PAYS? MYTHS & TAXES P 14-19
REBRANDING HINDS MCLAUGHLIN, P 10
EASTER GIFTS JACOME, P 22
GREEN YOURSELF MOTT, P 36
April 20 - April 26, 2011
April 20 - 26, 2011
9 N O . 32
contents AARON PHILLIPS
7 Malaco Hit Malaco Records took a different kind of hit when tornados ripped through April 15. AMILE WILSON
Cover Illustration by Aleks Sennwald
THIS ISSUE: Tax Time
Who’s paying taxes in America, and who’s not? What is it that our leaders aren’t telling us?
.............. Slowpoke ...................... Talks ................ Editorial .................. Stiggers ...................... Zuga ................ Opinion ................. Hitched ............. Diversions ................... 8 Days
...... Music Listings .................... Sports ............... Astrology ........ Body & Soul ...................... Food . Girl About Town
The Rev. Mike Campbell spends what little spare time he has catching up on movies. Campbell, 46, is senior pastor at Redeemer Church, at 640 E. Northside Drive. After spending more than a decade in Miami, the Bluefield, Va., native moved to Jackson almost seven years ago, with his wife, Keren, and their three children. “We came from a major city to work here. We want to do good for the city. This is our home, not a stepping stone for us,” he said. The good he is doing for the church and the city is building a multi-racial congregation. “A core group of members at Redeemer wanted to build this type of congregation. And after less than seven years, it is working,” he said. A successful multi-racial congregation is defined as one that contains at least 20 percent of a minority race. The makeup of Redeemer is about 68 percent white, 30 percent African American and 2 percent other ethnicities, Campbell said. Campbell, his family and the congregation have “hit the streets” in traditional and non-traditional outreach efforts in the community. They invite community members to fish fries, weekly Bible studies, fall festivals and the like, as well as their nontraditional approaches. We have a real heart to find all kinds
of ways to reach out to our neighbors,” Campbell says. “From the start, we have done a number of things including a tutoring program for JPS students from elementary age through high school, a basketball ministry on Tuesday night, even though we don’t own a gym, and our Sister Cooks program where women in our congregation mentor young girls who are dealing with becoming young ladies,” Campbell said. “The ladies in our church developed this program from the ground. It’s a discipleship to grow in faith and not just cook as the title infers,” he said of the Sister Cooks program. Campbell graduated from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., in 1992, where he earned his master’s degree in ministry. He recently returned to the university to begin his doctorate work. One of the first-year components of the degree is to complete a community assessment. For the survey, Campbell obtains information from residents, and frequently goes door-to-door. “Many of the neighbors and people in the community have a positive view of the community and their neighbors,” he said. “They appreciate life in the community and what they have. It is working.” —Langston Moore
20 Their Way The Schwindickerman’s did their wedding the way they wanted it: intimate and inter-faith. JULIE SKIPPER
rev. mike campbell
42 Hands On Girl About Town gets a little domestic with a cooking class. It only took the promise of wine.
........ Editor’s Note
ADAM HUDSON PHOTOGRAPHY
4 4 7 12 12 12 13 20 26 29 31 32 34 35 36 38 42
David Cay Johnston 2001 Pulitzer Prize-winner David Cay Johnston is a columnist for tax.com and teaches at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management. His new book, “The Fine Print,” will be out later this year. He wrote the cover story.
Langston Moore Langston Moore lives in Fondren with his bride, Lisa. He enjoys flea marketing, exploring historic downtowns and photography. He works for a statewide, non-profit agency. Follow him on twitter @lstonmo22. He wrote the Jacksonian and a music feature.
Dylan Watson Editorial intern and Lilly fellow Dylan Watson is from Indianola. He is a sophomore at Millsaps College, where he studies political science and philosophy. He wrote a Talk about the Council of Conservative Citizens.
Lacey McLaughlin News editor Lacey McLaughlin is a Florida native who enjoys riding her bike around Jackson. She is always on the hunt for news tips. Email Lacey@ jacksonfreepress.com or call 601362-6121 ext. 22. She wrote an arts feature.
Ronni Mott Ronni Mott came to Jackson by way of D.C. in 1997. She’s a writer, photographer and the JFP’s managing editor, where she practices her hobby of herding cats. She teaches yoga in her spare time. She wrote the Body & Soul feature.
ShaWanda Jacome Assistant to the editor ShaWanda Jacome is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a Christ-follower. She is learning to “be still and to let God be God” (Psalm 46:10). She wrote the Hitched feature and compiled the Easter gift guide.
Meredith W. Sullivan Former New Yorker Meredith W. Sullivan is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology. She spends her days dreaming about where to travel next. She is enjoying life in Fondren with her husband and Diggy dog. She wrote the Fly Earth Day feature.
April 20 - 26, 2011
Account executive Ashley Jackson, a Brandon native, loves volunteering with youth, cooking, doing homework, wearing awesome shoes, and dancing like a fool while playing her extensive vinyl collection.
