Call the Roll on Dirty Politics | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Call the Roll on Dirty Politics

Sept. 27, 2007

This column appears in the print edition Sept. 27.

Disturbing statements have been coming from inside Mayor Frank Melton's inner circle since he and his bodyguards were indicted Sept. 15 for home invasion and demolition. To put it simply, paid Melton supporters are trying to convince city residents—especially "the people"—that he was acting as a crime-fighting hero when he allegedly ordered minors to sledgehammer the rental home of schizophrenic Evans Welch.

Several people in Melton's employ have developed a list of "enemies" that they are vowing to "dig" dirt up on. The list of enemies are mostly African Americans who are trying to protect the rights of citizens—people from the NAACP to the D.A.'s office. This is not pretty. It is ugly. It is divisive. It is dishonest.

Such a witchhunt sets a horrible precedent for young people in Jackson—telling them that if caught committing a crime, the best route is to destroy accusers by any means necessary.

To hear mayoral aides like Bob Hickingbottom and Stephanie Parker-Weaver explain it on talk radio, they plan to bring down the mayor's opponents—whom they falsely characterize as Harvey Johnson supporters. (In fact, many of Melton's loudest critics say they will not support Johnson should he run again.)

Regardless, Parker-Weaver appealed to "the people" Friday night on "Views from the Black Side" on WMPR. "So many people are so eager to lynch Frank Melton in the court of public opinion," said Parker-Weaver, who makes just over $3,000 a month as a city aide. "We will continue to do the investigation to get to the bottom of it," she declared. And, "let's keep working and digging for information."

The theme on that show was that black Jacksonians such as D.A. Faye Peterson are "house negroes" trying to hurt the "field negroes," which includes Melton—who lives in a large North Jackson home, hangs with white Republicans and is often spotted riding around in former Mayor Dale Danks' black Jaguar.

Host Charles Tisdale would not allow any dissent, telling one caller who tried to criticize the mayor: "We come to praise Frank, not to damn him." The caller asked, "You want me to shut up?" Tisdale snapped, "Yeah, shut up."

Listening to the plantation talk, I couldn't help but wonder where Evans Welch, his elderly parents and his landlord, Jennifer Sutton, all of whom are black and struggling to make ends meet, fit in this scenario. House or field?

Of course, the operatives have a tough row to hoe convincing the people that Melton is a man of the field, considering that his staunchest (and most generous) supporters were rich conservatives like Leland Speed (donated $8,000), Billy Mounger ($10,000), Wirt Yerger ($4,000) and Charles Irby ($6,500).

In the Jackson Advocate this week, Tisdale tries to say Leland Speed is a reason Harvey Johnson wants back in office. Tisdale writes, "Undoubtedly the unfinished business is to finish selling out to the likes of Leland Speed and John Elkington (Beale Street developer), so they can more efficiently destroy black neighborhoods and culture."

Except it is Melton that Speed and friends helped put into office, not Harvey Johnson.

I watched Melton address a 2005 breakfast fund raiser hosted by Leland Speed's wife, Bessie, along with Jan Mounger, Jan Hughes and Mary Jane Ridgeway. In his remarks, Melton told the ladies pointblank that he was only running as a Democrat because it was the only way he could get elected in a majority-black city. "Most of you are Republican," he said with a laugh to the delighted group. "The reality is, if you're an African American in Jackson, you have to run as a Democrat to win."

Melton told the women that cleaning up the inner cities would be "easy"—he just needed to get families, especially fathers, to raise their children and get the churches involved. Fast forward many months to the Sunday after he was indicted for the Ridgeway Street rampage—he made a rare appearance at St. Luther's Church, along with his attorney, Dale Danks, while his own family, including his biological children, were home in Texas where they grew up without a father in the house, or the state.

Yet, Melton operatives are using the "house" charge to stir up anger against blacks who dared question Melton's right to sledgehammer the home of a poor, black schizophrenic man on Aug. 26. And they are vowing to destroy real role models like the district attorney—a self-made, tough black woman who grew up and studied right here in Jackson, who shows no deference to the conservative white supporters who backed Melton's campaign (nor to the Advocate folks, for that matter).

