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Mississippi Still Burning

Posted on Aug 11, 2011

James C. Anderson was a man in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was attacked by a group of white teenagers.

By Marcia Alesan Dawkins

A scenario ripped from our nation’s troubled racial past made new headlines this week: the slaying of a man allegedly for the simple reason that he was black. But a little digging reveals that there’s more to this story than the label “hate crime” suggests.

This week CNN posted a video capturing the killing of James C. Anderson, 49, an African-American slain in June allegedly by a group of teenagers on a white-power mission. Two members of the group, 18-year-olds Deryl Dedmon Jr. and John Aaron Rice, now await trial. According to reports, Dedmon allegedly ordered Rice and six other teens to beat Anderson, who was then run over with Dedmon’s truck in a motel parking lot in Jackson, Miss., at about 5 a.m. on June 26. Anderson was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

When we look at it in context, Anderson’s death begins to appear more like the latest chapter in a long story of lynching in the American South. Numbers tell part of the story. Though African-Americans have never constituted more than 12 percent of the U.S. population, 73 percent of all lynching victims have been black; more than 95 percent of those were killed in former slave states. Lynchings also tend to occur in areas densely populated by African-Americans. And so it was in Anderson’s case, as his suspected killers allegedly went to the “black part of town” and selected him because he was the first black man they saw. 

Sociology tells other parts of the story. From this perspective we can see that a history of violence remains the single best-known predictor of future violence, whether in individuals, families or societies. So in theory at least, Mississippi’s racially violent past could predispose its population to racial violence today. Couple that with a case of historical amnesia about lynching in the South generally and Mississippi specifically—and the fact that most lynchings of black men went unpunished—and we get an environment in which acts of racial violence can be committed without much fear of retribution.

Then there’s the economic factor. Many studies suggest that economic slumps, especially those affecting lesser-skilled and under-educated workers, increase rates of lynching and other types of racial violence. Also, rising rates of migration and immigration that create more job competition play a role. Mississippi currently attempts to regulate such competition with a measure that allows law enforcement officers to check a person’s immigration status during a traffic stop or while enforcing other laws. The measure also makes it a crime for immigrants to not carry immigration papers and allows law enforcement to arrest, “without warrant,” a person “reasonably believed” to be in the country without documents. State legislators plan to introduce anti-immigration laws that would demand that a person speak English in order to have a driver’s license and would make state documents available only in English.

Economics go hand in hand with perception. Racial violence such as lynching increases when people who have been privileged perceive an increase in resources for disadvantaged groups. Many right-wing extremists believe we’re living in “Black Run America” and that demographic shifts are redistributing wealth. It appears to matter little whether those perceptions are based in reality. According to last month’s Pew Research Center analysis of newly available government data from 2009, “The median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households.”

In a day when we can sit before our TV sets or computer monitors and see the murder of an African-American such as Anderson, we are forced to confront a long record of preserving such grisly events in photos, postcards, descriptive news reports and even mementos (body parts remained popular with those seeking more tangible memories) and even advertising (as when a recording of one such event was used to market Thomas Edison’s “talking machine” at county fairs in 1896).

Now the effects of lynching are clearer to see: a reduced population of African-American men, an increase in broken African-American families and a shroud of silence from black communities. We can see all of these at play in the case of Anderson, whose family has chosen to remain silent. We can also hear lynching’s message to African-Americans and to all groups that are perceived as a threat to the status quo: Don’t expect more than the privileged are willing to give. Don’t offend “white power” with increased economic and political status, interracial fraternizing or romance or perceptions thereof. Don’t even take up space in public. Keep America “clean,” “pure” and racially and economically divided.


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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, August 15, 2011 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

jay, August 15 at 1:25 am - I did just that!  Wouldn’t it be astounding
if everyone did it.

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By dukesman2000, August 15, 2011 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

This is the integrated America that Martin Luther King died for? This is what the non-violence, turn the other cheek, “forgive them Father for they know not what they have done…” philosophy has brought us today – not in 1965 but in 2011.

