July 1st, 2012
07:34 PM ET

Racial tension again tests Texas town

By Deborah Feyerick, CNN

Jasper, Texas (CNN) - Down a long winding road in the deep east Texas woods, a car pulls up to the Huff Creek cemetery. Unfazed by the 100-degree heat, Rodney Pearson walks to the road and points to the exact spot where he first saw the body of James Byrd Jr. more than 14 years ago.

"When they tied him to the truck he was going from side to side," says Pearson, describing how three white men chained Byrd, a black man, to the back of their pickup truck, and dragged him more than two miles before dumping his body outside the cemetery.

Pearson was the first black trooper working in Jasper, with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

He swipes his hand diagonally across his chest explaining how Byrd’s head and shoulder became separated from the rest of his body after a particularly sharp curve near a drain pipe. "His head and shoulders caught right here and severed it off his body," Pearson said.

The killers were caught. Two were sentenced to death; the other got life in prison. The town of Jasper tried to heal.

Despite the racial nature of the crime, Pearson says he never experienced overt racism while living in Jasper, a small town of about 7,500 people a 2½-hour drive from Houston. He and his wife, Sandra, who is white, married in Jasper, and they got along with everyone, blacks and whites.

But the couple say that changed after Pearson was hired as interim police chief, a position that became permanent two months later, in April 2011.

From that moment, Pearson says, the trouble began.

Despite being the town's first black police chief, Pearson was never given the traditional public swearing-in ceremony.

"They wanted to wait until things calmed down," he said.

But things did not calm down, and what seemed like a simple hire has turned Jasper upside down.

Pearson was hired by a city council composed of four black members and one white member. The vote divided along racial lines: the blacks voted in favor, and the white council member voted against.

The problem was compounded when Jasper Mayor Mike Lout, who is white, backed a different candidate - an 18-year veteran of the Jasper police force.

The City Council, not the mayor, chooses the police chief. Two black council members say the mayor overstepped his authority and tried to interfere in the selection.

Lout, a former friend of Pearson's, says he thought Pearson lacked leadership and was surprised when Pearson was given the job.

"He just basically didn't have, he didn't know how to tell other people what to do and how to command, I felt," Lout said. "I didn’t think he was the man for the job then, I don’t think he’s the man for the job now. As far as it being a black-or-white issue, I've pushed for a white and I've pushed for a black man as candidates for that job. In fact, the man that I pushed the most was a black man from Houston."

Pearson’s lawyer, Cade Bernsen defends Pearson's credentials, and says what happened next was nothing short of “systematic discrimination on the part of the city against the chief.”

Pearson says members of the Jasper Police Department deliberately excluded him from meetings, failed to notify him about several crime scenes, and staged sick-outs. Several officers quit after being reassigned.

And Mayor Lout, whom Pearson had long considered a friend, stopped speaking to him. Lout disputes this. "We did speak to each other, we just didn't talk.”

The racial divide soon intensified.

Pearson says he was subjected to daily attacks on local radio station KJAS, which is owned by Jasper Mayor Mike Lout.

Comments on the radio station's Facebook page contained hateful messages and racial slurs, including the n-word. One woman wrote, "I think there is about to be a stink here in Jasper bigger than the Byrd ordeal!!!" seemingly referring to the 1998 racial stand-off in Jasper between members of the Ku Klux Klan and Black Panthers.

Another man circulated a condom ad showing pictures of Pearson, two black council members, plus President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, saying their parents should have listened and used protection.

"There's been so many untruths printed, so many untruths said," says Sandra Pearson."It's just, it's very hurtful. And I just, I never understood that people could go to that magnitude of hate."

An all-white group of residents calling itself the League of Concerned Citizens of Jasper launched a petition drive to recall the black council members for incompetence and misconduct in hiring Pearson.

One of the organizers of the petition, Lance Caraway, refused to speak to CNN.

Former councilwoman Terrya Norsworthy, who was recalled, defends hiring Pearson, who had 20 years of law enforcement experience and strong ties to both the black and white communities.

"We were not incompetent when we voted for raises for the city of Jasper," Norsworthy said. "We were not incompetent when we bought $100,000 in equipment. Now all of a sudden we make a positive decision for the city and we find ourselves recalled?"

Pearson’s lawyer went to federal court to try and stop the recall vote but was unsuccessful.

During a hearing, a forensic expert testified that a number of signatures on the recall petitions circulated by the Concerned Citizens were likely forged.

Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn, who allowed the vote to take place anyway, said it appeared almost all the petitioners and signers were white, suggesting race was a factor.

Two African-American city council members were recalled, one resigned and another finished out his term. In May 2012, the new City Council was sworn in. The racial makeup of the council was now reversed: four whites and one black member.

On June 14, without ever interviewing Pearson about the job he was doing as chief, the new City Council fired him. He was ordered to clear out his office that night.

"I was fired over race and now I feel that me and my family are marked,” says Pearson.

Pearson has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charging he was treated unfairly because of his race and was denied benefits and salary given to previous police chiefs.

The city has not yet responded to the EEOC complaint.

"They never had problem with him as a state trooper … but as soon as he became that most symbolic of positions, chief of police, then they have a problem; then he’s incompetent and the City Council that elected him, they're also incompetent,” said Cade Bernsen, Pearson's attorney.

The recalled council members have asked FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate, citing “recent events … reminiscent of past racial hatred and treatment of minorities.”

They are waiting for a reply.

soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. Cuban

    99% of raicist live in the south, rigth next to the united states black population. in the same level of poverty, same ghost towns, same rusty pick up trucks, same trailer parks and same backwards towns. what does that tell you? its not smart and educated whites who are racist, its hay hats with missing theeth who swear they are better. when in reality they are just as poor and dirty as the ones they swear are lower. While in rich and educated places no one is racist, becuase we are more worried about out busy lives, and dont have enougth time to check out the local kkk rallies. Who are the real white supremicist? it sure ant big joe in his 78 ford f350, its some white dude in a brand new bimmer. and you know what? that rich white boy does not care about race, as much as he cares about how smart and educated his workers are. Maybe if your nasty pick up truck could make it far enougth to a modern city you could see rich blacks with better education and manners then you.

    April 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. No mea

    My, my, my. What a hateful God you pray to. Either that or you are praying for hate and I doubt God likes that much.

    January 11, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. scott

    Lets give texas back to the mexicans.

    December 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • bryan dalen

      should not have stole it in the first place people need to stay on there own continent learn from one another and apply it to there country africa asia latin america so forth and so on

      January 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joebie

        You forgot Europe. Let's remember that we have to be fair here. I believe the natives and let me not be blasphemous some of the Mexicans have every right to be in texas. Look at your history about the state of texas

        July 28, 2013 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |

      You forgot Great Britain! I thought this country has come beyond this but evidently it's goig to cost the city alot of money just because of incompetency. Wow, this country is backwards as ever. Inbred thinking and hatred is all this is. Most of you people who think you're better than any other race are the ones who should be sent back to your original country. This is the laand of the free not the ignorant!

      February 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Brainy37

    There are always two sides to the story. This sounds a lot like race was an issue, but with hiring the original chief, not with his firing. For a small minority, the City Council was unproportionally composed of African Americans who voted for an African American chief over the city Mayor's suggesting of 18yr veteran of Jasper's own police force. Police chief is a highly political position. So it's a mystery why CNN didn't mention the original chief's qualifications or why the Mayor was against him. In many cases the issue can be contentious.

