POLITICS

Judge Evokes Mississippi ‘Of Slavery, Lynchings, Pain And White Supremacy’ In Confederate Flag Ruling

Though he said the symbol is constitutional, he warned that his home state is dangerously out of step with the rest of the nation.
The Mississippi state flag, which incorporates the Confederate battle flag, hangs with other state flags in the subway system
The Mississippi state flag, which incorporates the Confederate battle flag, hangs with other state flags in the subway system under the U.S. Capitol in Washington on June 23, 2015.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves is no fan of the Confederate flag, and judging by his ruling on Thursday, he’s also pretty critical of the entire state of Mississippi.

Reeves, a black man and native Mississippian, ultimately dismissed the lawsuit that would have declared the Confederate battle emblem in his home state’s flag to be unconstitutional, saying there’s no part of the Constitution “which guarantees a legal right to be free from anxiety at State displays of historical racism.”

But Reeves used the ruling to make his distaste for the flag (which he called “repulsive”) ― and Mississippi’s continued use of it ― abundantly clear.

“Since the Civil War, this nation has evolved and breathed new life into ‘We the People’ and ‘all men are created equal,’” Reeves wrote in his conclusion. “Mississippi is known for its resistance to that evolution.” 

Since the Civil War, this nation has evolved and breathed new life into 'We the People' and 'all men are created equal.' Mississippi is known for its resistance to that evolution. U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves

“Part of that resistance stems from electing demagogues and those with empty rhetoric and false courage,” he continued. “The result is a State increasingly isolated from the rest of the nation.”

Mississippi Today reporter Adam Ganucheau highlighted a larger portion of the text, which is worth reading in its entirety:

“At times there is something noble in standing alone. This is not one of those times,” Reeves wrote. “The Confederate battle emblem has no place in shaping a New Mississippi, and is better left retired to history.”

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