Wyatt Emmerich Hates to Talk Race, But If He Has To ... | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Wyatt Emmerich Hates to Talk Race, But If He Has To ...

Lots of folks are talking about Wyatt Emmerich's endorsement of Crisler in the Northside Sun this week in which he says he hates to talk about race. BUT:

As far as I can tell, Johnson created resentment for two main reasons: First, many perceived Johnson as being a man of inaction. He would form a study committee and nothing would get done. Second, there is some sense that Johnson would play the race card. One thing in Crisler's favor is that he attended an integrated school. Being younger, he is not as burdened with many of the old racial stereotypes from the older generation.

One of the great tragedies of Jackson and the Delta is that integration has failed. Whites go to private schools and blacks go to public schools. Sadly, this was partially caused by an ideological federal justice department that shut down successfully integrated neighborhood schools.

Now that Jackson is no longer under the thumb of the justice department, the Jackson school board should try to bring whites back into the public system.

The way to do that is guarantee whites a racially balanced path all the way through to high school graduation. Pick an elementary, a middle school and a high school. Guarantee that the white-black ratio will never get below 50-50. Do this and whites will return. [...]]The problem is the JPS board doesn't see recruiting whites as a high priority. "Who cares about a bunch of white racists?" is the attitude and I can't really blame them.

That attitude ends up hurting the Jackson public school students. We live in an integrated economy. Most businesses are owned and run by whites. Blacks need to learn how to work and interact fluidly with whites. Otherwise, they will be disadvantaged.

As I write this, I am cringing, for I hate to think or write in racial terms. But as long as we have this huge white elephant of school segregation sitting in the room, it's hard to simply ignore it. The Jackson private schools are doing a better and better job of integrating, but our Jackson public schools are way behind.

I am reminded of a study I read several years ago. The study found that both whites and blacks would prefer to live in integrated neighborhoods and attend integrated schools - as long as they were in the majority. That, of course, is impossible.

This is probably the money quote:

We have begun to accept the reality that segregation is not the same as racism. We can prefer to live among our kind and still treat each other with respect. That's sort of where we are in Jackson right now.

Previous Comments

ID
147456
Comment

I vented about that very paragraph earlier on Othor's blog. I just cannot believe he had the audacity to print that. I've never even noticed this sort of editorial in that paper until this election. (I usually just look at the pictures like I do with the VIP) It is so sad to me that NOT MANY people are shocked by this! People are saying "well, it's just how he is" and "that's NE Jackson for you." It really shows me that this is not the "New South" afterall. I am very disappointed with this whole week of events. Two steps forward...two steps back.

Author
News Junkie
Date
2009-05-16T07:37:19-06:00
ID
147463
Comment

Over on his blog, Oxford attorney Tom Freelance agrees with our disgust at Wyatt Emmerich coming out on his separate-but-equal views as quoted above: Donna Ladd at Jackson Free Press highlights the money quote from Wyatt Emerich’s editorial in the Jackson Northside Sunn endorsing Crisler in the Jackson mayoral race. I read it as Emerich finding his inner Citizen Council member: “We have begun to accept the reality that segregation is not the same as racism. We can prefer to live among our kind and still treat each other with respect. That’s sort of where we are in Jackson right now.” For the record, whatever conspiracy that “we” implies, I’m not a part of it. Fabulous Citizen Council quote I bolded. Go, Tom. I'm with you: Wyatt exists in a world that I want no part of. This is the same guy who gave the award to the columnist a few years back who wrote in his paper that blacks ought to give thanks every day for slavery. I still haven't gotten over that one. This column is something else, though. Under this own picture, he lets it all hang out. I'm just trying to figure out how this helps his candidate Crisler. Weird the turn race politics have taken in this state with the privileged separate-but-equal-is-OK-by-me crowd doing hysterical back flips over the black man they think will most represent their interests. I think this is unfortunate for Mr. Crisler. My guess is he lost control of his campaign long ago. It's also hilarious to see usual suspects over there defending Emmerich. Uh, much more than this money quote is offensive in that column, guys, but I don't expect everyone to get that. Let me put it plan: The entire column is simply an affront to this city.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-16T11:05:18-06:00
ID
147469
Comment