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By jay, August 15, 2011 at 12:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Take Action! Control the Burn!!

Please contact the U.S. Department of Justice and tell them you want a federal
government investigation into the death of James Anderson & Frederick
Jermaine Carter so that the truth can finally come out. Don’t let the state of
Miss. cover up the truth any longer.
Contact the U.S. Department of Justice:

By Mail:
Correspondence to the Department, including the Attorney General, may be
sent to:
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
By Phone:
Department of Justice Main Switchboard - 202-514-2000
Office of the Attorney General Public Comment Line - 202-353-1555
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Frederick Douglass said “power concedes nothing without a demand”

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AnAlienEarthling's avatar

By AnAlienEarthling, August 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

You seem to miss my basic point: the concept of race and,
specifically, as that concept is and has been expressed in American
society apropos of African Americans continues to be a causal factor
in crimes, policies, opinions, etc., that target African Americans.
This expression of the concept is peculiar to the US, i.e., a person
who is NOT considered “Black” in, e.g., Portugal or Brazil or France
or Italy, etc., WOULD BE considered “Black” in the US (Question: what
are the comparable concepts of “White” in American society?).

In more specific terms, virtually every state in the US has, at one
time or another, enforced some LEGAL definition of “Negro” (Virginia
was notorious: a person with one recognized “Negro” parent was Negro,
a so-called 1/2; later, 1/4th, later 1/8th, later, 1/16, then 1/32,
then 1/64, and finally, a person of any African-American heritage
(the so-called “one-drop rule”)(this definition was support for the
Loving arrest (around 1957)). These definitions and their concurrent
myths about “Negroes” gave social existence to the denial of numerous
rights to African Americans throughout their centuries of lives in
the US; they were the legal “justifications” for the denial of
fundamental human rights to African American citizens: due process,
voting, education, segregation, discrimination, housing loans,
residency, ... - even freely having a cup of coffee. I.e., over the
centuries, these definitions and practices have all assumed causal
roles in the denial of full equality, in theory and in practice, to
African Americans.
In short, when I speak of murder festivals or hate crimes, I am
referring to crimes in the causal ancestry of the commission of these
crimes we discover these definitions or their expressed myths.

Was there, Rudolfo, ever such an enforced definition of “White” in
the US? Were there ever comparable myths about Whites (I’m excluding
the consideration of White females here or of the White gay community
simply for reasons of space!!!!!), myths and definitions that
provided legal framework for the denial of full equality to whites in
the US? If not, then the concept of White hate crime, or reverse
discrimination is groundless.

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By PatrickHenry, August 13, 2011 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

‘Hate crime’ makes me laugh, all capital crimes are about hate.

Remember that justice is suppose to be blind and based on the facts. 

The inference that the victim of a hate crimes life is worth more than that of one who is not just doesn’t feel right to me. 

Coldhearted murder is just that and the motive is less important than the justice meted out for the crime.

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By Rudolfo, August 13, 2011 at 5:21 am Link to this comment

AnAlienEarthling writes ...

“However, to simply claim that, therefore, our evil is typical, mundane, the garden variety and not the result of our distinctive meanness and callousness”

In a previous post I some crime statistics for the US, that post was deleted.  I’ll try again, just citing one ....  “Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.”  So, you can see my perspective is a little different from yours.

I would respond in greater detail to the absolute nonsense in your post, but that would make this post even more deletable to the politically correct Zionists at TD.

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By Shenonymous, August 13, 2011 at 1:18 am Link to this comment

“...Shortly after he allegedly drove the truck over Anderson,
Dedmon allegedly boasted and laughed about the killing,
according to testimony given by some of the teens to detectives.

“I ran that nigger over,” Dedmon allegedly said in a phone
conversation to the teens in the other car.

“...He was not remorseful he was laughing, laughing about the
killing,” said district attorney Smith.

“...Smith and officials in the Hinds County District Attorney’s office
say they plan to indict Dedmon for murder and a hate crime.

