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Jackson Off-Topic Discussion

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Frank Melton, the Mayor of Jackson, has been in office since June, 2005. Since then, he has proven to be a flamboyant, polarizing figure. His tendency to act before thinking has gotten him into trouble. His latest antics are just the tip of the iceberg. For all his showmanship and big talk, I do think his heart is in the right place. I worry, however, that such brash talk may scare off development rather than nurture it. For just one example of his recent behavior...

The Jackson Free Press

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Frank Melton, the Mayor of Jackson, has been in office since June, 2005. Since then, he has proven to be a flamboyant, polarizing figure. His tendency to act before thinking has gotten him into trouble. His latest antics are just the tip of the iceberg. For all his showmanship and big talk, I do think his heart is in the right place. I worry, however, that such brash talk may scare off development rather than nurture it. For just one example of his recent behavior...

The Jackson Free Press

Is crime really enough of a problem in Jackson that Frank Melton needs to declare a state of emergency, bring in the Mississippi National Guard, and set a curfew? How about riding around town in a motorcade, setting up roadblocks and questioning people at the gas pumps while stopped at a convenience store? This sounds like an act of desperation by a man who wants to reduce crime but doesn't know how. I think Frank Melton is the wrong man for the job.

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll...6/NEWS/60616015

"While at the intersection, some officers bought bags of ice from a convenience store for the mobile command unit's ice chests, while two other officers questioned a young woman and her male companion at a nearby gas pump. Neither were arrested."

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll...=73247853942982

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I'd have thought he would cool it with the traffic-stopping and hand-shaking. I suppose people are just grateful that he wasn't hugging children on a school bus again. I have to wonder about his sanity sometimes.

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Now he wants to use the National Guard to fight crime in Jackson.....Governor Barbour isn't buying it...

The Clarion Ledger

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Now he wants to use the National Guard to fight crime in Jackson.....Governor Barbour isn't buying it...

As a former resident of Mississippi, I'm pretty sure that Barbour could care less about young black men killing each other. That's just less black people for his bacca-spitting ass to worry about. I'm an African-American male, and it's truly a tragedy how we as a people treat other, with no regard for life, or consequences.

On subject, Frank Melton has really turned Jacktown into a joke. My parents recently moved back, and it is absolutely horrifying hearing about all the crime that's going on, and Frank Melton seems to really be over his head. Rather than seriously and effectively solve problems that the city has, it seems that he's throwing up lots of smoke and mirrors. Jacktown is on that slippery slope towards being the Gary, IN of the south.

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As a former resident of Mississippi, I'm pretty sure that Barbour could care less about young black men killing each other. That's just less black people for his bacca-spitting ass to worry about. I'm an African-American male, and it's truly a tragedy how we as a people treat other, with no regard for life, or consequences.

What an appalling and racist thing to say. Shame on you.

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As a former resident of Mississippi, I'm pretty sure that Barbour could care less about young black men killing each other. That's just less black people for his bacca-spitting ass to worry about. I'm an African-American male, and it's truly a tragedy how we as a people treat other, with no regard for life, or consequences.
What an appalling and racist thing to say. Shame on you.

If what I said sounded racist, I certainly do apologize, because that was not my intention.

But when I lived in Mississippi, that mentality seemed commonplace with people in Northeast Jackson and the suburbs

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If what I said sounded racist, I certainly do apologize, because that was not my intention.

But when I lived in Mississippi, that mentality seemed commonplace with people in Northeast Jackson and the suburbs

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This is a very complicated subject you're addressing, and I'm not sure where to begin. As for Barbour being a racist, I can assure you that racism as you describe is simply not tolerated with respect to our Republican candidates, period. Sadly, the divisions you speak of aren't just local to Jackson (or Detroit), nor are they a recent development, but are a chronic problem that have persisted for more than 4 decades. Without going into detail on the other parts, until a lot of these urban entities, at the very least, have viable 2-party systems, there will be little or no change, period. Whatever effects the Republican can make to change Jackson for the better can come only from a limited way from statewide officials, such as Gov. Barbour, but it really has to begin with the Mayor & City Council (and to my knowledge, it's all one-party).

You just don't have the vast expanse of problems in the suburbs because from a political standpoint, it would simply never be tolerated. What urban residents tolerate from their often Socialist, statist, and racially divisive pols is beyond all rationality. Even when they manage to replace one of these destructive frauds, despite all the sturm und drang, the replacement turns out to be exactly the same (and Jackson has had 3 Mayoral embarrassments now in a row, perhaps more, running the gamut from a patronizing White liberal, Kane Ditto, through to (the initially promising, but now egomaniacal) Frank Melton, all because they keep pulling the lever for that same party over and over again.

I'd still say I'd have more faith in Jackson to turn things around than poor Detroit, the epitome of what happens when profoundly racist Stalinists take absolute control of a major city.

