts ordered, and they ran out way way before demand stopped. I'm not good at estimating crowds, but using that, plus the number of people standing in line when the shirts ran out, I have to estimate that close to 400 people stood in semicircular rows with their backs to Barrett, wearing t-shirts that said on the back "Turn Your Back On Hate" and Unity Day, Oct. 30, 2003 on the front., interspersed with people who had gotten there too late to buy a t-shirt. Everyone was orderly, no one heckled or spoke out to him (at least not while the silent protesters were there); the protestors left about 15 minutes before he was due to finish. There were students on both sides of the mascot issue, and students who didn't care one way or the other about the mascot - just basically representatives of nearly everyone, including the Student Leadership Council of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, most of the Greek organizations, the NAACP, the BSU, the Save Col. Reb Foundation folks, many of the other student organizations on campus. It was strictly marvelous - the students did a great job of getting information out, asking people not to disrupt or try to fight, and if they felt they might not be able to control their reactions to what he said, just to avoid the circle. Yeah, Ole Miss Students! They're the best. (I know that's a biased opinion, but I just can't help it - that's the way I feel today!)

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-30T17:46:38-06:00
ID
77454
Comment

Nia, I want to add that by bringing up Lincoln's flaws and personality traits is in no way a very productive counterargument to Fielding. He is saying that the GOP has a history of tolerance and freedom-loving that has driven their political positions. If you want to check him on this, I suggest bringing up historical periods in which their positions have changed dramatically. The parties change and flip-flop over time and I think this is evident today, i.e. spending and deficits by Democrats=bad in the eighties; deficits and spending by GOP=good today. The GOP has always preached 'buy American made goods' that is until their constituency decided it was cheaper and more profitable to produce goods in Mexico and overseas. Now the motto is buy whatever the heck you want because hardly anything (other than bombs) are manufactured in the USA. Otherwise you can expose his fallacious reasoning, i.e. his comments about how the other side supports a welfare state (a very common and simple strawman). Attacking Lincoln with very questionable opinions is not doing the trick.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T17:54:28-06:00
ID
77455
Comment

Dio, unless I missed much-earlier postings by Nia about Lincoln, it strikes me that you're trying to over-intellectualize and read into what she wrote above in response to my comment about Fielding's equating the modern GOP with that of Lincoln's party. She wrote: "Actually, Abraham Lincoln isn't exactly a good example of a tolerant Republican. He freed the slaves because he thought they should all be sent back to Africa. He didn't believe in ebony, ivory, and harmony. He believed in separate but equal. Not to mention the fact, that the Republican party then is leaps and bounds away from what it is now." I realize this is provocative and not exactly what's in our history books, but there is much scholarship out there that has questioned Lincoln's real motives -- and certainly that is one of the things historians do every day. Her conclusions aren't exactly radical stretches of the imagination. And of course you, she, I, anyone can speculate based on research! It doesn't mean it's the gospel truth, but it also doesn't mean the thoughts should be dimissed out of hand, which you seem to be doing here. I certainly am no Lincoln expert, but I'm familiar with Lerone Bennett's writings as well (he's from here), and they're very provocative. And certainly this is the type of discussion that doesn't fit easily into either of Fielding's "sides," so that makes it even more interesting. We are soon reviewing a provocative book about Lincoln's relationship with slavery that's written by a historican not exactly on the fringe of history. But I won't divulge more of that now. Stay tuned. Maybe it'll generate one of those book-club discussions we keep talking about doing. We could throw Bennett is while we're at it.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-30T17:55:28-06:00
ID
77456
Comment

Thanks, CW for that note! Dio, I remember learning in school (so that would be 25+ years ago - egads!) that Lincoln had wanted to send the slaves back to Africa. It wasn't presented as good or bad. Just kind of naive. It always seemed to me like he felt like maybe they just wanted to 'go home.' But I may have missed out on alot of the details, since history was never a strong suit for me. But, that's what I remember. I'm curious what your research turns up.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-30T18:00:30-06:00
ID
77457
Comment