    But this sounds a lot like it had more to do with politics than race. What really gets me is how CNN used racist comments from no-names to highlight their point. But the point has to do with the tension between the Mayor, Council, new Chief, and police dept. Anyone outside had no say in it. These kinds of arguments go on all of the time small and large cities regardless of race. Byrd's death doesn't seem to play into this at all.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tasha

      Blacks are not a small minority in Jasper. Googled it and the pecentage was almost equal to whites in jasper (48% white, 44% black). Don't know much about town politics....but honestly, it smells of racist from this end of the woods. I

      July 11, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Truth

      You're kiddin...right?

      July 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. SweetMCrapp

    During a break between periods at a professional hockey game this year, the camera person aimed at people in the crowd for the ever entertaining couples kissing segment which is viewed on the giant screen. When the camera person zoomed in on a black and white couple, they went for the kiss;nothing overly passionate just a simple kiss. The crowd went dead silent when before it was nothing but laughter. Believe me people, it's always with us, creeping just below the surface, everpresent, waiting to rear it's ugly head.

    July 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill in Cincinnati

    you have to let the system operate. If there are recalls then that is what the people want and they should have a recall. as long as they are not dragging people in the street or burning Glory on the courthouse steps, let the system work it out.

    July 7, 2012 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
    • annebeth

      But the system did NOT work. The city council appointed a man with 20 years of law enforcement experience, as chief and the police force revolted because of race. Jasper TX needs to look into its' heart and soul, facing the fact that they have a problem with race. Sad that the Byrd murder appears to only be the tip of the iceberg of hatred in that town.

      July 7, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. BP

    While I am sure there is quite a bit of racism out there I feel it is necessary to point out that positions such as chief of police are political and always have been. If the top political dog in town does not get his/her way there will be heck to pay. I've seen it in my own state.

    July 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Randy

      Im not surprised,just read the story plain and simple RACISM !! Its why most hate the POTUS WHITE PPL MAINLY WHITE men can stand the fact the a BLACK man is PRES. If you find the need to deny this your all living a dream. Ask yourself "What is the difference between Obama and Clinton" they faught Clinton but they also worked with him to get things done. This congress said no from day one. There's a book out that said some Repub leader met on inauguation night to talk of how they would not support anything this pres tryed to do.No matter how much it hurt the ppl that put them there........

      July 9, 2012 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. David in Tampa

    The U.S. state of Texas declared its secession from the United States on February 1, 1861, and joined the Confederate States of America on March 2, 1861, replacing its governor, Sam Houston, when he refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy. During the subsequent American Civil War, Texas was most useful for supplying soldiers for Confederate forces and in the cavalry. Texas was mainly a "supply state" for the Confederate forces until mid-1863, when the Union capture of the Mississippi River made large movements of men, horses or cattle impossible. Some cotton was sold in Mexico, but most of the crop became useless because of the Federal naval blockade of Galveston and other ports.
    Doesn't look to me like Texas had too much misery over the CW. Looks like to me that Texas made a whole lot of money during the war....... as they always do. Lots of talk, lots of brutality, lots of corruption, and a penchant for killing people; especially political foes.

    July 6, 2012 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
  9. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    @ keep it relevant
    Both pedophiles and mass murders are rare. You’re going to have to find a different red herring to justify the epidemic of crime in the black community.

    July 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. NKD

    for the benefit of America and her people, its high time that every one lives peacefully. Make your children work hard towards their studies at right time and achive qualifications. Love your children and care for them . It will change the social fabric of love and care, which has totally become materiralistic. Instead of focusing on Black or white, work at the real social issues. AMERICA IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE & WORK.

    July 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones

      @NKD, what does America being great have to do with this story? That is like seeing a car accident and saying "Automobiles are great." Yes, they are great, but let's address the problems, of people's lives being effective by the defects. ... I think the prejudice people of Jasper didn't want this guy because he wasn't part of the good ole boy network. He was not hand picked by the narrow minded.

      July 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • bryan dalen

      NATIVE AMERICANS RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 22, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • STEVEN in Michigan

        Dalen, what's your problem? You are stirring that racial hatred pot because you think your race rules? If so why is the rest of the world in this country to make up it's population. Quit hatred and instigating problems. They have enough problems there w/o agitation. Read a book.

        February 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. fiscal2020

    Conservatives always point to California. But they fail to mention the reason why California is bankrupt is Proposition 13. Proposition 13 means the state can never raise property taxes, and have to raise sales taxes that crush business. Proposition 13 is not a liberal idea.

    If Texas had Proposition 13, it would be bankrupt too. Texas has near no sales tax and funds everything with property taxes at between 3-5%, not 1% like California.

    July 4, 2012 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
    • GWEdwards

      "the reason why California is bankrupt is Proposition 13."
      The reason they're bankrupt is because they spend more than they take in. Since they should know what they will take in, they should know what their spending limit is. Spending more than that is not caused by Prop 13, it's caused by politicians who spend money on wants, not needs.

      July 7, 2012 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  12. T in Dallas

    Being from this area I can say the hatred of whites against blacks runs deep. They would have the rest of the world suspend all common sense and reality to think they are right in how they have discriminated in this situation. Imagine..this is a high profile issue but offers a snapshot of how things really are for other minorities that live in this area. Sad to see how the hatred in white folks holding back blacks failed to see the "take over" by illegal immigrants in this country. These kind of areas is their last stronghold in "taking back" America. I'm sure most of these poor hicks are registered tea party republicans...

    July 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • bryan dalen


      January 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tesla

    You are very correct. An intelligent, logical person judges others by their words and actions. No matter the color, gender, political leanings, religious leanings, 5exuaIity, or philosophy, those who attempt to destroy unity by embracing tribalism and fostering distrust of another group (often to the point of violent acts against that other group) simply because they are different are reprehensible human beings. More importantly, not one person should get a free pass on anything because of their color, gender, political leanings, religious leanings, 5exuaIity, or philosophy. Personal responsibility is part of being a fully functional human being.

    All humans are created equal. Hard work and discipline should determine if one succeeds or fails at life. Just remember, as soon as any group of people accept en masse a handout or other advantage offered due to simply being a part of that group, it is an admission that they (as a group) are inferior beings who need help to be able to exist in this society. Pull yourself up and fix your own problems.

    July 3, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. cleavon little

    If I were there I'd be the first to offer him a laurel and hearty handshake

    July 3, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  15. clevavon little

    He said ," The Sheriff is near."

    July 3, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  16. frank

    maybe et should take over the town and restore law an order...or I wonder what Anders behring beveick, would do in that situation...u know The Knights templar? The Crazy Norwagian?

    July 2, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  17. frank

    might be time for a robot cop!

    July 2, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Proud Vet

    Truth are you serious? I am pretty sure they didn't keep statistics of the African Americans lost at sea from Africa to the Americas. Or the ones hunted as they tried to escape. How about the African Americans taken from their homes or never made it home after they left work or a friend's home. Also who was keeping the statistics? Do you think they could have slated them to their favor instead of being impartial. I am also they didn't keep statistics when blacks were considered property. So please post the link to the study which validates this claim.

    July 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe smo

      whats ur point??

      July 2, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe smo

      Less than ten percent of the South owned slaves.Spain ran the first colony of black slaves on an island. Then Framnce got into it. Why are there so many blacks in south am> Or French speaking> Your anti white because ur scared Proud what?? Your not proude of ur self even.