I am not swayed much by Emerich's column other than to reinforce my opinion that he's nothing like his father and he needs to stick to the vanity stuff. I don't like the article. I don't think you can find that his paper is "over the top" for Crisler because I don't think anybody would really give it much thought. It's not really known for its political insight or depth of coverage or analysis. In short, it's largely ignored by most folks (white and black). On the other hand, i am totally offended at the racist and outrageous essay that Rep. Jim Evans (yes the spouse of city attorney Sarah O'reilly-Evans) featured in the Jackson Advocate 2 weeks ago. Evans is a member of the House, an alleged minister, a radio commentator and a frequent editorial writer for print media. Supposedly, he has a voice and is listened to by a sizeable audience. The Evans paper is outrageous and defames John Horhn, Marshand Crisler, Leland Speed, and others. It should not be allowed to stand without a vigorous and load response from the responsible media and the blogosphere. Where is the righteous indignation against this hate speech? It is many times worse and more damaging that the Emerich stuff.

Author
msnative1943
Date
2009-05-16T13:34:26-06:00
ID
147470
Comment

i've tried 3 times to post a response to this thread. All trying to bring up the Jim Evans hate speech in the Jackson Advocate. why is my blogging/speech not allowed?

Author
msnative1943
Date
2009-05-16T13:38:52-06:00
ID
147471
Comment

i'm really buggin over the evolution of the argument that it is bigotry to not accept others racism or other anti-identity politics. Republicans have been trotting out this "identity politics" accusation against Progressives, acting like we do a disservice to minorities by recognizing that their identity plays a factor in the obstacle/opportunity ratio in society. i'm hearing it most in relation to homosexual rights. i'm constantly getting talk from Republicans and socially-conservative Christians about how they should not be labeled a bigot just because they vocally oppose the granting of rights to a minority demographic of Americans. We can prefer to live among our kind and still treat each other with respect. i'm in serious doubt that anyone who prefers to live among their own kind can also claim to have respect for those they do not particularly prefer to live around.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2009-05-16T14:10:06-06:00
ID
147474
Comment

I don't think he is saying it's such a big deal that they are black, it's that they, "need to learn how to work and interact fluidly with whites. Otherwise, they will be disadvantaged." This, of course, assumes that the only correct or acceptable culture is that of whites because otherwise, you will be disadvantaged. It leaps over the history of why they would be disadvantaged to begin with. And completely ignores the fact that the absence of whites in the Jackson Public School system is not because a Federal Judge ordered their removal but due to the decision of those whites themselves to not only give up the majority but to give up on Jackson altogether. It seems to me that it is the children of those whites who are being disadvantaged in our integrated economy by not learning to interact fluidly with their peers of all races. Segregation by definition leads to a divided society and a house divided against itself can not stand. Why haven't we learned this lesson already?

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-05-16T14:48:08-06:00
ID
147476
Comment

I got a copy of the Northside Sun yesterday in my mailbox and read the column as well. At first I figured you had to be an airhead to write the comments above. Then I realized you only needed manure for brains. Poor Wyatt can't escape the racial superiority of his upbringing, socialization and training. I bet we didn't work hard enough during slavery either, or try hard enough to kiss snooty white booty back then either. We can't please Wyatt and Whites are without guilt in Wyatt's world, no matter the record!. Wyatt please stop putting your trash (your paper) in my mailbox. I tell you Wyatt I didn't know whether to do number 1 or 2 on the paper. So, I din number 3.

