Sunday, June 14, 2020

Bill Crawford: Will Changing Times Change Mississippi This Time?

In 1963, a time of civil unrest and protest, Bob Dylan penned the lyrics to his immortal The Times They Are a-Changin’.

“This was definitely a song with a purpose” Dylan recalled to screenwriter Cameron Crowe. “I wanted to write a big song, with short concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. The civil rights movement and the folk music movement were pretty close for a while and allied together at that time."

The times appear to be a-changin’ again as the junction of the Black Lives Matter movement and the Me Too movement erupts amidst the lifestyle changes caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus. In Dylan’s time the eruption came from the junction of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War peace movement amidst hippie/folk music lifestyle changes.

“The battle outside ragin'/ Will soon shake your windows/ And rattle your walls,” wrote Dylan and sang many music legends, including Joan Baez; the Byrds; Peter, Paul and Mary; Simon & Garfunkel; the Beach Boys; Phil Collins; Billy Joel; Bruce Springsteen; and the Rolling Stones.

The battle outside rages again.

Is there is a modern Dylan with other stars who will immortalize these times in song? Perhaps, but while folk music and poignant lyrics played a vital role in furthering change in the 60s, social media and stark videos fill that role now. Interestingly, it appears that athletes will bring the star power this time.

So, will these times have the same long-term impact as those times in the 60s?

1963 spurred long-term change in Mississippi. On June 12th of that year Medgar Evers was assassinated. The next year, Freedom Summer came to Mississippi with voter registration efforts, freedom riders, and more mayhem and murders. This contributed to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 followed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which spurred decades of change for Mississippi.

The late Stephen Ambrose, popular history author who spent his last years in Bay St. Louis, sought to portray this change in his last book, To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian, published in 2002.

Noting he had once thought Mississippi as bad as South Africa, he wrote, “For me, one of the great things in my life is riding my bike in my little town of Bay St. Louis and seeing black and white children playing together in the school yard. I see black businessmen, bankers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, and mixed couples walking on our beaches or sidewalks, holding hands.” Ambrose died thinking much of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream had been realized in Mississippi.

Yet, that battle still rages.

How and by whom will the current change movement be sustained until it becomes transformational?

Time, the Case Foundation, and others point to the Millennial generation.

My Millennial daughter wrote this in an award-winning essay in 2002 at age 15: “I hold in my hand the key to the future. This is so because I am a young adult and have the power to change the future, as does my generation.”

“Come mothers and fathers/ Throughout the land/ And don't criticize/ What you can't understand/ Your sons and your daughters/ Are beyond your command/ … For the times they are a’changin’.”

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Jackson.


Highway 61 Revisited said...

There was nothing special about your daughter's (or mine) generation. Every generation has the 'power' to cause change. And every generation does that. It just may not be in the more obvious social upheaval that columnists like to point to and admire.

We can point to the many superb changes caused by a number of generations without dwelling on social turmoil. But, it's with due respect and understanding that I know that's the sort of thing you, Salter and the Mitchells of our time cling to (on bended knee).

Meanwhile: Never forget John Prine.

Anonymous said...

Personally I don't think, in the long run, it will matter. We are ripe for someone to take us over with little fight. Oh well. was nice while it lasted. Just glad people like my dad will be gone so they don't have to see how the country they saved was given away.

Anonymous said...

Why would anything change? The foundation of the movement is based on the death of aviolent seven (7) time felon who died because he was loaded on drugs and Covid-19. Now the lie is being repeated the with the death of a raging drunk driver in Atlanta.

If you take an honest look at every angle including all of the statistics. You are only left with one truth. And it is not the manufactured narrative that is being pushed by the media and these inorganic protests.

By the way Bill. Why don't you write something about a real hero martyr like Deputy James Blair who has become another statistical dead officer at the hands of a violent black male.

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything in these protests that would change the trends of criminal demographics. But the movement to defund cops isn't going to make anyone safer.
What i do see is a push to demonize any future George Zimmermans that are created by defunding police.

Anonymous said...

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

Pete Townshend

Anonymous said...

The demand for change is inevitable. The civil rights movement was about law. Changing the laws to include equal protection of everybody. That was an absolute good. Unless the law protects everybody it ultimately protects nobody. This movement is about cultural change. Whose life has value?
As 9:08 notes, a seven time felon loaded on drugs or a raging drunk? Do
their lives have value? A young disrespectful black man? Does his life have less value than a young disrespectful white man? Some police officers might think so. Just look at these protests and you can see the difference in police reactions. It depends on WHO is protesting. The police apply their values as they are taught. So what do we teach? This was coming sooner or later. So let's deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi will resist change. No matter how inevitable. Mississippi leadership will never be intelligent enough to see opportunity in change. We will remain last. People who seize opportunity make progress. We don't even want progress. Let's stay where we are. Now there.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi now trails NASCAR in social awareness. White
Mississippi sees little black girls being escorted by National Guardsmen w rifles, and white Mississippi doesn’t blink an eye. White Mississippi isn’t going to change. It thinks Reeves’s patently chickenshit bullshit “let the voters decide” cop out is cute. Bottom line: White Mississippi hates black people. End of discussion.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi has been changing and continues to change. Changing into Seattle, Portland or Minneapolis is not the kind of change I want any part of.

Anonymous said...

So true Bill. And as Freire said we have become the oppressed for our sins and the sins of our forefathers. The sin of slavery and white privilege is ours to own.

Anonymous said...

The difference I see between generations is that the millennials and GenZ are much more indoctrinated in socialism and communism than prior generations. The U.S, used to be driven by individual achievement and hard work. No more. A gender or minority studies degree is viewed as just as valuable as a medical, engineering, or finance degree. The snowflakes can’t understand why society isn’t throwing money equally at all of them.

I don’t think they are necessarily “woke” on racism or are fighting for equal opportunity for everybody. I believe it is more reflective of their belief society owes everyone equal results regardless of contribution and they are perfectly willing to tax the ambitious, hard working achievers to transfer benefits to those “unwilling to work” as AOC admitted was the liberal cause. Bring in the uneducated masses from third- world countries too because they also view their plight as the responsibility of American policies and actions.

America will die as a republic because of your daughter’s generation.

Anonymous said...

Crawford brings out the WOKE on this board.

Anonymous said...

If only WOKE = WORK

Anonymous said...

10:38, you're a fool if you think Mississippi has that monopoly on that!!!!

You should travel more, both in country and out of country.

Something in the milk isn’t clean said...

Racism abound

Anonymous said...

recently i saw a sign at a YMCA that advertised 'karate for christ''. when i was a kid the saying was ''kill a commie for christ''.

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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).

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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.

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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