      July 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • AfricanKingSoldSlaves

      The sad truth is that the african King gave slaves over to the whites and kept doing so evry time they returned to Africa. These people were not abducted by the whites like the movies and sensational white guilt novels depict. Rather they were handed over by the African king for a price. This is tue history.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Wowsomeonesaidit

        I cant believe someone actual gets it!!!!!!!!The true story and no the PC spin!!! Great job

        July 2, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • RayRayIveLeague

        Uh, WRONG! The African Kings never gave up slaves to the West, at least not the term SLAVE as we came to know it. Slavery, in Africa was more like indentured servitude, where the captured was forced to work along side the captor. It wasn't until former slaves from the New World went back to Africa to tell about what Slavery meant in the New World that African nations stopped providing what they thought were indentured servants to the West. The West, however, mainly the US, kept taking people– this time through kidnap and not from them being handed over. Don't believe me? READ

        July 3, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Juanmom

        Thank you Ray!

        July 4, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
      • warsteiner

        BS Ray ray, The tribes took slaves after every war and when ships came with steel they became greedy and hunted other tribesman to trade for steel weapons and tool. Arabs did the most when it comes to buying or just kidnapping slaves. They do it even today in many parts of the Sudan. And indentured servitude is Slavery people are bought and sold and dont have any choice and dont get payed. Oh and the Spanish slave ships are where the few whites that could afford to bought slaves in the south.

        July 7, 2012 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
      • warsteiner

        Ray I can provide books to support my facts as well, African tribes were not innocent and didnt hand over men and women with the idea that they were coming to The New World to serve and live well. Indentured Servitude is a nice sounding word that is used to make people think it is not slavery. Its like the difference between He's a disagreeable man and He's a complete "you fill in the blank"jerk.

        July 7, 2012 at 5:41 am | Report abuse |
      • Lyndia

        Only a small percentage of Africans were sold to the white man and they were prisoners of war. THE VAST MAJORITY OF BLACKS THAT WERE BROUGHT HERE WAS STOLEN from the land. Also, why was the white man there in the first place? There would not have been a slave trade if he was not in Africia in the first place. What was he looking for? Something to steal?

        July 7, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Genae

        He may have put a price tag on people, but no one put a gun to their heads and told them to hand over the money and take people. Everyone was wrong in this situation in history, from the seller to the buyer. Get your facts straigt.

        December 7, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  19. dakota2000

    Well, there is one texan, George Bush, who appointed Rice and Powell to his cabinet and paved the way for barack obama to become president. So, its clear that all texans are not racist. But I would bet that most of them harbor some strong bias against blacks.

    (and I can't believe I just complemented George W. Bush).

    July 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terri

      Wow, your post indicates you think racism is a Texan (or perhaps southern) problem. Maybe I am wrong? I was raised in Texas, I am white and I have indeed witnessed plenty of racism here. Then I moved to Minnesota...the racism there was 10 times worse. Then I began to travel to to other parts of the country and realized things are either the same or worse everywhere you go.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • bugsy00

        We who are black have known this for quite some time Terri, racism is EVERYWHERE and is usually as prevalent in the northern states as it is in the south.

        July 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • faye62

        Thank you Terri for being honest.

        July 5, 2012 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

        And don’t forget it’s not a one way street.

        July 5, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

        Sounds like he was hired because he was black by a near all black council. He should be fired or at the very least have to apply again against other candidates and hired based on his resume not his race.

        July 5, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • T in Dallas

      "So, its clear that all Texans are not racist." I beg to differ. Only when it is politically expedient to do so. If that were true the rolls of influential blacks and other minorities within the GOP would have swelled to read like a "Hollywood Who's Who List". Bush did not make these appointments for the benefit of black folks but to appeal to the liberal leaning sect within the GOP who would otherwise voted Independent of Democrat. This is the same Bush that allowed the poor blacks in New Orleans to suffer and become refugees in their own country.

      July 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Aaaacccc

        Cant believe I'm defending Bush, but I have to disagree. Bush has been an absolute gentleman towards President Obama. Reading body language, I do believe he trully was pleased by his election. Bush as never struck me as racist unlike the surrounding him.
        New Orleans happened from just plain incompetence.

        July 4, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • bryan dalen


      January 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Ruby Davis

    Angry Much??? 🙁

    July 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  21. TeamChaos

    More whites are KlLLED by b l a c k s, than b l a c k s KlLLED by whites. just the facts and yet none of those are tragic enough to make it a news story.

    July 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dontrell Black

      That is a fact, and it's not even close.
      For every black person killed by a white in America, there are 10 whites killed by blacks.

      From Lauren Burke, Eve Carson, the Wichita Massacre victims, Christopher Newsome, the white Christian musicians in Dallas, etc... the 4 white police officers in the Seattle coffee shop who were ambushed, the Tampa police officers, the black vampire who ate off the face of the white homeless man, etc.... we all should be well aware of the true statistics here.

      What about all the black flash mobs?
      See Chicago, Milwaukee, Iowa, etc.... Kansas City.... animals with guns.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • RayRayIveLeague

      That's a lie– what statistics are you quoting? And are you included Death by Government, Police, death row, etc.? Sounds like BS!

      July 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lyndia

        Tell him about it Ray.

        July 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Ctimms

    Actually that inane statement of yours is the definition of racism. One you were how old before you ever had interaction with black people? Whether you want to admit it or not that's a long time to create preconceived notions from the media, friends and family. Then to take, out of entire race of people, base what little you have seen in your myoscopic world, with the handful of black people you've encountered or seen, and say the majority of your race is lazy? Criminals? Is insane. Even if it were 1,000 or 10,000 people in 10 years that's a broad brush to paint with. As far as gangs go? All this is mirroring the gangsters of the prohibition era, mostly white guys, trying to make easy money and so the original drive by, stabbings and public shootings began. Just a different era with drugs. Black, white,orange purple peoe all over the world are in it for the money. History has a strange way of repeating itself unfortunately. As long as there is the allure of the fast life and quick cash this is a simple reality. There are no good black people or bad black people same with whites or anyone else. There are just people. Good people and bad people, that's it. Good people and bad people. And sometimes even good people do bad things, and even bad people do good things. If you are in fact an Er nurse that should be rudimentary enough for you to grasp.

    July 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • true

      you paragraph is crap read through it if you can

      October 7, 2012 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  23. ColoradoDad

    Relevance please!?

    July 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  24. WeAreOnlyHuman

    The Truth hurts, but we can do better! No one should suffer just because of their skin color (except for albinos, they have to take extra precautions against UV exposure)!

    July 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Able Witness

    What if it had been one white Catholic councelman and four white Protestants. The four Protestants put in a young man without enough experience. Would this have made the national news?! I don't think so.
    Let's face it, are there many sheriffs across this land who are under 45 years of age?! Most are in their 50's and have served as law enforcement officers for over 15-20 years. This is a job for gray-templed people.

    July 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • WeAreOnlyHuman

      We should first read the job description in question, though I doubt that "grey-haired 50+ year-old" would be a criterion. Problem is, there's always a "more experienced" potential candidate, but much of hiring is subjective.

      July 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Human Spirit

      Did you read the article? It says that this man had 20 years of law enforcement experience. Why did you assume otherwise?

      July 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lyndia

      He had 20 years of law enforcement experience. He was a STATE TROOPER and now you mean to tell me he is not qualified to run a small city police department? Something is not right about that picture.

      July 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  26. TheTruth

    I feel your pain, it's no different in New Jersey in cities like Camden, Newark, Irvington and Plainfield where whites are prayed upon like sheep for slaughter...

    July 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    African Americans, let's never forget that during the Civil Rights movement "young white educated children" stood with us so please don't lump all whites together. Unfortunately, some of these whites in Jasper lack the integrity and education of those whites then and today who dispise racism and will stand up with us again.

    July 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheTruth

      Lest we forget the over 110,000 white Union Army soldiers that were killed during the civil war, who's primary reason was the abolishment of slavery!!!

