Mississippi Murder Causes Even More Racial Tension
Mississippi is known as the hospitality state, a place where smiles are accompanied by good (although not so healthy) food, sweet tea, and the sounds of “please,” “thank you,” “yes ma’am,” and “no sir.” However, the hospitality of Mississippi often thinly veils shaky race relations, delicately balanced and seemingly always an incident or two away from major drama.
While scenes like the ones in the film Mississippi Burning are mostly in the past, there are usually a few incidents a year that remind us of America’s darkest hours in history. One such incident occurred recently. James Anderson (pictured above) was standing in a parking lot when he was approached by a group of white teenagers. These particular teenagers were inexplicably looking for a Black person to victimize, and Anderson—for no other reason except that he was available—was targeted.
Two carloads of teens approached and began to beat the middle-aged Anderson, shouting epithets and the slogan “White Power” as they did so. As if that were not enough, once the beating finally stopped, the groups climbed into their cars, one of which was driven right over Anderson, causing his death.
The ringleader of the attack, one Daryl Dedmond, Jr. boasted of his “victory” to the teens in the other car. His exact words?
“I ran that nigger over.”
Law enforcement officials say Dedmond wasn’t even remorseful when questioned by them, laughing at the death of his victim. What he didn’t know, however, is that he was caught on tape.
Dedmond had actually been bonded out of jail very easily at first, until more details of the crime came out and a second bond hearing was held. Lawyers for the two teens charged in the case have disputed the presence of a racial motive in this killing, which won’t surprise many. The facts and evidence have some time to develop and be brought to trial, and most within the state known for its former cruelties will be watching.
Honestly, if we get one of those Casey Anthony verdicts, I’ll lead the riot myself.