A Mississippi mayor who urged defiant Wiggins residents to wear masks has died of COVID-19.

Mayor Joel Miles "faced many (who) felt it unnecessary to wear one. As he was trying to protect others, not everyone did their part to protect him," wrote his wife.mississippifreepress.org/7494/wiggins-m…
“When COVID-19 first appeared, I, myself, said some very ignorant things concerning this awful disease," wrote Mayor Joel Miles' widow, Mary. "But I have learned the hard way this is not a hoax. It is real!"
While some other Republicans in Mississippi pushed COVID-19 conspiracy theories and spoke up against mask mandates, Mayor Miles embraced masks as a public health tool.

When Gov. Reeves ended the statewide mask order, Mayor Miles instituted a local order. mississippifreepress.org/7494/wiggins-m…
"If you don’t agree with me, it’s okay but just remember this. ... I would not want ANYONE to be in my shoes right now. I only say these things to try to help someone else. I beg you, PLEASE wear the mask," Mary Miles wrote hours before her husband died. mississippifreepress.org/7494/wiggins-m…
Please consider a one-time or recurring donation to support our work to continue telling the story of the pandemic in Mississippi, to hold power to account & to keep the people of the Magnolia State informed: mfp.ms/donate

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More from @ashtonpittman

16 Dec
Ok @JoeNBC, let's talk college free speech & #CancelCulture, a thread:

1. @OleMiss fired Garrett Felber, a celebrated anti-racism history scholar who spoke up on UM leaders' relationships with 'powerful, racist donors' & ties to mass incarceration.

Read: mississippifreepress.org/7518/um-fires-…
Campus free speech & cancel culture (cont.):

2. @OleMiss is trying to compel its ombudsman to turn over confidential communications in order to unmask the #UMemails whistleblowers who exposed a web of racism among UM officials and donors.
Campus free speech & cancel culture (cont.):

3. Faculty fear it's an effort to fire the ombudsman.

"People would be terrified of speaking up because people who speak up get hammered at this university. There is no place to go except the Ombuds office." mississippifreepress.org/7379/our-last-…
Read 22 tweets
16 Dec
BREAKING: The University of Mississippi fired Garrett Felber, a celebrated tenure-track history professor who spoke up on UM leaders' relationships with "powerful, racist donors" & whose work highlights anti-racism & mass incarceration. By @middleton380: mississippifreepress.org/7518/um-fires-…
This comes amid fears that UM is laying the groundwork to fire Ombudsman Paul Caffera.

UM's Title IX agency is trying to force him to turn over information to unmask the #UMEmails whistleblowers who exposed a web of racism and sexism on campus.
Please help us continue this work of holding public institutions accountable with a one-time or recurring donation to non-profit, paywall free journalism at mfp.ms/donate.
Read 4 tweets
14 Dec
This is a load of partisan bull.

1. Mississippi—the only state that did not significantly expand voting access (a "scheme," the governor calls it) in the midst of the deadliest pandemic in 100 years—is one of just THREE states (with MO & OK) that did not exceed 2008 turnout.
2. Other states' election systems were not "upended" with "last-minute schemes" to "radically alter voting methods."

Instead, other states made voting more accessible to all, ensuring historic turnout. That's not a "last-minute scheme." That's democracy.
3. But Mississippi did ensure that many poor rural and Black voters in this state remained effectively disenfranchised—and made many risk their safety by voting in person.
Read 15 tweets
13 Dec
NEW: I knew Charley Pride was a trail blazer as the first Black country superstar. But until I started writing this after learning of his death from COVID-19 earlier today, I didn't realize how many incredible his life story was. Some things I learned: 1/
Charley Pride was born in Sledge, Miss., in 1934—a town of fewer than 350 people. He walked four miles to a segregated grade school each day while white children passed on buses.

He bought his first guitar with money he earned picking cotton. 2/ mississippifreepress.org/7476/charley-p…
Charley Pride became a country radio star even as RCA released singles that didn't include photos of him.

So when he appeared before a crowd of 10,000 white fans in Detroit, their applause quickly turned to stunned silence upon realizing he was Black. 3/ mississippifreepress.org/7476/charley-p…
Read 10 tweets
12 Dec
You'll probably fail if you simply fight for the Democratic Party in the South.

But if you fight for democracy in the South, which is what @staceyabrams did, you'll change America.
If you overcome race-centric disenfranchisement in the South with democracy, it really would change it all.

Even the GOP would have to change or die. Since the 60s, the GOP has relied heavily on the Southern Strategy—appealing to white racism. Without the South, it doesn't work.
If the GOP suddenly had to listen to the needs of Black southerners and other southerners of color in order to have a chance at winning the South (and thus the electoral college), neither the Southern strategy nor Trumpism would work any longer.
Read 9 tweets
11 Dec
The imaginary states of "New California" and "New Nevada" have now joined the GOP effort to overturn the election by disenfranchising the real states of WI, MI, GA & PA.

This gets more coup-coup by the day.
Read 5 tweets

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