by Todd Stauffer, Publisher
Loving America, and Americans
he continuing national debate over taxation and federal budget policy in this country is good—as is the boldness with which both liberal and conservative elements are stating their positions. My hope is that an honest consideration of these positions will help those of us who haven’t spent the past few years buried in tax policy come to ethical and compassionate conclusions about what, exactly, we will prioritize—and how we’ll pay for it. For me, the big picture is simple: I think we’ve somehow made greed a virtue in this country in the past decades, and that attitude threatens empire and exceptionalism. We’ve been on a 30-year experiment in supply-side economics, wherein we continue to lower the marginal tax rates on the people who enjoy the greatest amount of wealth, while cutting services—including infrastructure and education, not to mention wages—to those who have access to the least amount of wealth. The result is measurable, increasing and unassailable income disparity that is affecting the quality of life in this country for the majority of its citizens. The president put it succinctly in his recent budget address: “Think about it. In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90 percent of all working Americans actually declined. The top 1 percent saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each. And that’s who needs to pay less taxes? They want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut that’s paid for by asking 33 seniors to each pay $6,000 more in health costs? That’s not right, and it’s not going to happen as long as I’m president.” Beyond the (literal) bankruptcy of the policy itself, however, is the “ethic” that undergirds that policy—it’s a case of putting marginal tax rates ahead of people and making that something to applaud. In February, I blogged a local tidbit on the JFP website—Northside Sun publisher Wyatt Emmerich had written a piece, “With Welfare it Makes Sense to Work Less” (north sidesun.com/printer_friendly/9915498), that included a chart purporting to show why “people don’t want to work.” Emmerich wrote: “‘How can this be?’ you may ask. You have to work to eat. Well, that’s really not true anymore. In fact, our welfare state rewards not working. You can do as well working one week a month at minimum wage as you can working a $60,000-a-year, full-time, high-stress job.” To blame, of course, is “welfare.” His chart burned up many of the rightleaning tubes on the Internets. It was talked about at Sean Hannity’s blog, on the rightwing blog Zero Hedge and at “The Corner” on the National Review’s website. The problem is that Emmerich’s numbers don’t add up. In February, The New Republic ran a story called “From Mississippi to ‘The Corner’: A Tale of Right-Wing Wrongness.” Emmerich’s
mistakes are documented in that story, and I’ve done my own version of his chart—with some additions and explanations of my own methods and assumptions—in a new blog entry that should be up by the time you see this story (http://jfp.ms/todd_chart/). Emmerich made a critical mistake in his numbers, a critical mistake in his analysis and one rather intriguing decision. (And there’s a bunch of small stuff, too.) The intriguing decision was this: For the sake of comparison, he chose a family of three—one parent, two children. It so happens that particular little low-income family will most often qualify for top benefits in our current system of safety nets, resulting in perhaps the best per-capita assistance. Why is that? Because our system happens to be designed—if imperfectly—to keep impoverished families with children from starving, dying in the elements or succumbing to preventable disease. Hence, his was a fortuitous choice when you’re selecting a case study that maximizes safety-net benefits. His mistake in numbers, however, was in not using that same family to properly calculate how well our system treats single parents with young children when they’re making decent money—his $60,000 example. That same family happens to be tailor-made for exemptions on a W-4, resulting in extraordinarily low federal and payroll tax withholding (~12%). And that’s before they contribute to their IRA or make health-care payments or take their mortgage interest deduction. And, finally, the mistake in analysis: Emmerich conflates “economic benefit” (e.g. food stamps or CHIP coverage) with “disposable income,” something he admitted to when questioned by The New Republic, but
that still doesn’t seem to have knocked him off his premise as he’s argued the case on the JFP website. The truth is, just fixing his withholding error put well over $5,000 back into that $60,000 household’s checkbook. That’s income; whether it’s a disposable is a matter of judgement. (More on the numbers on the JFP website.) Emmerich ends his column with this zinger: “I hope I have helped answer the question concerning why Mississippi doesn’t get many new industries,” he wrote. “The welfare system in communist China is far stingier. Those people have to work to eat.” Emmerich does nothing to support his thesis that it’s the shiftless and lazy who are responsible for the lack of new industry in the state. Could our safety net use tweaks? Of course. In fact, the best argument Emmerich mustered on our site is a valid concern that elements of our safety net—Medicaid and food stamps are two clear-cut examples—are cut off arbitrarily when a wage-earner reaches a certain income level. We can fix that with better sliding scales (or even single-payer health care) if we decide to do so. But in concluding his piece with what can only be described as a tacit endorsement of communist China’s treatment of its workers over our own—how else can you read that?!—I’m reminded of the line in the movie “The American President”: “How do you have patience for people who claim they love America, but clearly can’t stand Americans?” As we engage in this national debate, I encourage you to consider this: Our budget priorities and tax policies should be guided by the idea that it’s a noble goal is to increase life, liberty and a chance at happiness for the greatest number of Americans—not the fewest.
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April 20 - 26, 2011
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Foreigners who win money on horse or dog races in the U.S. are exempt from paying taxes on their winnings. Americans, however, must pay a 30-percent withholding tax.
Tripp Muldrow talks about rebranding Hinds County. p 10
news, culture & irreverence
Wednesday, April 13 President Barack Obama proposes to cut $4 trillion from the national deficit with spending cuts and higher taxes, as well as ending Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. … U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves recuses himself from hearing an NAACPfiled legislative redistricting lawsuit. Thursday, April 14 Hundreds of people gather on sections of Highway 80 in Brandon and Pearl to pay respect to Sgt. Jason Rogers, who died while protecting his U.S. military colleagues in Afghanistan from an explosion. … Walter Breuning, the world’s oldest man, passes away at age 114 in Great Falls, Mont.
Tommy Couch, co-owner of Malaco Records, surveys damage in the record company’s recording studio the day the tornado destroyed it.
When they realized they were in imminent danger, the majority of the music company’s employees ran to a large vault in an adjacent office building, which contains rare and valuable artifacts. Couch said he is amazed that no employees were injured or killed during the storm. “We had three people (that didn’t make it into the vault),” he said. “Someone started screaming for them. But they were OK. Somehow they had gone to one of the bathrooms and huddled down.”
