Monday, June 22, 2015

Democrat Governor Ronnie Musgrove Refused to Take Down Mississippi's Confederate State Flag in 2001

In 2001, Mississippi's Democrat Governor Ronnie Musgrove refused to take down the state's Confederate Battle Flag, running from the opportunity to pass state legislation tearing down the Democrat Party's symbol of racism, segregation, and domestic terrorism.

Coward is the word that comes to mind.

Instead up providing executive leadership on the flag's removal, he cravenly punted on the issue, putting it up for a referendum of the people. (There's little surprise how that vote turned out.)

Now angry activists are already pushing Mississippi as the next battleground over Southern heritage, with new demands to take down the racist Democrat Party state flag.

See Jackson Clarion-Ledger, "Petition seeks to change Mississippi flag":

Mississippi State Flag photo mississippi-flag_zps77phw9gk.png
The debate whether to remove the Confederate battle flag from South Carolina's state capitol, touched off by last week's Charleston church shooting, has arrived in Mississippi.

A petition dropped over the weekend seeks the removal of the Confederate emblem from Mississippi's official banner, the one that flies over most every government building. "In the wake of the devastating hate crime perpetrated at Mother Emanuel AME in Charleston, it is time to remove all symbols of hate from state and other government buildings. It is time for us to come together and move into the future in solidarity," the petition's background reads.

As of Monday afternoon, the petition (which can be viewed here) had gotten more than 3,000 signatures.

Jennifer Gunter, a Jackson native and two-time Ole Miss graduate who now pursues a Ph.D in American History at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, dropped the petition Saturday.

"I tell people that the flag that flies in front of the statehouse here, at least that's not your official state flag," she said in a phone interview Monday morning. "It's still a part of mine. I figured if we were going to change it, this would be the time. Are we still going to be the last to take it down?"

Oxford restaurateur John Currence was among the first 100 people to sign Gunter's petition. He called former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove's and lawmakers' decision to put the flag issue to a vote – rather than change it themselves like Georgia's legislature did in the early 2000s – an "insult."

"What's ironic more than anything else is that this simple act would be an enormous change for the state," Currence said in an interview Monday. "Other states, like Georgia, have prospered because of this, and we continue to stubbornly fight it."

Gunter said she would like for the petition to receive a minimum of 100,000 signatures before delivering it to lawmakers and to Gov. Phil Bryant. South Carolina's petition, as of Monday, had earned more than 400,000.

The calls to remove the flag from that state's capitol included a lot of Republicans, and not just state officials. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney made his position known over the weekend, Tweeting from his verified account that the flag was "a symbol of racial hatred." Current GOP contender Jeb Bush called for the flag's removal Monday.

The mood is different among Mississippi Republicans.

""A vast majority of Mississippians voted to keep the state's flag, and I don't believe the Mississippi Legislature will act to supersede the will of the people on this issue," Bryant said in a statement Monday. He was referring to the 2001 vote in which 64 percent of those who voted made the flag with the Confederate emblem the state's official banner. Bryant spokeswoman Nicole Webb said the governor voted with the majority...
The governor's decision was an "insult." A cowardly insult upholding Democrat Party racism, just like in South Carolina where Governor Fritz Hollings, a Democrat, hoisted the Confederate Flag over the statehouse back in 1961.

Republicans today are renouncing the heritage of the Democrat racist flag, and the Mississippi Republicans pining for old times are out of step with the national leadership, which has joined in with Nikki Haley in repudiating the heritage of Democrat Party racism.