Thursday, July 28

Mississippi Goddam

Just heard on the Mississippi Gulf Coast's WLOX that prosecutors are meeting in Jackson to discuss reopening the case of the 1964 KKK killings of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee in Franklin County. The killings occurred near Meadville, a tiny, tiny town where my mother grew up as part of one of the "important" families. Meadville is also the scene of the story I told of my first inkling that the "race problem" is one of much more complexity than my young mind had imagined. (Incidentally, only about 16 years had passed between those murders and my experience.)

I simply do not know how I feel about Mississippi's recent fervor to prosecute these cases. Ya know I am an unrepentant bleeding heart, but these cases sadden and frustrate me. There is the idea that murder should never go unpunished, no matter how long between the action and the justice. This wars with the "propah" old Southern feeling that one should not stir up these old issues--what's past is past. Throw in a dash of, "oh, damn, here we go again" with negative international coverage of my state. The mix just leaves me tired.

Meadville is old school, y'all. It hasn't been that long since I finally convinced most of my relatives to avoid the "N" word in my presence, and they do so with an "ain't she a cute little liberal" condescension. The home page of the official Meadville website is a picture of the watertower, people! The population of the town proper, per, is 519. I'm sure that the re-opening of this case is burning up the partyline. (Do any of you whippersnappers even know what a partyline is?)

What do you guys, locals and otherwise, think about this issue? Is it simply too late to bring anyone to true justice, or must we do it, if only to further "healing"? And if you are not from Mississippi, does this change the way you feel about the state, positively or negatively?

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