Friday, August 26, 2011

Here's to the State of Mississippi

"Here's to the state of Mississippi.  For underneath her borders the devil draws no lines.  If you drag her muddy rivers nameless bodies you will find, and the fat trees of the forest have hid a thousand crimes.  And the calendar is lying if it reads the present times! Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of.  Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of!..."- Here's to the State of Mississippi by Phil Ochs.

It was only months ago when we had to confront the hanging of Frederick Jermaine Carter, and here we are facing another death, in which is so heinous that it just brings back the words of Phil Ochs, even though the song is over 40 years old; the phrase that comes to mind the most is, "the calendar is lying when it reads the present times", and that's because this is suppose to be 2011!  This is suppose to be the 21st century!  This is suppose to be over a hundred years after the many lynchings of Blacks back in the late 1800s to mid 1900s!  This is suppose to be the age where our government actually took action to protect us from hate crimes such as this!  And most importantly, this is the time where we are suppose to be over the race problem, right?  WRONG!
On June 26, which is not too long ago, two carloads of White teens drove to Jackson, Mississippi with the intent to do bodily harm, or even kill a Black person.  Actually, he said something to the effect of, "let's go fuck with some niggers."  They intentionally got off the freeway at a predominately Black side of Jackson, and the district attorney admits that the hotel in which James Craig Anderson was killed, is one of the first places you see when you get off the freeway.  Unfortunately, Mr. Anderson was at the right place at the wrong time.
James Craig Anderson was a 49-year-old homosexual Black man that lived Jackson, Mississippi with his partner James Bradfield, and 4-year-old daughter.  He worked in the Nissan plant just north of Jackson, and his family has recently admitted he was a skilled gardner, and a tenor in their church choir.
“If you met him, the first thing you were going to see was that grand piano smile,” Anderson’s sister Barbara Anderson Young also told the times.
"Here's to the people of Mississippi who say 'the folks up North, they just don't understand.'  And they tremble in the shadows at the thunder of the klan.  The sweating in their souls can't wash the blood from off their hands.  They smile and shrug their shoulders at the murder of a man!  Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of, Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of..."
18 year old Derly Dedmon, along with 18 year old John Aaron Rice, and several others of Brandon, Mississippi drove to the edge of Jackson in Dedmon's green truck, while the others were in a white SUV.  And when they got off the freeway, they spotted Anderson whom was locked out of his car, which was parked in a hotel parking lot.  Then they closed in on him.  Dedmon and Rice jumped out of their vehicles and began to senselessly beat the 49 year old man, and while the beating was taking place, one of the teens yelled, "White power!" Then they left him on the ground to bleed and suffer.  For some reason though, Dedmon wanted to go back.  Meanwhile, Anderson was struggling to stay on his feet as he staggered down the curb, possibly trying to find help.  Next thing he knew, his vision was blinded by the headlights of Dedmon's truck, and that's when Derly Dedmon ran him over and left him for dead.
When the ordeal was over, Dedmon was laughing at the whole situation reportedly saying, "I ran over that Nigger!"
At first James Craig Anderson's murder was thought to be a hit and run, but the witness statements and surveillance video from the hotel made it clear that this was a heartless murder that occurred because of the color of this man's skin!  In the beginning, Derly Dedmon was going to be charged with murder, but that has since been upgraded to capital murder, and there is a strong possibility that he will face the death penalty.  John Rice is just facing simple assault, but there is a possibility that he could be charged with murder, and there is also a possibility that others can be charged with murder as well.
I am going to admit to you that I thought this happened this month because I just heard about it yesterday at the NAACP meeting at Howard University!  Why don't they cover these stories like this? It seems like a White person has gone missing every week, whom I hope are found, but they never report on hate crimes like this that happen too often in this country!  They don't talk about the injustice that we Black people face here in the so called United States of America!  So many young people have the misconception that things like this are only in the past, and they can't possibly happen anymore.  But things like this happen!  I am very sickened and enraged by this murder, and can't help but to feel sorrow every time I see James' smile in the picture, and I can't imagine how anyone can set eyes on this man, and kill him the way they did.  I am usually against the death penalty, but in this case, I hope these two will not be exempt from capital punishment.  Though one of them is facing the death is Mississippi.  I would be deeply saddened and disappointed if these two racists get anything less, but at the same time, I wouldn't be at all surprised.  Man, there just are some heartless people out there.  Because of these racists, a family has to suffer...  Where is a Medgar Evers when you need him?  Where is a Bob Moses?  Where is a Diane Nash?!  Youth, whom cares at all about things like this, please speak out against it!  At least get educated, so that you may help educate!
"...And here's to the churches of Mississippi where the cross, once made with silver, now is caked with rust.  And the Sunday morning sermons panders to their lust.  The fallen face of Jesus is choking in the dust, and Heaven only knows in which God they can trust.  Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of.  Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of!"
Below are links in which will give you more information on the case, and if you click on the CNN link, you'll be able to watch the surveillance video of the crime.
Huffington Post

(Lyrics in red is courtesy of the late Phil Ochs, a very talented folk singer from OHIO! He wrote the song, "Here's to the State of Mississippi" in response to the murder of the three missing civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Shwerner, in 1964.  Feel free to look him up if you are interested, and also please listen to the song and it's lyrics too!)

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