Monday, May 18, 2009

Memo to Northside Sun: The DOJ Did Not Cause Segregation

It's fascinating to live in the South during the Post-Civil Rights Era. There are lots of complicated issues about how to turn rhetoric into reality. But the process is delayed by self-serving "leaders" on both sides of the racial divide.

posted previously about the Jackson Advocate piece written by Rep. Jim Evans, in which two of the late Mayor's opponents were characterized in a stereotyped, derogatory way to suggest that they weren't independent-minded African-Americans but rather "slaves" picked by "the Capitol Street gang."

Now we have Wyatt Emmerich at the Northside Sun, re-writing history on route to endorsing Councilman Crisler. The Sun's
editorial says, in part:

One of the great tragedies of Jackson and the Delta is that integration has failed. Whites go to private schools and blacks go to public schools. Sadly, this was partially caused by an ideological federal justice department that shut down successfully integrated neighborhood schools.

Puh-lease. Would this have been the Nixon Administration Justice Department? Yes, it was, in 1970.

Would this have been after the State of Mississippi's lawyers filibustered for so long that the US Supreme Court, in Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education, said that the time for "deliberate speed" was over and the schools had to be integrated that January? Yep.

Would this have been 94 years after the 1876 debacle that destroyed Reconstruction and delayed racial healing in this country? Yes.

There was no "ideological" Justice Department, Mr. Emmerich. Only one that had to do something because the responsible officials did nothing -- or worse.

But at least the Sun had this to say about hopes for the future:

Mississippi has one great ace in the hole - the common Christian belief of both races.

Earth to Sun: not all Mississippians -- white or black -- are Christian. We can boast of a vibrant Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu presence in our community, not to mention Buddhists and those who doubt the spiritual realm altogether.

Maybe the Sun's editor should go back to promoting Esperanto as the universal language.

1 comment:

Doloroso said...

Unfortunately, forced integration did hurt the African American community in some areas. African American schools, like churches, were centers of the African American community. They allowed for self determination, civic activity, and political organizing. African Americans were in positions of authority. Forced integration ended this for a time in many areas in the Delta.

That is not an argument FOR segregation. It is just saying that of all the things in hindsight we could have done better, had the state of Mississippi been willing, add to that list better ways of requiring integration that might not have destroyed the community aspect of the African American school.