Yes, it's a very complicated subject, and trying to hash it out in a message board isn't going to make it any easier. As for people in the city putting up with things, it amazes me that in Kenneth Stokes ward, people continue to vote for him year after year, and not a damn thing has really changed in his district (my Grandmother lived in Georgetown for years until one year, my aunt from Maryland came down to visit and two people were murdered across the street. My aunt pack my Grandma's crap and moved her up there). He hands out awards and commendations, and threatening to stick it to 'the man' (threatening to beat up Ben Allen, calling every white person a racist who doesn't agree with him, etc.) may be good PR in the hood, but it does nothing in terms of attracting business and reducing crime in his district.

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Yes, it's a very complicated subject, and trying to hash it out in a message board isn't going to make it any easier. As for people in the city putting up with things, it amazes me that in Kenneth Stokes ward, people continue to vote for him year after year, and not a damn thing has really changed in his district (my Grandmother lived in Georgetown for years until one year, my aunt from Maryland came down to visit and two people were murdered across the street. My aunt pack my Grandma's crap and moved her up there). He hands out awards and commendations, and threatening to stick it to 'the man' (threatening to beat up Ben Allen, calling every white person a racist who doesn't agree with him, etc.) may be good PR in the hood, but it does nothing in terms of attracting business and reducing crime in his district.

Yup, and you're right. It's like a whole psychology. These politicians have a relationship with their constituents much like a battering husband vs. wife, they use and abuse them and terrify them into believing that if they leave them (vote them out), things will get "even worse" for them (when it's not humanly possible).

I'm not sure where it began, but Mississippi has had more than a few of these types of dangerous demagogues. Back when the state was far poorer and worse off than it is today, the state used to have the likes of Theodore Bilbo, whose infamy was nationwide. A Governor, and later Senator, he used the same abusive schtick towards his White constituents (in those days, virtually no Blacks could vote in the state), all the while MS suffered, Bilbo was lining his pockets from war defense contractors during WW2. His hatred of Black people (whom he'd vocally denounce at the drop of a hat) was so epic that Charles Evers said it was poetic justice that right at the time he was facing criminal charges and likely expulsion from the Senate, he died of cancer of the mouth.

It seemed like no sooner the state finally rid itself of the likes of Bilbo, and the other old-line Democrat segregationists started to die off, and Civil Rights were finally restored to Blacks, that the party started to use and abuse the newly-enfranchised Black citizenry and employ the exact same Bilboian tactics in reverse. Whereas before, Whites had no two-party system in MS that allowed for a way to stop the rise of the Bilbo types, Blacks were now completely and utterly locked into that system (and not just in MS), and remain completely at the mercy of the one party and the crooks & demogogues that lead it and serve as their elected officials.

Most of the southern states didn't finally start to make great strides in economic (and other) progress (like the rest of the country) until it shed the solid one-party Dem control beginning with the '60s that had been choking it since the end of Reconstruction, but those left in urban (and even undeveloped rural) areas (mostly Black, with some poor Whites) continue to be left behind as if the Civil Rights movement never happened. It just really boils my blood that this kind of nonsense STILL goes on in the 21st Century, and people are still suffering needlessly for it. We've just got to find a way to break through and tell these folks that despite what their elected officials say, these politicians ARE expendable (especially if they're doing nothing to make conditions better for their constituents), but people aren't.

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It's been a while since we have made mention of Mr. Melton, but it seems he has finally seen the light regarding the crime problem. He isn't the wild west sheriff who can single handedly clean up town and I think he realizes that now. He has taken a step in the right direction by calling a crime summit to discuss the issue with city leaders and citizens. Only time will tell if he can make it happen.

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I think Mr. Melton is beginning to mellow a bit with time. For all of the bombast, I think he means well. He certainly had an about-face with the King Edward- I'm very pleased to see that he can back doiwn when necessary. As for the house demolitions, these have now morphed into house burnings with the Fire Department. To my knowledge, nothing of historic interest or merit has been targeted in these forays, so go ahead and get rid of these dilapidated structures.

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Update- Melton Indicted by Grand Jury

Mr. Melton's unorthodox ways are catching up with him. He has been indicted by a Grand Jury today. More details as they develop.

The Jackson Free Press

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Yup, and you're right. It's like a whole psychology. These politicians have a relationship with their constituents much like a battering husband vs. wife, they use and abuse them and terrify them into believing that if they leave them (vote them out), things will get "even worse" for them (when it's not humanly possible).