“...Deryl Dedmon is thin, weighing a mere 130 pounds, and short
—at 5 feet; he has straggly blond hair and piercing blue eyes. 
[Just what does piercing blue eyes mean?

“...The teen, just 18 years old, has been charged with murder and
now faces a possible double life sentence.

“...During a bond hearing his attorney told the court he saw nothing
to back up the “racial allegations.”

“... A second teen, 18-year-old John Aaron Rice, has been charged
with simple assault, for his part in the beating…Neither teen has
entered a plea…The other teens in the group have not been charged.

If you haven’t seen the video, you might take a couple of moments
to do so:

This is a kind of terrorism but not in the way we now use the word.  It is
plain, pure, unadulterated racist hate.  It is a hatred brought about by
indoctrination found in a culture. The Norway murders, the hatred of
Muslims fomented by the Robert Spencers in the world, the abuse of soccer
players of Sudanese, Nigerian, and Aboriginal origin in Australian society,
the similar racist bigotry in Scotland, the March 2011 “ [American]
Homeland Security drill aimed at preparing citizens for a possible “domestic
terrorism/school shooting” act has residents of Treynor, Iowa, concerned.
The proposed mock safety drill set to take place this weekend depicts two
white male teen-aged shooting suspects as “anti-immigration, gun
enthusiasts.” This not-so-generic scenario is troublesome for some parents
and community members who claim the fictional depiction is “anti-white“
and ”pro-illegal immigrant,” Only concerned?! Only troublesome?! A
Pennsylvania Christian bigot quoting his Bible and a sock filled with stones
to viciously kill a senior citizen suspected of a homosexual approach, it
looks like humans biggest and most important social imperative is to find
ways to rid our American society of murderous bigotry an excise it as a
canker sore.

We should, right here on Truthdig, begin to dialogue how we humans can
rid society of murderous bigotry.  It is only us, the enemy is us, who are the
bigots.  We need to look at ourselves, and find ways to de-dogmatize hate
and discrimination, then live them.  It is a tall order.

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By Singer, August 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

This was an act of terrorism and an attempt to destroy our federal and state
constitutional orders with their Bill of Rights. These perpetrators should be
charged under anti-terror laws. Why are groups that declare themselves above the
law not considered terrorist groups who have impliedly cast off their allegiance to
the United States? Do they need to verbalize that when their actions speak so
much louder? This was no crime of passion, but cold calculated terrorism.

Lynching was and is terrorism. This group assault and vehicular murder variation
in Anderson’s case is no less terrorism. Treat these defendants like terrorists. Put
them where members of al-Qaeda are put and treat them the exactly same way.
They are no less haters of this country than al-Qaeda members.

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By AnAlienEarthling, August 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

The horrors committed in England and those during the French Revolution were not engendered from myths concerning persons of African descent (although such myths were alive, e.g., the myths of “hypogenic descent,” born roughly during the century that Linneaus introduced the concept of “race”).
However, a failure to understand the distinctive signature of America’s murder festivals engenders a failure to see the myth’s causal agency in the violence and murder, in the political and socioeconomic policies (incarceration, dumping grounds for chemical pollutants, “de-fertilization” of African-American men and women), in the pseudo-academic studies of the ‘differences’ between those whose heritage is “African” and those whose heritage is not (“Bell Curve” mythic rubbish), etc., that currently collectively target the African-American population.
It is common knowledge that brutal slaughters have taken place elsewhere: the 17th-century occupation by the English of a small Irish village whose elders organized an armed, but unsuccessful
insurrection against the English; the elders were each beheaded, and their heads were spiked and ‘adorned’ the side of the path leading to the leader of the occupation; or the English occupation of India, or the Dutch occupation of Indonesia, or the French in Algiers, or the
Trail of Tears - the list is numberless.
However, again, to follow your suggestion - and I suspect most of America’s non-African-American populace do so - of assimilating America’s murder festivals to these various slaughters, blinds us
from the truth of their racially mythic causal histories, encourages us to continue to deceive ourselves that we are not morally responsible (things of the past), procures for us an escape again - again, again - from the truth of our current racial quagmire and the truth of our moral responsibilities for addressing it, of speaking
Truth to Power!
In other countries, there is also evil, yes. However, to simply claim that, therefore, our evil is typical, mundane, the garden variety and not the result of our distinctive meanness and callousness and disregard for the creed that our Declaration and Constitution articulate is to acquiesce and surrender to that very meanness, callousness, and disregard!