In fact, many of Melton's staunchest supporters backed her opponent in 2003. But somehow now, Peterson is not "of the people" because she dares arrest a black man who thinks he's above the law, who does not hesitate to sic dogs and clubs on his own people, who doesn't care about the people's civil liberties nor the need to follow the law, and as a role model teaches young men to break the law.

Melton supporters say he is not a criminal, but was merely engaging in "civil disobedience," like the great civil-rights heroes of the past. Ignoring the fact that police didn't even find pot in the Ridgeway Street duplex, operatives say he's fighting crime the only way he knows how.

But Melton-the-enforcer is selective. Some "drug dealers" get sledgehammered without evidence; others live in his house and use his credit cards. At a campaign forum last year, Melton walked out, supposedly because he would have to be near a "convicted drug dealer"; meantime, his team has hired a Wood Street Players defense attorney to defend his bodyguards.

Melton aide Bob Hickingbottom who earns at least $2,000 a month from the city's Public Works budget, is an operative out front trying to trash Melton detractors (he made $7,500 doing the same thing during the campaign). He is freely bashing the D.A. (but not the sheriff), and on a call to Kim Wade on WJNT Friday, he vowed to bring down Melton's enemies: "I've been at the forefront of every dirty deal that was cut in politics. I'm going to call the roll on some of these people."

Instead, the people should call the roll on dishonesty—saying "enough" to tactics that would make Dr. King turn over in his grave. When a Melton apologist comes around hawking the latest rumor, be sure to ask how much they—the rumormongers—are being paid.

Previous Comments

ID
73552
Comment

You couldn't have said it better! Good editorial. We have a sick mindset in Jackson that is nothing but poison for our future. Where is the outrage from the N'Jam clique who so vehemently castigated Harvey Johnson when he supposedly played to race in a campaign ad now that Melton is doing the same thing? Can you say hypocrites! Somebody is getting paid out of all this blind support, there is no other explanation at this point.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-27T14:18:44-06:00
ID
73553
Comment

I heard the mayor was calling city employees last Tuesday to suggest they attend the City Council meeting and turn it into a pro-Melton rally. I can believe it. The signs and stickers reading "I Support Frank Melton" and "Fight Frank Fight" were professionally made, and clearly not the work of a grassroots uprising. It was obviously orchestrated. Coincidentally, the man who approached me at the 'rally' with an "I Support Frank Melton" sticker turned out to be mayoral aide Hickingbottom. When I asked, "Whose paying for all of this," he snapped back a bit too quickly, "Certainly not the city!". Should Hickingbottom like to dig up dirt on me, by the way, he should know I'm an avowed homosexual with anarchist leanings. I'd never be a viable political candidate. I don't even own a sledgehammer or know how to build a straw man. Great article...

Author
Brent Cox
Date
2006-09-27T14:33:33-06:00
ID
73554
Comment

i'm an avowed homosexual with anarchist leanings." - Brent My favorite kind! Seriously, though... I was wondering who paid for those signs! I agree that there's absolutely no way it's a grassroots campaign and it is being funded by someone with deep pockets. Those signs weren't plain ol' typing paper. They were professional quality. "Melton aide Bob Hickingbottom who earns at least $2,000 a month from the city’s Public Works budget, is an operative out front trying to trash Melton detractors (he made $7,500 doing the same thing during the campaign). He is freely bashing the D.A. (but not the sheriff), and on a call to Kim Wade on WJNT Friday, he vowed to bring down Melton’s enemies: “I’ve been at the forefront of every dirty deal that was cut in politics. I’m going to call the roll on some of these people.” - Editor's Note I listened to that podcast of WJNT and it seems Bob is completely clueless about what it is he does for that money.... Did anyone else notice how he stuttered when Donna inquired what he did for the city, what department and his pay? $15 an hour and you aren't sure where you work and what you do for the city? C'MON!

