Philosophy of Southern Echo

The Context

Racism remains the central problem in Mississippi, the South and the nation. Racism is about domination and control of the African-American community by the white community, not about hate. Hate is merely a tool for manipulating people.

The Southern states remain the poorest states in the richest nation in the world, and Mississippi is one of the poorest among them. In some counties in Mississippi the official unemployment rate is far above the national average and in some counties the unofficial unemployment rate is double the official rate.

In Mississippi in the last decade the income of black families has risen, but the increase in income and wealth in the white community has accelerated at a far faster rate. More than half of the African American children live in poverty, compared to less than 15% of white youth.

African American communities across the state continue to be plagued by the lack of a quality, first-rate public education system, continued discrimination in employment, the denial of effective access to enterprise capital, the lack of suitable, affordable, decent housing and safe and secure utilities infrastructure, and the inability to access effective, affordable health care, both preventive and remedial.

In many parts of Mississippi there remains a dual, segregated education system: one black, one white; one public, one private. The white community has maintained a private academy education system in many area of the state where the black student population exceeds 25 to 35 percent of the total student population. White political and business leaders, in the name of economic development, are targeting predominantly poor, rural, African-American communities in Mississippi for the location of new public and private prisons, and as major dumping grounds for hazardous and toxic waste materials from across the nation.

Although economic progress has been made, the gap between the black and white communities is getting wider in terms of education, income, economic opportunity, suitable and affordable housing and health care.


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