Mississippi community members call recent newspaper publication “racist”

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RANKIN COUNTY, Miss.(WJTV) – A Rankin County woman says she was stunned with several recent opinons published in the Rankin County News publication. 

Bonnie Strickland explained it’s been a while since she received a newspaper from the Rankin County News, and when she looked through the April 3 publication a section of the paper caught her eye. 

In the “Dear Ann” column, which is an opinion’s column, three people wrote about how “blacks” have scared people away from neighborhoods in Rankin County. 

One reads in part:

“Dear Broke My Heart, 

It is true that as soon as the first black family moved into our neighborhood it only took days before houses started having for sale signs pop up in the front yard like weeds.”

Another reads in part:

“Dear Killed Jackson, 

You can call me a racist all you want, but the truth is Jackson didn’t start to go down until the blacks took over.”

Strickland says the newspaper should have never published the content. 

“I think it’s wrong. I don’t think there should be any type of language or speech like that… Like I said I would hate for my children, or neighbors, or someone to read that and feel like they’re not included or they’re not important.”

WJTV 12’s Lanaya Lewis spoke with several people on the street about how they felt after reading an excerpt. 

Brenda Jones said, “It has opened my eyes, but I think that was a very, very racist, one-sided opinion.”

Dianne Kersh added, “Everyone should be able to express what they feel, with the understanding that people may have opposite opinions and feelings, but that’s no reason to get upset about it.”

Marcus Bowers, Editor of the Rankin County News talked with WJTV about the issue and he said in part:

“These are just opinions that writers write in…It’s both black and white that write in… We don’t believe in racism, but the article is what people say and feel… they [people] can write back here to respond.”

The Rankin County news has been running for the past 171 years. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.

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