Author
kaust
Date
2006-09-27T15:00:08-06:00
ID
73555
Comment

My head is spinning. Ms. Peterson a house negro? I seem to remember the whole Parker-weaver crowd et al supporting her when she ran for DA if I'm not mistaken. She was appointed by a Democrat. House negro? Tisdale and his crew supporting someone backed 100% by the Republican establishment? Will wonders ever cease? Where have Speed , Irby, etc tried to ruin Jackson? As far as I can tell, they've always taken a serious interest in the improvement of Jackson. My head hurts. 2 + 2= 5, 6, whatever.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-27T15:07:17-06:00
ID
73556
Comment

But Melton-the-enforcer is selective. Some “drug dealers” get sledgehammered without evidence; others live in his house and use his credit cards. At a campaign forum last year, Melton walked out, supposedly because he would have to be near a “convicted drug dealer”; meantime, his team has hired a Wood Street Players defense attorney to defend his bodyguards. Did they really hire the same atty. that represented Wood St. gang members? That is unreal! Hello! citizens who harp on crime, so you not see red flags waving??? Does Haley and the other State officials have any concern for Jackson? Have they commented on Melton or even been asked? Seeing as how some of Haley’s closest advisors donated (big $$$) and worked with Melton, at some point they are going to have to say something. This is heavy stuff that will only lead to further national embarrassment at the hands of his stupidity!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-27T15:16:12-06:00
ID
73557
Comment

Also, Knol, I didn't work into this column that Mr. Hickingbottom is paid by a temp agency for his public-works duties.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-27T15:17:01-06:00
ID
73558
Comment

Yes, Robert Smith is the attorney; he represents many accused drug dealers. I should add here that I really respect and like Robert—that's not the point I'm trying to make. Everyone deserves counsel. The point is the hypocrisy from the Melton camp. (Robert's grandfather is civil rights hero R.L.T. Smith, by the way.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-27T15:18:59-06:00
ID
73559
Comment

Donna, you kick butt. Brent, y'all are doing a pretty amazing job of it yourselves. Nicely done. I am growing increasingly proud of my city, despite our mayor. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-27T15:19:51-06:00
ID
73560
Comment

Thanks, Tom. ;-) Also, The Clarion-Ledger reported that Mr. Hickingbottom was giving out talking points against Peterson at that Council meeting: t was not clear who organized the pro-Melton campaign, but several of his key staff members were handing out professionally printed signs and stickers that read "Fight Frank Fight" and "I Support Frank." One of those was Bob Hickingbottom, a self-styled consultant for Melton who was handing out a petition calling for Hood to investigate Peterson on a variety of charges, ranging from official misconduct to questions about the investigation of Melton, which the petition describes as "a personal vendetta and/or politically motivated." Hickingbottom would not comment on the petition but was seen earlier Tuesday with a memo titled "Talking Points in defense of Mayor Melton." The memo instructed people to highlight successes in Melton's year-plus in office, such as beginning restoration of the King Edward Hotel. The memo instructs defenders to predict the mayor will beat the charges resulting from a "partisan, personal investigation" and that Melton will fight "with every legal tool." City spokesman Tyrone Lewis said he was dimly aware of the petition. "I heard about it. I don't know a whole lot about it," he said. "A lot of stuff that is circulating now I haven't been privy to." Records show Hickingbottom was a paid staffer for the Melton campaign, earning more than $7,400 over six months in 2005. When asked what he did for the campaign, Hickingbottom shrugged, saying, "Spin doctor, mostly."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-27T15:22:39-06:00
ID
73561
Comment

I do not expect Melton to resign. I expect scorched earth warfare. you think the city council was bad a few years ago, this will be even worse I have a feeling. We've gone from Stokes wanting to whip someone's azz to Melton demolishing someone's azz. and why has no one asked Melton what Blood pressure meds he is on? Thought just came to mind.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-27T15:22:47-06:00
ID
73562
Comment

Anybody have a copy of the petition, by the way? Would make a good PDF.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-27T15:24:15-06:00
ID
73563
Comment

Bob Hickingbottom = Gutter politics.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-09-27T15:26:58-06:00
ID
73564
Comment

I'm surprised Robert is representing Receio and wright. He needs to watch out for any conflicts that might arise. His interest of keeping his license and avoiding trouble with the bar should be paramount. He's possibly representing both because he's being paid by one source, and a source who wants both clients joined together so he will always know what they're saying and thinking. I have done similar things but was always scared of the potential conflict. As long as neither turn on the other it's usually alright. Interesting column. Hopefully, all things will backfire on Melton's henchmen. I know I'm inconsequential, but from in the future if I blow my nose and don't have any tissue, I'll grab some leaves, grass or anything detached from me. I'm not using my shirt sleeves else I'm dirty and could be exposed.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-27T15:38:04-06:00
ID
73565
Comment

