Rev. Al Sharpton and his clones
The battle over Mississippi’s state flag continues with apparently no end in sight. Normal political lines are somewhat blurred over the state flag controversy. Besides Democrats, the NAACP, well-known Mississippians and others usually found on the left, the Mississippi Economic Council, some Republican leaders and many other conservatives strongly feel our state should adopt a new flag. But even if Mississippi abandons its current flag with the Confederate emblem insert, will that satisfy many of those who demanded the change? Of course not. It is not difficult to come up with a long target list for those who claim to be offended by the state’s history. We see that already in New Orleans. The group that spearheaded the removal of Confederate statues in NOLA has a new targeted list that includes the statue of Andrew Jackson at Jackson Square in the French Quarter, almost a dozen more monuments, the names of 24 streets in the city, the names of two hospitals and the names of seven schools. For starters in Mississippi, we don’t even have to consider the dozens of Confederate statues on town squares or in front of country court houses. Let’s start with the vast 33,000 acre Ross Barnett Reservoir, named after one of the most racist, if not the most racist governor in our state history. Down in Hattiesburg, we have the stadium where the USM Golden Eagles play football each fall. The stadium is affectionately known as “The Rock” to USM faithful, but the official name of the facility is M.M. Roberts Stadium. An easy argument can be made that M.M. Roberts was the most racist college board member in state history. If we head northeast from Hattiesburg, we arrive at Mississippi State University. A bust of Stephen D. Lee is in the middle of the drill field at MSU and Lee Hall is where the offices of MSU President Mark Keenum and other top administrators are located. Lee is appropriately honored at State because he was the first president of the school. Lee was also a lieutenant general in the Confederate States Army. At Ole Miss, we have already seen where previous chancellors Robert Khayat, Dan Jones and current UM head Jeffrey Vitter have bowed numerous times to sanitize the school’s history and traditions. Since South Carolina took down the Confederate flag flying at its state capital, states other than Mississippi don’t have a flag issue so the groups that want to revise history have targeted statues erected to honor Confederate generals and veterans. Does anyone really think a change in the state flag will satisfy Al Sharpton?
Bennie Thompson, Mayor Lumumba and some others should be called the “New Racists”
clones in our state like Congressman Bennie Thompson or Jackson Mayor Lumumba? Lumumba and Jackson councilman DeKeither Stamps and other activists held a press
Apparently, popular sports talk show host Bo Bounds of Jackson has noted another disclosure lapse at the Clarion-Ledger. In a column written by Josh Peters in USA TODAY, veteran Clarion-Ledger columnist Billy Watkins and two others were listed as “contributing” to the Peters article which essentially asked the question, “Who is Hugh Freeze?” The conflicting perceptions are of a football coach who wore his religion on his sleeve or a flawed coach who cheating in recruiting and possibly cheated in his personal life. Billy Watkins of the Clarion-Ledger is the brother of W. G. Watkins, Freeze’s personal attorney. Nothing really surprises me anymore about the state’s largest newspaper that has also been very shallow in its coverage of the NCAA allegations against Ole Miss and the resignation of Freeze. (Editor’s note: In this original post, I said that Watkins had written several columns about the NCAA investigation of Ole Miss. That was not correct and for that, I apologize to Mr. Watkins. My next post will have additional comments about this issue.)
Mississippi neighbor as the next President of the United States?New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu called darkhorse and longshot to be Democratic presidential nominee in 2020 LOL
The Big Easy or easy to get mugged?
Once upon a time, there were three ambitious governors in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. All three were considered hot national political property, all three were Democrats, and all three had degrees from Ivy League schools. There was also no question that Buddy Roemer in Louisiana, Ray Mabus in Mississippi, and Bill Clinton thought they were all going to be President of the United States. Roemer finished third in his re-election campaign for governor, Kirk Fordice derailed Mabus’ reelection bid in Mississippi leaving Clinton as the only one left with presidential ambitions. Interestingly enough, Clinton’s well-known reputation as a womanizer was expected to sidetrack his ambition. I remember being on a commercial flight to Washington, D.C. with Mabus and his security guard when Mabus openly talked about Clinton’s female problems. Mabus thought Clinton would not overcome the problem.Not long after that, but before Clinton won the Democrat nomination to oppose George H.W. Bush, I had a talk with Republican Haley Barbour. Barbour told me he hoped Democrats would nominate Clinton to oppose Bush for the same reasons cited by Mabus. They were
Last week, Jack Reed of Tupelo, MS passed away. He was widely hailed as one of Mississippi’s great educational and business leaders. Such praise for the successful businessman was well justified. Not as much mention has been made of the fact that in 1987, Reed ran the strongest race for governor of any Republican since Reconstruction. As a friend of mine commented, Reed’s close race against Democrat Ray Mabus probably contributed a lot to the successful campaign of Kirk Fordice, who defeated Mabus’ re-election bid four years later.
One of the major landmarks, among many, in our nation’s capital is the National Cathedral. It is the second largest cathedral in the United States and sixth largest in the world. Funeral services for three presidents have been held at the National Cathedral as well as memorial services for several more presidents of the United States. Five or six of my fraternity brothers from time to time keep in touch via email. One of them and his wife went to Christmas services at the National Cathedral. After the service, they walked around waiting for the crowd to clear. They noticed two stained glass windows in honor of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Next to each stained glass was a notice from the Dean of the church. The notice said that the Dean of the National Cathedral is demanding that the stained glass windows honoring Lee and Jackson be removed because the Dean “doesn’t want to insult blacks.” My longtime friend and fraternity brother considered writing the Dean a letter demanding that he also remove the large statue of George Washington at the front door of the Cathedral. After all, Washington was a slave owner. He also felt the Dean should start an effort to remove the Washington and Jefferson Memorials as well. In his email to us my friend suggested the Dean is a “jerk”. I agree. Another friend who received the email about the demand of the Dean of the National Cathedral also had a good suggestion. He said the Dean should stop accepting U.S. currency because of these words on our currency, “In God We Trust”. On the other hand, maybe we should just be happy that the Dean of the National Cathedral is not the president of Washington and Lee University, one of our nation’s very best universities.
True to form, New Orleans City Council votes 6-1 to remove Lee monument and three other Confederate statutes
With the mid-December vote by the NOLA City Council to remove four monuments related to the Confederacy, the efforts by Mayor Mitch Landrieu were overwhelmingly ratified by the council. After the vote, Landrieu was quoted as saying, “The Confederacy, you see, was on the wrong side of history and humanity.” A black member of the council
Editor’s Note: This column was first published on October 23, 1986 as part of Wayne Weidie’s syndicated column series, “The Political Scene,” which ran through 43 newspapers in the state of Mississippi and spanned from 1970 to 1990. Political Scene columns will be periodically republished on The Weidie Report.
Potential 1987 governor candidates are not only testing their own popularity and fundraising potential, but in many cases their eventual decision depends on the decisions of other candidates. In many states, political unknowns come on the scene and are able to pull off upsets or set the stage for future campaigns.
A perfect example was 1967 when Bill Waller first ran for governor. Waller impressed a lot of people and was the second choice of many voters, but still finished far back in the Democrat primary. Four years later, Waller knocked off strong favorite Charlie Sullivan to win the race for governor.