Jackson Voices

Open Carry: What’s the Fuss

It has been several weeks since the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling in Hinds County prohibiting the open carrying of weapons as outlined in Section 12 of the 1890 Mississippi Constitution.

I must admit I feel “less than intelligent” because I was unaware that I had that right (to openly carry) under our constitution.  I am familiar with my right to protect myself, my home and property under the “Castle Doctrine” law, which was passed by the Legislature in 1998, but I must admit this caught a lot of people off-guard.

 
  

June Hardwick: “The price we pay for who we are”

Timothy TorreyHave you ever thought about the outcomes we face due to the choices we make?

Some of us have been greatly blessed as a result of investing time and money into furthering our education, thus resulting in opening better doors of opportunity. And then, there those of us who have reaped a garden of thorns because of the less than “well thought out” choices we’ve made in the past that are now catching up to us. This brings me to my focus.

 
  

Vacant and Abandoned Properties in Jackson

Mukesh KumarIn my interactions with city planners and officials over the last decade, the issue of vacant and abandoned properties has often been at the top of the agenda.  There are very good reasons for that.  Most of the declining central cities have lost populations either to the surrounding suburbs or to other cities that are thriving. This has often led to arguments favoring abandoning complete neighborhoods and cutting off all city services to lower the cost of infrastructure and service provisions in central cities. In planning jargon, we call these “shrinking Cities.”

 
  

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: It’s not how you start, but how you finished

Charles GrahamLooking back on the last four, the last eight and the last 12 years, I am now looking forward to the next four years.  In this blog I will attempt to look at some of the projects that have been started and not finished or simply not addressed at all.  I will not attempt to define any mayor’s legacy or predict what the new mayor’s legacy will be.  Ultimately, their work will speak for itself.  Some things I mention, however, are long-standing and date back years ago.

 
  

South Jackson Residents React to Zimmerman Verdict and Fallout (VIDEO)

The reaction to the Zimmerman trial has been equally compelling as the actual trial. The trial galvanized the entire black community in this country. Even the President commented on the situation, trying to paint a picture for other people and races in this country to help them understand why this trial evoked so much emotion from the black community.

 
  

Does Detroit’s Bankruptcy Raise Red Flags for Jackson?

Detroit declares bankruptcy; we walk into uncharted territory of Chapter 9, and panic if it is coming to a city near us. Charlie LeDuff, author of “Detroit: An American Autopsy,” stokes the panic some more with a title like “Come See Detroit, America’s Future,” and never mind Paul Krugman, a New York Times Columnist and Nobel Prize winning economist, who just a few days ago described Detroit as a special case. LeDuff may seem unbalanced, speaking from his gut; Krugman, from his prefrontal cortex, but a majority of Jacksonians are likely to sway both ways. This could either be our nightmare or “no way could this happen here!”

 
  

‘The Voting Rights Act is just the beginning’

I want to tell you a story about a farmer being plagued by wild hogs digging and rooting up his land, destroying his crops and costing him a lot of money. So, what is he to do?

One of the farmer’s neighbors comes by for a visit on day, and the farmer begins to tell his neighbor about his plight. The neighbor says, “I can catch those hogs for you, if you let me have them once they’re caught.” The farmer readily agrees, and tells his neighbor to proceed.

 
  

The Black Man – Myth or Reality?

The widely anticipated trial of George Zimmerman gave birth to a plethora of heated debates. It was a constant see-saw of opinions regarding the Stand Your Ground law, confusion over the defense attorney’s knock-knock joke and a multitude of criticisms aimed at Rachel Jeantel’s, (friend of Trayvon Martin) hair, attitude and education. Almost everyone in America seemed to transform overnight into an activist or home- schooled attorney, yours truly included. Nonetheless the situation as a whole was sad and unfortunate for all involved and ended with a reverberating NOT GUILTY verdict.

 
  

Voting Rights Act: 48-year-old landmark law dealt a blow with the stroke of a pen

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was recently modified in June 2013 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The changes affect key provisions of the act, specifically Sections 4 and 5. Section 4, which deals with a complicated formula the federal government uses to determine which states and counties are subject to continued oversight, was created in 1972 with bi-partisan support and was struck down by the Supreme Court.

 
  

Video: Remembering the civil rights era while facing a challenging future

Johnny Coleman, a history teacher at Oakley Youth Development Center, shares his experiences with civil rights and racism in the 50s and 60s and thoughts on the current state of the African Americans today.

Coleman remembers separate water fountains and bathrooms while growing up Louisville, Miss., as well as sitting in the back of the bus as a 10-year-old kid with his mother for trips to Chicago, even though empty seats for whites only were available in the front of the bus.