Author
Walt
Date
2009-05-16T16:00:53-06:00
ID
147478
Comment

I can you this: Wyatt is certainly not *my* kind. And there is nobody who needs to work with *his* kind to be successful. And, of course, his implication is that Crisler has figured out how to work with *his* kind, but Johnson hasn't. Simply unbelievable. Personally, I'd like to hear Crisler come out and condemn this tripe, and fast. I'd also like to hear him condemn the Better Jackson PAC, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-16T17:52:29-06:00
ID
147479
Comment

Msnative, calm down. You are allowed; you are new here and, thus, still a "guest," and that means your comments go into moderation to make sure you're not a troll trying to post anonymous lies about people! Todd and I were away from the computer (distributing more papers because this one is going so fast), and didn't get to moderation. And our staff is off for the weekend. So, no conspiracy, friend. Be patient. As for the Evans column, you're late to that party. It has been criticized elsewhere on the site by readers, me, Kaze and others. I've long criticized the anti-white rhetoric in the Advocate, as well as its bizarre support of Melton and his tactics, regardless of how unconstitutional. There is some sign that the Advocate is changing some under Alice Tisdale, although the Evans column wasn't a good sign of it. Let's just say: they don't hold columnists to the same standard we do. I assume you know that the Advocate has long criticized Harvey Johnson and any other black person willing to work with white people (other than Melton and his friends) and placed them in the "Brown Society." Alice, however, has endorsed him this time. So that is a sign of some sort of change. I haven't been following the paper closely otherwise. I'm not a big fan of any paper that is produced with one race in mind, whether the Advocate, Link or Northside Sun. I respect the history of the black press, but unlike Wyatt, I believe that all humans regardless of race are *my* kind, and my newspaper represents all of Jackson.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-16T18:01:35-06:00
ID
147485
Comment

It's difficult to understand what Emmerich hoped to accomplish with the column. Was he endorsing Crisler? If so, it's an incredibly back-handed, weak, non-substantive endorsement. He essentially says that McMillan's endorsement is "good enough" for him to cast his vote for Crisler without saying much else. Well, OK, he says Crisler's young. Maybe he thinks Crisler is one of those blacks who have learned "how to work and interact fluidly with whites." Then, a few paragraphs later, he says that he doesn't have a problem if Johnson wins. He makes reference to why people don't like Johnson, but does nothing more than to repeat rumor and innuendo, presenting neither supporting or refuting evidence. Then he goes off into the failure of integration and blames it all on the Justice Department and the Jackson School Board. Wow. He must have been talking with Wirt Yerger about how to rewrite history. Didn't the Justice Department attempt to enforce desegregation in places that blatantly refused? Didn't Mississippi adopt legislation to close public schools rather than integrate? Wasn't Mississippi one of the last, if not THE last state that finally desegregated schools in the '70s, still kicking and screaming against it? And where were these mythical "successfully integrated" public schools closed by the DOJ that Emmerich talks about? Aren't there still schools with segregated proms here? It seems to me that if there is integration in private schools, it comes at the expense of public schools in general. Throughout the 50s and 60s, many southerners did everything they possibly could to stay segregated for as long as they possibly could. (Prince Edward's County, Va. actually closed their public schools for a decade rather than integrate.) Southern whites passed laws to stop funding for public schools and divert public funds to private schools. By the time the Justice Department was empowered to sue school systems to integrate, whites who could afford to had already left the public system for private "segregation academies," and had begun their massive flight from the cities and into the suburbs. I'm not telling anyone anything new here. Ever since integration became public policy, conservatives have been attempting to discredit and do away with the public school system in favor of privatizing and deregulating schools. School vouchers and a host of other school programs are all part of the same movement: a movement that started when whites--especially in the South--didn't want the government telling them their kids have to go to school with those not "our kind," to use Emmerich's words. Yes, Mr. Emmerich, segregation is racism. It was yesterday, and still is today. What a putz.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-05-16T19:41:58-06:00
ID
147489
Comment

Wyatt Emmerich is apparently lost in some kind of pretend world. His words drip with blood. It is discouraging that anyone in 2009 is stupid / insensitive / ignorant enough to even think what he wrote let alone print it.

