Hate Crime Killing On Video: This Still Happens

by Pam Spaulding

As the teens were partying and drinking miles away from Jackson that night, in largely white Rankin County, Dedmon told friends they should leave, saying “let’s go fuck with some niggers,” according to law enforcement officials…Shortly after he allegedly drove the truck over Anderson, Dedmon allegedly boasted and laughed about the killing, according to testimony given by some of the teens to detectives.

I ran that nigger over,” Dedmon allegedly said in a phone conversation to the teens in the other car.

From CNN’s latest report on this heinous crime. WAPT’s report noted that a local pastor says Dedmon launched a ‘campaign Of harassment’ and told law enforcement officials that he was capable of killing someone.

I caution you to think about whether you want to watch this video, since it’s graphic, but honestly, if you want to see what racism breeds…

In Mississippi, young men decided that their entertainment for the evening was to go for a drive and kick the sh*t out of the first black person that they came across. (CNN):

The recently released footage shows the teens beating and ultimately running over 49-year-old James Craig Anderson. The suspects reportedly left a Hinds County, Mississippi party together with the intention of finding a black victim and drove to a nearby predominantly black area of Jackson where they attacked Anderson, the first black man they saw upon exiting the highway.

The incident was made available to CNN and shows a group of teens pulling into a parking lot and immediately attacking Anderson. The graphic images then show them going back and forth between their cars and Anderson, pummeling the man with punches and kicks. It ends with a shocking, detailed footage of one of the teens, identified as 18-year-old Deryl Dedmon, Jr., driving his Ford F250 pickup truck over Anderson as he sought to walk away from the scene of the attack.

Two teens are being held for allegedly beating Anderson repeatedly and yelling racial epithets, including “White Power!” according to witnesses.

– CNN

The fact that these teens were ready to kill any black person they came across is chilling; it is very hard for me not to project myself in that situation – my life is worthless to people like this. Life snuffed out in an instant.

You have to ask yourself — what kind of home life did these teens have? Was there bold and open racist talk by their parents that sowed the seeds of hate? What kind of diversity existed in their school lives? Mississippi has to own this kind of cultural nightmare; but so do a lot of states, even ones with diverse populations, that still deal with racism, colorism and violence over cultural differences.

We have come a long way in terms of laws on the books to address discrimination, but in other, darker corners of society, nothing much has changed at all for a slice of the population that sees people of color as expendible, exploitable, and an obstacle to their desire to remain socially segregated.

It really makes me want to weep thinking a drive into any “sundown town” area is still taking my life in my hands in 2011, but it is, even with a biracial President.

Barack Obama’s election may be a cultural milestone, but in some quarters it has drawn out racial animus that formerly simmered below the surface.

We should not take this incident in Mississippi as some one-off in order to distance ourselves from the larger problem of unabashed racism that we saw great evidence of during the 2008 campaign. It’s there, and we all own it.

James Craig Anderson paid the price because of our inability to address this national shame.

Originally published on Pam’s House Blend. Republished WITH PERMISSION MOTHERF*CKERS.

has written 11 articles for us.

51 Comments

      • I guess it’s very easy for white people to just breeze by unpleasent racial images. Afterall, a cornerstone of white privilege is the ability to block out racial realities if you don’t want to think about it.

        Not being white, I don’t have that luxury. While the beating and murder was horrific, it is hardly surprising. Watch groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center have been noticing a spike in racist and militant right wing activity since the election of President Obama.

        • I have recently found an excellent talk on white privilege by Tim Wise, the author of the book “White Like Me”. I encourge white people to watch this and pass it on to as many white people that are willing to watch it. Maybe then you may get some inkling of what’s actually going on in this country. Link below.

          http://youtu.be/Y2mjvFNOwmc

  1. Kudos for putting this story on this site. When I heard about this story I wasn’t surprised at all, especially when I found out that it happened in Mississippi. This is why blacks in the south avoid certain areas because your chances of having that shit happen to you increases dramatically. Times like this I wish the Black Panther Party was still around. I want those white boys (who are not in jail) to try that same crap in the hood and see what happens.

