You can find enclaves of hate in any ZIP code. But when a church gets burned in Mississippi, which is what happened in Greenville earlier this week, it has to be national news because Mississippi has not dealt fully with its past sins. This isn’t to say that any place has; there’s as much segregation in Chicago as there is in Jackson. Yet is to say that a place that proudly proclaims itself as “the most Southern place on earth” has to own up to to consequences of embracing tradition. You can’t proclaim that things have changed one minute, and the next drape yourself with a flag that features a confederate symbol.
UPDATE: We aren’t all bad: about $180,000 has already been raised to rebuild the church. But the point remains: because of Mississippi’s history, the citizens of this state must collectively hold themselves to a higher standard because of the urgent need for racial reconciliation.