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By vrs, August 12, 2011 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

get your facts straight louis123, you left out the part about the girls’ cousin, the drugs the girls and cousin
wanted to buy and many, many other important facts. obviously, you are trying to compare apples and oranges
by declaring tit for tat. foul louis123, your racism is clear and evident.
why do black people live anywhere near a state that celebrates slavery and the civil war? why do black people
shop at white owned businesses known to support unequal rights? why do black people keep their slave names?
why don’t we, as american brothers and sisters stand up for our rights and begin the peaceful revolution, take
our country back and begin to educate the masses, including the hayseeds that murder because of hate.

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By SarcastiCanuck, August 12, 2011 at 10:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is not the return of the 60’s and 70’s racial killings.This is an isolated incident committed by racist,inbred,retards looking for a victim to vent thier rage on.To tie this in with the civil rights,so called mississipi burnings of the past is to add mello drama and hype to it.Marcia,to mix facts with hollywood drama is irresponsible and lazy considering your responsibilities to the public…A little less Dr.Phil meets Dr.King would be prudent I think.

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By Rudolfo, August 12, 2011 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

AnAlienEarthling writes ...

“I suspect the murder festivals occurred even before the Civil War.”

Wake up, for Christ’s sake, and go see a movie about 19th century England, or the French revolution, or the Romans, or any other time in history.  Or if you’re allergic to history read about the ‘revolutions’ in Africa that are ongoing as we type.

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By question, August 12, 2011 at 7:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m afraid I must disagree slightly with your premise that this is more than a hate crime because it’s indicative of decades of lynchings in MS.  The decades of lynchings were hate crimes, and our goal today is to prosecute ALL these types of sick criminals with more severe sentences because of their bigotry, as well as to protect as many “groups” as possible.  I agree there should be more outrage & more outreach - for programs & info from the SPLC, for example. 

My sincere prayers for Mr. Anderson & deep condolences to his family.  I hope the sick bass turds responsible for this murder see every dawn through prison bars for the rest of their lives.

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By AnAlienEarthling, August 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

A reference here is the book “Without Sanctuary”; the book is a compilation of picture postcards of “lynchings.”

When researching these crimes, I came to the view that “lynching” and “hate crime” should not be used to refer to the incidents to which these past crimes traditionally refer.

For lack of a better expression, I used the expression “murder festival,” as this term more accurately indicated the “species” of murder involved.

Typically, before a mob of hundreds of white people - families (with children), married and unmarried couples, photographers and vendors (selling cold drinks or snacks) - an African-American victim would ‘staged,’ defenselessly bound to a tree or wagon or wooden platform that was visible to the white audience. The victim was, then, slowly tortured: tearing of flesh (with corkscrews and other instruments), slicing of flesh with knives, castration and dismemberment (testicles, ears, and fingers - “souvenirs” in high demand). The festivities would conclude with the living victim being burned alive. None of the cases I researched involved accelerants, but only bonfires, so the fire’s heat intensity rose slowly - the victims must have suffered an infinitely painful, slow death. Once a young man’s fingers were cut off after his bonfire began because his response to the intense heat was to use only his fingers to climb up the bare bark of the tree, like a cat would climb a tree. Because of this final conflagration, the festivities would commonly be referred to as a BBQ.