Bob Hickingbottom < gutter politics. He makes Karl Rove look like St. Francis of Assisi. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-27T15:41:29-06:00
ID
73566
Comment

Oh, I totally see the hypocrisy from the Melton camp. They’ve been hypocrites since day one of the election! You have to wonder though if the people around Melton do not have a vested interest in seeing Jackson continue to become a crime ridden city? They certainly are not concerned about the image they are projecting to the world. Gang lawyers, stupid political operatives, and violent intimidation are not going to help improve the image of Jackson. And when criminal lawyers attempt to do this kind of stuff, then they are part of the problem - not a part of the solution! Smith also has filed motions to dismiss the case on technical grounds related to the deed of the house his clients are accused of damaging and the treatment of Taylor as an adult in an unrelated criminal case. I just don't see how grandfather can be proud? Medgar Evers either!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-27T15:56:08-06:00
ID
73567
Comment

On a related note, did anyone catch Meltoneer Bluntson on "WJNT This Morning with Ben" on Tuesday? I was getting out of my car when I heard Bluntson repeat a line from Hickingbottom, "When you go duck hunting, you have to go where the ducks are", first used to defend Melton's targeting of poor black neighborhoods exclusively with his crime sweeps. The Melton talking points and spin machine is in full effect.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-09-27T16:28:25-06:00
ID
73568
Comment

"When you go duck hunting, you have to go where the ducks are", That is very offensive. Is Mr. Bluntson actually trying to say that drugs and crime are limited to poor black neighborhoods? I don't know, folks. I know they are going for scorched earth here. But I'm going out on a limb here and saying that I believe that treating an entire city, and especially its black residents, as if they are stupid and naive is not going to pay off for these folks. Yes, they got into these positions because they were little challenged, especially by the media. But there really is a new day. And a new generation of folks of all races to challenge people who will sell out the poorest and most needy people of their own race for power.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-27T16:31:58-06:00
ID
73569
Comment

Could trying to split the cases be a way to try to get around the gag order, Ray?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-27T16:33:42-06:00
ID
73570
Comment

Severing or splitting the cases is a way to keep Robert's clients from receiving any fallout from Melton. It's theorized that if a less guilty client(s) or defendant(s) is tried with a very guilty-looking client, the jury might be inclined to convict the lesser guilty or innocent in the same fashion as the more guilty one. Donna, tell me privately whether I'm supposed to be somewhere tonight.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-27T16:41:00-06:00
ID
73571
Comment

Check your e-mail, Ray.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-27T16:44:26-06:00
ID
73572
Comment

Splitting the case has nothing to do with trying to get aound the gag order. I'm glad Robert is trying to sever. He can't be caught choosing the interest of one client over the other or looking out for the interest of Melton to the detriment of his clients. He's not supposed to be concerned with Melton interest at all. However, if he can save his clients and coincidentally help Frank, all three defendant would probably love him to death.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-27T16:50:48-06:00
ID
73573
Comment

This may be off topic but it certainly applies to how Melton and his cronies believe destruction and terrorizing neighborhoods just doesn't work... Check this out... For over three months, police investigated more than 20 dealers operating in this city's West End neighborhood, where crack cocaine was openly sold on the street and in houses. Police made dozens of undercover buys and videotaped many other drug purchases. They also did something unusual: they determined the "influentials" in the dealers' lives, mothers, grandmothers, mentors, and cultivated relationships with them. When police felt they had amassed ironclad legal cases, they did something even more striking: they refrained from arresting most of the suspected dealers.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-09-27T17:33:19-06:00
ID
73574
Comment

Knol, that is a great article and approach. Jackson needs to hire that police chief ASAP. In the meantime, we need to pray/meditate that Melton and Anderson will be gone soon enough, so Jackson can hire a foward thinking police chief with a plan! You combine that with a revitalized COPS program and we may have the makings of a model city! Great find!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-27T17:53:55-06:00
ID
73575
Comment

I love how most of the Meltonites are eager to trample all over Mr Welch's Civil Rights. The irony is thick. It is Welch, right?

