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.
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.