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Tag Archives: mississippi

Trump Racists Arson of Black Church

The picture tells you all you need to know…

Back to the KKK days when the Klan burned black churches and homes to prevent black people from voting.

This isn’t “vandalism” it is a hate crime.

The Hopewell M.B. Church, which was burned and vandalized with a pro-Trump slogan (Source: Angie Quezada, Delta Daily News)

Vandals torch black church in Mississippi — and spray paint ‘VOTE TRUMP’ on the side

Vandals in Greenville, Miss. set fire to a black church on Tuesday evening — and then spray painted a pro-Trump message on the side.

Local news station WLBT reports that the Greenville Fire Department received word of a fire at the Hopewell M.B. Church, a local black church. When they arrived on the scene, they not only found the church burning, but also found the words “Vote Trump” spray painted on the outside of it.

The station also reports that “Mayor Errick D. Simmons, Greenville Fire Chief, Washington County Sheriff and other local state and federal law enforcement agencies are holding a press conference” about the vandalism today at at 10:30 a.m. ET.

 

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School Lynching in Mississippi

The school system and local law enforcement support this sort of criminal, racist behavior…

NAACP calls for federal probe after noose placed on black high school football player in Mississippi

The NAACP and the parents of a black high school sophomore who had a noose placed around his neck and “yanked backward” are continuing to call for a federal investigation of the incident as a racial hate crime.

After Derrick Johnson, the Mississippi NAACP president, on Monday morning called for a federal hate-crimes probe of an Oct. 13 incident inside a locker room at Stone County High School near the small town of Wiggins, a lawyer for the south Mississippi school district announced Monday afternoon that one student “was disciplined after due process in accordance with district policies.”

Sean Courtney, an attorney for the Stone County school district, wrote in a Tuesday email that administrators had determined that the school’s conduct code had been violated, the Associated Press reported. Courtney said he couldn’t identify the student or the specific punishment, citing privacy rules.

The NAACP has alleged that the school district and local officials have mishandled the case from the beginning.

Johnson told ESPN that the black student’s mother, Stacey Payton, reported the incident to the Stone County sheriff’s department but was discouraged from filing a report because one of the white students’ parents is a former law enforcement officer. Capt. Ray Boggs of the Stone County sheriff’s department has disputed that account, saying he told Payton that filing a criminal case could stir resentment among some students and bring her son trouble at school, according to the Associated Press.

The black student claimed he was accosted by as many as four white students and a noose was tied around his neck before he was eventually allowed to return to practice. For its part, the school has asserted that it disciplined only one student (not four) because only one had broken rules.

The school district also pushed back against claims that it had ignored the incident until the NAACP acted. “To suggest that the district did not follow its policies and procedures or otherwise not investigate and address this issue is patently false,” Courtney wrote in a statement on Tuesday. “This matter has been one that tears at the fabric of our schools and our community and the administration does not intend for it to be swept under the rug or otherwise ignored.”

At the press conference on Monday with the Paytons standing beside him, the Mississippi NAACP president called the incident a damming indictment of race relations in 2016.

“No child should be walking down the hall or in a locker room and be accosted with a noose around their neck,” Johnson said. “This is 2016, not 1916. This is America. This is a place where children should go to school and feel safe in their environment.”

The mother of a black middle school student in Wiggins who attended the NAACP press conference on Monday said that while Mississippi has long grappled with overt anti-black racism, tensions in town have recently escalated.

“I feel like it escalated from them allowing kids to bring Confederate flags” to school, Carissa Bolden told the Associated Press.

Johnson echoed Bolden’s claim, claiming that some of the students involved in the noose incident had come to school earlier in the year “brandishing Confederate flags on their vehicles.”

“Allowing students to commit blatant hate crimes without severe consequences sends a message to students that their safety and well-being are not valuable enough to be protected,” he said.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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A Little Blues From the Heyday

Just for the fun of it, some old time Blues…

 
 

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Mississippi Damn! 50 Years of Ongoing School Segregation

Someone please explain to me how a town of 12,000 people needs two High Schools, two Jr High Schools, and two elementary schools? I mean, you are talking no more than 300-400 kids in each school.

The taxpayers have borne the cost of double the facilities costs, possibly 50-80% more teachers, double the admin costs for 50 years to keep the Schools segregated!

That is $10 million a year poured down the drain for racism.

While integrated schools don’t necessarily mean better schools – the wasted division of funds and limited resources means worse schools for all.

THIS IS A MAY 13, 2015 FILE PHOTOGRAPH.

Court orders Mississippi town to desegregate schools after 50-year fight

A federal court has ordered a Mississippi town to consolidate its junior high and high schools in order to fully desegregate its school system after a 50-year battle the town has waged with the U.S. Department of Justice, agency officials said Monday.