I'm not sure where it began, but Mississippi has had more than a few of these types of dangerous demagogues. Back when the state was far poorer and worse off than it is today, the state used to have the likes of Theodore Bilbo, whose infamy was nationwide. A Governor, and later Senator, he used the same abusive schtick towards his White constituents (in those days, virtually no Blacks could vote in the state), all the while MS suffered, Bilbo was lining his pockets from war defense contractors during WW2. His hatred of Black people (whom he'd vocally denounce at the drop of a hat) was so epic that Charles Evers said it was poetic justice that right at the time he was facing criminal charges and likely expulsion from the Senate, he died of cancer of the mouth.

It seemed like no sooner the state finally rid itself of the likes of Bilbo, and the other old-line Democrat segregationists started to die off, and Civil Rights were finally restored to Blacks, that the party started to use and abuse the newly-enfranchised Black citizenry and employ the exact same Bilboian tactics in reverse. Whereas before, Whites had no two-party system in MS that allowed for a way to stop the rise of the Bilbo types, Blacks were now completely and utterly locked into that system (and not just in MS), and remain completely at the mercy of the one party and the crooks & demogogues that lead it and serve as their elected officials.

Most of the southern states didn't finally start to make great strides in economic (and other) progress (like the rest of the country) until it shed the solid one-party Dem control beginning with the '60s that had been choking it since the end of Reconstruction, but those left in urban (and even undeveloped rural) areas (mostly Black, with some poor Whites) continue to be left behind as if the Civil Rights movement never happened. It just really boils my blood that this kind of nonsense STILL goes on in the 21st Century, and people are still suffering needlessly for it. We've just got to find a way to break through and tell these folks that despite what their elected officials say, these politicians ARE expendable (especially if they're doing nothing to make conditions better for their constituents), but people aren't.

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Melton Has Bypass Surgery in Texas

Mr. Melton may be out of commission for quite some time. I wish him a speedy recovery.

The Clarion Ledger

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I suppose he will go on as before, unhindered and unchecked. This is not a good day for the rule of law.

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I suppose he will go on as before, unhindered and unchecked. This is not a good day for the rule of law.

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I am afraid that what growth Jackson has been enjoying of late is more in spite of Frank Melton than because of him. Jackson could be the shining star its metro area and the state, but poor leadership is not helping the city to advance as it should. I do think the growing number of projects in downtown Jackson is encouraging, but the city desperately needs good leadership. Melton has demonstrated that he's good at self-promotion, and apparently very good at self-preservation. Unfortunately, these qualities do not lend themselves to promoting the city and metro area as a whole. Indeed, the polarizing effects of his "leadership" have driven the suburbanites further into their shells. I just wish that Jackson could be rid of him, but this seems to be out of the question- at least until his next stunt. It is interesting to note that Huel Long became even more brazen after his chastisement. I hope a similar pattern won't develop with Mr. Melton.

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Melton's Antics Divide City Council

Council member Margaret Barrett-Simon walked out of a city council meeting today after Frank Melton threatened to veto any budget without additional compensation for two city appointees who have not been confirmed in their positions by the council. I would tend to agree that the extra pay should only be granted after the city council has confirmed their positions. Melton appears to have lost touch with the reality of dealing with any entity that he himself has not appointed. It is especially sad to see his lack of leadership and antics overshadowing the very real possibility of a renaissance in downtown Jackson.

The Clarion-Ledger

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More Melton....

Mr. Melton continures to antagonize members of the City Council. How does he expect to accomplish anything if he refuses to work within the established structure? He is the Mayor, not a little king. The sooner Jackson is rid of him, the better.

The Clarion Ledger

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State of the City Address Today

Mr. Melton's State of the City address today did little to allay fears of what will be done about the city's funding shortfall. Feel-good suggestions about neighborhood and community are all wery well and nice, but I have seen little of substance from Melton. We haven't even seen the phanton convention center hotels he's promised.

The Clarion-Ledger

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Federal Grand Jury Investigating Melton?

I can't say for sure, but it looks as though something may be happening about Mr. Melton. It appears to have been confirmed that a federal grand jury is investigating his actions. I don't crave this man's downfall, but this may be the only road Jackson has to extricate itself from a growing mess.

The Jackson Free Press

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Melton vs. the Police Department

Mr. Melton may have made a grave mistake with the recent promotion of his personal bodyguard to Assistant Chief. The police department is up in arms, to say the least. They are promising to "air dirty laundry" about the city's relations with the police department. This could get very ugly for a city already rife with crime problems and the even greater perception of crime among those in colse proximity to the city. It's easy enough to complain about a politician and wish for his or her resignation, but I do not see a better way out for the city here. Perhaps the federal grand jury will make that decision for Mr. Melton.

The Jackson Free Press

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A Synopsis of the Meltodrama

Donna Ladd's piece about Mr. Melton in Reason Online is worth reading for a rundown of what this man has been up to since he was swept into office. The piece is without much bias and deserves a look. As for Harvey Johnson, I agree that he was a much better public servant than Frank Melton.

Reason Magazine Online

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