Is Mississippi Ready For A Black Governor? | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Is Mississippi Ready For A Black Governor?

So. America has elected its first African-American President. But while other parts of the country clearly were getting over the race hurdle. It appears the south particularly, Mississippi and Alabama, remain decades behind the curve. The south reamained a sea of red despite increased numbers for the Democratic Candidate. As the winds of change sweep across The U.S. The only thing I can see now that would be as earth-shattering as a Black President would be for MS or AL to elect a Black Governor. But are we ready? MS has yet to elect an African American to a state ofc. Can we ever turn this state blue? Or better yet, will this state EVER elect a Black man Governor. And an even better question is, of the available talent who could run next election?

Previous Comments

ID
140503
Comment

Neither Mississippi nor the south will ever get ready for this any time soon. Look at how most voted last week. Many people will tell you they didn't like McCain but they hated Obama. The Lawd is going to have to drop many more buckets to be kicked before this ever happens. Racism down here is as plentiful as oxygen, friday night football, country music, private schools and churches. You and I have as good a chance as any other black person becoming guvner of Mississippi.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-11-10T09:33:47-06:00
ID
140506
Comment

I believe this state will one day elect an African American governor. Many of those around today will not live to see it. There will be fewer folks living who grew up in the apartheid state that existed in the south prior to 1970. I worked over the past few weeks with some great, young, open-minded white Mississippians in their twenties who represent the future of this state. If I did not have them in my mind (and my sixteen year-old's friends of various backgrounds), I would be a lot more depressed about the reaction of some of the Neanderthals who think their world is coming to an end. Alas, fortunately, their world IS coming to an end and a new beautiful world is being born! Unless you are living in the past --- You gotta love it!

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-11-10T09:48:07-06:00
ID
140507
Comment

A black governor of MS in the near future is unlikely, but it will happen one day. Still too many pockets of hardcore racism in the Northeast, Central and Pine Belt areas, which in my opinion would closely match the "red" areas in the recent electoral map of MS.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2008-11-10T09:50:07-06:00
ID
140508
Comment

Fellows, Countrymen and Mississippians, "let's keep hope alive," and sadly hope's chance of staying alive is so much better elsewhere or outside of the south and Mississippi.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-11-10T09:55:25-06:00
ID
140510
Comment

After hearing so many war stories secondary to Senator Obama becomming the President Elect of The United States of America, I would not have, in my wildest dream, the thought of an A-American Governor for the State of MS. When a CHILD can be put off of a PUBLIC SCHOOL BUS because he smiled and said, "Barack Obama is OUR new President," something is wong. I'm sure that Rosa Parks made a few grave turns because after fifty year later, nothing has changed in the minds of far too many.

Author
justjess
Date
2008-11-10T10:24:12-06:00
ID
140513
Comment

I think it is important to put the lunatic fringe in perspective. True, Mississippi is still a fairly conservative state. The lunatic fringe is a small minority though. This summer, I went door to door, knocking on doors, canvassing for Obama with a young white woman in her late twenties or early thirties. I must admit that it felt strange at first. I wondered what people might think. Everything went smoothly, we knocked on a lot of doors as we worked separately while trying to keep within eye sight of one another. We registered some new voters and maybe even more importantly, made a little more progress in breaking down the barriers of the past. It is a great metaphor for where the struggle in Mississippi is now. The struggle is now house to house and neighbor to neighbor. We have to do our part to facilitate our own liberation. Last month, my brother left his home in Manhattan and went to western Pennsylvania to knock on doors. I think it took some audacity (of hope) for my brother and others to go into all white areas and knock on doors and endure a few insults. He told me one story of when he knocked on a door and a white girl who appeared to be in her late teens or early twenties responded with genuine excitement and happiness when she realized he was canvassing for Obama. As they were talking, a child behind them made a derogatory remark about Obama. Feeling like he was in the wrong place, he abbreviated the conversation, but as he was walking away the teenager/young adult called to him with a sad look and said, “Mister, I apologize, I don’t live here, I’m just babysitting.” That made him feel a lot better. Little things, like going out of your comfort zone or an apology are how change is made. Maybe we need to get the courage up to go and knock on doors in Rankin County like my brother and his friends summoned up the courage to go into small towns in Pennsylvania. With a few more doors knocked on and a few more funerals, maybe, within my lifetime we will see a much more progressive Mississippi. It has been a long time coming, but we are making progress.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-11-10T11:07:42-06:00
ID
140514
Comment