These murder festivals went on for several decades and there “psychological roots” are still present today (I use the term “psychological roots” and not “prejudice” or “racism” because these terms also fail to adequately express the depth of these “sicknesses of heart”; when analyzed fully, one discovers their root in a sexual perversity and, thus, problems of sexual identity: the stories of Orangutans
mating with African women (retold by Jefferson in his Notes on Virginia), the myth of the goat(a virile animal according to ancient Greeks), the protection of white womanhood by the KKK, the desires to research the African-American male’s anatomy, the Hollywood history of the young ‘black bucks’ and ‘female mulattoes’; in short, sexual perversity is pandemic in the racism and prejudice against African Americans).

I suspect the murder festivals occurred even before the Civil War. When I researched “slave narratives,” I found events of horrific suffering that occurred in the same atmosphere of celebration; for example, to punish a slave woman who defended herself against rape (sexuality), her owner forced her to watch the selling off of her young children to different regions of the country (of course, she would never see them again; she was finally sold herself. Amidst onlookers, buyers and sellers, her slow
“psychological” murder and suffering had become spectacle and entertainment - like the murder festival.

As a country, we have not yet come to terms with our own living responsibilities for these festivals or their remnant ‘lynchings’ and ‘hate crimes’ (parenthetically, when African Americans gang rape a white woman, it is not a ‘hate crime’ because this kind of crime does not evolve from a history of such actions targeting African Americans - the false belief that they existed was the propaganda of the KKK and their protection of white womanhood).

The article certainly highlights a problem of Mississippi. However, it is not only this state that is burning, the country as a whole is still burning. Perhaps, the high flames that were once the festive tools for murdering African Americans are no longer cracking, but their cinders continue smoldering and the stench of the deaths they exact can still be smelled in virtually every pocket of this country ... even among the comments written here!

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By PatrickHenry, August 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

I hope the young white thugs get the book thrown at them.

This is nothing new, it just reinforces my belief in concealed carry laws.

There are other stories similar to these which warrant years at hard labor.

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By Eric M. Hamby, August 11, 2011 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nazi or Black Panther ideology, of course that is the
direction this conversation is going. You can take
isolated incidents and trump them into a conspiracy,
but the fact that the culprits where apprehended
shows that justice is on track to be served. On to
the delay in the story reaching CNN, the fact is
this: no one in Mississippi deserves to have racists
of every stripe descend on Jackson, Ms. as was the
case in Jasper, Tx. In the Jasper, Tx. case racists
crossed state lines much like insurgence in Iraq.
Again I must say that this is an isolated incident
and the felons are being tried. NO CONSPIRACY!

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By Rudolfo, August 11, 2011 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

What kind of site is this?  You post an article about a lynching, and if a comment cites the statistics of black on white and white on black crime it gets deleted.

This is liberalism?  Progressiveness?

Who oversees this site?  Scheer himself?  Is he aware of this blatant censorship of THE FACTS?

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By Shenonymous, August 11, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

louiss123, August 11 at 3:12 pm - Please cite the date of your
alleged crime.  A google search turned up nothing.

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By louiss123, August 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

In St. Louis 2 15 year old white girls were walking across the old bridge that
spanned the mississippi river. A group of black men, late teens, took hours raping
the girls before they strangled them, and then threw their bodies in the river.
When asked why they did that after they’re capture? “Because they was white.”
Was this a hate crime? It certainly wasn’t portrayed that way in the media. it
different when blacks do that, to get back after what whitey has done all these
Before any white person showed up in Africa, stronger tribes ruled lesser tribes.
There was slavery, genocide, mass rapes..all black on black. Same with this
country and the American Indian.
This article is a waste of time. Focusing on this is like putting wood on a fire.
There is a way to find equality, respect and harmony. However we need to focus
on those things. Not how different we are or for gods sake dredging up the past.

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By EmileZ, August 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment


How do you feel about this murder of Mr. Anderson???

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By gerard, August 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

Rudolfo, I don’t know whether your statistics are reliable or not, but my question to you is this:
If blacks were treated and accepted equally with whites, and if slavery had never existed, do you think the statistics would be different?
If yes, why?  If no, why not?  You are travelling dangerously down the road of blatant race prejudice.
Maybe you don’t care, but I do.
Also, you might consider this question:  If all the levels of jurisdiction in the country (police, judges, public attorneys, jailers, Congresspersons) were made up 50-50 of black citizens, do you think the statistics might be different?