Author
blkjazz
Date
2009-05-17T06:46:04-06:00
ID
147491
Comment

Hey, he owns the paper! He can print anything he wants. I believe the magic number was 70,000 -- 70,000 white Jackson families fled the Jackson Public Schools after the U.S. Supreme Court forced them to integrate in December 1969 over Christmas break. I was in the third grade. I will never forget all the hatred for black people then. Funny Wyatt never mentioned any thing different white people need to do. That column is sickening. Thank God all white people do not think like he does, even though he apparently he thinks that his readership does.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-17T07:41:39-06:00
ID
147497
Comment

It amazes me how people justify and rationalize what they want to do even to the point of lying. (1) Not that I even think that this is significant but Wyatt says that Crisler attended an integrated school. At the time Crisler attended Provine it was 95% African American, He also attended JSU which has an even higher ratio, so this business about his being around white students is garbage. The public schools are just that "public", any White student who wants to attend can attend (so long as they met residency requirements)and there is still a White population in the Murrah and Chastain student bodies. There is no need for JPS to recruit. People who want to return can return; however, most do not. I don't think the reason is so much as racial (although that is part of it for some), as it is not wanting to be different. Most people White and Black don't have the courage to be different and it is uncomfortable for some Whites to put their children and themselves to be in a position of being a minority. This is why some Whites who really cant afford it are paying St. Andrews, St. Joe's, JA, and Prep for their kids to go there. As for Jim Evans and Wyatt they have the right to promulgate their fodder. I think its important to see how people think and for positive voices to look honestly at changing the negative thought processes. Like it or not Wyatt and Evans aren't alone in their thought processes. The JFP is and should continue to be a vehicle to challenge such thinking.

Author
Powerman
Date
2009-05-17T09:01:25-06:00
ID
147501
Comment

Donna I agree but disagree with you. Crisler has not lost control of his campaign. He does not care!! As long as he gets elected the end justifies the means!(that's the kind of person we are dealing with) As for Wyatt and Jim Evans, I hope they continue to express their opinions. As Studs Terkel once said we will not be able to deal effectively with racial issues until we deal with how people really think (however ignorant we perceive those thoughts to be). The solution is for media outlets like yours to continue to challenge those beliefs

Author
Powerman
Date
2009-05-17T09:29:02-06:00
ID
147543
Comment

Is it just me, or has the Northside Sun gotten even more radical-right of late. This is from a column by Dan Hanchey—comparing Obama to Hitler: The Obamamaniacs are taking us, the U.S., into full-blown socialism, which will be followed in a few decades or maybe even just years by a Muslim theocracy...unless USA citizens become conscious, realize what is actually happening, and vote in a majority Republican Senate and House of Representatives in 2010. Right now...a widespread welfare mentality, political correctness, and outrageous social tolerance are destroying our Judeo/CHRISTian-based capitalist society and nation. Inauguration day with all of those masses of people crowded into Washington, D.C., watching Obama on the podium, and chanting, "Obama! Obama!! Obama!"...reminded me of the late 1930s and early 1940s Movietone Newsreel reports of Nazi Germany with Hitler on the podium speaking, and the masses of people crowded into Berlin, shouting, "Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler!" Hitler had his swastika; Obama has his symbol. Does Emmerich really not know what this kind of rhetoric can lead to!?! And then there's this from a letter to the editor from Robert S. Murphree: The explanation for the peril we face today is one all the great minds that formed this country foresaw: a highly centralized government on the wrong course plunges the whole country into mischief, whereas if - as our founders intended - the states retained their leadership roles it would be inconceivable that every state would take leave of its senses simultaneously. Your readers need to understand this was the powerful and permanent issue of 1861 - whether we would be a nation of multiple centers of power located in the several states, or of one head in Washington. Slavery was living on borrowed time, as every intelligent Southerner knew, and its laudable elimination was a certainty in the process of our national maturation. On the other hand, the conflict between local control and national direction was a closer contest, one that took four years to settle. The Northern victory cemented that our country would be led from Washington and ever after the trend toward centralized government has gathered detrimental momentum. You get the feeling the Sun and its readers are trying to go backward and simply whitewash history?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-17T15:12:05-06:00
ID
147575
Comment