Ms. Ladd, I base my comments in response to Nia on the historical research I've done on the Eman. Proc. I am not trying to over intellectualize anything. When I see someone point out something that is a historical myth, I expose it because history and its study is my life. I take it very seriously. I'm very familiar with the 'Lincoln is a racist' argument because by our standards, most people in American history were racists, even Garrison and some of the abolitionists! It is a rule in the study of history to not point out character flaws and make moral judgements on the subjects, which gets too far into the realm of opinion and not facts. Also from a philosophy of history standpoint, it is monday morning quarterbacking: an Anachronism! If you read my other post in this regard, Nia's counterargument to Fielding is very poor. Why does Lincoln matter? It is much easier to point out flaws in Fielding's argument on other grounds. Nia should base her opinions about Lincoln on a whole variety of sources, furthermore, rather than simply reading one argument by one author. Here's a good site that has word-searchable primary source documents on Lincoln and the Civil War, if anyone is interested. http://www.hti.umich.edu/m/moagrp/

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T18:11:53-06:00
ID
77458
Comment

Dio wrote: "The GOP has always preached 'buy American made goods' that is until their constituency decided it was cheaper and more profitable to produce goods in Mexico and overseas. Now the motto is buy whatever the heck you want because hardly anything (other than bombs) are manufactured in the USA." Now here, Dio, I'm with you all the way. You've capsulized this hypocrisy by the GOP (and Clinton and the New Dems) beautifully. Someone asked me this morning why I refuse to shop at stores like Wal-Mart, and this is the essence of part of what I responded in way too many words. I give you a gold star for succinctness. It really is a breath-taking about-face by Republicans, and one that is very telling. There is no one more guilty of this one than Barbour. Musgrove & Co. really do have a point with the NAFTA stuff, although few people seem to try to wrap their heads around it. Supporting NAFTA, indeed, was selling out Mississippi and the rest of the U.S. The manufacturers are simply gone to places where they can get cheaper wages. Jobs? Poof. I note above, Fielding, in your posting about why you're a Republican that you mentioned "free markets" rather than "free enterprise." In so doing, I believe you inadvertently captured one of the seismic (that's my word of the week) shifts in Republican thinking. The GOP is not about "free enterprise" any more; if so, they couldn't support the level of corporate welfare and breaks that they do that, in turn, squelch actual free enterprise and healthy competition. It's so not about that any more; it's about the highest corporate bidder. I believe the country's beginning to realize this (Enron and WorldCom didn't hurt), but it's going to take a whileóand, I fear, some mega-mistakes like "Gov. Barbour"ófor this reality to really cycle through. The whole tort-reform scheme is overwhelming evidence if people will start to pay attention to it (and the damned Mississippi media start doing their jobs). How is it that the GOP can support, er, capitalism for every business and businessman (including rotten scoundrels) EXCEPT trial attorneys? It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that trial attorneys (including the rotten scoundrels) are the only roadblock between corporations and their prized immunity from costly lawsuits, now would it? Duh. On this issueóand the implications are huge, huge, huge for individual rights and deterrence from corporate harmóMississippi is considered one of two major battlegrounds in the country right now. It is no secret (if you read outside the Mississippi boundaries) why the U.S. Chamber and corporate interests and the Bush adminstration is so strongly behind Barbour in this election. He is supposed to finish the work the U.S. Chamber started in Mississippi. And, if he's elected, you will see that begin to happen immediately after he takes office.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-30T18:12:05-06:00
ID
77459
Comment

As I said, Dio, I have an open mind about Lincoln's history. I'm certainly willing to entertain the thought that he evolved into a hero, as it were, and perhaps not because he particularly had non-racist views. I look forward to seeing what else comes up about this topic. I find it very compelling.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-30T18:15:50-06:00
ID
77460
Comment

Kate, Nia is insinuating that Lincoln presented the Emancipation Proclamation on racist grounds. I am countering that by stating simply, which 99% of historians agree upon, that Lincoln's Eman. Proc. was a war measure. Very simple, it helped them win the war, or he and his cabinet thought that it would help them win the war. That is why it was debated from July of 1862 to the end of November that year. The preliminary Eman. Proc. was presented to Lincoln's cabinet in October of that year, shortly after the Battle of Antietam. there are other, secondary reasons for Lincoln's executive order, however, nothing outweighs the war-measure approach and these secondary reasonings have nothing to do with sending freed slaves back to Africa. I think, Kate, you and Nia are confusing some of the different abolition groups with Lincoln's politics.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T18:17:25-06:00
ID
77461
Comment