Black students and white students in Cleveland, Miss., are largely separated into two high schools, one mostly white and one mostly black, according to the announcement.

The situation is similar with the town’s middle school and junior high – one has mostly black students, and the other is historically white, officials said.

As a result of the order, handed down late Friday by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, the Cleveland School District will combine the two high schools together, as well as join the junior high and middle school into one, desegregating the secondary schools for the first time in the district’s 100-year history.

School officials could not immediately be reached to comment.

The court rejected two alternative plans posed by the district, calling them unconstitutional and saying that the dual system the district has been running has failed to achieve the highest possible degree of desegregation required by law.

“Six decades after the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education declared that ‘separate but equal has no place’ in public schools, this decision serves as a reminder to districts that delaying desegregation obligations is both unacceptable and unconstitutional,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Cleveland, with a population of 12,000, is home to Delta State University and sits in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, where many of the early slave owners ran cotton plantations along the Mississippi River.

A railroad track divides the city both geographically and racially, a common occurrence in many Delta towns.

According to the court opinion, testimony from both black and white community members supported the integration of the schools and noted that the perception had been that white students attended better schools.

“The delay in desegregation has deprived generations of students of the constitutionally-guaranteed right of an integrated education,” the opinion read. “Although no court order can right these wrongs, it is the duty of the district to ensure that not one more student suffers under this burden.”

 
 

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The Prison Industrial Complex in Mississippi

1930’s pictures of black men on the Chain Gang in the South are a icon of how black people were persecuted and forced to work in virtual slavery under Jim Crow.

While the Chin Gang may (or not) be gone, incarceration as a social tool and meas of oppression is not. Mississippi has third highest incarceration rate in the US, placing it solidly ahead of even repressive regimes around the world and communist countries.

Mississippi Jails Are Losing Inmates, And Local Officials Are ‘Devastated’ By The Loss Of Revenue

“If they do not send us our inmates back, we can’t make it,” said one county supervisor.

County officials across Mississippi are warning of job losses and deep deficits as local jails are being deprived of the state inmates needed to keep them afloat. The culprit, say local officials, is state government and private prisons, which are looking to boost their own revenue as sentencing and drug-policy reforms are sending fewer bodies into the correctional system.

In the late 1990s, as the overcrowded Mississippi prison system buckled under the weight of mass incarceration, the state asked local governments to build local correctional institutions to house state prisoners. It was billed as a win-win: The Mississippi Department of Correction would foot the bill for each prisoner, and the counties would get good jobs guarding them. The state guaranteed that the local jails would never be less than 80 percent occupied, and the locals would get a 3 percent boost in compensation each year.

After a few years, say local officials, the state offered a new deal: Instead of the 3 percent bump, they would give the locals more and more prisoners, thus boosting total revenue. Today, the state pays $29.74 per day per prisoner to the regional facilities, a deal that worked for everybody as long as the buildings were stuffed full with bodies.

Scott Strickland, president of the Stone County Board of Supervisors, said reforms at the state and local levels have shrunk the prison population. “Federal laws took some part in that — allowing prisoners to serve only a certain percentage of their term,” he said. “Also, they’ve reduced prison sentences for certain drug-related offenses.”

As the wave of mass incarceration begins to recede, the Mississippi controversy has local and state officials talking openly about how harmful locking up fewer people up will be for the economy, confirming the suspicions of those who have argued that mass incarceration is not merely a strategy directed at crime prevention. “Under the administrations of Reagan and Clinton, incarceration, a social tool used for punishment, also became a major job creator,” Antonio Moore, a producer of the documentary “Crack in the System,” wrote recently.

“I don’t think it necessarily started out this way, but the inmate population has become the backbone of some of these counties that are involved,” said Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher as the controversy heated up.

The prisoners have value beyond the per diem, county officials add, when they can be put to work. State prisoners do garbage pickup, lawn maintenance and other manual labor that taxpayers would otherwise have to pay for. Convict labor has made it easier for local governments to absorb never-ending cuts in state funding, as tea party legislators and governors slash budgets in the name of conservative government.

The state knows it, and now demands that local jails house state convicts who perform labor for free, George County Supervisor Henry Cochran told The Huffington Post. The counties take the deal. “You’re either gonna go up on everybody’s garbage bill, or you’ve gotta house those inmates,” Cochran said. “You’re using that inmate labor, so [taxpayers are] getting a little good out of that inmate for their tax dollars. You either gotta hire a bunch of employees or keep that inmate. It’s like making a deal with the devil.”