I don't think it's just you Ms. Ladd. I read Dan Hanchey's article over the weekend and I had to join the Sun's site just so I could call Dan an idiot. I'm not so naive that I didn't know there was racism and this kind of idiocy out there but I have to admit I was agog that it would be printed in the Northside Sun. I don't think they can deny that they are trying to move us backwards when you have the Editor singing the praises of segregation and publishing columns that say that the first African American President will not only take us to full-blown socialism but soon after into a Muslim theocracy. It would be hilarious if it was satire, a caricature of how ridiculous and stupidly reactionary a person could be, but I think these guys are serious.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-05-18T07:03:39-06:00
ID
147576
Comment

It's amazing how comfortable some people like Emmereich are in their racism. I'm surprised Emmereich and his ilk can stand living in Jackson. Printing this Hedermann Bros. throwback is their way of venting frustration at a city they no longer run and a nation that is rejecting their ideas.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-05-18T07:11:53-06:00
ID
147577
Comment

I saw your comments, WMartin. Was glad to see them—you're not exactly a burning liberal. ;-) Of course, this kind of crap isn't about liberal v. conservative. It's about stupidity—and spreading fear and hate. All of us need to be speaking up about this hate material being distributed inthe community. I just cannot believe Emmerich is publishing columns saying that President Obama is going to turn us into a Muslim theocracy. Of course, he did give the cash award to the one saying that blacks should give thanks every day for slavery. He's sure showing his true, er, colors of late, I guess. And then he has the gall to write that the people who support Harvey Johnson won't leave race in the past. He is pushing the very kind of buttons that keep people living in a Citizens Council mentality. This is their exact rhetoric. Go do a bit of research on the phrase "live with their own kind" and see what is there.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-18T07:12:07-06:00
ID
147580
Comment

Baquan, obviously we are (re)segregated in many ways. The problem with Emmerich's column is that he laid the blame on black people for not learning how to live with white people, and the federal government for forcing the state of Mississippi to do what white people refused to do: integrate. There is a larger conversation to be had about ongoing segregation and attitudes, and you know that the JFP and I do not give anyone pass, regardless of skin color. But you can't start that conversation from a privileged position of "my people did nothing wrong." That's the way of the past.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-18T07:50:04-06:00
ID
147583
Comment

With idiots like this guy around, Jackson and society as a whole suffer. I get so flipping tired of hearing "live among our own kind:" are they really that idiotic not to see that HUMANITY is their own kind? One of NE Jackson's problems is that they don't have a local high school: their kids have to be bussed to Murrah. It seems like the lesser of two evils: if there was a high school in NE Jackson, they would have to do a lot more bussing in order to make sure there was a good balance. And even then, most of the NE Jackson people would send their kids to private schools. On the flip side, no matter where we lived in Jackson, our kids would probably be at Chastain and Murrah, because we'd be told they'd be more comfortable around "their own kind". At least, this was the experience IG's family went through at one point. All of our children deserve the same opportunities at a quality education, and it's sad that education has to be broken down among racial lines.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-05-18T07:58:01-06:00
ID
147584
Comment

Amen, sister.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-18T07:59:26-06:00
ID
147585
Comment

Baquan I disagree with your broad generalizations. I was an African American student in the JPS system. My mother who has a Master's degree in Public Policy and Administration was very active in PTSA and school activities. Like her myself and my brother and sister all went to college. I went to Tougaloo for undergrad and MC School of Law. My sister went to Vandy for undergrad and law school. My brother currently has a 3.7 GPA at Jackson State. Our parents were divorced but my father was still active in our lives (by the way the he graduated with a degree in business from Millsaps. This notion that JPS parents and students (Let's be frank your implying African Americans) don't care about education is bull