      July 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • alejandro

        The union army's first and only goal was to avoid the break of the union, it was NOT to abolish slavery, this came as a secondary result of the war. Actually, Lincoln did not know what to do with the free slaves, shipping them out to the caribbean islands was one of the options considered.During the, it was decided that slaves who came into Union "possession" were considered "contraband of war". Many of these "contrabands"join the union army and fought against the south. Read your history and learn The Truth.

        July 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Vad

        You see what alejendro did to your statement Truth. He minimized the contribution the Union Soldiers made to freeing the slaves. Such is with many people who are blinded by their own version of racism. To acknowledge the tremendous sacrafice the men of that generation made to freeing the slaves would be to acknowledge that nobody owes them anything. After the Emancipation Proclamation was made after the Battle of Antietam demorialized Union soldiers wrote in their personal letters of a new sense of purpose and reason for fighting. By the way, if you include non battle field deaths the Union lost around 350,000 soldiers.

        July 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tendofreak

      Vad....The Emancipation Proclamation only freed the slaves that were in revolt against the Union (IE: only freed slaves in the South) . If a person from a Northern state owned a slave (yes there were slaves in the north..mostly house slaves...not field slaves) they were still a slave. Only after the war was over was the amendment passed freeing ALL slaves in the USA. As for the South..not everyone owned slaves...only the rich owned slaves...They were ver very expensive. Most famileis just had lots of kids to help. Those that did fight in the war di so to fight against a tolitarian government, not that so that rich Farmer Joe could keep his 300 slaves. and by the way...I'm white and anything do with slavery or racisism I cannot abide.

      July 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • txsecede

        Yeah, I don't think they learned true history from studying those northern biased history books. There might still be hope.

        July 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Vad

        Directed to you TXSCEDE, I will lay waste to you on any debate about the Civil War.

        July 2, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • txsecede

        I'm sure you would, Vad. The northern-biased version of the Civil War, that is.

        July 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Vad

        If I started calling it the "War of Northern Aggression" would that make you feel better TX?

        July 2, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Vad

        Seeing as how you will likely make up your own information, I am sure you will be the winner of your own mind. To bad it will never happen. Would have been entertaining to hear your theories of how Lee lost Picket's Division at Gettysburg because he was under the influence of Northern mind control beams, or how Lincoln was actually a Vampire hunter and started the Civil War to distract the people away from his Vampire killing. Cold hard facts would be lost on a mind like yours.

        July 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dwight?

        Which one of you guys can tell me about the battle at schrute farms?

        July 2, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lyndia

      The North was losing the war until Lincloln allow former slaves to fight in the battles. Lincoln acknowledged this publicly.

      July 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  28. TheTruth

    He Troy, I feel your pain, it's no different in New Jersey in cities like Camden, Newark, Irvington and Plainfield where whites are prayed upon like sheep for slaughter...

    July 2, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  29. txsecede

    Best post of the day. Kudos.

    July 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  30. ChasW

    I'm afraid that everyone seems to be missing the big picture: rather than pointing the "blame" finger, and bashing everyone else, we SHOULD be looking for a common ground where we can all agree to disagree on some points, and work together to rationally address the really important issues facing the country. The two-party system has simply perpetuated this back-and-forth verbal volleyball, and as far as I can see, created no real answers to any problems. If we could simply recognize that we're all individuals, and will NEVER all agree on EVERYTHING, maybe we could stop all the hate speech, and actually accomplish something that benefits our society as a whole! Oh, and by the way, I don't consider myself a Liberal OR a Conservative, nor a Republican OR a Democrat, as I have seen both good and bad on each side. I simply consider myself a human being, and American citizen!

    July 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Metron

    Racism is alive and well in Texas. Gotta watch out for those "good ole boys."

    July 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  32. typicalwhitemale

    Stupid race-pandering article by CNN again, big surprise. And then they wonder why they have the lowest viewership in 21 years– a 34% drop since the same quarter last year. FAR MORE WHITES ARE KILLED EVERY YEAR BY BLACKS THAN THE REVERSE. Marley Lion ring a bell? Probably not. The media ignores black on white crime.

    July 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flatsguide

      Looks like spreading the truth

      July 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Tom

    Still nothing from CNN on the blacks that set the white kid on fire screaming "justice for Trayvon"

    July 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • keep it relevant

      They did nd those kids happen to go to jail one was actually tried as an adult even though he was 16, would it hurt you to do a little research before you just got on the internet and said the first thing that popped in to your brains right hemisphere....

      July 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Many African Americans are actually holding themselves back. I have discussed this with other African Americans and they say "being smart in the black community, is frowned upon by our peers." One kid who I went to college with said he was consistently called an "Uncle Tom" and "White Boy" simply because he got good grades. "Why do you have to act so white?" was another common phrase used against him. No one denies racism exists, but African Americans also need to do some soul searching and reflect on the culture that is being preached to their children as well.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • TeamChaos

      But that makes it hard to twist the news media is not about the truth it is about being PC, more blacks kill whites and that is fact.

      July 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andre

      Dave, you are correct. I am one of those African American individuals. It's enough to break your heart, the lengths through which we go to destroy each other. Although hate crimes and incidents like the one above to ocur, the vast majority of crimes occur as white on white or black on black (seeing as we tend to segregate ourselves by neighborhood). We've come a long way, but we have a LONG way to go as well. The biggest thing: throw away your preconceptions. If I walk up to you and ask you for the time politely without a hint of stereotypical ebonics inflection in my voice, or when I pass you blasting heavy metal from my car, try not to be surprised.

      July 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Allison

    The color of Mr. Pearson's skin does not prove his competence or incompetence. As another poster said, I'd like to hear what his "incompetence" in regards to the job is before I pass judgment. As usual, we don't get all the facts and only hear the bits and pieces.

    July 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • WeAreOnlyHuman

      Unfortunately, it's only those juicy bits and pieces that many people care to notice.

      July 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Dave

    Half way to 2013 and people still behave and think like this?

    July 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mattski

      Not a surprise really – Jasper has a segregated cemetary – here's what a cemetary board member says about integrating it "We have the same cemetery, but we don’t mix the white and the black graves. They’re separate. Put a black up here? No, no, we wouldn’t do that. That would be against our custom, against our way of doing things.” Racism is alive and well – I wonder how many of them are Democrats?

      July 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • devon

        I sure hope those folks in Jasper decide if they are going to the white or black heaven . As far as I can tell there is no segregation there .

        July 5, 2012 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
      • Lyndia

        I wonder how many of them are conservatives?

        July 7, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Ruby Davis

    Unless you are African American and experienced hatred, discrimination and racism, you will never understand what it truly means to be African American in any country. We are a hated people, simply because we came from Kings and Queens. We are beautiful, intelligent and we are survivors!!! 🙂 We're hated because we are better!!! We're hated because GOD LOVES US!!!

    July 2, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big B

      By saying that African Americans are "better", you are promoting the same hatred and bias that you claim to fall victim to. I can understand the feeling, but some things are better left unsaid...that would have been one of them.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      No one hates African Americans. People voted an afican american. Now yes, I do agree people form an opinion about african americans when they see them with those clothes/ shorts or when some of them do not follow the law.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • normasbathbody

        For one thing. our president is NOT all african american. he had a white mom. why do many overlook that part?

        July 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • pauleky

      Answering racism with racism is ridiculous, Ms. Davis. You are "better"? Really? How can you expect equality from anyone if you think this way? It makes you no better than the racists in Jasper.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      "we are better!!! We're hated because GOD LOVES US!!!" You are just taking that same racist mentality and re-applying it in a different direction.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      your statement of " we are hated because we are better" makes me wonder if this is some kind of inferior complex you personally have?

