The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    Racism over

    For those of you who were worried, be assured. The Nationalist Movement booth will not be at the Mississippi State Fair.
    You may have heard about the uproar over the proposed booth at the fair. Richard Barrett, the leader of the Nationalist Movement, had planned to feature Edgar Ray Killen, who is under investigation for the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964. The white supremacist group wanted to pass a petition around to support Killen.
    The plan has backfired for Barrett in the worst way possible.
    When news of the booth began to circulate, many people were outraged. There was talk of boycotting the fair, and protests have run rampant.
    Of course, that didn’t stop the booth. No, Barrett abandoned the booth when Killen pulled out; Killen said he’d never even agreed to go to the fair.
    This only shows that racists no longer hold the power in Mississippi. Our state has a bad name, and Barrett was not doing anything to improve it. We can hope that the rest of the country will not look at Barrett as representative of Mississippi, and instead focus on the protesters and outraged citizens. That is the Mississippi of today.
    Racists no longer have the power. The Nationalist Movement tried to get support, and therefore power, for their hate-filled, outdated message. Instead, they only called the wrong kind of attention to themselves. Perhaps they were expecting that people would welcome their message and hail them and Killen as heroes. They expected people to ask for Killen’s autograph and sign a petition decorated with the defaced pictures of the murder victims.
    Now, protesters are gathering in Jackson to urge the prosecution of the man the supremacist group wished to support, all because of the fair booth uproar.
    Sometimes irony is sweet.
    Although Mississippi is clearly outgrowing our racist past, we still need to resolve our past so we can move on. Killen must be tried for the murder of the civil rights workers, if only to right a wrong that has tortured the families of the victims and anyone who wishes for a better Mississippi. Only then can we move to a better future without the hate of the past.
    The Reflector editorial board is made up of opinion editor Angela Adair, news editor Elizabeth Crisp, sports editor Craig Peters, entertainment editor Dustin Barnes, managing editor Pam McTeer and editor in chief Josh Foreman.

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    Racism over