I had a response to my letter to Rep. Moore, the principal author of HR 58 this morning. Without salutation, or closing signature, Rep. Moore wrote:
Thank you very much for taking the time to write. Isn’t this country great! It sure is nice that one opinion does not have to prevail. ALL ideas and opinions count.. I really appreciate your position and your beliefs.
I responded, noting that he had failed to answer my questions, failed to address my concerns, and in fact, in his cryptic response without salutation or signature, appeared to dismiss my concerns, leaving me to assume that the only opinion prevailing was that the Mississippi legislature chose to validate the actions of a white supremacist organization without considering the ramifications.
I commented that I was disappointed and expected more from someone in his position. I agreed that the US is great, and that I love this country and Mississippi, and look forward to the day when all views and opinions do count, but that sadly, that is not the case as he well knows. I said I did what I did to make sure the opinions of those who are not among the pro-majority are heard.
No, I did not expect that Rep. Moore would read my letter and have a sudden conversion. After all, he is--per news reports--quite connected with the Conservative Citizens Council and the inner circle of white lawmakers who along with Trent Lott thought Mississippi would be a lot better off if it had remained segregated. Lott at least had the political good sense--if not any change of heart and mind--to distance himself from the CCC and such statements after it cost him his leadership in the Senate.
Perhaps I did not really expect Rep. Moore to read my letter, thoughtfully consider, and at least, provide some information to explain why he would author such a resolution or continue to support it when it is being so criticized. I do not think that the Southern Poverty Law Center, Anti-Defamation League, Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, National Association of Social Workers/Mississippi, the representatives who voiced dissenting opinions, Rep. Johnson, or those of us who have contacted our representatives really constitute "one" opinion as Rep. Moore so blithely dismissed my letter.
I do not know how this scenario will play out yet, but I find it simply unacceptable that this kind of thing continues under the guise of state government. The state government was complicit in and orchestrated much of the violence of the past; it certainly does not have to perpetuate it--even if only in written form--in the present.