Saturday, June 25

Those Krazy Klan Klowns

I watched part of the Killen civil rights murder trial here on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and man, was it sad. Everybody--defendant, judge, lawyers--all looked worn out. The courtroom's plywood decor was "Early Exhaustion." The camera dude was too slow to pan. The pace was glacial with sometimes 15 or more minutes of everyone sitting there silently, waiting for--what? You couldn't tell because the sound guy was too worn out to correct for the judge's muttering. The star witness the day I watched was the almost 90 year old mother of civil rights worker Andrew Goodman, with other witnesses "appearing" postmortem through transcripts read in a monotone.

I, of course, was weaned on L.A. Law and am a current fan of the "Law and Order"-type shows. With that fictional background and the recent circus of the much-too-real Jackson trial, I suppose it is not surprising that I kept waiting for the defense attorney to jump up and righteously object something. I keep waiting for the "sexy" testimony and it was clear that the lifeless prosecutor was just going though the motions.

I wanted this trial to be a just a little more sensationalistic--didn't these people know they were on national television? But what it was is another sadly accurate, worn out chapter of the age-old story of race and murder in a little, sad, and worn-out town in my homestate.

However, it did remind me of a funny anecdote. Back when I worked in a small Mississippi town for a mental health place, one of our case managers had as a client the schizophrenic Grand Dragon of the local KKK. She, a no-nonsense black lady I'll call Mary, had been doing home visits with him for years, when one day he met her at the door. "Mary," he said, "You know I like ya and all, but I can't have you coming out here any more." She asked him why, and he says, "You're ruining my reputation."

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