The people of Mississippi have not been angels. The history of the Magnolia State and segregation invites the kind of scrutiny and criticism that has recently been visited upon the state. Media reports that the Walthall County School District has been ordered to stop segregating its schools raised the ire of most Americans because it was a reminder of a particularly ugly moment in this nation’s history–-a history that Americans have no desire to repeat.
Still it stretches the limits of credulity when a school that is 66% white and 35% black is labeled a “racially identifiable ‘white’” school and the county supporting the school is depicted as filled with a bunch of ugly racists just itching to don the bed sheets and ride through the night terrorizing the countryside. Yet, that is exactly the case in Walthall County, Mississippi.