Around 5:30 p.m. that day, men driving excavators scooped up piles of rubble from the parking lot while family members tried to salvage furniture and documents from the offices. With the security wall destroyed, Couch feared that looters would come during the night and was working quickly to move filing cabinets, albums and mementos to an alternate location. “There is a lot of history here; we are trying to save as much as we can,” Couch said, adding that it was too soon to know if any important artifacts were lost. TORNADO, see page 8
Words of the Week Jesus
“If I got a jail full of felons, then I have to make a choice about whether or not I keep this felon for aggravated assault or do I let this guy go for DUI. Will I take Jesus or Barabbas?” —Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin speaking to community members on April 15 about the choices he has to make due to overcrowding in the county jail.
he news was full of interesting items this past week. Here are a few of them.
Friday, April 15 Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, in Gov. Haley Barbour’s absence, declares a State of Emergency for 14 Mississippi counties after tornadoes and high winds destroyed homes and businesses. … The U.S. House passes a budget plan that would cut corporate and personal income tax rates, and dramatically reduce funding for Medicaid. Saturday, April 16 Jackson gardening enthusiasts join together during “Planting Healthy Seeds and Deeds” to plant inner-city gardens. … Hundreds of volunteers help clean up storm debris from neighborhoods in Clinton and Jackson. ... Gov. Haley Barbour makes the rounds at GOP conventions in Lexington and Columbia, S.C. Sunday, April 17 Rescue workers in North Carolina search for survivors after 62 tornadoes touched down throughout the state, killing dozens. Monday, April 18 Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Lonnie Edwards continues his case for remaining in his position during a hearing on his contract with JPS. … Gov. Haley Barbour undergoes minimally invasive back surgery. Tuesday, April 19 Lockheed Martin announces a new Mission Support Center in Clinton, bringing 350 new jobs to the area. … U.S. Labor Department announces that Mississippi gained 9,200 jobs in the last year. … U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announces 35 new health clinics for the Gulf Coast in response to the Deepwater Horizon BP oil disaster of last summer. Get your daily news at jfpdaily.com.
hards of metal, fiberglass insulation and water filled the inside of Malaco Records’ recording studio as co-owner Tommy Couch Jr. recalled the notable musicians who have made music in the now-destroyed space. Since 1967, the studio has been home to hundreds of nationally acclaimed and local blues and gospel musicians. In January 1973, Paul Simon recorded part of his “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon” album here. The same year, Dorothy Moore recorded the Grammy-nominated album “Misty Blue” in the space. On April 15, a tornado destroyed the historic landmark’s executive offices, ripped open its distribution warehouse, took the roof off the recording studio and caused the company’s cinderblock security wall to collapse. Couch, however, appeared calm as he recounted the day’s events. Around 11 a.m., Couch was organizing CDs and making plans for the day when he and seven other employees gathered around the office’s back window to see a low-hanging dark cloud descend. “We started to see the rotation, and it started picking up,” Couch said. “You know that noise you hear about? We just started feeling that pressure, and I thought this is about to be something. … I took about two steps (outside) and the wind was pushing me, just like a hand.”
by Lacey McLaughlin
Malaco Picks Up the Pieces
news, culture & irreverence
Minority Contracts and C02 Testing
TORNADO, from page 7
“Make sure you wipe off your feet,” an employee joked as a photographer and I walked into a pitch-black hallway leading to the recording studio. We felt our way through the dark until we found the studio where sunlight pours in through a gaping hole in the roof. Couch dug through the debris so he could show us a grand piano buried underneath. A nonglowing neon sign reading “Annie Mae’s Café” hung above the rubble. The sign is from Mississippi blues musician Little Milton who recorded his music at the studio. Malaco Records started after college friends Tommy Couch Sr. and Wolf Stephenson began booking bands for fraternity parties at the University of Mississippi. In 1967, Couch and his brother in-law Mitchell Malouf combined their last names and formed Malaco Records. As Couch took the last sip out of his water bottle, he let the empty container fall on the ground. “I would normally put this in the garbage can, but I guess it doesn’t matter now,” he said. Behind a glass window that looked into the studio, Couch covered a mixing table with tarps to try and keep moisture out. He estimated more than $100,000 worth of equipment was damaged. On April 18, contractors completed de-
molition of the part that housed Malaco’s executive offices. Employees temporarily relocated to a new office space in Fondren Plaza and hope to serve customers by the end of the week. Other businesses on Northside Drive ,including the Hamp’s Place nightclub, also suffered damage. Mississippi Emergency Management reported that in Hinds County, the tornado injured 11 people. It destroyed 34 homes and damaged another 520 homes; 122 homes had major damage. It also destroyed three businesses and damaged another 16, six of which had major damage. The local rock band Spacewolf recorded their debut album at Malaco this spring. Another local musician, Marcos Rogers and his band, Sally Jayne, recorded their debut album “Remember Me” there. Rogers, who has a five-year distribution deal through Malaco, isn’t sure where he will record now. “For me, I wouldn’t go anywhere other than Malaco,” Rogers said. “Malaco is a staple. It’s been a staple since the ’60s, and they are a historic landmark. To be able to say you were part of making history—to be around the presence, and the feeling of it all—it was great. It’s kind of like, what now? When you put together a quality CD or demo, you want to put quality people on it. Now I’m not sure where I am going to go.” Comment at www.jfp.ms.