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-09-27T20:55:33-06:00
ID
73576
Comment

Yes. And don't forget the Upper Level accusations. Their legal documents accuse Mr. Melton of coming in there repeatedly with his Walking Tall club (which witnesses say he used on Ridgeway Street as well) and his guns—and then on Aug. 27 having Tonarri Moore handcuffed and arrested for videotaping them in his club, after the city agreed a year ago that they wouldn't come in there without judicial approval. Then, outside the club, witnesses say that the "lawn crew" beat up Moore and they even threatened him with Melton's police dog—while he was in handcuffs and on the grounds. These are really horrifying images. In other words, not only Mr. Welch's civil rights are at issue.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-27T21:06:06-06:00
ID
73577
Comment

Just a question. Someone may have already said something on another thread and I missed it. Who was the trained K-9 handler (or was a K-9 police there at all?) and is Melton's dog certified? Was the handler and K-9 certified (as opposed to certifiable) If the answers are no, is this not illegal? It is my understanding after doing some research that both the K-9 and handler must be certified or re-certified each year.

Author
Missy
Date
2006-09-27T22:57:35-06:00
ID
73578
Comment

WHAT IS THE GLORY IN BEING A SLAVE? This shows a lack of intelligence on behalf of the people that support Melton. You'd have to be a complete imbecile to believe anything that those people say. People's lives, careers, and safty is at risk. They need to stop playing these childish games and realize that wrong follows wrong. Always.

Author
Melishia
Date
2006-09-28T11:14:21-06:00
ID
73579
Comment

God, Knol - that link was amazing. I was just reading through this and thinking to myself, okay, if we think what Frank did was wrong (which I do) what is a viable alternative. What *should* the law be doing?

Author
Izzy
Date
2006-09-28T11:30:48-06:00
ID
73580
Comment

latest one floating around is that this is being done out of DC to persecute Melton since he did things like revoke the lobbying firms contract and all the recipients of all those federal grants etc. and that Harvey, Bennie et al are behind it. Sigh, they are going to get worse before this is over.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-28T11:34:26-06:00
ID
73581
Comment

My understanding is that Abby (Melton's dog) is not a certified drug dog—but he calls her his "drug dog." And, no, I have never seen a K-9 handler with her. In fact, the nights I went out with them, I myself kept her out of the street a couple times. I rather liked her. However, if I were a club manager lying handcuffed on the pavement with a bunch of kids kicking and punching me, and they stuck a mean-looking dog in my face, I probably wouldn't be thinking about how nice she was. When I was on the raids, Melton took her on most of the "home visits" with him—up on people's porches and into their houses to sniff around.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-28T11:43:30-06:00
ID
73582
Comment

Right, Kingfish, that is one of the talking points. Talk about black-on-black crime—egged on by white people who don't like either contingent. Truly sad, but this strategy has only as much power as "the people" allow it to—and that includes all of us.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-28T11:45:33-06:00
ID
73583
Comment

Melton supporters say he is not a criminal, but was merely engaging in “civil disobedience,” like the great civil-rights heroes of the past. Man, there is some serious spin going on here. The great civil rights heroes of the past believed in NONVIOLENT protest. They marched in the streets, had sit-ins, gave thought-provoking speeches, etc. Correct me if I am mistaken, but I don't recall any instances of personal property being destroyed or the intimidation of those who disagreed with them by these leaders. As for the opposition, well...

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-09-28T12:00:03-06:00
ID
73584
Comment

I also spent some time with Abby. In fact, everyone in the MCC took turns minding her because when people piled out, she always wanted to run out too. She is Melton's pet, not (so far as I know) a trained K-9. But Donna is right--if she were snarling in your face, she wouldn't seem like a "good girl."

