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Reply #64


Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 01:44 AM

64. I recently posted some photos..

In the photography group from my recent trip to Philadelphia, MS and Neshoba County.
I'm a 52 year old white male who was born and raised here. I dearly love the south. The country, the landscape, the climate even.
But the history is horrible and the racism, where it is present, is VERY obvious, and is always boiling right under the surface.

I met by chance and had conversations with five strangers during my visit there. Two of them were directly related to two of the men who were directly involved with the murders of the 3 civil rights workers, Cheney, Goodman, and Schwerner, in 1964, The Mississippi Burning case. The two men they are related to are Edgar Ray Killen, recently convicted as the KKK recruiter who was the mastermind behind it all; and Olen Burrage, in who's levy the young men were buried, who should have been convicted as well, but was never tried and has managed to skate justice all these years. I met them quite by accident. I drove right up into the middle of Killens family's homestead without realizing it. I stopped to ask a guy on the side of the road "exactly where the civil rights workers were killed." He leaned in my window and after a brief introduction and ascertaining that I wasn't a threat (and wouldn't put any of this on the internet! OOOPS!), informed me that he was Killens great nephew, and all these houses belong to Killen's, and "thats Edgar Rays house right there behind you". It was quite un-nerving for a moment. But he invited me to park and talk if I wanted, so I did. It was about 1/8th of a mile from where they murdered those boys...up the same road. For all intents and purposes, Edgar Rays driveway. It left no doubt in my mind as to Edgar Ray Killens guilt.

He was talkative and we spoke for about 15 minutes, but he didn't want to really discuss the murders; claiming "as far as we all are concerned there never was no murders!" The other I met, a nephew of Burrage, was downright hateful and rude and brushed me off altogether when I asked about taking some photos of the family farm.

There are many of that mindset still here. Still all over the south. Until these generations of folks die off those old attitudes will not change. BUT you must all know too there are a lot of good, hard working, non racist people here as well. I know them. I met them there also, in what remains as probably one of the most racially bitter areas of the south. Do not paint us all with a broad brush!

There are good caring people, who know and stand up for what is right. Thank God for those! If there weren't there would be no hope of things ever getting any better in the South. I live here. I see the hate. But I also see the hope!

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