Tag Archives: united states

The New Mississippi

Judge Carlton W. Reeves

I must admit that when I hear the word – Mississippi – I don’t think of anything modern. I think of racism and Jim Crow. Judge Carlton W. Reeves (US District Court Judge in Mississippi) deeply believes in the New Mississippi, a place where the rule of law prevails. Before sentencing three white men for the racially motivated killing of James Craig Anderson, Judge Reeves spoke passionately about moving from the “old” to the “new”.

From NPR:

One of my former history professors, Dennis Mitchell, recently released a history book entitled, A New History of Mississippi. “Mississippi,” he says, “is a place and a state of mind. The name evokes strong reactions from those who live here and from those who do not, but who think they know something about its people and their past.” Because of its past, as described by Anthony Walton in his book, Mississippi: An American Journey, Mississippi “can be considered one of the most prominent scars on the map” of these United States. Walton goes on to explain that “there is something different about Mississippi; something almost unspeakably primal and vicious; something savage unleashed there that has yet to come to rest.” To prove his point, he notes that, “[o]f the 40 martyrs whose names are inscribed in the national Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, AL, 19 were killed in Mississippi.” “How was it,” Walton asks, “that half who died did so in one state?” — my Mississippi, your Mississippi and our Mississippi.

Mississippi has expressed its savagery in a number of ways throughout its history — slavery being the cruelest example, but a close second being Mississippi’s infatuation with lynchings. Lynchings were prevalent, prominent and participatory. A lynching was a public ritual — even carnival-like — within many states in our great nation. While other states engaged in these atrocities, those in the Deep South took a leadership role, especially that scar on the map of America — those 82 counties between the Tennessee line and the Gulf of Mexico and bordered by Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama.

Vivid accounts of brutal and terrifying lynchings in Mississippi are chronicled in various sources: Ralph Ginzburg’s 100 Years of Lynching and Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America, just to name two. But I note that today, the Equal Justice Initiative released Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror; apparently, it too is a must-read.

In Without Sanctuary, historian Leon Litwack writes that between 1882 and 1968 an estimated 4,742 blacks met their deaths at the hands of lynch mobs. The impact this campaign of terror had on black families is impossible to explain so many years later. That number contrasts with the 1,401 prisoners who have been executed legally in the United States since 1976. In modern terms, that number represents more than those killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and more than twice the number of American casualties in Operation Enduring Freedom — the Afghanistan conflict. Turning to home, this number also represents 1,700 more than who were killed on Sept. 11. Those who died at the hands of mobs, Litwack notes, some were the victims of “legal” lynchings — having been accused of a crime, subjected to a “speedy” trial and even speedier execution. Some were victims of private white violence and some were merely the victims of “nigger hunts” — murdered by a variety of means in isolated rural sections and dumped into rivers and creeks. “Back in those days,” according to black Mississippians describing the violence of the 1930s, “to kill a Negro wasn’t nothing. It was like killing a chicken or killing a snake. The whites would say, ‘niggers jest supposed to die, ain’t no damn good anyway — so jest go an’ kill ’em.’ … They had to have a license to kill anything but a nigger. We was always in season.” Said one white Mississippian, “A white man ain’t a-going to be able to live in this country if we let niggers start getting biggity.” And, even when lynchings had decreased in and around Oxford, one white resident told a visitor of the reaffirming quality of lynchings: “It’s about time to have another [one],” he explained, “[w]hen the niggers get so that they are afraid of being lynched, it is time to put the fear in them.” (more…)

News Roundup – Malaysian airliner, Russia, Rick Warren

I’m sorry, but I have a significant problem with all of the media coverage of this missing Malaysia airliner. It would be different if we actually had some information or news. Unfortunately, we haven’t had any new information in over two weeks. It was over two weeks ago that we learned this airliner was missing. Currently, that’s all we know. We have people who have seen debris here and seen debris there … so far, the debris has turned out to be nothing. We have wild speculation that the Chinese government has somehow done something nefarious. Maybe they have. I don’t know. All I know is the ratio of speculation to the facts is way too high for me to follow the story with any bit of intellectual curiosity. This is a tragedy. In this great big world of ours there are millions of tragedies which happen every day. Maybe the problem is our 24/7 news cycle. Maybe the problem is that we have instant answers with smart phones and Google now. CNN, a company which has made a living over the last 30 years of jumping from one disaster to another, seems to be leading the charge of wild speculation.

The tug-of-war between the United States, the EU and Russia continues. The G7 met yesterday and voted to exclude Russia from future meetings. The G8 was planning on meeting in Sochi, Russia later on this year, but this meeting has been canceled. It appears that the G7 will continue to put financial pressure on Russia. Investors and their money may be leaving Russia.

Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church and the author of several best-selling religious books decided to write a piece for the Washington Post on contraception. Of course, the Supreme Court is now deliberating over the Affordable Care Act and the contraception mandate. I would like to take just a second to look at the first several paragraphs of his op-ed. Pastor Warren opens with a flurry of questions – “Does our Constitution guarantee freedom of religion, or does it merely allow a more limited freedom to worship? The difference is profound. Worship is an event. Religion is a way of life.” Anybody who studies the Constitution knows that there are no freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution which are absolute. All of our freedoms have some limits. The classic example is freedom of speech. We simply can’t say anything, anywhere, at any time. For example, you can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater if the theater is in fact not on fire. Specifically, this could cause undue injury to other theatergoers. Continue reading News Roundup – Malaysian airliner, Russia, Rick Warren

Job market

Tough Job Market

If you want to know how truly bad the job market is I have a recent example for you. A couple of days ago, I posted on a popular IT blog that I needed a little help. It was nothing big. It was nothing that was going to pay a lot of money. Just needed some help. Over the next 48 hours I received over 100 responses. I received responses from all over the world. There were plenty of responses from right here in the United States. Here’s a typical response:

My name is Joe Blow (not his real name), WordPress Specialist, and I have been a WordPress developer for 10 years now, as soon as WordPress was introduced. In my over career, I have worked as Senior Developer at a leading Internet Marketing company, SEO Specialist in a Search Engine Marketing company and currently, I’m running my own company. Continue reading Job market