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By Shenonymous, August 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

This crime happened in June 2011, June 26 to be exact. It is now
just getting notice in Truthdig, August 11, 2011.  And if linking to
the video mentioned in the Dawkins article above, the link at CNN
does not note the date of the crime, it says “one Sunday morning!”
The date of the CNN article “Video shows white teens driving over,
killing black man, says DA,” is dated August 8, 2011. What the hell
took so long?  It took two months to give this heinous crime this
kind of coverage, and it is pathetic coveragea at that.  CNN is really
a low quality news station.  MSNBC actually saves itself somewhat
with Dylan Ratigan, Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow, and George
Schultz.  Lawrence O’Donnell is all right but Chris Matthews is
marginally progressive even though he claims to be “waaaayyyy”
progressive, LOL.  And Cenk Uygur is sorely missed!  Yet in June, I
didn’t hear about this crime.  Anyway, my purpose is not to extol the
virtues of MSNBC or the vices of CNN but to rant about the low quality of
news in general.  It is gawd awful. 

It has been stated that Mississippi ought not to be blamed.  Well I do.
It is a mind set and I’ve traveled through the South and lived in the south
for almost a decade.  It remains to be seen if the black candidate actually
gets elected.

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By Rudolfo, August 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

The blacks are rioting in England, so what better time to run a lynching piece at TD.  Makes sense.

But, why not have a look at the statistic of black/white crime in the US?  I guess the author just forgot. 

But, google to the rescue ..... from ‘The Color of Crime’ ...

Interracial Crime

  * Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.

  * Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Forty-five percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are black.

  * Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.

  * Blacks are 2.25 times more likely to commit officially-designated hate crimes against whites than vice versa.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, August 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment


“Nazi or Black Panther ideology”???

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By Shenonymous, August 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

I see, as I just re-read the article, that CNN did post a video of the
June lynching!  I did not hear of it until today in this TD article, and
I am a regular watcher of the news.  How did this escape the news?
I am wondering why the media did not seize on this and make it
a huge story that it is!  Surely it is bigger than obsessing over the
f’n stock market!!!  It goes to our country’s general morality,
which is getting to be in tatters thanks to Tea Party Republicans,
and just Grand Old Party Republicans as well!  And just plain selfish
people everywhere.  I am just shocked.

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By Shenonymous, August 11, 2011 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

I almost couldn’t believe what I was reading, but Anderson’s
brutal death makes it real enough.  But where is the outrage
on Main Stream Media?  I listen in the a.m. just to catch up on
the world and nothing was said on either MSNBC or CNN.  This
murder of James C. Anderson is about the worst thing I’ve heard
of in decades, the last one being Matthew Shepard, the young
gay who was also brutally murdered also by scum in Wyoming
in 1998. 

The 1st degree murder of James C. Anderson is truly sickening and
the entire state of Mississippi needs to contemplate its immorality
and begin a reconstitution of its low score values.  The entire nation
needs to condemn the state of Mississippi as well.  This is a mind set
that permeates the culture there and elsewhere. 

While the history of such hateful an violent racism is important to
make the public conscious like Marcia Dawkins has done, it is more
important for the people who are responsible for James C. Anderson’s
savage killing be brought to justice.  It really is unconscionable, and this
country must not be allowed ever to forget the diseased culture found
there in Mississippi.  Seems to me that the rest of the country ought to
boycott everything Mississippi and avoid the state like the plague.

