Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Sid Salter: Warren's Stop Has Few Parallels to RFK's Delta Visit

The rather nondescript email from activist Marissa Barrow of the “Progressive Change Campaign Committee” arrived in my email inbox on March 18 with the subject line: “Elizabeth Warren parallels RFK’s 1967 tour of Mississippi Delta.”

 Upon opening the email, I was greeted with a series of comparative photographs – some color photos showing Democratic presidential contender and Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren visiting with Mississippi Delta residents in Cleveland in 2019 alongside black-and-white photographs of the late U.S. Sen. Bobby Kennedy visiting Delta residents in 1967.

The attempt to compare Warren’s 2019 visit to the Delta with Kennedy’s 1967 visit seems exceedingly shallow and contrived – in a way almost politically and morally blasphemous. First and foremost, comparing the state and nation’s political and social climate in 1967 with that of today is telling.

There was true danger confronting all concerned when Kennedy made his pilgrimage to Mississippi in 1967 to see the poverty he’d heard Senate committee testimony about from activist Marian Wright for himself. Kennedy and those traveling with him risked being targeted for violence in the Mississippi that existed in that era.

Likewise, the impoverished African American Delta families who allowed their homes to be used as backdrops for Kennedy’s visit faced perhaps even more raw danger from drawing attention to Mississippi’s inequalities from white supremacists. When RFK visited the Mississippi Delta, it was considered by many Mississippians as a political provocation rather than a humanitarian mission.

But the fact is that federal government efforts to deal with poverty and hunger in America were still in their practical infancy. Food stamps began as a pilot project in 1961 during the administration of President John F. Kennedy with a dual purpose – to feed the hungry, yes, but also to provide a destination for surplus farm commodities.

At the beginning, the program nationally served less than 150,000 people at a cost of $13.1 million. By 1964, some 425,000 people nationally were served at a cost of just over $30 million.

RFK’s visit indeed did bring a greatly heightened level of national awareness to poverty and hunger in the Mississippi Delta and in the Appalachian South, but by October of 1967 national food stamp use was only at the 2 million mark. Still led in that day primarily by segregationist elected officials, Mississippi was a very reluctant participant in the food stamp program. But by Fiscal Year 2015 in Mississippi alone, food stamps or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provided about $0.92 billion in food benefits to a monthly average of 636,322 people in Mississippi.

For the latest year of available statistics, an average of 582,658 Mississippians received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or food stamps each month. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that number represented 83.4 percent of those Mississippians eligible to receive those benefits. The SNAP program pumped $810 million into Mississippi’s economy.

Federal dollars make up about 42 percent of all state revenue in Mississippi and federal transfer payment account for 26.3 percent of all personal income in the state. Does Sen. Warren seriously think that in a nation where Social Security and Medicare are already in mortal fiscal danger, the Mississippi Delta’s poverty can be cured by more social programs?

And how to pay for those promised new programs? Warren pitched her “wealth tax” plan – the so-called “net worth” tax. Perhaps nothing about her 2019 visit to Mississippi was more discordant with the Kennedy’s philosophies than that.

Even when touring the poorest region in the poorest state in the union in 1967, Bobby Kennedy was a pro-growth capitalist. Warren’s 2019 tax policy proposals smack of nascent socialism.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

Why has relocating these masses of poor people from a poor state like Mississippi (where they have no chance of ever doing well) to wealthier states where there are bountiful resources and JOBS never even been discussed ?

otisfyfe said...

I'm not sure what you mean, 8:26, by 'relocating these masses', but over the years following agricultural mechanization, thousands of the 'masses' willingly relocated to states to our north. Many returned quickly and many more have come back since then.

What is meant by 'they have no chance of ever doing well'? Turn that cap around. They have the chance as anyone else. Many are in management and leadership positions. Many are in professional occupations that we need not list.

My dad and others threatened 'us boys' within an inch of our lives if we even got close to the courthouse where Kennedy appeared in '67. His mission was viewed as political provocation and he was largely unwelcome. Of course, due to white guilt and short memories, a whole lot of folks now claim they welcomed him with open arms and supported his efforts at voter registration, etc. Among those are the descendants of Senator Eastland, one of the most staunch segregationists ever to have taken a breath of Delta air.

There is similarity and direct correlation between the visits of Pocahontas and Senator Kennedy. And that similarity is the fact that both made the trip in order to garner minority favor, specifically votes. Pocahontas gives not one whit about this state or anyone residing herein.

Anonymous said...

Pocahontas is going nowhere fast. Nobody cares.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I rather like 8:26's proposal.

Cbalducc said...

I’d like to know what state the first anonymous has in mind. The days of unskilled labor being paid good wages is long past.

Anonymous said...

The best comment I heard last week about her visit was that she had to have driven through Indianola and Pocahontas on her way from Greenville to Jackson!

Anonymous said...

12:47 Bet Lamar Adams could've pulled it off.

Anonymous said...

I know it will be a shock to most of you, but some States have succeeded in reducing poverty. Of , course some have increased poverty to Depression levels.

Here's some good news! You know no longer have to go to a library to find out how that happened? The bad news is you will have to read more than a paragraph.

Anonymous said...

She should tour the Indian reservations. They're the ones that really got screwed over by the white folks!

Another Anonymous said...

12:47 - I can answer that. Thousands of unskilled minorities caught buses and trains headed north in the sixties through the eighties. Most, who were serious, found work, many in the auto industry in Detroit and other northern and midwest cities. Are you totally unaware of that?

You may also be unaware that thousands of unskilled workers are hired in this state today and trained to perform complex industrial tasks at excellent wages. It pretty much all depends on attitude, work ethic, willingness to learn and personal presentation during interviews.

You obviously know nothing of labor supply and wages.

Anonymous said...

Any Dem who draws the similarity is admitting their own failure. The fact that E Warren came back 52 years later to tour the “same” poverty proves the Great Society-esque welfare programs don’t work. JFK, LBJ, RFK, BHO....doesn’t matter who leans on our pockets to fund this crap, it isn’t getting the results they promise.

Anonymous said...

When Kennedy came to the Delta on his mission of mercy, Salter was in Dr. Dentons watching Superman and Sky King. But of course he studied at the feet of Jerry Mitchell for thirty-five years.

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS