To get to Brandon, you have to drive across the Pearl River, a boundary that seems to separate black Mississippi from white.
In the town’s center, a monument stands honoring the confederate soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
This mostly white town in mostly white Rankin County is about a 30-minute drive from Jackson, Mississippi. It’s here in Brandon that some residents say a gang of teenagers expressed their strong racial prejudice — sometimes through violence.
These residents say the teens were friends with and often led by Deryl Dedmon, now 19 and facing capital murder and hate crime charges for the killing of James Anderson, a black man, who died after he was beaten and run over by a truck in Jackson, according to police. Dedmon has pleaded not guilty and his attorney has refused to answer CNN’s repeated requests for comment…
Parents and students who knew Dedmon tell CNN it was widely known that he expressed a hatred for blacks, white people who had black friends, and anyone he thought was gay. And they say he had a history of harassing teens at his high school.
CNN has learned that Department of Justice investigators have uncovered two other possible incidents where groups of white Rankin County teens, including Dedmon, have sought out and attacked a black person.
But police and school officials told CNN that there were no warning signs, no concerns about Dedmon or his friends before James Anderson’s death this summer. Brandon’s Assistant Police Chief Chris Butts described Anderson’s killing as “an isolated incident” that has been blown out of proportion by the media.
RTFA. It’s long. It’s just as I remember a lot of white Mississippi, White Louisiana.
Yes, you can break it down into economic graduations, education, church culture – pretty much any white I knew in that neck of the bayou who declared they lived in God’s Country meant they felt they kept Black folks in line. In line with racist culture perpetuated by the state’s white politicians and police departments.
It wasn’t the same in Black or integrated communities. The balance may have changed by now. The results of official racism obviously haven’t.