Mississippi Racism Double Standard

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryJust a few months ago two African American women, both sisters named Gladys and Jamie Scott, were at last released from prison after spending 11 years behind bars. Their crime? Stealing U.S. $11.00 from a convenience store. Yes, for this robbery they were sentenced to life imprisonment. After so many appeals for clemency, and after so much pressure was applied to the Mississippi state government, these two women were finally released. Recently, an African American man named James Craig Anderson was brutally beaten and murdered. Two suspects, Daryl Dedmon and John Aaron Rice, were arrested for his death. Both are 18 years old, but so far only Dedmon has been charged with the actual murder.

And to make the situation more interesting, the Mississippi state government has been considering passing a state immigration law that would for all due purposes give state and local police the authority to stop, search and detain without warrant Latinos. Obviously when one takes all of the above into account, it seems that racism is very much alive and well in the State of Mississippi. There seems to be one set of justice for African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities and another for non-Hispanic whites. Worse, there seems to be no justice for Latinos at all. Before and during the Civil Rights movement in the middle 1950’s to 1960’s, Mississippi was one of those states at the forefront of racism and injustice. It has to make one wonder right now if it still is?

These three examples are just a few of what is happening in that state, and how it seems that Mississippi has still not gotten over its racist past. There are people who are saying “we should overcome racism” and begin a healing process. In my view there can be no healing process until justice, true justice, is done. The two Scott sisters’ sentence was simply suspended and they will remain on parole for the rest of their lives for stealing $11.00. In my view they should be compensated for the outrageous life sentences they were handed down. In the case of the murder of James Craig Anderson, it is very clear that more than two young adults were guilty of this murder and all those involved should be brought to justice. And as equally important, no laws should be passed to disenfranchise Latinos in that state. Otherwise we will be a thousand more tragedies in Mississippi. Then and only then can we even remotely see any healing in that racist divided state.

Comments are closed.