      • Well I don’t see just taking this kind of crap as getting us anywhere good either. Since all these fools seem to understand is violence I say we start speaking their language right back at them. Maybe when stuff starts popping off more people will start paying attention to the racism in this country. I will say it right now I hope the names of all of the people involved get out and they get whats coming to them.

          • I’m sorry, but I really don’t think this is true, in the sense that they need no justification, or rather feel they already have it.

          • I didn’t say that the racists are right, but think about it: you’re part of the demographic made up of white affluent middle-class families; you hear on the news about a group of young black men beating up white boys (maybe you even know some of the white kids). You want to tell me that certain members of your group aren’t going to react because of the race issue? Some people just don’t understand their own racism; some may avoid black people on the street but not call themselves racist.

            I’m not saying that this gives them justification (racism is never justified), I’m just saying to the other side (the Whites, in this case), having POC retaliate violently is NOT going to help their cause.

          • I (white) agree with this. I grew up in a white community, with few black people. I did “other” black people as a child, and would take special notice of them; my eyes would linger on them a little longer, because they were different.

            I grew up a bit more, and all that melted away. While I no doubt had some prejudiced thinking, I had never been afraid of or in anyway ‘anti’ black person. I didn’t understand how people could be racist, and didn’t understand why people would avoid the ‘black sections’ of towns. Then, one day, I was stuck in a riot. While I don’t remember the purpose or motives of the full riot, I do remember racial elements. I remember black passengers being passed over, and white women being pulled from their cars and assaulted. Open windows (summer) were met with bleach filled soaker hoses and racial slurs. It’s a little embarrassing, but I was scared.

            I am not a white supremecist, but I can say that the experience made me understand some of the fear motivators for racism, in all directions. It has also changed the way I interact with my surroundings. After that and another assault, I do think twice about going through violent black sections of town. I recognize the hypocrisy in this, and they usually stop at second thoughts, but the truth is that the violence did make me fearful. And fear is a factor in racism.

            After the incident, the town (more mixed than my own town, but still predominantly white), amped up security at the next event that would attract a larger black crowd than normal. It was unfair and unjust, and had racial elements. But it also was probably the safest thing to do (not because of the race of attendees, but because there was a large congregation of out-of-town college fraternity members soon after a riot)

          • I want to add that the whole situation was chaotic, and that I don’t believe it was organized in the least, but rather an explosion after way too many people were in a small, unfamiliar town all at once. Town officials did respond in some racist ways, and some exaggerated the element of racism. I believe most of the mob was just mindlessly causing mayhem, with a few participants using it as a means to express their racist views through violence.

        • …you’ve got a good point. I’m just super cynical, and I expect that if blacks retaliate, more whites will become/give into their racism and it’ll just get ugly.

          I just don’t think violence is a solution for (almost) any situation.

  2. Utterly shameful for our whole country. And I want to make sure we emphasize what the author said about not writing this off as some sort of “crazy deep south thing.” It could happen anywhere because, as most of us know, racism still exists and is very real.

  3. So sad. And a reminder that it is not enough to expunge racism from my own thoughts and actions. Never know what kind of ripple effect it can have to speak up and let others know that this, and other less obvious forms of racism, is not okay.

  4. I saw a documentary on white supremacism, and it seemed like often enough teenage skinheads (which I’m assuming these kids are, judging by the fact that they shouted “White Power”) came from homes that ranged from fairly normal to abusive-but-not-racist. Maybe it’s just because parents crying and wondering what they did wrong is more dramatic, but I got the impression that more of them were lonely, angsty teenagers who became involved with a slightly older skinhead crowd than were children steeped in high-octane racism from birth.

  5. No offense, but what does this have to do with “girl-on-girl culture.” We can turn into Fox News and just report on which human beings suffered the most and which human beings committed the most deplorable acts, but I like that that’s NOT what this site is about. I hope this isn’t a new editorial direction for Autostraddle.

