Jan 17, 2013

I don't know about you, but Mississippi has always been my least favorite state in the union. I don't say this to offend anyone from Mississippi, but it's just how I feel about the state. It's just something about that state that would always depress me every time I drove through it, and I mean exactly that--drove through.

When I was in college, I would drive from Tallahassee to New Orleans every year for the Essence Music Festival. I made a conscious decision to always stop for gas in Mobile in order to not have to stop while going through Mississippi.

It's just something about seeing the marshlands in Mississippi that would always conjure up images of slavery for me.

Now don't get me wrong Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana are just as bad when it comes to their history towards our people, but there is something about Mississippi that makes it top dog in my book when it comes to the mistreatment of African Americans.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that same mistreatment continues to go on this very day.

Recently, Anderson Cooper did a special report about a group of white teenagers that mowed down an elderly black man as he was going for his daily four mile walk along the highway.

It was bad enough that the driver decided to kill this man and such a fashion, but what makes it worse is law enforcements response to the murder.

Here is how CNN reports the story:

61-year-old Johnny Lee Butts enjoyed his morning ritual, a four mile walk in Panola County, Mississippi. But this past July, Butts, an African-American, was killed during this walk by a white teenager behind the wheel of a car. Law enforcement insists race was not a factor. But Keeping Them Honest, exclusive reporting by CNN raises question about the role race may have played in the killing.

18-year-old Matthew Whitten Darby was the white teenager behind the wheel of the car that hit Butts. Darby is charged with murder, but not a hate crime. Butts’ family and many African-Americans in the community claim the District Attorney and white law enforcement in the county aren’t doing enough to investigate why Butts was run over.

Tonight on 360, the DA responds to those accusations. And you’ll hear the grand jury testimony from two other teens in the car with Darby that July morning. Join us at 8 and 10 p.m. for this report by CNN’s Drew Griffin.


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