Stankin' Rankin County with its history of seemingly undying hatred toward blacks isn't any place for brothers or sisters to be hanging out or hanging up although many did I'm sure. One of the things that impressed me the most about Barack was his fearless inclination to keep engaging whites who he knew disliked him for no good reason or without any good reasons. Doing this looks to many of us like kissing booty or the failure to realize you can make it without the white man. If mentioning Barack's name will get you thrown off the bus by a bus driver and scolded unnecessarily by a white teacher, imagine what walking arounsd town with a white girl will get you over there, canvassing not withstanding. I'll do it with a white girl, an armoured vehicle and several guns, because you know when times are hard "they cling to guns, religion," a whisky bottle and dogging Negroes. I'm sorry, I had a too honest Barack-like moment.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-11-10T11:27:10-06:00
ID
140515
Comment

Walt, I will agree in part. If I go into a predominantly white part of Rankin County like that, I would want there to be a gang of us rather than just two! Either that or the white woman would need to be an off-duty police officer with her pistol in her purse.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-11-10T11:32:12-06:00
ID
140516
Comment

Whitley, one of the telling things about Rankin County is that many whites are just as fearful and afraid of Rankin County as we are. I'm not really afraid of the place, I simply prefer to have a gun just to kindly up the place if need be.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-11-10T11:36:25-06:00
ID
140518
Comment

I didn't mention that the young white woman who I canvassed with --- in Presidential Hills --- was from Rankin County. I admired her audacity for going with me to Presidential Hills where she was the only white person around for a considerable distance. If she can go to Presidential Hills we ought to be brave enough to go to the alternative universe in Rankin County. The most likely dangers are probably not much different from western PA: doors slammed in your face, people yelling insults, but I also imagine that there might be a few broad smiles and sheepish apologies. An off duty escort would be nice though :-).

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-11-10T12:09:53-06:00
ID
140519
Comment

We don't have the history of violence against whites they have against us. Nor do we have the history of being a closed society as white America is to Blacks. Nontheless, I agree the best way to guarantee change is do something we haven't been doing. Consequently, we need some non-violent and can't-hardly-hear-or-feel-Negroes to encroach upon Rankin County to bring about change. I nominate some rapper dudes since they're well-liked by young white males and the young whipper snappers buy the rappers' records. If Kamikaze makes it out of there alive while canvassing with a white girl and seeking votes for Obama, we can then send in Walt-like people.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-11-10T12:17:13-06:00
ID
140529
Comment

In an article titled “Obama Gains in Fast Growing Counties” at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1108/15456.html Ruy Teixeira, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress stated, “Ninety percent of life is showing up, and the fact that Obama showed up in these areas made a real difference.” Someone may need to show up in those challenging parts of DeSoto, Madison, Rankin, Hinds and on the coast (and hope you live to tell the story like the pioneers did before us in the sixties)! The realistic goal may not be to win those areas, but to reduce to margins in those areas from 85-15 to 75-25. If you then increase turnout a few points among the youth and African Americans you have a winning formula. A major factor that will make the terrain more favorable in the future are the auto plants and casinos that will draw folks from other states who are more open-minded. The Hispanic population will continue to grow. They vote much more progressively than many of the home grown natives. That may be a factor in some of the anger about the so-called “illegals” and “anchor babies” --- a term I had never heard before. If the educational level of the population continues to increase, that will help also. It sure can’t hurt. Yes we will (in Mississippi one day in my lifetime). Just to make this come true, I am revising my plans to live to be 110.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-11-10T15:21:37-06:00
ID
140530
Comment

Surely, you will need a few more years beyond 110. What do you think Fat Harry?