      July 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJB

      Ruby Davis...I have read all of your comments and they are disheartening to say the least. I agree with you that racism is a terrible thing. Unfortunately, you think it's only a bad when it's directed towards black people but you have no problem directing it towards other races. You say white people are jealous of black people b/c black people are "better." Do you not see the racism in a statement like that? Racism works both ways. Your comments perpetuate racism because they focus on differences rather than unifying us all through our commonalities.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vad

      Seeing as how African Americans are far more likely to be killed by other African Americans, does that mean you hate yourselves too?

      July 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • faye62

      It is the same demonic spirit that hated Jews. The exact same one. And whomever made the comment about the Black and White Heaven.. EXACTLY....There's no way to get to Heaven with hate for any race like the people in this article.

      July 5, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  37. Aujolie

    nothing do i find more pathetic than racial ignorance, it shows lack of mental capacity, and deep physiological issues.

    July 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Unfortunately, racial prejudice and East Texas sort of go hand in hand. A friend of mine was working in an East Texas town near Jasper and was advised that as a Hispanic he really didn't want to be around town after about 7PM unless he wanted to be a target of the local "good ol' boys". My friend was Hispanic, and he was working on the fire alarm system in the local hospital, so what does that tell you about tolerance.

      One guy who lived there summed it up as:
      "If your skin is brown,
      Don't be in town
      When the sun goes down."
      And from what he said, the poetry was not accidental, either.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Retired Army

    I'd like to know exactly what Chief Pearson did, that displaid his incompetency to such an extent, that he was fired over it.

    THAT'S what I'd like to know. Until that piece of information either comes out (or is declared non-existent) all we'll have is a lot of finger pointing in this matter.

    July 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Proud Vet

    I think people are also missing the real issue here as well. It is small town politics where the Mayor is usually king. The king wanted his good buddy to be the Chief of Police. The city council didn't see it that way. They were probably looking at having someone from the outside come in and straighten things out. We don't know the entire story of what was going on with the police department. I am sorry but when you have a state trooper compared to a local police officer- it is hard not to side with a state trooper's resume. The mayor wanted one of his "own". It is a good ole boy system and the city council went against it.

    July 2, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      You hit the nail on the head!

      As I stated in response to another post, nothing was stated in the article regarding training and education of the candidates.

      But my guess is that the Texas Department of Public Safety probably has bigger training and educational budgets than the City of Jasper.

      Also....State Troopers, by the nature of the job, work indepently to a higher degree than small town cops.

      Jus' sayin'.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Pitt man

        State troopers are less qualified if anything when it comes to being a police chief. A trooper is nothing more than a traffic cop. They very rarely work crime scenes, murders, robberies,etc.... A cop would be more qualified.

        July 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Julie

        In Texas the DPS officers are trained in more than traffic laws sir. The Texas Rangers are exculsivley choosen from the DPS and I would like to see any other state law enforcement agency go up against our Rangers.

        July 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Barry PO1st Class ST3

    See your trying to use reason in your argument, but what you fail to realize is racism shows no reason or logic. Racism is an emotion an emotion based on fear, somehow rednecks believe that because a person is of color, that person is going to try and take something from them. After serving with some of the most courageous, moral, diligent people of color I find it very difficult to understand such blind fear and hatred.

    July 2, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  41. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Texas was once a great state until they fired Tom Landry! Morons!

    July 2, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  42. the_dude

    We cant all get along race war now!

    July 2, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  43. Vad

    You could fill volumes about what this article does not say. I have come to expect that from CNN. I have read nothing from either side about job performance evaluations or discipline for job performance or anything like that. I read a little that he was a State Trooper then became a Chief of Police. That is a BIG jump. If he had no prior management or supervisor experience then maybe he was not qualified and that ruffled some feathers. There is more to this story than race. Although Racial Tension in a small Texas Town does make for a good headline eh CNN?

    July 2, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Al

      Sorry that is not a big jump. We are talking about the town of Jasper. In fact a 1 year Texas State Trooper would be a step up in Jaspers police department. Pearson had 18 years as a Trooper which makes him infinitely more qualified to be police chief even if the mayors choice had 50 years experience. Bottom line is if Pearson was white it would not have been an issue at all.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
      • Ruby Davis

        I agree with you wholeheartedly!!! 🙂

        July 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • SC

        I agree with you Al if that person was white it would not have been a problem with or without experience or education.

        July 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ruby Davis

      Those type of racial tensions are everywhere!!! African Americans are stopped in every city (driving while black) simply because of the color of their skin. Jasper is no different!!! However, I do believe that the mayor over-stepped his boundaries in getting involved though!!! Now that this has become public, some changes will slowly come.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vad

      Ok. Ruby, Al, Allen and Rico are clearly believers in the Chief. Is there anyone who wants to stick up for the City? There has to be more to this story and I want to hear it. I don't just jump on the racial bandwagon until I have proof. Anyone in the Jasper area hear any info on the Chief? Did he sleep with the Mayor's daughter? Arrest the richest man in Jasper's son? If they went through the effort of getting rid of most of the Council just to get rid of the Chief I have to believe there is a specific reason. Race is just to simplistic. After all, this town is used to having blacks in power. Four of the five Council members were black. I invite open discussion. Let's hear it.

      July 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • txsecede

        In my experience of East Texas, most of the people are nice, hard working citizens. Black and white. They treat each other with civility and respect, they just don't really hang out with each other that much. And in my experience the ignorant racism is the same on both sides.

        July 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Scott Pilgrim

    Really Jasper, Texas? It's 2012 and you're still having racial issues. Really? I don't think you got the memo.
    Sounds like both sides are a little racist here. Let's put on our big boy and big girl pants and be adults, okay? Let's all grow up and stop being stupid.

    July 2, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  45. Observer

    "It's racism!"

    Yes. Racism from the majority black council that chose a black man with less experience over a white man with 18+ years experience.

    Cry all you want, but I wouldn't doubt all the trouble was started by the blacks living there because they thought they owned the town with so many town officials being black.

    July 2, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • buschwc

      Pearson had 20 years on the force. Read the article.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
      • THill

        He had 20 years but not on the Jasper force....

        July 2, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Stand for truth

      It's comments like Observer that has this country in the racially condition it's in. I wonder what it would feel like if you wore his shoes for one day as a black minority.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Al

      I see so experience is all that is required to be a good police chief? State Troopers in Texas go thru rigorous training and investigate crimes all over the state in addition they are held to some of the highest standards of any law enforcement agency. The would qualify the Trooper over some good old boy who goes drinking with the mayor any day.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Steveo

      Funny how you missed this:

      Former councilwoman Terrya Norsworthy, who was recalled, defends hiring Pearson, who had 20 years of law enforcement experience. Yep, the black man had 20 years of experience! The ONLY thing you got right is calling it racism! READ the article!

      July 2, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      1. Pearson had a total of more than 20 years as a State Trooper.....about 14 of those years in the Jasper area (it's in the article if you'd really bother to read it).

      2. There is no mention of training and educational qualifications.....but I wouldn't be surprised of the Texas Department of Public Safety had bigger training and education budgets than the City of Jasper.......

      3. Jus' sayin'........

      July 2, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • WOW!

      Retired Army is Right – The Tropper had 61 college hours, the 18 yr vet no college. and he they had about the same amount of law enforcment training. The TX DPS training is more extensive.

      It has been slightly reported that one of the three men who killed Byrd, Berry, who is doing a life sentence – his uncle is on the current council that voted Pearson off the job.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  46. W.G.

    Typical east texas B.S. . I bet everyone of those on the league of conerned citizens is a self proclaimed
    Christian . How far from the truth trhey are . They would´ve probally called Jesus a Hippy and
    troublemaker .

