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Category: The South

When the Church is the Criminal

When the Church is the Criminal

The truth is, churches are not a safe place for children. I’m not saying children shouldn’t go to church with their parents, but I am saying that no child should ever be entrusted to a church leader. No child should ever be left alone or in small groups with a pastor or a youth pastor or a priest. The risks are too great.

‘He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting’

‘He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting’

I’ve read a lot of articles this week about the people and towns most affected by the current government shutdown, including this one about a small town in Florida where one of the biggest employers is the prison. The prison was shuttered by Hurricane Michael and many of the prison employees were already driving 400 miles for shifts at a prison in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Now they are doing so without pay and without reimbursement for travel expenses. It’s awful….

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Mississippi, You Have the Power

Mississippi, You Have the Power

You have the power to propel Mississippi into the future, to show the world that the state is more than a bunch of racists longing for the good ole days. Because, let’s face it, for many Mississippians, the good ole days have yet to arrive.

Notes From a Dumb Southerner

Notes From a Dumb Southerner

Apparently the current president called his attorney general a “dumb southerner” and made fun of his accent. This is one of many ugly incidents reported in Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book Fear. Look, I don’t like Jeff Sessions. He is a racist, sexist, homophobic, and self-righteous little man. But “dumb southerner” is an insult too far. One of Trump’s most annoying verbal habits is that he slings broad insults rather than specific ones. Calling Sessions a “dumb southerner” implies that all (or most)…

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Running While Fuming

Running While Fuming

I like to listen to podcasts when I run. The stories give my brain something to work on while my legs turn, though sometimes the stories make me angry. For example, recently I listened to the second season of “In the Dark” from American Public Media. It explores the case of Curtis Flowers, a man who has now spent more than 20 years behind bars for the 1996 murder of four people at a furniture store in Winona, Mississippi. The…

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Civility is Not the Goal

Civility is Not the Goal

We’re currently seeing numerous calls for civility in dealing with people on the opposite side of the political divide. These calls come from both Democrats and Republicans, though rarely in response to the same things. What passes for civility among friends is considered a grave insult when delivered by your enemy. Civility is an admirable goal. An uncivil society, in which citizens turn against one another instead of working together, will likely fall into chaos. But let’s stop equating civility…

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Chatting with Strangers

Chatting with Strangers

I spent the past week traveling through my home state of Mississippi. I read from my latest novel at bookstores in Oxford, Greenwood, and Jackson, before heading to New Orleans for the Tennessee Williams Festival. My mother and my husband stuck with me through Mississippi, but I am on my own in New Orleans. I don’t mind traveling alone. When you explore a city on your own, you can do it any way you please. And it’s a good way…

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