Yeah for Ole Miss! And I must admit that as a Mississippi State grad and a critic of the Rebel Flag, I haven't said that often over the years. I do hope this gets some national coverage, alongside that of Barbour's hate-mongering.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-30T18:17:53-06:00
ID
77462
Comment

Barbara Blackmon will meet Amy Tuck in debate tonight on ETV from 8 p.m. until 9 p.m. Questions can be sent via e-mail until shortly before the airing to [email][email protected][/email] The phone-in toll-free number will be shown at the beginning of the program. John Johnson and Emily Pettus will host. They will ask questions themselves as well as take some e-mail questions and phone in questions. At least Sid Salter isn't moderating. ;-)

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-30T18:19:55-06:00
ID
77463
Comment

Dio, darlin', you're confused. You wrote: "Looking at primary sources, as I've done when working on my dissertation, the Eman Proc. was an entirely ineffectual war-measure that dimished the legal gray area in regard to run-away slaves during wartime. The Eman Proc had no force in counties firmly under Union control, it only freed slaves in counties in rebellion. Since those counties were in CSA control, the Proc was ineffectual. It was solely a war-measure." This disproves Fielding's assertion, which was my point, that Lincoln's motive wasn't the noble belief that blacks and whites are equal, which is what Fielding was trying to say. As Donna said, I think you're overintellectualizing. I was simply pointing out that Lincoln is a bad example of what Fielding was trying to prove. And I was not at all asserting that Lincoln was a racist; I was merely pointing out that he isn't all he was cracked up to be, certanly not by people, like Fielding, who use him as an example of how tolerant the Republican party is TODAY. Further, we don't have to speculate about how Lincoln felt. He made his feelings and thoughts clear in his speeches. Read them. Then you don't have to consider my "opinions." You'll have primary sources. I do think it's inappropriate to think of him in terms of today's standards. But even by the standards of his day, he wasn't exactly an abolitionist. Abolitionsists didn't like him becasue they felt he was too soft on slavery. They felt that he should have taken a stand and declared slavery illegal. But he didn't do that, as you stated above. The question you and Fielding should be asking is, Why?

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T18:27:44-06:00
ID
77464
Comment

Yes, Ms. Ladd, the GOP wants complete and unfettered laissez-faire capitalism, and they support a business community that cannot be held accountable for misdeeds. They want laissez-faire capitalism, unless you are a trial lawyer, then they want some regulation. Very good to pin-point that inconsistency! I think their motivation here is still not racist, rather a little more optimistic in regard to the human condition. They assume that businesses will not act out of greed, or maybe that greed is good in the words of Gordon Gecko?!?!?!? Certainly they know if a business community has no regulations on their actions, then some unethical practices will occur. Look at the regulations we have now and the Worldcom/Enron/Tyco, etc, etc. Businesses always find an end-around to regulations! Misdeeds occur that have affected people's lives, ordinary people. I think it is no-wonder why the business community is in bed with the GOP. The GOP actually has no solid platform, they just want people to make money, basically their friends who give them campaign contributions. This is why I think the next presidential and congressional elections is a nation-wide mandate on what kind of nation we want here. Do we want a government that actually governs? Or do we want a government that just feeds us a bunch of rhetorical moral-isms?