he city should study how well city contracts include minority-owned businesses, Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. told the City Council Monday. He proposed a May 1 contract with Atlanta public-policy consultants Griffin and Strong. Johnson made the city’s role as a successful equal business-opportunity employer one of his campaign platforms, and has worked to include minority-owned businesses in city work, either as prime contractors or as subcontrac- Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. asked tors. Jackson’s Equal Business Opportunity Certification the Jackson City Council to Program expired in 1999, but Johnson said the city keeps consider a disparity study on minority-business inclusion in the program running through executive order until it gets a city contracts this week. new disparity study. The city recorded a minority-participation rate of 36 percent on city contracts, but Johnson said he would like the number to be higher. “That’s our performance in 2009, which exceeded our goal considerably. But the disparity study’s purpose is to establish new goals based on more recent information,” Johnson said. “I don’t know what we can achieve. The study really sets the floor, not the ceiling, and the 36 percent was the ceiling.” Johnson also told the council this week that Texas-based Denbury Resources Inc. will conduct tests for carbon dioxide beneath the city within the next few weeks. Jackson may be sitting upon a large underground reserve of the gas, which the Environmental Protection Agency considers a pollutant due to its climate-changing abilities. The heavy gas is useful as a propellant for depleted oil wells because it can supplant the remaining oil in mature wells and push it within reach of oil recovery pumps. Johnson said the company will be in and around Jackson conducting vibration tests, which residents might hear. The city does not supply permits for seismic testing, but remains cautious about Denbury’s work on city property. “Like any other property owner, we’ll negotiate a cost for them to enter,” Johnson said. If the company locates a sizable amount of C02, Johnson said the company will need up to five acres for a well. Denbury Resources representative Gary Stewart told the Hinds County Board of Supervisors last month that the tests would take about 30 days to complete. Johnson said he did not expect the seismic taps to be invasive. “No booms or anything like that,” Johnson said. “And if there are, I’m sure we’ll hear from people.”
news, culture & irreverence
The Cheering Section
April 20 - 26, 2011
have acknowledged his visibility as the public face of the district. George Schimmel, one of the three board members to vote against extending Edwards’ contract, emphasized in his March 18 testimony that his opposition to renewing the contract was not based on Edwards’ public-relations work. “No one is arguing that Dr. Edwards is not a likable individual,” Schimmel said. “As I’ve mentioned before, he has done a wonderful job in the community, healing wounds.” The Council of the Great City Schools report also asserted that JPS’ academic achievement has improved, based on rankings by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Council on Accreditation and School Improvement. SACS designated JPS as a “Quality System,” the report noted. That designation is the basic mark of accreditation by SACS, however, and does not denote any more specific level of success. The report blamed a “fractured school board and testy superintendent-school board interactions played out in public” for overshadowing the districts’ successes with a negative public image. Only one member of the current JPS board, Ivory Phillips, was also on the board when the CGCS released the report in 2009. When Danks mentioned the CGCS
by Ward Schaefer BRYANT HAWKINS
s Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Lonnie Edwards makes the case for keeping his job, he has relied on the support of a variety of visible community members. Monday was the second day of a public hearing on Edwards’ contract. Edwards has requested the hearing to appeal the JPS board’s decision not to renew his three-year contract, which ends this summer. Edwards’ supporters in attendance Monday included political figures such as Hinds County Tax Collector Eddie Fair, as well as politically active community members like perennial candidate Dorothy “Dot” Benford, and restaurant owner Clarence Bolls. Indeed, Edwards’ popularity among many Jacksonians has been a key point argued by his attorney, former Mayor Dale Danks, at the hearing. Both on Monday and on the hearing’s first day, March 25, Danks cited a laudatory evaluation of Edwards’ communication abilities conducted by the Council of the Great City Schools, a coalition of the nation’s urban school systems. Among its conclusions was the finding that “one the district’s biggest assets is its passionate, articulate and highly accessible superintendent,” Danks said. Even the superintendent’s detractors
by Adam Lynch
JPS Superintendent Lonnie Edwards’ network of supporters has showed up in force at hearings on his contract, which expires this year.
report Monday to Monica Gilmore-Love, another board member who voted against renewal, she pointed out that Edwards also serves as a board member of the Council of the Great City Schools. Danks offered further evidence of Edwards’ community support in the form of a Feb. 11, 2011, letter in support of Edwards sent by 100 Concerned Clergy for a
Better Jackson. Signed by Bishop Ronnie Crudup and The Rev. Hosea Hines, the letter expressed the group’s “disappointment and dismay” at the board’s vote, Danks said. “Since Dr. Edwards became superintendent of the system in 2008, he articulated a vision for the education of our children that went far beyond what we expect in a superintendent,” Danks read from the letter. “Over the past two years, Dr. Edwards has started implementing that vision. And we have noticed marked improvement in the manner in which our children are educated. Changing leadership of a school system at this time is both too premature and not worthy of someone of Dr. Edwards’ accomplishments.” Gilmore-Love told Danks that while she remained open to reconsidering her Dec. 7 vote against renewing Edwards’ contract. “I don’t believe that we have a comprehensive approach, a strategic approach, to improving our students’ performance,” Gilmore-Love said. Gilmore-Love was one of three members to vote against renewing Edwards’ contract at the Dec. 7 meeting. The other two members, Schimmel and Board President Kisiah Nolan, gave similar testimony March 25, the first day of Edwards’ hearing. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
by Dylan Watson
The One-Drop Rule
