Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) was a member of a college fraternity that was known for pro-Confederate displays and run-ins with black students.
Reeves, who is running for governor this fall, was in Kappa Alpha Order at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. A 1993 yearbook lists him as a freshman that year, and he was featured as a Kappa Alpha member starting in the 1994 yearbook. The fraternity, which is still active at Millsaps, looks to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as its spiritual leader.
On Oct. 8, 1994, members of Kappa Alpha and another fraternity “donned Afro wigs and tied large Confederate flags around their necks,” according to an article in The Clarion-Ledger at the time. Some of them were also reportedly in blackface. The fraternity brothers “got into a shouting match” over the incident with some black students. The state fraternity leader defended the chapter, saying it was “getting a bad rap” and blamed a few rogue individuals.
Members of the Black Students Association asked for the fraternity to be suspended.
One of the students leveling the charges against Kappa Alpha was Kiese Laymon, the opinions editor of the student paper. Even before the incident, in August, Laymon wrote a piece about Kappa Alpha’s reputation, lumping the fraternity in with the KKK and neo-Nazis in their love of the Confederate flag.
“At Millsaps, I know we’ve overcome racism,” Laymon wrote sarcastically in a column, “and if the word ‘n****r’ is ever muttered, it could only be echoed from the walls of the Kappa Alpha house.”
In response, a month later, the paper published an anonymous letter from a Kappa Alpha member who acknowledged Laymon was right about the attitudes of his fraternity ― but said that, privately, not all of them were racist and sexist and did want things to change.
In 1995, the Kappa Alpha yearbook page showed a group of students standing with a Confederate flag in military attire. It’s not clear if Reeves is in the photo, although he was also pictured as a member of the fraternity that year.
The images were first uncovered and published by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge on its website, the American Ledger.
In the 1993 yearbook, before Reeves pledged, the fraternity’s page showed students in a form of blackface, mocking Pacific Islanders ― with darkened faces, wearing grass skirts and leis ― and wearing Confederate flag paint.
College yearbooks are coming back to haunt politicians.
Three of Virginia’s top state officials are currently embroiled in scandals about their use or acceptance of blackface. It started with the governor’s yearbook page, featuring a photo of two men, one in blackface and one in a KKK outfit. (Democrat Ralph Northam insists he isn’t one of the men pictured.) Since then, the Democratic attorney general has admitted to once wearing blackface at a college party, and the GOP leader of the state Senate edited a college yearbook containing racist pictures and slurs.
Even if they’re not pictured in blackface, they seemed to gladly accept a privileged white culture that found entertainment in the racist pastime.
In 2013, Reeves spoke at an event for Sons of Confederate Veterans, a neo-Confederate organization that claims the Civil War was not about slavery. From his Facebook page:
Reeves’ office did not return requests for comment about whether the lieutenant governor ever appeared in blackface or Confederate attire, and to give his thoughts on his fraternity’s behavior.
The Mississippi gubernatorial primary is on Aug. 6.
SOURCE: Huffington Post
Cardinal George Pell’s Appeal Denied; Convictions On Sex Abuse Will Stand
MELBOURNE, Australia — An Australian court has confirmed convictions against the most superior Catholic to be found condemned of child sex abuse.
The Victoria state Court of Appeal by a 2-1 majority ruling published Wednesday denied Cardinal George Pell’s appeal of the unanimous verdicts a jury issued in December finding Pope Francis’ former finance minister condemned of molesting two 13-year-old choirboys in Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996 and 1997.
At the time, Pell had just become archbishop of Australia’s second-largest city and had established an international-first reimbursement method for victims of clergical sexual abuse.
His lawyers are predicted to appeal the decision in the High Court, Australia’s final arbitrator.
Attorney Cites Trump’s Rhetoric In National Anthem Attack On Montana Teenager
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The attorney for a Montana man accused of throwing a 13-year-old boy to the ground at a rodeo because the teenager didn’t remove his hat during the national anthem says his client believes he was acting on an order from President Trump.
Attorney Lance Jasper told the Missoulian newspaper that the president’s “rhetoric” contributed to 39-year-old Curt Brockway’s disposition when he grabbed the boy by the throat and slammed him to the ground, fracturing his skull at the Mineral County Fairgrounds on Saturday.
Jasper said Brockway is an Army veteran who believes he was acting on an order by his commander in chief. He adds that Brockway’s decision-making has been affected by a brain injury he suffered in a vehicle crash.
Brockway is charged with felony assault on a minor.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: ‘I am very much alive’
The comments to NPR from Ginsburg, 86 — who earlier this year took a break from the court after undergoing cancer surgery — come amid concerns from progressives that her death or retirement would give President Donald Trump an opportunity to replace a reliably liberal seat on the court with a conservative justice. Ginsburg has sought in recent days to signal that her health is stable and she has no plans to step down with the court facing major issues in its next session on immigration, gun control, gay rights and possibly abortion.
During Ginsburg’s recent surgery, doctors removed from her left lung two cancerous nodules, which were found during scans taken after the justice sustained three fractured ribs in a fall last November. In the interview with NPR, published Wednesday, Ginsburg made reference to the late Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Kentucky, who suggested in 2009 that she would soon die from the pancreatic cancer she had been diagnosed with.
“There was a senator — I think it was after the pancreatic cancer — who announced with great glee that I was going to be dead within six months. That senator — whose name I’ve forgotten — is now himself dead. And I am very much alive,” Ginsburg said.
In the NPR interview, Ginsburg also weighed in on an idea circulating among some Democrats to increase the number of justices on the court should a Democrat be elected president, saying she disagreed.
“Well, if anything, it would make the court appear partisan. It would be that one side saying, ‘when we’re in power, it was only to enlarge the number of judges so we will have more people who will vote the way we want them to,'” she said. “So I am not at all in favor of that solution to what I see as a temporary situation.”
Ginsburg’s health has become the subject of much attention in recent years. In November 2014, she underwent a heart procedure to have a stent placed in her right coronary artery, and in 2009, she was treated for early stages of pancreatic cancer.
In 1999, just six years after being sworn in as an associate justice, she successfully underwent surgery to treat colon cancer.
Last July, Ginsburg said she hopes to stay on the bench past 2020. On Tuesday, she revealed that she traveled with the late Justice John Paul Stevens “in the last week of his life” to Lisbon, Portugal, for a conference where the two justices attended meetings, visited museums, vineyards and castles.
“His conversation was engaging, his memory amazing,” she said on Tuesday. As they were leaving the US ambassador’s residence during their last evening in Lisbon, Ginsburg told Stevens, “My dream is to remain on the court as long as you did.”
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