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T18:33:15-06:00
ID
77465
Comment

Dio, I never said that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on racist grounds. Stop makin' shit up! I said: "Abraham Lincoln isn't exactly a good example of a tolerant Republican. He freed the slaves because he thought they should all be sent back to Africa. He didn't believe in ebony, ivory, and harmony. He believed in separate but equal....many of the FACTS about Lincoln's motivation in signing the Emancipation Proclamation are very telling. Did he change his mind about black people over time, after seeing how valiantly they fought for the Union? I'd say that he likely did. But his motivatin in freeing the slaves was as much (or more) about seeing them sent back to Africa and curbing the political power of the southern states than anything as noble as actually believing that blacks and whites were equal and that slavery should be completely eradicated." Which is the exact opposite of what you claim I said. CW, congratulations! It worked even more wonderfully than you had hoped.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T18:34:45-06:00
ID
77466
Comment

Nia, I've read all of Lincoln's speeches and I have yet to find one in which he said blacks should be returned to Africa. I've read all of Lincoln's speeches and most deal directly with the question of Union, especially the one in which he says that he'd free every slave if it would preserve the Union and he'd keep every slave in bondage if it would preserve the Union (oh wait, that is a letter, not a speech). Since seperate but equal' was not a Southern policy during Lincoln's presidency, I am flabberghasted as to how you make the claim that Lincoln believed this. BTW, you said that Lincoln believed in seperate but equal and to further paraphrase you, if one has racist policies then that person is a racist. So you did most certianly claim Lincoln was a racist. You brought modern day values and applied them to an historial figure. I merely pointed out that this is sloppy and it constitutes an anachronism. Actually Nia, you are confused. See, I am merely pointing out some rules here. You cannot take modern day morals and apply them to an historical figure. You did just that. You said that Lincoln was intolerant vis-a-vis the races and there simply is no way to prove that, without doing the impossible. I, furthermore, stand by my position that there are better ways to refure Fielding's arguments. I am not saying, as Ms. Ladd insinuated, that Lincoln is my hero. I am not saying the man was perfect. I am merely saying the claim of his intolerance of races is a mis-informed opinion.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T18:44:52-06:00
ID
77467
Comment

Nia, you posted it, "He freed the slaves because he thought they should all be sent back to Africa." I'm not making anything up.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T18:47:30-06:00
ID
77468
Comment

Nia said: "But his motivatin in freeing the slaves was as much (or more) about seeing them sent back to Africa and curbing the political power of the southern states than anything as noble as actually believing that blacks and whites were equal and that slavery should be completely eradicated." If these aren't racist grounds then I don't know what is. You are basically pulling out some opinions here and trying to claim this is an historical argument, when actually it is poppycock! Based on what you said early, as what it is that constitutes a racist, that if one has racist policies then they are a racist, then by that standard in conjunction with your opinions on Lincoln, then you are saying that Lincoln was a racist. My whole point altogether, in response to you, is you cannot monday morning quarterback in relation to historical people and events. It is simply a fallacy of history. It is bringing up opinions and not evidence! And, you need to calm down a bit!

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T18:52:46-06:00
ID
77469
Comment

Whatever. We're down a rat hole here, folks. Diogenes, I don't think the republican party can be characterized by a drive towards laissez faire capitalism. If that were the case, then they'd be doing things like ending gov't subsidies for oil companies.

Author
Kate
Date
2003-10-30T19:00:22-06:00
ID
77470
Comment

durnit - I have to go home and read these responses... and, by the way, screw Richard Barrett (figuratively speaking, of course...) and anyone who agrees w/ his agenda

Author
Fielding
Date
2003-10-30T19:10:03-06:00
ID
77471
Comment

Where do I even begin!!! Christian practices: I don't know, since I went to a private academy - but it seems that students are allowed to meet at flagpoles BEFORE official class hours start. I'm even more murky about this, but I think in public schools, students of their respective faith, politics, etc. are allowed to meet on school grounds BEFORE or AFTER official class hours. Talking/expressing their faith during school hours?? - but to me, if its mere simple self-expression (wearing "positive" T-Shirts, merely reading a Bible in the lunch room WITHOUT causing a commotion, etc.), that's one thing. Outright proselytizing DURING school hours is beyond the pale. Republican, race, voting patterns, and policies - This all ties in together, and I can write a chapter of a good sized book about THAT one. Even though some Reps might have supported policies out of their (or at least their constituents) racism, I think it's more of a matter of upper-class monetary greed rather than racism per se. True, some of those policies do affect blacks disproportionately. They also affect white working class disproportionately too, i think. For white working class, I think it has more to do with "wholesome values", the "filthy culture" and "getting Washington our of our kids lives". Racism doesn't necessarily have to be a part of it. The Long and Short: Rep is not so much excessively traditional (on racial issues) as they are beholden to big business and the religious right (most of whom are more concerned with a "filthy" culture than with race. In fact, no Christian I've ever met condones racism, even among themselves [and in college, I often visited the Bapt. Student Union!!]) NOTE: This is simply my INTERPRETATION of why working class whites in Miss vote Rep. . It is NOT to be taken as my agreement with their beliefs. Those are two separate issues. Just as some people wanting to examine the motivations behind the 9-11 attack is not being treacherous, so it is that examining motivations behind White Working Class voting tendencies is NOT an endorsement of their ideas. classism is a bigger culprit n policies affect one race strikingly disproportionately, it might be class rather than race per se (i.e. income group-ism, rather than racism per se.)

