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Mississippi editorial roundup

Associated Press Published: November 13, 2012

Recent editorials from Mississippi newspapers:

Nov. 9

The Commercial Dispatch, Columbus, Miss., on the Ole Miss election night incident:

The recent ugly incident on the University of Mississippi campus is a stark reminder that race relations in Mississippi continue to be an issue, not just for the university but for our state.

Late Nov. 6 evening, in the hours immediately after President Barack Obama won re-election, approximately 400 students gathered in the Grove to protest, throw rocks and shout racial epithets. According to reports, the incident was fueled by the "gloating" of some black students over the re-election of our nation's first African-American president.

In turn, an undetermined number of Ole Miss students met in a confrontation. A student was quoted as saying that white students gathered on one side of the street, with black students on the other side. White students yelled racial slurs at the black students, according to the reports.

The university said there were no injuries. Two students were arrested, one for public drunkenness, the other for failure to obey police orders.

A report by Mississippi Public Broadcasting carried this particularly disturbing sound bite from one of the white students who was on the scene:

"(We were supporting) the Republican and Confederate side and they (the blacks) had their side."

The Confederate side?

It has been 151 years since the beginning of the Civil War and, paradoxically, 50 years since James Meredith enrolled at Ole Miss, prompting a deadly riot that remains one of our state's ugliest episodes.

Surely, we have moved beyond the idea that there is a "Confederate side," to embrace and defend. ...

The harshest assessment would be that Ole Miss is still the school of choice for those who embrace the Old South, with all its glories and all its prejudices and biases. In some quarters, at least, there is still some "white pride" defiance among Ole Miss supporters, despite the best efforts of the university's leadership to create a post-racial Ole Miss. It seems likely that the students who shouted racial slurs emerged from this mindset.

Ole Miss and the state of Mississippi suffer for it.

Our state has made progress, it is true. But we are not there yet.

Not even close.



Nov. 13

Northeast Miss Daily Journal, Tupelo, on the state budget and economy:

Mississippi's 2014 revenue estimate, approved by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and Gov. Phil Bryant, begins the long process of agreeing on state spending priorities for the budget cycle beginning July 1, 2013, and almost certainly some adjusted spending for the current budget because of a revised, higher revenue estimate.

The 14-member committee, by law, sets the revenue estimate every year before the next legislative session convenes, and the governor must concur.

In most years that's about as far as agreement extends because what the governor proposes will be followed by what the Legislature proposes, followed by the debates in the session.

The $5.02 billion estimate for 2014 is 1.6 percent higher than 2013 revenues, which is mildly encouraging, but in almost the same breath the state's chief economist, Darrin Webb, says we're still in a mild recession that started earlier in 2012, but we could pull out of it this quarter.

The official economic forecast from Webb and the other experts operating under the umbrella of the public universities has been consistently very cautious since late 2007.

The official economic forecast for the fourth quarter released this month explains Mississippi's situation in more detail:

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