Author
Powerman
Date
2009-05-18T07:59:32-06:00
ID
147586
Comment

What ticks me off is when he says that to bring whites back we need to give them an elementary, middle and high school and guarantee that it will never be more than a 50/50 split. Number one, he doesn't seem to get that people are leaving Jackson, not just whites. Number two, he seems to be combating segregation with more segregation, which not only does not solve the problem, but makes it worse. Get a handle on crime, and people will come back to Jackson. Not just whites: people.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-05-18T08:11:43-06:00
ID
147588
Comment

Right, Lady. That was unbelievable. How is he going to do that? BUSING? He says it pure and simple: He doesn't want whites to be in the minority, even in school, and we have to guarantee poor-little-whites like us that we won't have to put up with a majority of the "other" around us. Because it might make our type uncomfortable or something. Wyatt Emmerich is so not "my kind." He's talking straight out of the 1960s, and the poor fella probably doesn't even know it. This was the whole justification for Bill Simmons and the Citizen Council (supported by most of the business community in Jackson) when they called for the public schools to be closed before allowing integration and set up Council schools and seg academies all over the place for white kids. The irony on crime, of course, is that it was lower under Johnson than any mayor in recent memory (probably ever, considering all the unreported and unprosecuted crimes against black people until the 1970s). If that's what Wyattco are *really* worried about, they would be behind Johnson. Sounds like they want control, though, and a mayor who will show them proper "respect" and humility. I really hate that Crisler is the one they're now banking on to carry their torch.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-05-18T08:22:22-06:00
ID
147590
Comment

I don't even want to claim him as my kind as far as being human! And if he has such racial problems, why didn't he endore Charlotte Reeves?

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-05-18T08:57:45-06:00
ID
147594
Comment

Um. Just wondering. Have you seen an Emmerich paper with a black person on the cover that is not accompanied by white people? I remember DISTINCLY being told that we don't do that once. Not by Emmerich. Not by the publisher. Sort of by the editor. Not something they would put in our employee handbook. Which is why I lasted less than a year at that paper. Well, other reasons too. Such as folding and stamping addresses on papers those Wednesday afternoons and one sales rep mocking my editor and I for our position on "saving the flag." I'm enacting my verbal filter and getting back to work, but all I can say is UGH. I hate a FABULOUS editor. It just seemed the powers that be weren't going to let go of those Delta views on race and society.

Author
emilyb
Date
2009-05-18T09:15:01-06:00
ID
147595
Comment

And maybe the private/suburban schools are working better because black people don't REQUIRE a 50/50 guarantee.

Author
emilyb
Date
2009-05-18T09:17:03-06:00
ID
147596
Comment

[quote]I don't even want to claim him as my kind as far as being human! And if he has such racial problems, why didn't he endore Charlotte Reeves? [/quote]I suppose even he doesn't believe in throwing his vote away.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-05-18T09:23:17-06:00
ID
147597
Comment

I can't see how voting your conscience, no matter how slim a chance the person has of winning, can be construed as throwing your vote away.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-05-18T09:28:01-06:00
ID
147599
Comment

I never like that saying either. To me, throwing your vote away is not voting at all.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-05-18T09:40:59-06:00
ID
147601
Comment

If I'm Wyatt, why vote for a candidate that has a snowballs survival rate in Hell of being Mayor when I can vote for a candidate with a legitimate shot at winning who will give me *some* of the things I want, including access to power, as long as I don't have to live next to him, work for him, or allow his children to date mine? /sarcasm off Or perhaps Charlotte Reeves doesn't share Wyatt's philosophy. I don't know.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-05-18T09:54:27-06:00

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