Some factions within our community feel that they are being mistreated, and I guess if you do some real soul searching there may be some truth to their concerns.
However, this past week has painted our community in a pretty bad light.
The very idea that two young black men would have their lives taken at the hands of one of their contemporaries shows what little value some place on life.
As we have been able to confirm, a lot of money was involved in this incident, we have heard the figure of over $30,000, and marijuana was also involved.
Then, what was described as a “lovers’ quarrel” broke out at Love’s Truck Stop in which one person was shot, the suspect fleeing the scene of the incident.
To top it all off, a Simpson County deputy was shot and killed while transporting an inmate to Region 8 Mental Health Center, all in broad daylight on Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, you have all levels of law enforcement responding to these incidents, which could have turned out much worse if they had not been worked in such a professional manner.
We would like to single out the Simpson County Sheriff’s Department for their professionalism in working through all of this. Cooler heads prevailed and because of their leadership these situations did not get as bad as they could have become.
During this time, a protest had been scheduled in Mendenhall to address race issues in Simpson County. Not being a member of the black community, some of these issues do not register with some of us the way they should. But I really feel that many caucasian leaders that I know as well as black leaders could sit down and discuss problems in a reasonable manner to at least make attempts at trying to correct some grievances.
Having a protest instead of an open conversation could lead to something more tragic, as it already has in many cities. That is not what we need.
Despite that, the call for a protest last week was pushed, and our leaders, mainly Mayor Todd Booth of Mendenhall, decided to allow the march. We understand that Sheriff Paul Mullins was contacted also, and the Sheriff’s Department agreed to allow a protest to happen.
I got a terse phonecall from one of the protest organizers, who stopped just short of calling me a racist for things I said in my column last week. But after the conversation I had the feeling that I had been accused of being racist whether it was said or not.
The point I was trying to promote in that column was that it’s better for all sides to get together, sit down and discuss issues. But that was not the goal of this young person. The goal was to start a protest. Again, in my opinion a march or protest will do nothing more than polarize our community. What a sad commentary.
To all the law enforcement people who assisted in the calamities that challenged our communities last week, thank you. To Sheriff Paul Mullins, thank you. To the department as well as other agencies, thank you. Last but not least, to the family of Deputy Blair we are sorry for your loss but thank you for allowing him to serve Simpson County. It made our community a lot safer.