Archive for January, 2016

Tribute to MLK

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

I was on the debate team at Iowa State in 1962. We went to a debate tournament in Jackson, Mississippi. I had never been to the South. We stopped at a roadhouse on the way to Jackson. The jukebox was playing “The Ballad of Ross Barnett”, the man who stood at the gate at Ole Miss to keep the niggers from coming in. When we were checking into our Motel in Jackson, the black guy carrying our luggage kept his eyes downcast, never looked us in the face. I had never seen behavior like that before. My partner and I won the debate tournament. Interaction between the North and the South was, believe it or not, rare in those days. Later, we were hanging out with the team from Millsaps College where the tournament was held. They were smart and charming, and apologized profusely for the backward racial bigotry that was all around us. They said that the only reason we had won was because, “Y’all yankees can talk so much faster than us.”