Thanks to the inability of Mississippi Governor Hailey Barbour to connect with the realities of the suffering and oppression that transpired in his state when given an open microphone to speak frame a period in the past per his own narrative the small town of Yazoo City Mississippi has been in the news.
As with former Virginia senator George Allen - a self inflicted "foot in mouth" has given those who are among their respective ideological and partisan enemies enough ammunition to insure that Barbour will never dare to set foot into the rink as a US Presidential aspirant for the Republican Party. Indeed this is a "Mission Accomplished" moment among the "Lampblack Yellow Journalist Press" and their "Black Progressive-Fundamentalist Blogger Understudies". For the same people who report more upon Republicans like Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, Steele and Boehner their targeted coverage on the outrage against the favorable or at least benign remembrance of the Conservative Citizens Council of Yazoo City MS was a worthy story for their front page coverage.
I Get Curious When I Hear "Indictments Of The Past" For Future Positioning But Silence About The Present Condition
Just as Mississippi Governor Hailey Barbour was given a comfortable environment during his interview with a conservative magazine. He was asked to recount a particular moment in time and sculpt the narrative, using any words or points of emphasis of his choosing. Bourbor failed because he did not connect with the reality of the situation at hand.
As I observed the flurry of articles, television commentary, editorial cartoons and conversations about Barbours comments there was one radio report that drew my curiosity. A civil rights reporter from Mississippi made the case that while Yazoo City did in fact integrate without violence - they did so in 1970 AND most of the White kids had departed the public school system for private - Christian academies, thus avoiding placement inside of the classroom with Black students.
So much focus upon the CCC. Not a single mention of Yazoo City and its public schools TODAY.
What Is The Status Of The Public Schools In Yazoo City?
Yazoo City is a very small town in middle-western Mississippi. It is housed within Yazoo County MS.
Per the 2000 US Census - Yazoo City -
- Has 14,550 citizens
- Has a racial make up of:
- 28.7% White
- 66.9% Black
- 0.2% Native American
- 0.6% Asian
- 7.8% of the above races who are classified as Hispanic
- An income level of $19.893
- A poverty rate of 40.2%
Yazoo COUNTY School System Statistics
That statistics indicate that the public schools inside of Yazoo City are stratified in the "underperforming" category. The Yazoo County schools that apparently ring the city schools appear to be one category higher than the city schools though still marginal in their performance.
Private School Attendance
With respect to the indictment about the exhodus to private schools - it is critical that we make note of the population of these school as a means of appraising the relevance of this issue today. The summary statement is that private school attendance is a mere 26% of the total population of school students within the city.
Analysis & Commentary
My goal is not to force anyone to change their mind.
My only agenda is to bring forth sufficient information to allow those who are seriously interested in leveraging the positive changes that have transpired between "back in the day" and the present to their community's advantage.
In my view the local institutions are most critical in this development process.
Simply put the results that are today rendered by the Yazoo City schools and its 99% Black student body is not in line with any reasonable assessment of what is necessary to insure that in 40 years conditions for the community in Yazoo City will be any different from today. All of this WITHOUT a "CCC of 2010" to thwart their development.
I have the opinion that "indictments from the past" does not substitute for "directed outcomes" applied TODAY. Yes it is true that there is a popular belief that Republican governor Hailey Barbour has a disposition that is incompatible with the development of the Black community or at minimum that he is insensitive to our plight. The fact remains, however, that there is abundant evidence that the network of adults who are running the Yazoo City Schools today and managing the academic careers of the students in the role of their parents are doing equal or greater harm to the successful disposition of the students of the school system than the publicized comments of Governor Barbour. While Barbour has likely received only a spattering of their votes of support - those adults that control the communities appear to operate with impunity.
Again -WHY is it that I have seen no other journalist make a visit upon the story of the quality standard of education in Yazoo City?