Author
Walt
Date
2008-11-10T15:25:32-06:00
ID
140540
Comment

I'm wondering if any Jehovah's Witnesses do the door to door thing in Rankin County- they are bi-racial, and have knocked on my door many times. Far as I know, none have ever been killed...

Author
Rico
Date
2008-11-10T18:46:26-06:00
ID
140550
Comment

A few days before the election, i seem to remember the CNN poll showing the MS race split by only 4%. Maybe it was a groggy evening half-dream, but it strikes me that a lot of votes may have been disqualified after voting. Perhaps i'm trying to justify. Regardless of conspiracy fantasies(?). 18-29 year olds went for Kerry 48% 18-29 year olds went for Obama 56% McCain didn't get over 59% with anyone under 65. i think we are not far away from having a black governor. If Obama is successful in his Presidency and old people continue to die, i suspect we could elect a Governor Franklin in the next decade.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2008-11-10T23:40:39-06:00
ID
140556
Comment

In re: ...wondering if any Jehovah's Witnesses do the door to door thing...Great point. I lived in a *transitioning* neighborhood in north Chicago where in one two month span someone was thrown out of a window, a woman went missing (was found months later dead in a trunk), and the building across the street was destroyed in an explosion and none of these things deterred the Jehovah's. They kept on knocking on doors! As a precinct captain in the Chi, I knocked on doors myself --- despite having doors slammed in my face and being cussed out by people resembling me. All we have to fear is fear itself and whatnot (that, jackers and neo-Confederate haters). Who is Franklin?

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-11-11T09:03:59-06:00
ID
140586
Comment

The last five elections: 2008 Obama 43% 2004 Kerry 40% 2000 Gore 44% 1996 Clinton 46% 1992 Clinton 41% So putting things in perspective, Obama did very well here for a Democratic non-incumbent. Whether this was because of high black turnout or increased white support isn't clear to me, but I think overall turnout increased so much that attributing it to black turnout alone would probably not be enough. I had a discussion re: the possibility of a black governor on another forum last year. It's not impossible but it would be a hard sell given the low number of black elected officials, as governors have to build a statewide platform. A celebrity with an existing statewide platform--say, Oprah Winfrey or Morgan Freeman--would be viable, but we don't have an obvious black gubernatorial candidate right now in the world of elected politics. But that said... Black folks make up 37% of the state population, and tend to side heavily with Democratic candidates. So if you pull in a little over 20% of the white vote, you've got a winner. For a moderate black Republican the math becomes slightly easier (assuming s/he can make inroads into black votes--enough to pull at least 20 to 25% like Barbour did last year), which is why I used to say that I suspect the first black Mississippi governor may be a Republican. If Barbour were to appoint, say, Mike Espy to a high-profile role in his administration, and endorse him in 2011, then Espy would be in a really good position to win the governorship. But I don't see that happening; the 2011 Republican nomination looks like it'll be Bryant and Pickering and maybe Tuck all duking it out. We almost had a black Republican state senator in Nic Lott, but he inexplicably lost the primary to an obscure older white candidate who in turn got his butt kicked by a Democrat in the general election. So I'd say in order to have a black Republican governor, we'd have to have Republicans who are willing to support black candidates at the primary phase. Whether that happens before a black Democratic nominee wins the governorship is anybody's guess, but after seeing how a lot of Republicans responded to the Obama candidacy, I'd have to put my money on the Democrats. I don't think the Mississippi Republican Party is ready to nominate a black gubernatorial candidate unless it's a coronation. I think the Mississippi Democratic Party is, but I don't think s/he is necessarily in a position to win. We've got a lot of work to do, clearly. But time is on our side--another 10 years and the math will be completely different, because we'll gain a lot of younger voters in that time who were born after the civil rights movement and don't pine for Old Dixie.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2008-11-11T18:23:49-06:00
ID
140588
Comment

Mayor Franklin sounded more marketable than Mayor Kamikaze.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2008-11-11T19:46:43-06:00

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