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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Black Man Arrested and Tased by Cops…For Loud Music

Another case of what should have been a simple warning escalating into violence…

While I certainly don’t buy the excuse “my brakes are broken”, I also can’t buy the rapid escalation by the Police for what is a “nuisance” ticket.

‘I ain’t resisting, bro!’: Cops drag black man from his car and shock him with a Taser for playing loud music

The Mississippi County NAACP is asking for an investigation after police officers pulled a black man from his car before Tasering and pepper spraying him for playing music too loud, WREG is reporting.

Patrick Newbern has been charged with a violation of the city noise ordinance, fleeing by vehicle and resisting arrest after police attempted to cite him in a convenience store parking lot on Easter morning.

In video captured by a Blytheville police officer’s body camera, the officer accosts Newbern in the parking lot, then instructs him to stay put while he writes up a citation.

Newbern begins to drive out of the parking lot, but stops at which point an officer can be heard saying, “Get his ass out of the car.”

As he explains to the officers that his brakes don’t work, they begin pulling him from the car without allowing him to unbuckle his seat belt.

He is immediately thrown to the ground as one officer is seen pressing a Taser into his back. As he screams in agony, another officer pepper sprays him before he is held face down where he can be heard yelling “I can’t see!”

During the struggle, Newbern can also be heard saying, ‘I ain’t resisting, bro!” — a cry repeated by a crowd that soon surrounds the arrest as additional officers hold out pepper spray cans and instruct people to stay back.

According to Newbern, the police never gave him a chance to get out of the car.

“When you ask me to get out the car, you open up the door snatching me out the car without letting me get out my seat belt,” Newbern said. “How can I get out the car in my seat belt?”

He added, “I see another Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin situation if you ask me.”

Police say that Newbern was resisting arrest and reached for the officer’s weapon.

Tony Hollis, president of the Mississippi County Chapter of the NAACP, said he was disgusted by what he saw in the video, stating, “As soon as I saw the video, it made me sick to my stomach.”

Hollis has called for a rally and demanded the officer be disciplined.

A spokesperson for the Blytheville Police Department was expected to make a statement on Monday.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Candidates Draw Straws for Seat After Electoral Tie in Mississippi

Turns out that in the event of an electoral tie, where equal votes are cast for both candidates – some state allow a coin toss or drawing a straw to decide the matter. It is a lot less expensive than holding an entire new election. Perhaps an Act of God, or just sheer luck will save the state from going down the rabbit hole like Kansas and Louisiana with failed conservative economic policy. Mississippi is already the poorest state in the Union…At least the Rethugs don’t get to turn it into a 3rd world hell hole….Yet.

Democrat Wins Mississippi House Race After Drawing Straw

Candidates Tullos (l) and Eaton (2nd from l) Drawing Strawa

Sometimes American politics is about ideas, powered by Jeffersons and Adamses and Reagans. Sometimes it is about strategy, with races determined by the chess-match machinations of Axelrods and Roves.

But every once in a while, the fate of governments is determined by a considerably less eminent character, one usually found lurking in back-alley craps games and on the Vegas strip: Lady Luck.

In Mississippi on Friday, luck smiled on a Democratic state representative, Blaine Eaton II, who had been forced, by state law, to draw straws for his seat after his race for re-election ended in a tie. On Friday afternoon, in a short, strange ceremony here presided over by Gov. Phil Bryant and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, Mr. Eaton and his Republican challenger, Mark Tullos, each removed a box from a bag. Mr. Eaton opened his box to reveal a long green straw.

And with that, a mathematically improbable tie for the House District 79 seat — each candidate had received exactly 4,589 votes — had been broken, though not by the voters.

Moments after winning, Mr. Eaton, who raises cattle and grows timber and soybeans, attributed his win to a farmer’s luck. “There’s always happiness in a good crop year,” he said.

An attorney for Mr. Tullos said that a challenge had been filed with the State House of Representatives. Mr. Tullos, a lawyer, declined to comment but had said he planned a challenge if he lost the draw. He had cited concerns about the way a county election board handled nine paper “affidavit ballots” filed by voters who believed their names were erroneously left off the voter rolls.

Resorting to a game of chance to break an electoral tie is common in many states, and coin tosses are often used to settle smaller local races. But in few instances had the pot as rich as this: If Mr. Tullos had won, his fellow Republicans would have gain a three-fifths supermajority in the State House of Representatives, the threshold required to pass revenue-related bills.

At stake, potentially, was hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue. The three-fifths requirement has allowed the Democratic minority to block Republican tax-cut proposals in the past on the grounds that Mississippi needs the revenue to finance schools and other services. Republicans, who also control the State Senate and governor’s mansion, say the cuts, including a proposal to phase out the state’s corporate franchise tax, will jump-start the economy and promote job growth….Read the Rest Here

 

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