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-30T19:15:52-06:00
ID
77472
Comment

Kate, the GOPers that I know well, all preach the laissez-faire economics. I do, however, think they don't really know what all that fully entails. If they did, they wouldn't be so darned inconsistent!

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-30T19:16:20-06:00
ID
77473
Comment

Well said, Dio!!!

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-30T19:25:47-06:00
ID
77474
Comment

When you re-join us, Fielding, I'd love you to explain what you see as the difference between Richard Barrett's flag-waving and that of Barbour's "Attacking our flag" TV ad. Aren't these two sides of the same coin? Back during the 1960s -- yes, when things were WORSE (ahem) -- the KKK and the White Citizens Council (the "white collar Klan," as Hodding Jr. called itóthe Council of Conservative Citizens) existed together, co-dependently. One allowed the other to operate; the CofCC was successful because of the fear of violence inspired by the Klan; the Klan was successful because of the fear of economic reprisal guaranteed by the Council. This is why our brand of Jim Crow and racism was so onerousóit was reinforced at every level of our society, which of course means that it must be dislodged at every level of our society. Blaming a "bunch of rednecks in the Klan," as I've heard so often, just won't do it. It's revisionist and inadequate. Couldn't one argue that Barrett is doing the more public dirty work that Barbour and the GOP have engaged in with the Southern Strategy over the years? And it provides them cover -- "see, those are the real racists!" Please, Fielding, I really, really want to hear the reason you think Barbour's "Attacking our flag" ad is not direction pandering to racism by your friend Barbour. Otherwise to Philip: I've long wrestled with the idea of where racism ends and racist-pandering begins, and if there actually is a divider between the two. I have long been insulted and infuriated by national Republicans such as Reagan who are willing to try to appeal to the most base instincts lingering in some Mississippians, and my home county in particular, to presumably further their corporate economic goals--and then cart jobs right on out of the state, hell, the country. I honestly think I'd respect an uneducated, back-woods racist more; at least he/she has an excuse for not knowing better. Nothing makes me angrier than a bunch of rich fat cats coming down (or back) and trying to get support for corporate-bilking by playing the race card. To me, this is the ultimate insult to Mississippians: they honest-to-God believe we're dumb as a post and won't recognize what they're doing. Frankly, I don't care what's in the heart -- if there is one -- of someone who would do that to my people, and who would keep hammering nails of division between the people of this state on behalf of their corporate sponsors. Argh!!! Dio/Kate, there is certainly a difference between saying one supports laissez-faire economics and actually supporting laissez-faire economics. It's laughable that the current GOP would even attempt that argument, what with all the economic and corporate engineering going on. They have to believe that their believers are pretty gullible. And if the gullibility fits ...

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-30T19:39:33-06:00
ID
77475
Comment

Fielding, I know Covington. Better than I'd like to; I also know some people who are close to him that I consider decent people. For their sakes, I won't say anything about him except that he's tight with Amy Tuck and ex. Gov. Kirk Fordice, and I'm biting my tongue here to keep from going on. I'm really sorry that you brought his name into this, because I've stopped myself more than once from bringing his name into the Amy Tuck debate here. You have no idea how badly I want to lambast Mr. Covington. His wheeling-dealing is part of the reason I can't vote for Amy Tuck. I can't prove what I know, what I heard out of people's mouths, but I can't forget it either. Danny, if you read this, maybe the name "Martin" will clue you in a little. Please know that I mean everything I say here and even more that I can't say on this forum. I hope I meet you again in person sometime, so I can say what I want to, but it won't be at Kirk Fordice's inauguration ball (because that old rascal has made his political and marital bed and now he has to lie in it.)