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By gerard, August 11, 2011 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

I take this to be a dangerously “so-what?” article that absolutely must include some healthier response other than mere acceptance.  “A threat to the status quo” doesn’t quite do it as an explanation. More likely it is the fact that there IS no status quo these days. Everything is in flux, and uncertainty is being more or less sanctioned (if not exploited) by the current economic “system” which allows ridiculous imbalances, with a very few having almost the entire “pie” and all the rest (meaning millions of “lower and middle class” people) competing for opportunities that do not exist, and gradually sinking into idleness, feelings of worthlessness, fear, resentment and want. But, but, but ....
  Gains have been made, especially during the Civil Rights Movement.  We have back-slid from there, but ground lost can and must be regained and held—for the sake of human decency if for no other reason. We
must not fail our better selves—and the vast majority of people know in their hearts what “better
selves” means. Those who deny this basic fact are in
the minority.
  I question this assumption of “an environment in which acts of racial violence can be committed without much fear of retribution.” It is too narrow by far.  “Acts of racial violence” referred to here are individual cases of assault and murder, which are grossly unjust and often—depending upon the territory and the judge—go unpunished, even unacknowledged. But the real, yet deliberately (?) unacknowledged violence that passes year after year is the economic violence which denies people equal economic and educational opportunities on the basis of race, religion etc. Get rid of the unacknowledged violence of “the system” and we will see vast improvements.
  That will take an “Economic Rights Movement” similar to the 60s.  Ordinary people did it then,  We could do it now. Outbreaks of violence (whether individual or group) are not answers, but they are indications of the need for answers.

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By Eric M. Hamby, August 11, 2011 at 10:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The sociology behind this article is sound and this
crime fits this perspective perfectly, but it should
be stated that these actions were committed by a
small number of individuals that could hardly be
considered a hate group. There should, obviously, be
case studies done on each convicted man in this case
before the state of Mississippi is stereotyped in
such a negative way, in fact, this article could be construed as hate speech without the proper studies
being conducted. I caution the bomb throwing author
to do his homework before condemning and entire state
as he has done here with his use of sociology without
the case studies to verify if the group of men
actually are a hate group or just several drug addled felons looking for a morbid thrill or was there
actions a last-ditch effort crying out for help.
Another sociological view on the statistics used in
this article that seems to be deliberately left out
is the view of a culture of poverty. This view states
that people become accepting of their poverty status
and the following generations actually follow the
cultural norms and conditions of the parent culture.
With the article and my reply it is clear that misleading statistics and a seemingly solid
scientific feel can lead the masses to a Nazi or
Black Panther ideology that can lead the reader in
the wrong direction seeking answers to such crimes.

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By Bo Lee, August 11, 2011 at 10:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This things does still happen, but I dare say it
isn’t limited to the South.  The South has a history
and is still drug through the mud over it, but one
needs to look at the history of race riots in the
U.S. to see what parts of the nation has made bigger
strides in race relations.  In the “modern era,”
basically 1980 and after, there have been 16 race
riots in the U.S.  Only three were from Southern
states, one in Tennessee in 1980, one in Florida in
1980 and another in Florida in 1996.  However, in
enlightened states such as California, there were
five in that same time.  New York had three, one as
recent as 2010.

This isn’t to excuse the behavior of the actions that
happened in Jackson.  By no means.  Whether it is a
hate crime against an individual or against hundreds,
it is still wrong and should be punished harsly.  But
I think it is way past time to put the Southern
stereotyping to rest.  It is apparant that there is
recial division around the nation and in some of the
parts where racism isn’t recognized very much, they
are having actual race riots.  I think that says a
lot against the perception of the South being more
racist then the rest of the nation at this point.  It
is apparantly a univeral issue.

BTW, there is a black man running for Governor of
Mississippi in the next election and from all
indications, he has a pretty good chance of winning

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By Dennis in MI, August 11, 2011 at 10:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think we play right into their hands when we allow them to create a new crime. No shitte, hate was involved. It’s always involved and allowing the “authorities” to assign motives is lunacy. Crime is crime is crime, unless you are rich.
There is the 10 commandments, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Why are there 10’s of thousands of laws, regulations, and policies? My theory is that there are so many so that when they come to get you they can lock you up for something. It has long passed the point where a reasonable man could possibly now what the law is.
Why in hell do we think allowing the elite to pass laws for the last 230 years could in any way be good for free people? Shouldn’t they erase 2 for every new one?

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