Changing Mississippi's state flag and educating voters are issues that have to be tackled to move the state forward. That's the opinion of a panel who participated in a recent symposium. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.
Where Do we Go From Here? That's the name of the symposium former Governor William Winter is moderating in Jackson. He talked about the progress Mississippi has made in race relations. Panelist Marty Wiseman, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Mississippi State University believes civil rights laws can mandate equal rights, but they can't change attitudes. He says the fight to keep the state flag with the confederate emblem flying when it's offensive to some is an example.
"And you see a generation of white people now when you say look we have got problems we've got to solve and they say I wasn't there when it was created and I don't have anything to do with it. That's troublesome." said Wiseman.
Wiseman says talking about race relations and compromise is important. Panelists Professor Daphne Chamberlain from Tougaloo College, James Barksdale with Barksdale Management and Senator John Horhn of Jackson, talked about education. They said all Mississippi students must receive a quality education to make the state competitive in the global economy. Horhn criticized majority African American operated school districts saying they can do better.
"We've go to quit turning these school districts into employment agencies, where we're not focused on turning out a good product but we're looking at how we can get our soror or our frat brother hired. It's ridiculous." said Horhn.
The panelist believe more voter education is needed, so people vote their interest and not a party line. The event was sponsored by Tougaloo College.