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-09-28T12:05:55-06:00
ID
73585
Comment

Also, I think the whole city of Jackson needs to watch the rebroadcast of Eyes on the Prize on PBS nest month. On top of that, we need to see the archival footage of the civil rights activities that happened right here in Jackson. I saw it in church several years ago, but I don't know where the footage came from. Does anyone know how we can get it?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-09-28T12:07:08-06:00
ID
73586
Comment

And the fact that the Melton crew might sic her on someone in handcuffs to terrify them is simply appalling.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-28T12:07:55-06:00
ID
73587
Comment

My understanding is that Abby (Melton's dog) is not a certified drug dog—but he calls her his "drug dog." And, no, I have never seen a K-9 handler with her. In fact, the nights I went out with them, I myself kept her out of the street a couple times. Could this be considered animal cruelty? Is it ethical to put a dog in harm's way whout the proper training and supervision?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-09-28T12:09:46-06:00
ID
73588
Comment

This was likely Frank's dog. In order for evidence gathered as a result of the K-9 dog to be advissible in court or valid there has to be proof that the dog and handler received training by some recognized agency. There should be some certificates or records verifying the training. Then there should be field records or tests showing the dog was repeatedly trained or field tested to maintain accuracy and to prove the level of accuracy. It's critically important for the lawyer to insist on these records before any evidence of dog tracking or sniffing is allowed into court otherwise suffer dertrimental consequences because people tend to believe dogs are reliable in this respect although they often are not. All kind of matters can affect whether the dog is reliable such as breed, health, age, training, lack of training, untrained handler, et al.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-28T12:25:37-06:00
ID
73589
Comment

I meanr admissable. I can't spell.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-28T12:26:39-06:00
ID
73590
Comment

And I intended meant, not meanr.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-28T12:27:37-06:00
ID
73591
Comment

Huh. Interesting stuff re the dog. L.W., I was certainly worried about Abby; she seemed about as qualified as anyone else to be out there doing what they were doing.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-28T13:19:43-06:00
ID
73592
Comment

Again I say that Stephanie Parker-Weaver's mission in all of this is "self-serving." Stephanie grew up in a home of people who worked with/for the cicil rights of others and parents were the first (known) interracial couple in Jackson. Frank Parker, caucasian, is Parker-Weaver's adopted father. Looking at the history of SCLA and Parker-Weaver's affiliation with the organization, it is really hard to swallow these recent coments/behaviors of fighing against the poor, the mentally challenged, the disfanchised and the drug addicted. How soon she forgot for this short moment in time for fame and prehaps the hope of fortune. I also blogged earlier that I was a participant in the Civil Rights Movement here in MS and that there would always be a Black person who would come to the meetings with a tape recorder to carry back to "the man." Some of the fallout was tremendous as many people loss jobs, bombed, cross burnings, jailed and beaten. The fear placed on others by these folks prolonged the movement and continued to give the White power structure fuel to continuetheir wrath. My point is: This is not a new game: The players know who they are and why they are playing. Many of the uninformed and those who have heard the message but do not understand, run hopelessly and helplessly behind these clowns. The only advice I have for Parker-Weaver and others who are participants in this "hole digging for others" episode is to be very careful because Melton is already in a hole - one that he dug for and by himself. I've never seen anyone in a dirt fight that din't get dirty. People are just waiting for that on dirty sling of slander and I can guarantee you that the participants in this "dirty deal" will have more charges filed against them than their HERO. At the end of the day, Melton can truly say or sing: I DID IT MY WAY (I ME & MY)

Author
justjess
Date
2006-09-28T14:34:14-06:00
ID
73593
Comment

Attorney Frank Parker is now deceased. The way that I wrote the entry, one might think that he is still alive. Also, there is a typo (SCLC)

Author
justjess
Date
2006-09-28T14:39:07-06:00
ID
73594
Comment

Right. Mr. Parker was honored at last year's Center for Justice dinner—as a great fighter for justice. Wouldn't he have fought for the rights of Jennifer Sutton and Evans Welch against a mayor who doesn't respect the Constitution, whether he was black or white? Wouldn't he have? It's so sad to watch the Melton Machine treat "the people" with such contempt.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-28T14:43:08-06:00
ID
73595
Comment

In response to a caller on Tisdale's show a couple of weeks ago, Rep. Jim Evans said that he had been in contact with Dr. Joseph Lowery, National SCLC president, about how Melton is being railroaded by Hood, Peterson and McMillin. My interpretation of that statement was that he probably asked Lowery to come here to help lead a protest of some sort. And I thought, Lowery wouldn't dare come to support a black elected official whose actions are chillingly reminiscent of what Lowery fought against alongside MLK, Abernathy and countless others! I thought it was the height of hypocrisy that Evans would have even thought about calling Lowery, inasmuch as Evans was (and may still be) President of the local SCLC chapter and Parker-Weaver was (is) executive director of the chapter. Can they not see that upholding Melton's antics is tantamount to the sickening scene of Gov. Ross Barnett shaking Beckwith's hand in the Hinds County courtroom during Beckwith's trial for the assassination of Medgar Evers. How soon they forget, especially when their own personal and political interests are threatened!

