Don't reply to a story of mine about Mississippi racism with, "Well, it IS Mississippi, so..."

I don't report these stories so smug Californians/Michiganders et al., can hop on a high horse & look down on the Blackest state. I do it to make MS better.

Try that in your state.
Cause I promise y'all's states all have racism too—all 49 of them. Mississippi is just a mirror for the rest of America, but lots of folks like to pretend it's a window to some separate land. It isn't.
Honestly, the soft bigotry of low expectations is just plain old bigotry. And it's damaging.

And when directed at Mississippi? It's racist. Bc the people hurt by it are the almost 4 in 10 Mississippians who are Black that get written out of the story in favor of white racists.
Dr. Martin Luther King, 1966: "I have never seen, even in Mississippi and Alabama, mobs as hateful as I’ve seen here in Chicago. Yes, it’s definitely a closed society.”…
By the way, my thread isn't about excusing Mississippi from accountability for racism. Confronting racism is an immensely important part of journalism work here.

Follow @MSFreePress for more, and check out some of my stories on race here (below). 👇🏻
I reported on how dozens of Oak Grove High students banded together to fight institutional racism.

OGHS is now diverse, but used to be 90%+ white. Oak Grove was a suburban white flight haven in the 70s-90s as white parents fled Hattiesburg integration.…
The kind of reckoning that historic white flight school is facing is not unique to Mississippi, nor is white flight and de facto segregation (see NYC). White flight happened (and still happens) all across America even as old white flight schools diversify.…
I also reported on the history of the University of Southern Mississippi, and how important buildings on campus (including the football stadium and field!) are still named for segregationists and white supremacists. The school has a Black president today.…
Also at @MSFreePress, @DonnerKay reported on her alma mater's racist history and the reckoning that still lies ahead. (Just because a university isn't named a term that southerners used in the 1800s for enslaved Black women doesn't mean it's racism free).…
Then there is my #UMemails investigation, which revealed how University officials who denounce racism publicly will, behind the scenes, coddle wealthy donors and alumni's overt racism—often while quelling students and faculty members' demands for change.…
The three-part #UMemails investigative series is a deep dive not only into thousands of recent email conversations between university leaders & wealthy donors who want to keep the Old South atmosphere alive, but a dive into how that history informs today.…
The dean at the center of many of those emails resigned after a public records request all but ensured the emails would go public.

Sources said some faculty feared speaking up, citing a "culture of secrecy" & fears of "witch hunts" against whistleblowers.…
We just reported that, while the former dean implicated in the emails kept his monthly dean pay despite only being a professor now (& not teaching), the whistleblowers who came to us are under investigation for allegedly creating a "hostile workplace."…
So we absolutely understand that there is plenty of racism and accountability to be had for it in MS. We want to expose it and find solutions.

This kind of work needs to happen in every state. 👇🏻
One thing that really struck me about the response to the UM emails investigation was just how many college & university faculty around the country responded by saying it reminded them of issues on their own campuses not named "Ole Miss" that weren't being covered or reported on.
I hope citizens, leaders & journalists in every state work to reckon with their own history of racism & its legacy the way we try to do at @MSFreePress. I promise it's there.
To cap this off, here's a plug. If you support the work we do at MFP to uncover & reckon with racism & to hopefully forge a better future, please consider supporting us with a one-time or recurring donation to paywall-free, non-profit journalism at

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Ashton Pittman

Ashton Pittman Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @ashtonpittman

21 Nov
NEW: With hospital resources quickly dwindling, Mississippi smashed COVID-19 records with with 1,972 new cases today.

The old record, set at the height of the summer wave on July 30, was 1,775 cases.

But this time, there is no slowdown in sight.…
“We’re not at the peak—not by a longshot,” Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said as the state set a new daily record. “The hospitals are full...It’s going to overflow, & we’re pretty much there...We’re not just making this up. It’s real.”…
“One of the things that’s really helped about the mask mandates is churches and businesses feel like they have the authority to do it, and when we take the mask mandate away, they feel powerless," said Dr. Dobbs.

Gov. Reeves ended the mandate on Sept. 30.…
Read 7 tweets
21 Nov
Biden shouldn't be signaling whether or not he'd want his future AG to prosecute Trump.

Don't accept Trump/Barr DOJ ways.

Presidents shouldn't influence DOJ decisions—whether the goal is to target political rivals like Trump does or to show them mercy. Either corrupts Justice.
The idea that it would be appropriate for Biden to signal that he wants Trump prosecuted, but that it's ok for him to signal that he wants the DOJ not to prosecute Trump so we can "move on" is a fallacy.

Both are undue political influence on DOJ even if one is far more sinister.
It also insults the idea of equal justice.

If presidents can't be prosecuted for crimes while in office (but their aides can be prosecuted for crimes a president ordered them to commit)...

And then can't be prosecuted after they leave bc the next president wants to "move on..."
Read 4 tweets
21 Nov
NEW: The University of Mississippi is investigating the group of whistleblowers who helped us break the story about racist emails between former journalism dean Will Norton and a wealthy donor who referred to Black women students as "Black hookers." 1/…
Some faculty and officials at the school are now accusing the whistleblowers, known collectively as Ole Miss Information, of creating “a hostile work environment.” #UMEmails 2/…
As UM investigates the #UMemails whistleblowers, ex-journalism dean Will Norton, who resigned in May when a public records request brought the racist emails to light, continues to earn almost $20,000 a month—even though is not teaching classes. 3/…
Read 20 tweets
20 Nov
"Legal votes" is code for "white votes."

"Illegal votes" is code for "Black and other unfavorable non-white votes."

Just auto replace these terms in your mind when you see them and many of the asinine comments about the election being thrown around will become clearer.
Many remarks make sense when you replace 50% of mentions of "socialism" w "more power & equity for POC."

McConnell saying "DC+PR statehood="full bore seizing the means of production" makes no sense.

But DC+PR statehood="full bore more power & equity for POC" does.
When the Mississippi governor asks for “Patriotic Education" to combat "indoctrination in far-left socialist teachings that emphasize America’s shortcomings" (slavery), that isn't about seizing the means of production. It's about the Lost Cause.…
Read 7 tweets
20 Nov
NEW: MAIS, a top a private school org, is defending its schools' refusal to comply with lawful orders to report data on classroom COVID-19 cases and outbreaks among their "customers" (meaning students) to the Mississippi State Department of Health.…
Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs: “We are seeing a lot of private and independent schools not reporting their numbers. They need to do it, and it is a public-health order, and they are going against the legal mandate to report."…
MAIS on private school refusal to report COVID data: “(Private schools) aren't agents of the state. They are small businesses that happen to be in the business of teaching children. The best they can do is report what customers report to them.”…
Read 6 tweets
20 Nov
NEW: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is asking the Legislature to cut funds for schools that don't offer in-class instruction.

The proposal comes after the worst week for COVID-19 in schools so far, with over 1,546 positive cases and 16,705 quarantined.…
Gov. Tate Reeves' request for the Legislature to strip funds from all-virtual schools came after more than 65 schools moved to all-virtual amid large outbreaks.

MSDH reported 70 school outbreaks last week—up from 24 the week before.…
Reeves’ proposed budget does not include a plan to raise pay for teachers—despite 2019 campaign promises of a substantial teacher pay raise. Instead, he wants $3 million for "Patriotic Education."

The news comes after yet another teacher died of COVID-19.…
Read 16 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!