he Citizens’ Council was founded two Senate. Lord said he called Phil Bryant’s office you see interracial couples in TV programs, blocks from my doorstep in Indianola again shortly before the night’s meeting and he said, “it’s supposed to be accepted like an in 1954. The fact that such an influen- was relieved to find it had died in the Senate. everyday thing.” When he was growing up, if tial anti-integration organization began Lord told the audience to stay vigilante, say- you saw an interracial couple walking around, its work in my small town in the Delta really ing, “It’s just like diarrhea, it’s going to come you thought, “What the hell?” Hill still has caught my attention in 2008. The fact that I at- back on you again if you don’t keep at with the this reaction, he said. tended a school that Council members helped Pepto-Bismol.” Hill complained about the liberal media, start to bring my interest up to the which he said is slanted against level of full-blown fascination. capitalism and conservatism. He Fortunately, the Citizens’ told the group to talk to their Council is no longer in operation. children and grandchildren and The organization’s support waned tell them “exactly what’s going in the ’70s, and it eventually closed on,” because they’re not going up shop. But several successor orto hear it anywhere else. He told ganizations sprang up in its place, This bumper sticker is available for purchase through the Council of them to explain to their posterone even using mailing lists from Conservative Citizens’ website. ity “the difference between right the original Citizens’ Council: the and wrong, black and white.” Wrapping up his talk, Lord said that Bar- He then mentioned that his father told him Council of Conservative Citizens. Hearing that the Council of Conserva- bour had “gone crazy,” judging from his recent jokingly when he was younger, “If you ever tive Citizens was holding a meeting April 11 support for a state Civil Rights Museum. bring one of ‘them’ home, I’ll kill you.” right here in Jackson, a friend and I decided to After Lord, Bill Hinson (head of Pearl’s After some discussion about state and poke our heads in and take a look. Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter) said he local politics, Hill instructed the crowd About two dozen people attended the personally talked to the lieutenant governor to keep things calm and factual, and to state meeting, held at the Regency Hotel off about the Memorial Day measure, and urged not go out into the political arena with High Street. It started off with political pos- Bryant to put it in the “right” committee. He their emotions. turing from Bill Lord, the CofCC senior field then voiced his concern that the Council is in Hill cited recent statistics that show that coordinator (who infamously appeared with peril due to the lack of interest from young 48 percent of Mississippi Republicans surHaley Barbour in a 2003 photo on the CofCC adults. He went on to say that he saw a couple veyed are against inter-racial marriage. After website). Lord complained about the liberal of young people in the crowd, but that was it. some back and forth with the crowd, he said, nature of the Southern Poverty Law Center, At this point, my friend and I exchanged an “They can pack it out at JSU; why can’t we which has deemed the Council of Conserva- awkward glance. With the exception of one pack it out here?” tive Citizens a hate group. or two other young men, we were the only This question elicited what was probably Lord warned that the SPLC will not wel- people there under age 50. the most frightening comment of the meetcome any organization unless it “welcome(s) Hinson then tried to sell the crowd on ing: “When a white woman has a black baby, the gays and the queers.” membership in the organization, which is only baby’s still black. Don’t forget that,” an elderly He then talked about one of the Coun- $25 annually. He pointed out the fact that you gentleman in the front declared. cil’s victories: saving the Mississippi state flag a could find most of the people in the room at Hill then paused for a moment, before decade ago. One of the Council’s primary mo- your average baseball or football game, cheer- looking at the man with a serious face. “We tives is to preserve “southern heritage.” ing for “big, strong, muscular, black athletes,” got the one-drop rule in Mississippi,” he said. In February 2011, the Mississippi House but you can’t get them in the organization for “The what?” the old man asked. passed a measure making the last Monday in a measly $25 a year,. “The one-drop rule,” Hill repeated. “If April Civil Rights Memorial Day. ConfederThe final speaker was David Hill, a na- you got one drop, then you’re black.” ate Memorial Day is observed on that day, and tional CofCC director and the event’s planner. The atmosphere in the room seemed to this was Lord’s next point of discussion. Hill lamented that today’s children are forced change. Hill’s quip was met with an eerie siAfter reading about the House’s measure to learn from watered-down textbooks that lence instead of laughter. in the “Clarion Liar,” as Lord called it, he tele- de-emphasize Civil War history and that claim Hill said that he had been rambling too phoned the lieutenant governor’s office and slavery was the war’s only cause. long. He urged the crowd to eat what was left urged him to put the measure in the “right” He told us that Hollywood is “indoctri- from the dinner earlier, and he officially ended committee when it was transmitted to the nating our children like never before.” When the meeting.
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April 20 - 26, 2011
COURTEESY TRIPP MULDROW
ripp Muldrow is a busy man. In who is in Hinds County and has been here We are working on a very small budthe past year, he has spent 150 days all their livesâ€”how do you do that objec- get. The way we like to think about it is traveling throughout the country, tively? And this is just me being blunt: We the way we do branding. Itâ€™s like when you listening to residents and compress- have done it in 200 places. Thatâ€™s what we throw a party. If you are putting investing often-complicated stories into brands do. Our specialty is community branding. ment in and youâ€™re trying to do economic that instill community pride. â€Ś We have done branding all over Mis- development, create industry and retain The Hinds County Economic De- sissippiâ€”Pascagoula, Clinton, Hancock people to stay in a place, and youâ€™re invelopment Authority recently signed a County, Cleveland. We know Mississippi, vesting in quality social series, education $10,000 contract with Muldrowâ€™s urban- and that puts it in perspective, too. and making your place look good. Those planning firm, are very important expenditures. But if Arnett Muldrow youâ€™re not telling people, itâ€™s like having a & Associates, to party and not sending out an invite. A lot develop a brand of investments are taking place (in Hinds for Hinds County. County), and we need to make sure the Muldrow says the invitation is reading right. goal of branding Hinds County is How do you encourage collaborto unite the county, ation and make attract industry and sure it is part of new residents. the processâ€” As part of the Hinds County rebranding The Green- effort, Arnett Muldrow & Associates will instead of comville, S.C., firm will provide a logo and signage design. Pictured petition? host a three-day above is the logo for client Arkansas Delta. A short winbranding session dow makes it easJuly 11 through 14, ier. Often times, It seems like with meetings open to the public. The when you draw there are some process involves a series of meeting with the process out, competing community leaders and the public to you create more rebranding