    • Uh, because it has to do with a hate crime, which is something any minority, whether that minority is gays, blacks, or lesbians, has been through. I guess you don’t care about the senseless loss of life unless there’s a rainbow slapped over it -_-

      • I knew someone would comment with, “BECAUSE THIS IS A HATE CRIME AND THAT’S ALL OF OUR BUSINESS AS MINORITIES.” Well, maybe so. But whether you like it or not, hate crimes happen a lot. All the time, actually. Maybe they are not as brutal and as disturbing as the footage (which I did not choose to watch), but they happen. So why, then, is this story being given attention and a spot on this site while others are routinely ignored? Precisely because it is brutal and disturbing. I swear, news is treated like the Olympics of suffering sometimes. The more disturbing and chilling, the more play it gets. I don’t believe in that. I don’t think that’s news. How many children go missing everyday, who don’t have a hot mom named Kaylee Anthony? How many women are missing or murdered, but aren’t a pretty young white girl named Natalie Holloway? I think that’s the wrong approach to news and broadcast news is a failure as a Fourth Estate. They want the shocking visual. They want what’s sexy. Without this video of this man being murdered, where’s the story? We know almost nothing about these kids, where they come from or why they did this. Let’s examine reasons and solutions, instead of marveling at someone else’s death.

  6. This is sickening. I cannot fathom how people can justify this type of behavior in modern society. Do these kids even realize what they’ve done?

    I just…these are the moments when my faith in humanity slips that little bit more. And it hurts.

  7. I watched it because graphic violence is usually an over statement to protect viewers from seeing something they might interpret as graphic but actually isn’t….I was obviously wrong.
    If there was a security guard there why the fuck didn’t anyone help him? More importantly how are there still places in the world where teenagers would drive somewhere especially to kill a black man?!

  8. It’s horrible to think that two people could be so ignorant and just plain awful. They deserve everything they get in prison, and frankly I think they should be there for the rest of their lives. Racism, particularly violence motivated by race is just disgusting and shouldn’t be tolerated. That being said, where is the article on the racially motivated attacks of black teenagers on white fair goers? Racism goes many ways, and I think all of them need to be addressed.

    • Seriously replying to some of these comments could cause my blood pressure to rise, so instead, I’ll just hide myself in my room and surround myself with rainbows and unicorns and pray that in being black and queer and womyn that I will not ever have to encounter some of these opinions in person.

      also, even though i’m not quite religious, i will pray for all of those who carry such a disdain for human life that they mercilessly take it, hatred or not, racism or not. we will kill ourselves. we are killing ourselves.

  9. You will see more of this.From both races.Many whites & blacks have had enough and are geting up off their knees of racism they faced and will start lashing out like this more often.If a racist express enough racism to one,they may become a racist too sometimes from the bottled up anger that racist caused them.Riots,flash mobs,murders,mass murders,black panthers,kkk,yeah its coming back again sadly.

  10. The statement That’s why blacks don’t like to come to the south are full of shit! I’m white as can be and have aplenty of black friends and I’ve never heard any of them state they were scared they were going to get beat up by white men. Other comments I read about people being upset about hate crimes not being mentioned in the media when black folks beat up the whites. Well ya know why do you people have to jump to sides when stuff like this happens. We all know that kid was wrong because he made the comment to go mess with a black man and did so only because he was black. The media covers as much as they can and its not a conspiracy that they don’t cover certain stories based on the race that committed the crime. Mad cuz the white boy got caught? So what he deserved it! As well as the blacks who beat the whites in Wisconsin. What you need to realize is why its called a hate crime. Its not because a black man just so happened to kill a white man. Its the reason and motive as to why he killed. Just because a white cop got killed by a black doesn’t make it a hate crime. He killed him for other reasons not because he was white. Please stop the ignorance!!!!!!!!!

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