    July 2, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • bfree

      Well said, W.G.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    After all, stories like this isn't so bad for the black community! Its a sad story but at the same time its a good lesson for those of us who still go around believing that all is well in America and that racism no longer exist! Its also a good lesson for those so called black republicans (like Michale Steele and Herman Cain)who go around trashing our President and believing that they've made it on their own. And its a good lesson for those who are so ignorant and complacent that they so often forget their own history and about the African-American Pioneers who sacrificed so much of themselves and helped pave the way for the rest of us to be successful today!

    July 2, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Ruby Davis

      People are really demonstrating their hatred of African Americans, even more so since President Barack Obama was elected as the first African American President. Never in the history of our country has a President experienced so much blatant disrespect every time he speaks in the house and in public. Our counry's freedom of speech has gone entirely too far. People are posting their hatred of him in the most heinous of ways. The Bible says: "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart and they defile the man" (Matthew 15:18)

      Also, the BIBLE says:

      "For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested, neither was anything kept secret, but that it should come abroad" (Mark 4:22).

      July 2, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
      • AJB

        No other president has been subject to such disrepsectful comments? Are you kidding me? How many times have people called Bush dumb? How many jokes were made about Clinton's fillandering? How many jokes about Ford's clumbsiness? But now you want to limit free speech so no one can speak ill of Obama? You really do see the world through your own special little filter don't you?

        July 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • WeAreOnlyHuman

        So we voted Mr. Obama to office for nothing? I disagree. President Obama represents a fundamentally evolved US.

        FYI, your biblical quote may come from an ancient Sumerian saying, "All secrets are revealed by broads."

        July 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • joe smo

        And your judging a whole nation by that standard. You will be accountable for Every careless word..

        July 2, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  48. txsecede

    Many people just want a reason to bash this great state. Their inferiority issues and ignorance are quite apparent.

    July 2, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      I'm a Texan, but I've live all over the country.

      Believe me......Texas is no greater.....or lesser.....than any other state.

      But I have found that generally, Texans are more obnoxious than most other people.....except maybe folks from NYC (LOL) ......

      July 2, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  49. We Tardet

    I thinks they main porblem is an lack of egucation. If we tought more stuff in shool about the race war betnween Canada and Amerika, we would be have smartur peopul.

    July 2, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • jamie goforth

      you better get started then you fool cause there is not such a thing

      July 2, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      Ruby.......it's called 'sarcasm'.............

      July 2, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  50. Greg

    George, you make some very broad assumptions, and need to let go of your prejudices. If a white person made those same assumptions, you'd call them a racist. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from a black man, Marshall "Major" Taylor, who said, "Life is too short for a man to hold bitterness in his heart." We could all learn something from those words.

    July 2, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  51. Cissy

    I'm NOT a Texan but I live here. Folks here are really good at espousing equality and brotherhood in public but, in private, the truth of thier beliefs comes out. Many whites understand that we are becoming a minority here and it scares them to death. If a white man becomes successful here it's no big deal but if a man of color (any color) finds success, they all point to him and pat themselves on the back for 'allowing' that success and hold it up as a banner to attest to thier lack of racism. It's just the damndest thing you ever saw! I have a good friend (who is black) and he says he gets profiled on a regular basis here in W TX and, indeed, feels uncomfortable being the only adult in a car hauling around his daughter and her white friends – he won't even drive the girls around if he doesn't have a female adult with them. He says to do otherwise would be borrowing trouble he doesn't need. How SAD is that?!? Texans love to talk about succession but do not understand that the rest of the country would be THRILLED by the prospect of not dealing with TX and her baselessly over inflated ego.

    July 2, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • 1 love

      what about interracial dating in west texas is it ok, this is 2012. remember a house divided aganist it self shall fall.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
      • Ruby Davis

        Caucasians will never accept an African American man being married to one of their own. They may seem to accept it outwardl at times, but if you could hear them behind closed doors, their disdain for that type of marriage is so ugly.

        July 2, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
      • Cissy

        Oddly enough, interracial relationships aren't really seen as any big deal. You have to remember that Mexicans have been a prevailing population here since it was still Mexico and there have been interracial matches here every since the white man showed up so it was common even before the beginning of Texas. Mexicans (as long as they 'know thier place') are treated a bit better than black people because they BUILT Texas. It's an odd study in human pscychology for sure.

        July 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Julie

        Ruby...I'm from Texas....I am white....my daughter-in-law is black....I love her dearly and can not imagine a better woman to share a life with my son.

        July 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      Well.....aren't you the clever fellow?

      July 2, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Marlo G

      Cissy, Great post!! I have always wondered about that area after the Bird incident, but I guess now I know!! I applaude you for living in what seems to be a part of the country still living with the reconstrution mentality. But than again it seems like that mental make up and starting to sweep the country..Hey question for you? Do all those folks consider themselves Good God fearing Christains?? I bet..

      July 2, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
      • Retired Army

        Marlo......Cissy is in West Texas, not East Texas. That's about a 500 mile difference.

        Not that it makes much difference, because Texas is about as racist as any other Southern state.

        July 2, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
      • Cissy

        You better believe they're GOD fearing Christians with pictures of an Anglo JESUS in every house! The old guard holds thier religion up like a flag. BUT there is a new kind of mentality growing here too. This is a boom state and the last decade of oil jobs have brought in a LOT of people from a more 'advanced' philosophy. While it is still a GOP Valhalla, common sense is making inroads. Being gay is (mostly) no longer an automatic death sentence and there are areas (Dallas/Austin) of a better consciousness slowly leaching out to the population. While Texas, as a whole, would rather watch a cancer patient die of starvation than give them access to the marijuana that would sooth thier dying body, they finally (mostly) no longer allow men to beat thier wives to death with no consequences. The dim glimmer of hope for social change here is getting a little brighter (most days).

        July 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      Come on, this isn't a Texas thing! I am from Houston and this city is about diverse as they come. There are plenty of black people and Hispanic people in positions of power, MOST don't have a problem with it. My neighborhood is very diverse and I drive around with my son's black friends all the time. More than likely, your friend is paranoid!

      July 2, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
      • Retired Army

        I've been stationed out in Fort Bliss.......and I live in San Antonio.

        The area in between those cities is an area where you tread lightly if you're not from there.

        It's an area that's a bit different from Houston.....which, by the way, is a very 'cosmopolitan' city.

        July 2, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Whiskey Fox Tango

        @Retired...I was training last year just north of Dilley, TX (off I-35 in between San Antonio and Mexico. We called it "Avatar Land" because everything was trying to kill us lol

        July 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Landwise, Texas represents almost 1/4 of our nation. Within the state there is every climate represented from desert to plains. Please do not make blanket statements about Texas as if it is all one culture and all one people. You say W Texas, I can assume by your statement its most likely in the panhandle where racial issues are common. Let's not forget thw W Texas that includes El Paso which could not be more different. Trust me, with your comments, you did not need to clarify that your not a Texan...it's obvious.

      July 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  52. asdf

    A 4-1 vote to fire along racial lines is only as racist as a 4-1 vote to hire along racial lines. What's interpreted as overt racism by this article may have just been an attempt to undo some racism.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      So you're implying that the Black Council members voted for the Black State Trooper based purely on the basis that they were all Black?

      Do you have anything to support this?

      Do you have any particular insight on the qualifications of the candidates for the position to support your....(ahem) position?

