In rural Mississippi, White teenagers hit and murdered a 61-year old Black man by the name of Johnny Lee Butts. The pedestrian was making his daily 4-mile trek through his neighborhood when a car of young teenagers driving on the opposite side of the road swerved over and ended his life.
In Jackson, the capital of this state infested with domestic terrorists, a mob of white teenagers set out on a mission to “f@*% with some N#@@$%. ” The thugs drove to a predominantly black area of town seeking their victim. They pulled up to a gas station where they found James Craig Anderson trying to get in his car after locking his keys inside. The attackers beat and robbed Anderson. After the vicious attack they walked away yelling “White Power” and drove over Anderson to finish him off.
These events sound like something straight out of Mississippi circa Civil Rights Movement and Freedom Rides. Sadly, both cases happened recently, in what some people like to call the post-race era. Johnny Lee Butts was murdered in July 2012 and James Craig Anderson June 26, 2011. Recently the last two members of the terrorist ring pleaded guilty to a hate crime. In Butts case, the DA has decided not to pursue hate crime charges because he believes there is not enough evidence to prove race played a role in the assailants’ attack. I guess a testimony from one of the passengers stating he recognized Butts was black before they hit him is not enough to dispel reasonable doubt. Even one of the kids mother admitted the attack was racist! I mean damn, what more do you need?!
City officials refuse to accept the racial tension in their town that is leading to irreverent and violent attacks on black citizens. Residents told CNN that shortly after Butts murder, a group of black teenagers were run into a ditch by white men in a Jeep. When asked for the case report the local sheriff warned CNN not to “stir up trouble in my county.” He warned if the network pursued the story, “I’ll be coming after you.” Unfortunately for Sheriff Darby, in the age of iPhones and Facebook such instances are not easily swept away. Please follow this case and continue to keep the Butts and Anderson families in your thoughts. Do not let their deaths be in vain, justice shall be served.
Know their names, know their stories. We must continue to be honest about the state of affairs in our nation and not get comfortable with the symbol of a Black President. Black history month is quickly approaching and I hope we are all reflecting on the current state of Black America and how much work is yet to be done. Although racism is not as rampant as it once was, don’t sleep on it. It is yet alive and well.