Letter to the Editor: 3.30.12

Dann Patterson,
 Alumnus from

As he dashed pell-mell from the Capitol in Jackson, the lame-duck, departing Republican governor of Mississippi, Barbour, issued pardons to several convicted murderers, understandably incensing families of crime victims and all reasonable, civic-minded citizens.

Unsurprisingly, Mississippi law allows it. The fine folk of Mississippi, whose history hurled the ilk of Ross Barnett and the horrific murder of young Emmett Till, recently gave a plurality of votes to Rickie Santorum, a self-appointed paragon of Christian values. Polls also revealed 52 percent of Mississippians believe President Obama to be a Muslim, not a Christian.

In an apparent unyielding devotion to its historic constancy of racism and amazing display of ignorance and shameless behavior, during the NCAA basketball tournament in which Kansas State defeated Southern Mississippi, members of the USM pep band, (no doubt the “brassy” section), yelled racial slurs to a Kansas State player, Anger Rodriguez, who is Puerto Rican.

The “scholarly” students/musicians screamed to Rodriguez, an American citizen, “Where’s your green card?” What were they thinking? Had they forgotten their valve oil, perhaps?

Rodriguez, in a contrast of class and dignity, promptly forgave them. (Reportedly, five band members lost their scholarships as punishment). Exacerbating embarrassment to the university, the president of USM fired off a letter of apology in which she misspelled Rodriguez’s name! Oh well. At least we can appreciate the contributions of Robert Bruce Smith IV, William Faulkner, along with Eudora Welty and of course, Elvis. Thank you, Magnolia State!