I wasn't going to write about this and give it any more publicity, but it's been stewing away in the back of my mind, and finally I have realized that it HAS to get more publicity or it will continue happening.
It's just so disappointing, after we basked in the bright glow of the national media's warm fuzzy light during and after the first Presidential debate (which was held in Oxford). Chancellor Khayat still deserves every one of those kudos (and more) that he received for bringing Mississippi and the University of Mississippi all the great publicity, not only nationwide, but really, worldwide, and showing them the other side of Mississippi.
The obituaries for the Old Mississippi of racial hatred and deep inequality were way too premature, however. Leave it to some of the most backward knuckleheads in the state to prove there is still a flip side to that great new image, and prove it in a loud and obscene way - with our children.
What the hell is wrong with people that will let them do stupid, hateful and, yes, unpatriotic things like those that were done in Pearl County and in some reports, Madison County and/or other areas across the state this week?
In Pearl Junior high children were put off the school bus for saying that Barack Obama was president. Then, also at Pearl, the girl's basketball coach threatened to kick players off the team for saying Barack Obama's name. Even worse, when pressed about these incidents, it was stated that the people responsible were "disciplined" with no statement as to what the discipline was. They should have been FIRED. I have been told in the past that Pearl was the armpit of Mississippi, and I'm beginning to think there is something to that.
The ACLU in Mississippi has said "We encourage students and parents to contact us if they are subjected to or witness any form of restrictions on speech, discipline or sanctions in response to protected speech activities or any questionable conduct by school administrators, teachers or district employees as a result of students or others discussing political views at school or school-related functions. You may call our office at (601) 354-3408, 888-354-ACLU (2258), e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a complaint on our website at http://www.msaclu.org ."
Please, if this happens to your child, let them know.
And to the knuckleheads, let me say to them what they have said to the rest of us for many years - this is America; if you don't like it, just leave. To the neo-sesessionists, same message. If your culture of hate is that important to you, take it somewhere else and nurture it, preferably far, far away - go ahead and secede. You just can't take the land; the rest of us are not going with you.