form logos, taglines, marketing plans, friction. Itâ€™s more efforts taking web pages and signage that will represent time to study it to place in Jackson. Hinds County. death. In a short How do you time frame, we almake sure they Which of your firmâ€™s branding low people to give donâ€™t overlap? campaigns is most similar to a lot of input, and Hinds County? If there are althen they get to Thatâ€™s tough because everything is so ready other things Tripp Muldrow, partner in the urbanalmost instantaplanning firm Arnett Muldrow & Associates, differentâ€”as far as it being county wide. going on, we want will lead Hinds County through a branding neously see the reWe havenâ€™t done as many counties as we to be very respectful process this summer. sult of that input. have cities because counties donâ€™t often ask of those. â€Ś Often Itâ€™s one of the rare for this kind of thing to be done. We have times, every brand slots within another experiences that a citizen can say somedone work in Hancock County, Miss. â€Ś brand. The easiest way to explain that is thing on a Wednesday and see results on Another county we have done is Dorches- to think about General Motors. General a Friday. â€Ś If you want an example, we ter County in South Carolina, but itâ€™s Motors is a car company. General Mo- were in Starkville last week, and the tagoutside Charleston, and it doesnâ€™t have a tors also owns Buick. Buick also has a car line we came up with is â€œMississippiâ€™s Colcapital city as its centerpiece. But it does called the LaCrosse. Each one of those is lege Town.â€? have a fairly large city with a population a brand identity. GM has a brand idenof 50,000. tity that makes it different from Ford or Wonâ€™t Oxford be mad at you? Mercedes. Buick has a brand identity that We looked at Oxford and what OxWhat about demographics? makes it different from Chevrolet or Ca- ford was saying about itself. In none of its The demographics differ so widely. dillac, but both of those are GM cars. â€Ś publications was it claiming it to be a colWe have done branding for San Pedro, There are communities within Hinds lege town. It was almost like you should Calf., a neighborhood of Los Angeles. â€Ś County that have their own identity. In know that already. If Oxford isnâ€™t going to We just did Starkville last week as a char- that case, we want to think of this brand claim it, then Starkville ought to dog-gone rette. Everything is so different; itâ€™s hard as a platter that is serving up these com- well claim it. Then we went a step further, to do comparables. I will say that this is a munities. We want that platter to be as and suggested that on football weekends little unique because it is a county that is good as looking as we can create it. â€Ś in the fall, Starkville work with the unihome to a capital city, and I can say with The communities get to look good on versity on what we are calling â€œNew South all candor that we have never done a coun- the backdrop of something that also looks Weekend.â€? That was gutsy because we ty that is home to a capital city. good. Sometimes people look at it as an knew New South was a juxtaposition to umbrella, and thatâ€™s where the threat Ole Miss. We were nervous because we How are you able to brand the comes in. We are not creating an umbrella didnâ€™t know if the community was that county if you arenâ€™t from here? to shield the communities within, or force ready, but they loved it, and the next thing Itâ€™s the same reason why we wouldnâ€™t them to come under something else. we know, they are buying the rights to be comfortable branding our hometown Mississippicollegetown.com. of Greenville: We know it too well. We This is a tight budget year, and a are too vested in it. The outside perspec- lot of public services are under the Comment at www.jfp.ms. For more intive allows us to look at Hinds County in knife. It this is best use of taxpayerâ€™s formation on Arnett Muldrow & Associates, relation to other places, whereas someone money? visit arnettmuldrow.com.
by Adam Lynch
tal-illness expenditures to community-based services.” The institution-heavy system forces hundreds of children to “cycle through hospitals, emergency rooms, acute care facilities and residential treatment centers without obtaining any long-term relief,” complainants say. The state does not include intensive home- and community-based services in its Medicaid plan and does not make such services available on a consistent, statewide basis to children, Troupe says, even though the state commits to offering this when it accepts federal Medicaid money. The Mississippi Youth Programs Around the Clock is a home and community-based Medicaid waiver program that provides intensive case management and respite services for people under age 21 who are eligible for psychiatric residential facility treatment. The SPLC says only 180 children were enrolled in the program at the time of the March 2010 suit, however, compared to nearly 2,000 children receiving institutionalized care. The state filed a motion to dismiss the case last May, arguing that plaintiffs named in the case have not suffered sufficient injury. Plaintiffs have not alleged that they applied for or were refused payment for services, the motion states. In response, the Department
of Justice filed a brief this month urging the court, under U.S. District Court Judge Henry Wingate, to deny the state’s request. “Defendants’ interpretation of what is required of states under the (federal) provisions is not only inconsistent with the provisions’ plain language, but it also flies in the face of the legislative history of those provisions,” DOJ attorney Anne Raish wrote. “Prompting the enactment of and amendments to these provisions was Congress’ concern that Medicaid-eligible children were not actually receiving the screening, diagnosis and treatment services to which they were entitled, despite the availability of funding.” Mississippi Department of Mental Health spokeswoman Wendy Bailey said the institutional care that the department provides is never unnecessary. “For a population of 2.9 million people in Mississippi, the Department of Mental Health operates only 100 acute psychiatric beds and 48 psychiatric residential treatments beds for children and adolescents,” Bailey said in a statement. “The children who come to the (Mississippi) Department of Mental Health for services are court committed to receive inpatient care. While in our care, many receive job training, college prep classes and opportunities to pursue their GED and all DMH
facilities operate an accredited school. Troupe said the state had no real argument regarding a general lack of resources. “This is a matter of what should come first: the chicken or the egg. We’re not going to have community service when these longterm institutional facilities are eating up all the money,” Troupe said. “Some of the kids there might need long-term care, but they need more than facility service. They need help coping in the community after they get out, because the day they turn 18 they open the door and turn them out.” Troupe said community-based treatment for the mentally ill has been proven in other states to be as effective and less expensive than institutional health care. Comment at www.jfp.ms.