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-30T21:00:52-06:00
ID
77476
Comment

I appreciate your restraint, C.W. Remember, all, please do not make *any* personal allegations on the site that you cannot back up. I don't believe anyone is doing that, yet, but everyone please be vigilant and help me keep an eye out for transgressions. Remember: this site is for discussion and debate, not to get personal.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-30T21:07:11-06:00
ID
77477
Comment

Dio, you have turned a simple statement into something it was not intended to be. Initially, Fielding stated that Lincoln was a great example of x. I simply pointed out that he wasn't a good example of x becasue of y (and it wasn't based on reading one book, go back and read the posst where I first mentioned LB's book). I stand by my initial statement that Lincoln is a poor example of how tolerant the Republican party is TODAY. When I said that Lincoln believed in separate but equal, I was paraphrasing. I was not claiming that he used terminology that didn't enter the lexicon until decades later. And by your own admission, he believed in freedom for slaves only if it helped preserve the Union. As you said, he would have let them remain slaves if it would have preserved the Union. Lincoln really did believe that the Union would be better off if slaves went back to Africa. Hence my "separate but equal" paraphrase. I wouldn't call Lincoln's beliefs necessarily racist, but if you do, that's your opinion. (Now how's using today's standards to judge the distant past?) I think his thoughts on the matter were contradictory (as reflected in his speeches, behavior, and letters) and that they changed over time. And if you read my earlier posts clearly, it's clear that I've said or alluded to all of this before.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T21:14:13-06:00
ID
77478
Comment

Re laissez faire economics, I think very few voters know what that really means. It sounds good, so they vote for it. That's why I don't get Fielding's assertion that Dems are in lobbyists pockets and the GOP isn't. GOPers are, too. Just different pockets, that's all.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T21:22:52-06:00
ID
77479
Comment

Thanks, Donna. I just see red when I see the man's name. Can't help it. But what I have to say, I can save to say to him personally, some day.

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-30T21:33:20-06:00
ID
77480
Comment

The "wholesome culture" matter of my previous post: In this part of the country especially, it's pretty easy to get sucked into defense of "wholesome culture". What I mean by that is this upper-middle class image of being pure, antiseptic-looking preppie (if not outright Stepfordism). - and a lot of people buy it lock, stock, and barrel, IMO because a lot of people in this state have spent little, if any, time around people who are TRULY good decent people who don't "look like us" (and I don't always mean race either). In fact, I will even go so far as to say that a preppie-looking upper-class black would probably be more respected than people with a "redneck" look. In short, they are confusing TRUE good character with (i hate to repeat) antiseptic semi-Stepfordism (if not acutal Stepfordism). Since Reps mostly have the lock on that kind of imagery, and that kind of imagery is very popular in The South in general and Miss in particular, it should be no surprise that the Reps do quite well here (even the white working class seems to buy into this image to some extent, as I knew a lot of Good Ole Boys whose clothing tastes could easily pass for Upper Middle Class where their clothing tastes are concerned). Donna, I'm not denying race is part of it. I'm just bringing in an angle i sense strongly that has rarely, if ever, been discussed (I've certainly never seen it discussed by anyone). P.S. to any preppies in here: I'm not saying you are all like that. In fact, my clothing tastes themselves tend to be somewhat preppie (at least when going "out on the town"). My issue is how polished imagery hoodwinks lots of people into thinking "hey! they are such decent and wholesome people. therefore they get my vote"

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-30T21:40:13-06:00
ID
77481
Comment

Philip, a preppie? Say it ain't so! [Kidding] Class is definitely a piece of this pie, but what I don't get is why? It's not like there's a great deal of socio-economic diversity in MS. Or is there? Most Mississippians are solidly middle class aren't they? There aren't a whole lot of filthy rich folks, of any race. Granted, there's a lot of poverty. But poor folks in MS live 'bout like the middle class in NY, for example. Maybe that's a bad example though because NY is so expensive.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T21:49:14-06:00
ID
77482
Comment

