Excerpts from James Young speech
Thursday, June 24, 2004 8:59 AM
Excerpts from remarks made by James Young, president of The Neshoba County Boardof Supervisors, on June 20:
I want you know here today that you are looking at a different county, a different set of people. A people who are not ruled by a small, ignorant, evil bunch of people. A people who would not intimidated, not be afraid to speak and recognize that what was done 40 years ago was evil, performed by ignorant men we didn’t know which way to go.
Performed by people who thought they could stop justice, who thought they could stop freedom, but I welcome you here today to Neshoba County, Miss., a place that I’m not afraid and not ashamed to be from. I hope the experience that you feel here today and the few coming days will help change your mind.
I say today the coalition is about changing our profile. I know something about being profiled, when people put you in a place simply because you are from a place. I tell you the profiling stops today cause we have a coalition of bankers, lawyers, white men, black men, black women, white women, teachers, doctors, all a part of this resolution saying that Neshoba County is a great place to live. We do acknowledge our past but we also look forward to a great future that only the coalition of all men, of all races, and all colors and all faiths can pull together and acknowledge that without each other we are nothing.
There’s a scripture that says, “righteousness exalts a people and sin is a reproach to anybody”
I want you to know that righteousness exalts our nation; righteousness exalts our county but that reproach 40 years ago left a scar. I can see the cloud moving today because we are admitting that we were wrong, the justice system was wrong, the politicians were wrong, the people were wrong. You are looking at new Neshoba, a new Mississippi where the politicians are saying ‘let’s have justice;’ the lawyers are saying are saying ‘let’s have justice;’ the preachers are saying ‘let’s have justice;’ the citizens are saying ‘let’s have justice.’
Again, the spelling is N-E-S-H-O-B-A, a place that I’m proud to be from.