Mississippi still struggles with the big R

 
BY:Jim Lane| November 21, 2010
Mississippi still struggles with the big R

JACKSON, Miss. – On November 19, Scott Marshall and I take the Red Rover to Mobile, Ala., after one night in Jackson, Mississippi. It doesn’t take long to find out the biggest political problem here, because everyone agrees it’s the Big R: Racism. Even though there is a
large African American population here and progressive local politicians can be elected, it is very difficult for minorities at the statewide level.

An example of how bad things can be is carried in an article, “Let my daughters go. The tragic case of the Scott Sisters.” On Christmas Eve in 1993, three young men robbed two others. The three testified that the two Scott sisters were their accomplices. Their cooperation drew them light sentences, but the two girls, who said they had nothing to do with the robbery, each drew two consecutive life sentences! The total amount of the robbery was $11, and the young African American women are still in prison! (Sign a petition to free them by clicking here. )

In a student newspaper that was free in a Jackson coffee shop, it was recounted that a discussion over today’s symbolism in the Confederate flag took place. It may seem remarkable to people in the rest of the world that educated Mississippians are still undecided, but that’s the essence of the story. The presiding college teacher told them that all opinions should be respected equally.

If the voting districts are slickly drawn, even a big population of voters can be disenfranchised. People say that the old days of maneuvering the electoral system are not completely gone, either.

The growing Latino population since NAFTA was passed during the Clinton administration gives unscrupulous politicians yet another approach to further racism and the division of the working class.

The good news is that there are terrific people in Mississippi. They understand the problems and are throwing themselves into the solutions. The very existence of the Jackson Free Press, which recounts the story of the Scott Sisters and  calls for a struggle to free them, is proof. Another good example is the “MIRA” immigrant rights organization that calls for multi-racial unity in the face of reactionary attacks.

There’s really nothing wrong with Mississippi that a few more “C’s,” Communists, could alleviate. On that subject, readers of the People’s World are assured that a new correspondent from the Jackson area will soon enlighten us further.

As this bright young man clearly outlined the situation in Mississippi, a note of apology almost began to creep into his narrative. He added at one point, “I wish I lived somewhere else!”

The Red Rover duo jumped on that thought. We told him that we were extremely glad that he lives in Mississippi, because the American working class, to be fully effective, needs people everywhere. Sooner or later, Mississippi, like everywhere else, will go socialist and he’ll be owed a big debt. In the meantime, he’ll be the eyes and ears of the working class right in the heart of this great state!

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