NIa's socio-economic diversity: within small town's this isn't such a big issue because the population is so small you are forced to know each other as people (though there is still clickiness there as well). Still, it is there. Look at the small-town newspapers and see who gets their pictures in the paper in the Social section (or "spotlight on people", as my hometown paper titles it). I hardly ever see any poor whites in there. A few working class people, but mostly lower and upper middle class (there are few, if any, outright "liquid asset" wealthy people in hometown driving Lexus' BMWs and such). I think there is a fairly strong class division (though maybe not quite outright snobbery) within the white community in the Jackson metro (think sterotypical Madisonian [the town] vs. SW Rankin [the area S of Pearl along Hwy 49]). Can you really see either of these two groups of whites mingling together at a party, or the kids of either group hanging out together? Nia

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-30T22:41:01-06:00
ID
77483
Comment

Nia, Well, I'm a recovering preppie (of a sort, my family is middling status in hometown, certainly not the social elite). [laughs]. Right now, I'm probably more semi-preppie - in that now I simply don't care what I wear (these days, more of my wardrobe is Wal-Mart than Dillard's [a middle-to-upper class oriented clothing store, in case you don't know]).

Author
Philip
Date
2003-10-30T22:57:21-06:00
ID
77484
Comment

I don't know the Jackson area well enough to offer an informed comment. If I had to apply that theory to Tupelo, though, I'd say, you're right. However, if you consider the small-town newspapers, it's middle-class and lower-middle-class whites who get their picture in those social sections. They just THINK they're rich because they don't know any liquid asset people, as you put it. No poor whites, though, you're right there. When I was in school, they still used a tracking system. The first day of first grade, every kid was assigned a section, which was determined by how much money their parents made. I'm not kidding. I did my senior anthro thesis on my school district. I had a few dozen teachers and other school administrators fill out a questionaire. When it got to the section on how tracking was decided, the school supt. quoted studies that showed that poor kids didn't perform as well as their wealthier counterparts. He figured they were doing poor kids a favor by not unduly ramping up their educational expectations. I swear I'm not making this up. Anyway, there were 10 sections. The top two were nearly all white and they got progressively "blacker" as you got to the bottom. But all the poor white kids were in the bottom levels. Some of them couldn't even read (black or white) by the time they got to high school. And many, if not most, of them were very intelligent kids. Wasted potential.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T23:13:14-06:00
ID
77485
Comment

That's funny. [One story down, one more and two query letters to go. Phew!] I have recently begun to emerge from my fashion-challenged cocoon. I'm definitely on a funky viibe these days.

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-30T23:15:36-06:00
ID
77486
Comment

Nia:"Dio, you have turned a simple statement into something it was not intended to be. Initially, Fielding stated that Lincoln was a great example of x. I simply pointed out that he wasn't a good example of x becasue of y (and it wasn't based on reading one book, go back and read the posst where I first mentioned LB's book)." So your "y" then is your opinion, which was my point entirely. I reititerate, Nia, if you want to expose the GOP for what they are, there are more effective arguments. Nia: "And by your own admission, he believed in freedom for slaves only if it helped preserve the Union. " Yeah, this was the whole point to my claim that the Emancipation Proclamation was a war-measure, not a racist attempt to rid the American nation of blacks, as you stated. Nia: "Lincoln really did believe that the Union would be better off if slaves went back to Africa. Hence my "separate but equal" paraphrase." Again, another mis-informed and ridiculous statement of opinion on your part. I would like to know where you are pulling this from. Do you really believe this? How laughable! Nia, "I wouldn't call Lincoln's beliefs necessarily racist, but if you do, that's your opinion." First you say he is racist because he wanted seperation between the races, now you are saying his beliefs were not racist or not necessarily racist. Earlier you stated if one has racist policies (which you assert about Lincoln vis-a-vis the Eman. Proc) then one must be a racist. Furthermore, Nia, you are claiming Lincoln was intolerant, I think this is a given seeing how he was elected president when the nation condoned a system of human chattel. Lincoln was intolerant of many, many groups and cultures just like most Americans of the era. My point on this is simple, it is evidence of how values change over time. It is easy to say people should have had more enlightened values, 140 years after the fact! You know, Nia, the more you continue with your posts, the less and less you make any sense. That is why I suggest to you that you go out and actually research something and really think about how you formulate an argument because you have done a very poor job of persuading me that the Eman. Proc was a veiled attempt by Lincoln to export freedmen. I'm challenging you on this for a variety of reasons and those are: 1. You are making claims of historical myths and I'll call anyone on this when it happens. 2. Earlier in this thread we were discussing history, how it is taught and questioning why people are mis-informed about it. 3. Judging from what you have posted about historical figures, you didn't study history, but you have opinions on it, just like all those people who have opinions (mythical ones) about the Civil Rights movement and MS's racist past. Now, I will not say anymore on this matter because you either don't care about what I'm trying to tell you or you are simply being unreasonable.

