The death of an elected official occasions pain: Flags are lowered, praise is delivered, and reflections occur over a towering figure dying in one’s prime. Life quickly returns to normal, and one's example is forgotten.
Why certain Southerners are preoccupied with Old South iconography instead of future potentiality is a puzzlement. Our achievements have been legion when we have focused upon the present and future rather than a mythical yesteryear.
The refrain to the Temptations 1964 hit “The Way You Do The Things You Do” is apropos:
It is a source of satisfaction to learn that a column resonates with readers. Arguably none generated greater response for me than the questionnaire about Jackson “in the day,” published before last Christmas:
Cable television offers countless channels. Cyberspace provides ceaseless content. Yet technology leaves people unfulfilled on account of antediluvian impulses which found our ancient ancestors huddled around campfires answering “Who am I?” through creation stories and myths about constellations.
An unexamined misfortune intersecting centralization and cultural hegemony is that events outside mainstream America are considered irrelevant. Those of us with an abiding interest in Mississippi find absurdity in the suggestion: Mississippi’s music and literature are extraordinary. Tragic aspects of our history are no less significant.