Author
Kacy
Date
2006-09-28T16:13:03-06:00
ID
73596
Comment

Well, Dr. King himself warned about people like this, willing to sell out their own people. That is what is so mind-boggling—that the people defending these tactics are holding themselves up as civil-rights heroes. Whoa.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-28T16:23:24-06:00
ID
73597
Comment

I should add about dogs that if the mere use of the detection dog is for searching, the police should have an antecedent Fourth Amendment justification such as probable cause for employing the dog. If the use of the dog is not a search, the dog's alerts can be used to establish probable cause for an arrest or search.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-28T16:44:42-06:00
ID
73598
Comment

I read an article that at different levels of law enforcement the dog only has to have a certain reliability percentage for positively identifying drugs/bombs. At the federal level the dogs have to score a higher percentage of positive ID's. Whereas, a dog used by a County Sheriff may be subject to lesser percentage scores. Doesn't mean that the Sheriff's dog isn't scoring above 90% positive, just that the dog doesn't have to per law. The story went on to discuss how hard it is to get properly trained dogs and the the best are being snatched up by military law enforcement. And, that more dogs are being trained to sniff bombs not drugs which hurts the border enforcement. The story touched on the lack of training standards and reliability issues among dogs and breeds. It was a good article. I thought I remembered Melton saying he adopted a retired drug sniffing dog that he used on his kids at home? If that is Abby, then she is probably not qualified to be used in law enforcement procedures.

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-09-28T16:57:48-06:00
ID
73599
Comment

Keep listening to them Ladd on Friday nights. Its quite an education. You haven't heard anything yet from that group on the radio. Consider them to be Enoch Sanders with degrees.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-28T17:08:46-06:00
ID
73600
Comment

In Leadership Jackson there were workshops on sexism and racism. During one particular workshop on racism, participants were told by the presenter specifically not to bring up class. It makes one wonder "why?". What we are seeing is class warfare which they are trying to cloak in a disguise of race pride, trying to disguise contempt for poor people as simply an effort to get crime out of black neighborhoods. Does anyone wonder whether the people who can afford to bring in large shipments of cocaine actually live in the neigborhoods that are being terrorized? It is written in Proverbs that "A rich man's wealth makes many friends, but the poor man is despised even by his own neighbor". This is still true --- right here in Jackson.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2006-09-29T11:08:34-06:00
ID
73601
Comment

In Leadership Jackson there were workshops on sexism and racism. During one particular workshop on racism, participants were told by the presenter specifically not to bring up class. It makes one wonder "why?". Having not been there and heard the context, my easy guess would be because so many people use "class" as an excuse for denying racism. How many times have we heard, "Oh, it's about class and not race." Very often, it's about both, or one fed the other. So in a workshop about *racism*, it makes total sense to at least temporarily force people to focus on race. That doesn't mean you don't talk about class at all; it means that you don't allow people to use it as an excuse. I'm doing a diversity workshop for young people soon; I'll have to remember to incorporate that into it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-29T11:26:22-06:00
ID
73602
Comment

I have a thirteen year-old who might benefit. What is the age range that you are targeting for your workshop?

Author
FreeClif
Date
2006-09-29T12:49:29-06:00
ID
73603
Comment

Actually, this one is for a specific organization. But we could consider organizing one ourselves if there's interest. Intriguing thought. Let me figure out this other one, and then use those experiences to develop this one, if we decide to go ahead. Feel free to bug me about it in the future. I certainly can imagine getting young people like Melishia and some of our other interns and staff involved. Hmmm.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-29T12:52:50-06:00
ID
73604
Comment

In Leadership Jackson there were workshops on sexism and racism. I would like to see some workshops on anger management and conflict resolution that are open to the public, along with public service announcements, billboards, etc. I wish all the PSA billboards could replace all the cigarette and alcohol billboards in predominantly black neighborhoods, but that's just my opinion, and I know I can't force my opinions on others. Since crime begins in the mind of the person committing it, I think it would be beneficial to advise others what to do when they get angry. Remember the child abuse PSAs? "Stop...count to ten..."