      July 2, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • asdf


      It's like you can't even read. "ONLY AS RACIST"..."MAY HAVE BEEN". My point was only that you can't assume that the new council is racist and ignore the possibility that the old council was as well, which seems to be what the authors and commentors wish to do.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
      • TrueAmerican56

        Here is the problem, Pearson was a State Trooper with 20 years experience or statewide training, research, and modern police work, the local good old boy, had 18 years experience in Jasper, putting him in the class of little outside experience, little upper law enforcement experience or training, with a majority, if not all his experience, only local experience during the many years of local police turning a blind eye to racism, beatings, probably killings, and putting people in jail for any made up situation. So if you are an educated or intelligent city council member, who would you choose to lead your city in better policing, the good old local boy who showed little incentive to make things in Jasper better for all, or an outside highly trained professional?

        July 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Hmmm

    This is what happens when you put humans on 1 planet

    July 2, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Whiskey Fox Tango

      I've come to the conclusion, like Agent Smith of "The Matrix" that humans are a virus and we will be responsible for our own demise

      July 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  54. txsecede

    Yeah, the town is so racist that is why they elected four of five BLACK council members. Try harder CNN.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Well, let me see if I can answer your question...The City Counsel hires four African-American members because their work entail over seeing issues that are less demanding and not in the realm of government leadership, say like Police Chief! The problem often arises when someone of color in this country tries to seek the reigns of leadership, say like President of the United States of America! Then the racist whites start to cry fould play and show their true colors!

      July 2, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  55. gheezy

    anyone surprised racism is still alive? heck you earth morons are still fighting over religion after 2000+ with no true valid proof of it's existence. Just like racism there's no valid proof that there is a species difference between white, blacks, yellows, yet you morons continue to degrade one another on color alone. <<<<<===== that is moronic and people like this will require another 800 years of mental evolution.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Lulu

      FYI : Religion DOES exist since it is simply the belief in a deity or deities & the rituals & rules that go along with that belief. Whether deities exist – now that is something lacking in proof, at least to those who must have tangible evidence. Most who believe in a deity (or multiple deities) do not feel the need to see in order to believe. And trying to convince them otherwise is as fruitless as trying to convince a stolid non-believer of their existence.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
      • anon

        Just because something may not be true doesn't mean you can't believe in it. Sometimes, the things which may or may not be true are the very things you need to believe in the most.

        Like good always wins, or love never dies.

        July 2, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  56. Native Yankee

    When one moves to Texas because your company did, atracted by the perks, one that one can not create or belong to a union, one sufferes cultural shock, we am not the only ones, we womed from the NE and the day we arrived on the way to the hotel we saw a bookmovil from the Klu Klux Clan with their gosts costumes/
    People ask what religion one is, if one is Roman Catholic one is told "you are not Christian", Texans are not very bright,and can understand a professional intelligent woman, so many females texans are or play dumb blonds.
    Everybody is racist, I see at work how blacks treat black Africans, the ones of Mexican origen use derogatory terms for others, disliking them.
    Most of the romance writters are Texans,I take living here like a penance for being married too long.
    They love their beer, guns , and at the bottom are children and pets, never I have seen in the US so many dogs and cats abandoned or tied in the heat.Blacks are no saints and are as brutal as the whites when they commit a crime. The only good thing is they have the death penalty.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • txsecede

      Stop lying. Move back.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      NATIVE YANKEE: Why don't you go back to NE and become literate? You come down here to Texas and complain, yet you cannot compose an intelligent comment...even with spell check if you know how to use it. Oh, can't go back because you can't get a job? Prolly caus u cant fill out a applicashun.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      YANKEE: One more thing...NE, like the Boston area, is as racist as any area in America. Not just blacks, but Asians and hispanics. I have a friend whose last name is Lee. He had the hardest time finding an apartment in Boston, since they assumed he was Chinese based on his last name, which he is not. Couldn't get the time of day over the phone from apt. managers.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  57. callen

    You want them to "succeed"? Thanks – as one of those stupid people from Texas, we will work to continue to "succeed'. While I understand how brilliant and enlightened you might be, perhaps you should learn the difference between "succeed" and "secede" – but then the English language should never get in the way of a good rant.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  58. christine

    100% accurate statement!!

    July 2, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  59. jamison weaver

    It's TEXAS. Why would anyone be surprised?

    July 2, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • heyared

      It is the SOUTH. Texas is a very large state, you know. Such a broad, sweeping generalization is unfair and inaccurate. East Texas is known for racism, and houses the center for the KKK not far from Jasper. But the rest of the state is much more broad-minded.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
      • melysechoes

        Broad minded? I live in the panhandle of Texas namely Amarillo and the whole dammed city is segregated and full of ignorant cow pokes who call themselves Christians. If they are Christians then their God is money first of all only second to themselves. The whites think that they are Gods gift to man but they are just like the rest of us. HUMAN

        July 2, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
      • Retired Army

        The rest of the state is more broadminded than East texas......but not by very much.

        You go down the I-35 corridor....that ain't so bad......but you go east or west of I-35 (particularly E/W from Waco to San Antonio) and people don't like each other so much.

        Can't speak on the panhandle......haven't spent much time there, at all.

        July 2, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
      • Erin Mack


        July 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  60. christine

    I don't believe that 1/2 of white people are racist – but it may depend on where you live. For sure in Texas. I am thankful that my parents raised me to look at a person's character NOT the color of their skin. I also raised my 4 daughters that same way.

    Racism is perpetuated by the ignorant. I have great hope that when our young people of today grow up, racism will be just a story for the history books!

    July 2, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  61. chefdugan

    Pardon me, that should have been SECEDE. The only success Texas ever had was the Alamo and a lot of us wish they had lost.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • anon

      The Civil war, was a type of revolution. A country in revolution with itself. History seems to repeat itself in increments of 40yrs (approximately) and 150, and 250 yrs. We are due for another revolution, and I think it will be another type of attempt of the states to secede. This time I don't think it will turn violent, but I do think the country will be split down the middle with the conservative states seceeding, and the liberal states continuing to side with the federal govt. If this happens,I predict the liberal states will continue to go downhill, and the conservative states will prosper. Our country is do divided at this point, that I think it would be best if we just cut ties and amicably go our separate ways.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
      • W.G.

        I don´t think that´s true about Conservative states surviving and liberal states failing . Lets look at the way things are
        now the top ten Republican states (conservative) are the most poor in the country . The teen pregnancy rate are the highest in those states as well .

        July 2, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
      • ThaGerm

        Don't forget about the drop-out rate being the highest in "red" states as well as the addiction rate, but lets be fair, they do have more of some things, like religion, yep, red states have the highest rates of Christianity in the Nation...Go red!

        July 2, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
      • fromwhatIgather

        Arent' the more liberal states like California going bankrupt, while the reddest state Oklahoma, has an economy that is actually doing pretty good?

        While the teen pregnancy rate is quite telling, I wouldn't put too much stock in the high school drop out rate. There's certainly nothing wrong with graduating from high school, but it is a far cry from being a determing factor in ones intelligence. I would much rather my child be able to THINK. If they were able to land a job bringing in twice as much as their teachers, but would have to drop out to do it, then they would certainly have my blessing. Has anyone noticed how many kids are pumped out of high school with diplomas EVERY SINGLE YEAR? They are dolled out like candy, with little effort needed.

        Screw the drop out rate.

        July 2, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
      • anon

        Ahh, good point. I never looked at it from that perspective, but your right.

        July 2, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
      • Proud Vet

        Are you serious? First of all, studies show over a lifetime, high school drop outs earn less than those with a high school diploma and those with diplomas earn less than those with college degrees. There maybe a few jobs in which you can earn more than teachers, but those are not long term careers. Usually a career like an oil worker can make great money but at what peril to your life. It is also physically taxing work. But please tell me what will you or your child do if the job lays them off or move out of country? There are not many jobs which take non-high school diplomas. You want your child to have something to fall back on at least. To receive a certificate in a field, you at least have to have a GED to get in the course. But I guess since school is overrated in your book, you will be waiting on your government hand out or asking do you want fries with your order?

