Mississippi–Human Rights Struggle Continues


 

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Myrlie Evers comforts her son at the funeral of her assassinated husband, Mississippi NAACP field organizer Medgar Evers

Myrlie Evers comforts her son at the funeral of her assassinated husband, Mississippi NAACP field organizer Medgar Evers

It is very appropriate that Myrlie Evers Williams, widow of slain civil rights worker Medgar Evers and in her own right, former NAACP Chair of the Board from 1995-98, will deliver the invocation at President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, January 21, 2013.  In 1961, Martin said that “Any man who won’t die for something is not fit to live” and as it unfortunately turned out, he was not only speaking of the eventual fate of Medgar Evers, but also of himself.  Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered April 4, 1968; Medgar Evers was murdered in front of his wife and children on June 12, 1963 in Jackson, Mississippi.  His murder and the eventual conviction of White Citizens Council leader Byron De La Beckwith were dramatized in the 1996 movie, Ghosts of Mississippi starring James Woods, Alec Baldwin and Whoopi Goldberg.

1960, Martin Luther King Jr removing a KKK burned cross from his lawn with his son

1960, Martin Luther King Jr removing a KKK burned cross from his lawn with his son

That we have an African American president speaks to just how far that we have come since those dark days at the height of the civil rights movement, but nobody should be lulled by this inauguration into thinking that the human rights struggle in Mississippi and throughout America has been triumphant and can rest on its laurels.  In fact, the sloth of the government to force a cleanup of an environmental holocaust in Columbia, Mississippi points to the truth of H. Rap Brown’s statement in the 1960s that “When government becomes the lawbreaker then people must become the law enforcers.”

Charlotte KeysCharlotte Keys of Jesus People Against Pollution (JPAP) and my friend and colleague Benetta Johnson of the Alameda Corridor Jobs Coalition (I serve on the board of ACJC) who alerted me to her struggle, has led a knock down, drag out struggle for justice for all the people of Columbia, black and white, young and old, for years.  Charlotte and Benetta are among the many contemporary activists keeping the struggle for human rights alive.

This video contains the incredible but true story of the trials and tribulations Charlotte and JPAP have gone through trying to get justice in the wake of one of the worst cases of toxic chemical dumping in history in Columbia (my thanks to my friends and colleagues Michael Jones of Digital Evidence and Scotty Reid of Black Talk Radio Network for assisting with the conversion of the DVD and You Tube Posting):

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JmFiexWhRA&feature=youtu.be

Don’t just sit back after watching this video presentation and think “tsk, tsk, tsk, what a tragedy.”  Take action:

Contact EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins, Jr. and demand an investigation of EPA sloth and inaction which has destroyed the health and property of residents of Columbia, Mississippi:

Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Inspector General
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (2410T)
Washington, DC 20460

By Phone: (202) 566-2391  By Fax: (202) 566-2549 

By E-mail:   webcomments.oig@epa.gov

Sign a petition to the White House:  https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/redress-marion-county-columbia-ms-de-listed-superfund-site-environmental-justice-health-and-housing/4x9VwF4L?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

Contact JPAP for further information:

JPAP 003