Talkback 3: Frank Melton - - Jackson, MS


Talkback 3: Frank Melton

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a Mississippian, but I am not from Mississippi.  Of all the things that I can say that I am proud to be, right now, this one is the least. There is something infinitely wrong with the idea that some people are viewing the trial of the Mayor with all the curiosity of an old man whittling a duck call on the front porch of his anabellum home, or a poofy haired potato queen gossiping to her next door neighbors in the front row of first Baptist. 

This is the way of Mississippi; this is the way of most people everywhere.  However, because of the nature of the over glorified, over dramaticized and overblown situation that the Mayor has unwillingly found himself, the true hospitality of the hospitality state has lended itself to the spotlight.  I, for one, would not take any pride in the fact that this trial is taking place, and I certainly would not relish the additional attention and tourist-generated revenue this state will be receiving from those born in other ones. 

In my opinion the trial of Melton is second only to the trial of Jesus.  And hopefully coming from the Bible belt, we can all understand this analogy on some level even if the significance of the two "guilty" individuals involved are on entirely different levels.  This is a travesty: to punish someone's fanaticism, eccentricity, or calling and label it a criminal act for the sake of vindication. 

Why not just sue the city? Would that resolve the issue?  Probably not in someone's eyes because the one thing that Mississippi shares in common with its neighbor New Orleans- other than the hurricane- is some level of corruption. Despite their holier-than-thou nature and deep-South locale, Mississippians have to address the fact that they are no less corrupt than any of their 49 neighbors. 

During his term in office, Mayor Giuliani of New York was an idealist, a dreamer, and a hell of a great motivational speaker.  One of his personal missions was to clean up the streets to make it safe for the citizens and visitors to his enormous city.  Pound for pound, I believe this state experiences more frivolous lawsuits than John Grisham could ever hope to pen down in his lifetime. 

The bottom line is that if there was ever a state in which it preached redemption for the supposed guilty and placed itself on some bourgeoning sociological and technological scale with the threat of public deviance left freely unchecked, then Mississippi will forever exist as a mythical land in the mind of some acclaimed fiction writer just as Camelot.

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