        July 2, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Flatsguide

        Great post, Vet!

        July 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • ThaGerm

        For such a student of history, I am surprised you don't remember what happened the last time the South tried to side against the Federal Government. Where I come from talk of succession is tantamount to treason and we have a clearly defined punishment for traitors...

        July 2, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
      • marsh0

        What would you do? Deny access to people who look different than you?
        If a truck driver bringing goods into the city is black, would you say he has to get out and let a white driver bring it in?
        sensible isn't it?

        July 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • jmissal

      The Alamo WAS lost....where do you people get your history?

      Oh yea...government schools.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
      • Erin Mack

        If we learned from history, this issue wouldn't be in the news. Pro Armageddon.

        July 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      The Alamo was far from a success. Everyone DIED.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Jules

      The battle for the Alamo was won by Mexico – it was a rallying cry for later victories. But whom am I to let facts get in the way of your biased rant. Clearly we're all stupid down here, right? Why else would we have a strong economy, or one of the best medical centers in the world.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Ummmm....do you know the story of the Alamao?

      July 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Julie


        July 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Mark of Tennessee

    Will things ever change?

    July 2, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • DefyTheGods

      Change? Things are changing right now. Some changes don't take place within the time it takes to observe them.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  63. miniME

    It sounds like both whites and blacks are racist in that town.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Al

      Can you explain how the blacks are racists? Your comment does not make sense since it is the whites who are taking all of the racists actions.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  64. V.P.

    Whether you want to believe it or not racism is alive and well in America! By the way Mr Bryd was killed by three white boys. Please tell me how you'd classify that! I call it ugly blatant RACISM! Happy 4th of July folks.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Julie

      Yes it was racism. They were all arrested, went to trial and were convicted and sentenced to death with less than 4 hours of dilerberation. Jasper does not represent Texas anymore than the killing of Mr. Bryd does. Every state in this union has areas that people act ignorant and arcaic....stupidity is not limited to small Texas towns.

      July 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Mike

    I did read (and comprehend) the article.

    When the council voted along racial lines to HIRE him, it is not racist, right? (Of course the white council member is racist for not voting for him!!).

    But when the council votes along racial lines to FIRE him it is racist. Where is Al Sharpton when you need him?

    July 2, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer


      I'm afraid the Chief's firing was racially motivated! If you had read the article you would have learned that the Mayor used his radio station to make stereotypical and raciallly divisive statements about the Police Chief! Furthermore, it was stated that white workers withing the department have used racially and derogatory statements that were directed at the Police Chief! Then these name calling and acts of racism and discrimination were followed by the Chief's firing! Please learn to read before you comment!

      July 2, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

        And those who ignore FACTUAL statistics are just looking to make excuses for the poor behavior and shift ‘blame’ to another group.

        July 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      Mike......maybe......JUST MAYBE......the Black Council members hired the Black trooper because he had more secondary law enforcement training and more education. Meaning simply.....that he was more qualified.

      Now.....it doesn't say this in the article, so we don't know one way or the other.

      And that's why your question....or your point....or whatever you want to call it is generally lacking in validity.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Dan

    There was an story today about USA being #1 as we near the 4th of July. Want to know why we are not....it's stories of this that make us FAR less than #1. We are still in the 1960's in some places of this country!

    July 2, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Well stated!

      July 2, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  67. Mike

    I had to move to Texas with a job transfer. The illiteracy rate in Texas is high, so reading the headline is about all you can expect.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  68. Guest

    There are plenty of racist towns especially in the Dakotas (South & North Dakota). Racism will always be part of American life like trash is part of highways.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • anticomm

      try to visit South Bronx.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  69. anon

    They didn't have a problem when he was a trooper, a man not just in authority but with a badge, but NOW they don't like it and are calling him incompetent? The town was more then willing to hire and keep (for a while) a black majority run council, but NOW it's about race? For such a racist town, they sure are hiring black folk for alot of high up positions. This just doesn't sound right at all to me. I think something else is going on that is causing a stink that CNN isn't bothering to report.

    There is DEFINITELY something else going on.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • KKDenver

      you don't hire someone for city council, they run for it.

      July 2, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
      • anon

        Yes, they RUN for the office, but when the people VOTE them in, they are in essence HIRING them for the job.

        July 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  70. pigmore

    The mayor sure has the right last name

    July 2, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army

      I wasn't gonna 'go there'......too easy.

      July 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Dex

    Racism will forever be present in America. In some areas, it is more overt than others. It is a part of life. Black people are used to it and to be honest, stories like this disappoint, but do not surprise us.

    At the same time, it doesn't help matters when some people play the race card when convenient. Some people will see racism at any hint of it, others will always deny racism no matter how clear it is.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • anon

      Personally, I think racism amounts to one great big misunderstanding between cultures. It's hard to see and understand what in the world the other person is trying to communicate when you've never walked in their shoes. In my case, as a white person, most of the time I can't for the life of me figure out what black folks are trying to say and get at. I hear the words, but it's just not clicking in my head. Also are issues like hypersensitivity, and unconscious habits passed down through the generations.

      Also is the fact that different cultures simply have different ways of living and doing things. They think different, and look at things from a completely different perspective. I never believed the notion that race was only skin deep. I think the way we act and think IS purely because of race, and I have always thought that it was something that went WAY past skin level down into our innermost selves as human beings. I've met a few people who acted COMPLETELY uncharacteristic of their race and culture, but those were rare, and more of an anomoly. Just like an unhappy marriage, sometimes it's best if the two just split and lived separately. Sometimes, that is the only way for two groups to get any kind of peace and be happy.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
      • elb1999

        anon...unfortunately you are confused about the difference between culture and race. Race is simply who you are physically and cannot be changed. Culture is what you have been taught. The customs and ways of thinking and doing that have been imbedded in your psyche are you grow. At a high level most Americans share the same culture and for the most part think and act in the same ways. However there are American sub-culture that are distinct. The southern white sub-culture unfotrunately has an undeniable history of blatant and unabashed racism. And in Jasper it has been on display relatively recently. So in this latest situation, it is not far fetched to think that it is on display again.

        July 2, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
      • elb1999

        anon.....all I can say is wow.....you just laid out a text book definition of racist thought. If you look at popular music today, there are countless non-black artists who sing with gospel tinged passions. It's simply a result of being part of a culture that allowd them to be exposed to the example. And many a non-mexican immigrant before hand would be suprised to find out that they didn't work just as hard as mexicans in laying railroad track, building sky scrapers and working the field that helped build america.

        July 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  72. stateschool

    It's not a long article. Maybe you could try reading it.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  73. KB

    This sounds frightening familiar, to what is happening w/the Republican Congress and President Obama.

    July 2, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  74. JoeP

    America is the greatest country in the world...right?

    July 2, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  75. stateschool

    Dear Texas,
    You're embarrassing us again. Please look to your house.
    The rest of the country

    July 2, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Pesandy

      It is just one city, not the whole state.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
      • Aaron_of_Portsmouth

        Unfortunately, that one city is a microcosm of the state of affairs for the rest of the country on this problem. Any of us that doesn't recognize this is suffering from a social and spiritual myopia.

        July 2, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Darrell

      Huh? One town of 7,500 makes up for one of the largest populations in the country? That makes a lot of sense. We'll ignore the fourth largest city in the country that has had a black mayor, black police chief and now a lesbian mayor.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  76. Dan

    This has been going on for too long.

    July 2, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |