Theodore R. Griffiths
Mississippi ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution last week. No, it is not actually 1865 with the American Civil War finally coming to a close. It is indeed 2013 and you are witnessing the most prominent stereotype of Mississippi come to life.
Now if you didn’t graduate high school or your only knowledge of the outside world is the Oscars and similar societal black holes, then I’ll explain that the 13th Amendment is what outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude. They had to make it sound nice for future generations, so the term slavery is used in a broad sense, even though the group slaving was made up entirely of African Americans that our ancestors forced here on boats.
While the move by Mississippi to ratify this Amendment may sound like a nice gesture, it is nothing more than a clue to the rest of the country about their rampant racism, a feeling shared by Mississippians both young and old.
For instance, we sometimes give grandparents a pass with their unreasonable views on race, culture, and religion, but we expect the views of Americans raised in the late 20th and early 21st century to have more progressive views on those topics. Unfortunately, Mississippi is raising another generation of citizens that are no more accepting than your racist grandfather who is still convinced that white men are superior to any other human counterpart.
We may expect this behavior at the less educated levels of society, but a recent protest at the University of Mississippi proves that this is a statewide problem, if not a southern problem in general. After President Obama was reelected this past November, 400 students gathered on the University of Mississippi campus shouting racial slurs about the president and burning a campaign poster.
During the same time, 40 students from the all-male Hampden Sydney College assembled for the same reason, throwing bottles, shouting racial slurs, and setting off fireworks outside of the Minority Student Union. These are just two example of the bigotry of the white man in Mississippi, an obvious product of a system that never educated past generations about tolerance and equality. While these are only examples in one state, there is proof that racism is alive and well all throughout America.
I have a project for you: Find a conservative friend, then make sure they “like” pages such as “The Republican Revolution” and “Conservative women ROCK !!” on Facebook (I really wish I made up that second page). Once you have done that, watch the race-baiting marathon being.
If you don’t feel like making friends with people who have the brain capacity of a toddler, then let me give you an example of the posts. “The Republican Revolution” is a page with 82,753 likes and they posted a picture of a VFW sign that read: “BACKGROUND CHECKS GOOD IDEA MR PRESIDENT LETS START WITH YOU.” This picture alone has almost 10,000 likes with people complaining that Obama was not born in America (even though he proved this), so I decided to read through the comments to see if I could find one person with a logical reason for this view. There were none, only that he was brown.
We all know that not one person would think twice about any white male or even female elected president, but as soon as the white man started to feel threatened by the thought of a man with darker pigment running this country, it showed just how blatantly racist the entire Republican party is. If it isn’t obvious by now that the Republicans only embrace Marco Rubio as a final plea for the Latino vote, then you’ve been listening to way too much Rush Limbaugh and you should probably lay off his stash of OxyContin.
At times it may seem almost impossible to erase racism from America, especially considering the country’s past and the southern dependence on slaves, but it is unacceptable for unjustified discrimination to exist 148 years after the original ban on slavery. It should have taken no more than two generations of education in tolerance and equality for Americans to look past color and see humans, yet we still let racism linger, treating it like a fact of American life and just as pure as American pie.