ississippi could lose a lawsuit over its mental-health system now that the U.S. Department of Justice supports the suit. “This adds a lot of credibility to a lawsuit when the Department of Justice recognizes that the state of Mississippi is in violation of a federal law regarding its health-care system,” said the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mississippi Initiatives Director Jody Owens. Last year, the SPLC filed suit in U.S. District Court in Jackson, arguing that children with behavioral or emotional disorders “face a rigid, facility-based mental-health system that both ignores and exacerbates their needs.” The suit argues that the state offers too few alternatives to institutionalized mentalhealth treatment, and that ill children must “either deteriorate to the point of crisis required for involuntary hospitalization or submit to unnecessary institutionalization.” Plaintiffs, who include Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities Executive Director Mary Troupe, say the state is aware of the problem. The suit references a 2008 Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review report warning that as of 2005, “Mississippi still ha[s] yet to follow the national trend set (more than) 15 years ago of devoting the majority of its men-
DOJ Scrutinizing State Mental Health
opining, grousing & pontificating
Lawmakers: Stop the Foolishness
he political dramas that are playing out in Washington, D.C., these days are so far removed from reality back here in Mississippi that it’s shameful. In particular, the Tea Party’s ability to get the Republican Party to (at least pretend to) swing even farther to the right has raised the level of gamesmanship to what is perhaps an all-time high. The really tragic part is how many jobs, and perhaps lives, would be lost back here in Mississippi should the strategy to shrink government at any cost whatsoever play out. We actually don’t think many Republicans actually want government shrunk to the point that it can be flushed down the toilet—as neocon Grover Norquist famously said—but we are dismayed to see them going along with supposed attempts to do just that, to be able to later run “against” the president and Democrats in Congress with some juicy rhetoric. This kind of trickery, of course, is not limited to the GOP, but much more is at stake than it usually is when Democrats try similar kinds of chicanery (such as saying they support clearly unconstitutional Internet censorship, knowing full well that the courts would overturn it; looking at y’all, Clinton administration). These days, the stakes are extremely high for Mississippians. So many of the programs on the line would leave the state decimated financially should they be cut—from job loss alone. Our state happens to be the one most reliant on the federal government for mere survival (the reason our supposedly fiscally conservative U.S. senators are both earmark kings in Washington). Last week, though, Democrats called House conservatives’ bluff, deciding to vote “present” on a radical-right budget proposal by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, that would bring $9.5 trillion in cuts over the next decade (as opposed to Paul Ryan budget that would cut $6.2 trillion; see page 15 for the lies rolled up into that one). Because Democrats voted “present” instead of “no,” Republicans were left scrambling to change their votes so that the clearly political budget proposal would not pass—and hurt their chance for re-election. Of course, that kind of political trickery isn’t the only kind infecting the halls of Congress. The Tea Party influence is causing outright untruths and scare tactics about the budget, such as the kind we have long seen radical-right extremists use here in the state of Mississippi. Not the least of those is the plain truth about taxes and how they work in the United States; see our cover story by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston this issue to learn the truth about many of those myths. Meantime, every citizen should tell our lawmakers to stop lying to us in the name of politics. If some of them get their way, purposefully or not, Mississippi will pay a severe price.
The Mean Machine
April 20 - 26, 2011
oneQweesha Jones: “As president of HairDid University, I’m sick and tired of the programmed news of honey-coated lies from the mean machine. I’m talking about these ambitious politicians, greedy corporate CEOs, Donald Trump, the Gang of Six, etc., running the same game with another name. They benefit by stealing your time and hard-earned money, using the latest tricks to get rich quick from nonsense at your mind’s expense. By the way, I just channeled lyrics from the ‘Last Poets,’ a group of poets and musicians from the American Civil Rights Movement. “It’s time for the people to escape the slave plantation of this capitalistic nation and become self-sufficient. It’s time to use our talents, skills and abilities to help ourselves. Hair-Did University is here to create and develop an independent Ghetto Science community. “I’ve recruited Grandma and Grandpa Pookie to teach continuing-education classes in gardening and agriculture. Students will learn how to grow food, maintain livestock and conduct agri-business. This will end the Ghetto Science Community’s dependence on genetically modified foods and other products. I’ve also appointed Brother Hustle to start the Compensatory Investment Request Technical Institute. Brother Hustle will train students to acquire funding (using Compensatory Investment Request techniques and methods, aka begging) for our new Ghetto-Caid Health-Care Program and other independent projects. “Since the government and wealthy 1 percent won’t help us, we must open the doors and help ourselves. The Ghetto Science Community can es12 cape the foolishness of the mean machine.”