Author
Diogenes
Date
2003-10-31T12:22:14-06:00
ID
77487
Comment

Dio and Nia, I usually don't interfere like this, but can we let this one lie? You guys can argue about this in e-mail if you want. It is obvious to anyone who reads this blog what Nia did and did not say, so please let's leave it right here before tempers flare again. Please, no more personal insults.

Author
ladd
Date
2003-10-31T12:30:27-06:00
ID
77488
Comment

No problem, Donna. So how did the debate go? I'm dying to hear!

Author
Nia
Date
2003-10-31T12:41:10-06:00
ID
77489
Comment

Well, heck. I did this long thing after the debate, but in my fevered mind, I thought I posted it, but I must have hit the preview button and closed out after that. In it I apologized to Fielding again for going off, and used as my excuse (and a darned good one) that I had been feeling lousy all day, and after I blew off about Covington, I realized how hot and flushed I felt. Sure enough - 102.2. Not a good time to be on a blog, is it? I was disappointed in the way Barbara presented herself - she seemed so nervous to be in front of the camera, and defensive as well, while Tuck came off self-assured (if a bit loud and brassy, but that's classic Tuck). I couldn't really tell how it went over, though, because my bias against Tuck clouds my perceptions too much. I admit it. I can't take too much of her at one time. Even so, though, I thought that Tuck came across better for most of the debate, particularly for those who are not too thoughtful. She did a lot of generalizing and didn't really answer many questions, but she was confident and focused as a little bulldog. She dominated the time allotment by talking over the moderator, til finally Blackmon did the same at the end. Blackmon really looked as though she was catching her stride at the end, but it was a little late then. And no, before anyone asks, I can't take credit for that prescription drug question from a "C.W." Wish I could, but wasn't me. It did give me a funny feeling to have Tuck say that bit about "I know you agree with me, C.W. when I say....." The other C.W. might not have appreciated that any more than I would have, had it been me. How did everyone else perceive it?

Author
C.W.
Date
2003-10-31T15:55:30-06:00
ID
77490
Comment

Well, this conversation has passed the point where I wanted to chime in, but what the hey? I need some good book titles about Mississippi history. We want to teach our children the history of both our states: Mississippi and Kentucky. I grew up in Kentucky, and the most we got regarding the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement was, "It happened. Next!" I don't know much about it at all. Heck, we didn't even follow along with Black History Month. I grew up in desegregated schools: ours were integrated in 1964. Having grandparents who never treated anyone any different, and having friends of every persuasion myself, I never even thought about it being any different. But one trip to the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham and looking across the street at 16th Street Baptist was enough to reduce me to a puddle of weepy goo. Anyone have any suggestions? They need to be adult books: even though our children are second graders, I need to learn it correctly before I can teach it to them.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2006-10-25T14:23:08-06:00
ID
77491
Comment

Whoa, you pulled an oldie out of the archive. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-25T14:59:45-06:00
ID
77492
Comment

I did! It was on the front page, though! Never mind. Sorry for doing it.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2006-10-25T15:06:31-06:00
ID
77493
Comment

Governor Bilbo wrote an excellent book. I highly recommend reading it if you can find it. It will tell you all you need to know about our state history.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-10-25T15:09:51-06:00

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