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-09-29T13:56:53-06:00
ID
73605
Comment

Exactly L.W. We might be a lot more effective in curbing the violent crime rate in Jackson by an anti-violence, love your neighbor, get to know and look our for your neighbor (more neighborhood watches) campaign. Couple that with more funding for programs to promote job readiness and treat drug abuse and we might see a positive change. Cowboy antics that only serve to further antagonize people who are already close to the edge doesn't seem to have reduced violent crime. Recent history shows that anger management is needed not only for the so-called "thugs". I heard an elderly lady screaming the other night, calling in to one of the TV stations, saying she could not understand "why Faye Peterson and all the lawyers don't go after the low-life blacks" instead of going after a good one like Frank Melton. There is a lot of anger at the so-called "low-life blacks".

Author
FreeClif
Date
2006-09-29T16:25:11-06:00
ID
73606
Comment

Someone screeched at me last night, WHIT, that the reason that Melton is in trouble is because "Faye Peterson didn't do her job." Peterson don't seem to care that the most high-profile cases the D.A. has lost has been based on witnesses and evidence gathered by Melton while at MBN. It's amazing the stuff people will repeat ad nauseum without even thinking about what they're saying.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-29T17:30:27-06:00
ID
73607
Comment

Rep. Jim Evans is a Melton backer? Whoa. I had no idea. How in the world is Melton able to inspire this kind of loyalty from so many good people? I mean, seriously. This is just weird. Evans is president of MIRA, which protects the rights of immigrants on the coast--so he's a staunch advocate for making sure that undocumented workers aren't stuffed like sardines into hazardous trailers, but Melton allegedly sledgehammers a schizophrenic man's house and he has no problem with that? What gives? And it's not because he has no guts--Evans was one of the few members of the state House who voted against that dreadful abortion bill. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-29T18:01:07-06:00
ID
73608
Comment

Yeah, big time. Husband of Sarah O'Reilly-Evans. I hear that Rep. Evans didn't want to see the King Edwards happen, FYI.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-29T18:03:21-06:00
ID
73609
Comment

I am so utterly confused. I'm pretty sure I actually went swimming with Jim Evans' kids 20 years ago. My mother knew him fairly well back then. But then I'm also pretty close to Bill Chandler and his wife Patricia, too. I don't know what it is with Melton. Never before have I seen someone so obviously regressive get the support of so many good people. I'd be depressed, but it's impossible for me to get depressed after the wonderful night I just had... ;o) Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-29T23:01:15-06:00
ID
73610
Comment

I was listening to WMPR tonight and a caller called into Tisdale's show and said that while he respects Stephanie Parker-Weaver, she's going down with a sinking ship. But she didn't try to argue back (which I was very surprised that she didn't) and thanked him for his comments.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2006-09-30T01:07:03-06:00
ID
73611
Comment

GEB, hope you had a drink and popcorn while you listened to that show. Great entertainment.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-30T07:27:17-06:00
ID
73612
Comment

I didn't listen to it, although we taped it. But I'm not going to ruin a peaceful weekend by listening to it before Monday. ;-) But tell me: Was it worse than the week before, or are they toning down the rhetoric at all?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-09-30T17:37:27-06:00
ID
73613
Comment

Kingfish: GEB, hope you had a drink and popcorn while you listened to that show. Great entertainment. Donna: But tell me: Was it worse than the week before, or are they toning down the rhetoric at all? I only listened for those few minutes, but I suspect that the rhetoric was still the same.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2006-10-01T19:56:03-06:00
ID
73614
Comment

Ms Ladd, I can assure you it was the same or worse. Its been that way for years and you haven't heard anything yet. its actually quite funny when you get over taking it seriously.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-10-01T20:02:43-06:00
ID
73615
Comment

I don't know what it is with Melton. Never before have I seen someone so obviously regressive get the support of so many good people. I think it's a combination of desperation, missing the "good ol' days" - depends on your definition of "good" - and watching too many Lifetime movies.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-10-01T22:06:54-06:00

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