LETTERS ‘Lest Ye Be Judged’ I can identify with Donna Ladd’s column, “Lest Ye Be Judged,” (Vol. 9, No. 23). There are so many women like your mother just walking around you. Yes, they are poor, but by choice. I raised six girls (I never had any biological children so you can see that they were stepchildren to me). When they were young, my girls made me so many promises about what they were going to be when they reached their late teens. Had they kept their promises, I would have a lawyer, a teacher, a nurse, a social worker, etc. But they did not keep their promises, Ms. Ladd. What I got in return was six unwed mothers (who) I call “Welfare Queens.” I am not judging them, but I am ashamed of what they turned out to be. Right at their senior year in high school, they got funny ideas about having children early. I do not understand where these ideas came from. It seems to me that it was easier to be an ordinary person to them than to achieve a dream of what they could have been. When the oldest girl got pregnant, the other girls got jealous and got pregnant, too. Only one finished college, and when she graduated, she turned out to be worse than the others. She started chasing married men, birthing two children. Now she’s at home with me and (without a) job. I took blame on myself for a long time. Then they told me: “It wasn’t you. You raised us right. We just did what we wanted to do even though it was the wrong thing to do.” When they were young girls, they were so respectful and well behaved. I never would have dreamt that the girls would turn out this way. Now, some are rebounding, but the girls still have terrible taste in the men they choose. Most of the men they choose I would not invite over to have dinner with the rats in the woods. They love men who, along with a little help from them, put
them through hell. They seem to love it. I would tell all parents (that) as children get to be young adults, please do not blame yourself for the problems the children create for themselves. They constantly make wrong choices. —James Coleman Jackson
Study Office-Space Needs Dear Editor: As one of the senators representing Jackson and Hinds County in the Mississippi Legislature, I read with interest your editorial on the proposal to build a new State Tax Commission building near the intersection of Ridgewood Road and Lakeland Drive (“Let the Private Sector Work” Vol. 9, Issue 31). I, along with many other Hinds County legislators, opposed building a new $50 million state office building at Lakeland and Ridgewood. This plan was removed from the bill that was passed. I believe state taxpayers would be best served by a low-cost, longterm lease at one of many already existing locations in Hinds County. Time and time again, the state spends too much money constructing new buildings across the metro area when there are privately owned buildings that are well maintained, convenient to the citizens of the state and offer a better deal for taxpayers. These properties would also stay on the tax rolls, supporting local governments (that provide essential services to employees) and schools. The big picture is this: The state needs a comprehensive study on how best to meet its office-space needs. This study ought to lay out a plan to preserve residential neighborhoods, foster economic revitalization, and effectively manage state spending on buildings and facilities. —Sen. David Blount State Senate - District 29 (Hinds Co.)
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ou know the story: Well-off white folks are fleeing Jackson en masse to escape the encroaching â€œblack plague.â€? Bougie blacks are following their white counterparts by first moving into whiter areas of the city and later to the vanilla suburbs. The white and black middle classes are abandoning the poor and desperate black massesâ€”who, by the way, are chronically stuck in a chocolate city where mediocrity, crime and cultural pathologies flourish. The remedy to Jacksonâ€™s plight, as the story goes, is getting those whites and blacks (whites, most importantly) with money back into the city to prevent impending urban demise. This is the basic plot of the narrative preoccupying the public discourse about economic and community development in Jackson. Recent 2010 U.S. Census data revealing Jacksonâ€™s decadelong population reduction has escalated media debate about the persistent power of race and class. Journalists are editorializing what they believe is wrong with us, namely: not enough (white) folks with money to help Jackson get back on track. Others say that white racism and intra-racial black classism are the obvious reasons why folks are rushing to the suburbs. To be sure, much of the debate is right to highlight the omnipresent realities of racism and classism that help determine some peopleâ€™s choices to leave Jackson (or to not move here if relocating). Racial, economic and cultural bigotries cannot be ignored. They are real and sinister. But this is not the whole story. This popular narrative, though accurate in some ways, fails to express the nuance that is evident to me. There are other variables at play, and ignoring them may cause us to miss a greater lesson. In addition to racism and classism, I offer what philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche quipped: â€œWe are human, all too human.â€? At a deeper, more immaterial level, humans make myriad decisions that may be conditioned by race and class, but nonetheless emerge from a more complex dimension of human longing. This human longing can be called several thingsâ€”the immigrant impulse, survival of the fittest, hedonism or what have you. At a basic level, humans are motivated by any number of wants and needs. Humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow called this our hierarchy of needs. For many folks, the need for personal and financial security, and the predictability of successful outcomes for self and family, all go into why people choose to live and shop and
play where they do. We must include this Darwinian drive toward self-preservation and passing on the gene pool, not just race or class, in our diagnoses of Jacksonâ€™s urban problem. To reduce everyoneâ€™s decision to move to a racial or class impetus prevents us from looking at just how basically human some of those decisions are. Reducing all this just to race and class avoids a deeper look at how all of us, from lesser to greater degrees, are shaped by our contemporary capitalisticconsumerist culture, a culture that has granted us expediency and choices ad infinitum. Ours is a pro-choice culture populated by buffets, malls and rapidly changing personal technologies. We treat each other and make decisions about where we live much like we do our experiences in the larger consumer world in which we live and move and have our being. Larger forces condition our basic psycho-spiritual needs, influencing everything from the smart phone you own to the persons you have sex with to the churches you choose from week-to-week. Looking at motivations psychologically doesnâ€™t necessarily provide a normative argument. I seek to simply describe another perspective that should be taken seriously as we analyze the census data and progress toward solving Jacksonâ€™s population concerns. My hope is that seeing this debate from a different perspective may help us get at some of the deeper, more nuanced reasons why whites and blacks are migrating away from Jackson. In addition to speaking with the pundits, developers and activists about the future of Jackson, we must include voices of those who will address our concerns at a level deeper than skin pigmentation and class. We need psychologists, theologians, philosophers, spiritual guides and ethicists at the table helping us envision with greater clarity the complicated and nuanced dimensions of human motivation and interaction. If we donâ€™t, weâ€™ll be telling the same old flat story 10 years from now. The Rev. CJ Rhodes, a Hazelhurst native, attended Ole Miss and Duke Divinity School in North Carolina, where he earned his masterâ€™s of divinity. He then worked as an administrative assistant to Dolphus Weary at Mission Mississippi, a Christian organization that works to bring people together. Installed in July 2010, Rhodes is the pastor at Mount Helm Baptist Church, the youngest in the churchâ€™s history.
Humans make myriad decisions that may be conditioned by race and class, but nonetheless emerge from a more complex dimension of human longing.
CORRECTION: In Vol. 9, Issue 31, we failed to identify Jerrick Smith as the photographer of Jacksonian Darrell â€œDocâ€? Cousins. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for the error.
All are invited to join us in worship. GALLOWAY UMC 305 North Congress Street Jackson, MS www.gallowayumc.org
Easter Sunday, April 24 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Easter Worship Service Rev. Drs. Connie and Joey Shelton
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