I planned to write about something else until a friend told me about the untimely death of Mr. James Craig Anderson. If you don’t know anything about Mr. Anderson‘s demise, it’s not a surprise. The media did a good job of keeping him and the circumstances of his death out of the news. In contrast, the media kept viewers (listeners) informed everyday, many times a day, with the details of the Casey Anthony case – before, during and after her trial.

Mr. Anderson was a black man who was murdered on June 26 in Jackson, Miss. He just happened to be in a parking lot when a group of white teenagers drove up and beat him because they were looking for someone black to assault. One of the teens then drove his pickup over Mr. Anderson, killing him. All of this was caught on a surveillance camera.

The driver of the truck has been charged with capital murder. The FBI is now involved in the investigation of the murder and attack. It remains to be seen with what the other participants will be charged.

There are those (including the media, human rights organizations, authorities, etc) who minimize racial incidents in Mississippi. They are of the opinion that one should not be surprised by anything that happens in Mississippi. Nina Simone (late pianist, singer and composer) co-wrote a song called “Mississippi (blankety-blank – a curse word; look it up) in which she talks about the indignities black people suffer in this state. Thank goodness everybody wasn’t passive about what happened to Mr. Anderson in Mississippi. According to one report: “More than 500 people marched in Jackson, Miss. on Sunday (Aug. 14) to call attention to the murder of 49-year-old African American James Craig Anderson in what authorities say was a racially motivated hate crime.” I didn’t see coverage of this march, did you?

So here we are in 2011, in the U.S.A., a country that sends troops across oceans to fight for freedom and democracy, and the country still experiences events such as the murder of Mr. Anderson just because he’s black. Yes, Nina, “Mississippi #%*!”

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...