Dupes

By Christopher Zoukis

At the second trial, the former governor of Mississippi – Ross Barnett – interrupted a witness’s testimony.  The witness was Myrlie Evers, the wife of Medgar Evers.  Governor Barnett walked into the courtroom, looked around, and then walked over to Delay and shook his hand. 

The implication of the governor’s act was clear to everyone:  White people in the state of Mississippi were rooting for Delay.  Sam Bowers / Image courtesy kukluxklan.net

In both trials, the all-white juries refused to convict a white man for the murder of a black man.  Delay’s alibi – that police officers had seen him at a gas station back home in Greenwood right after the ambush of Evers – gave the juries the excuse they needed.  Sufficient doubt, which resulted in deadlock.  Because there was no verdict in either trial, both trials ended in mistrials. 

After the second mistrial, Delay felt doubly confident, even arrogant.  He officially joined the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which was the most violent cadre of the Klan.  The mission of the White Knights was to stop talking and start doing.  Delay became good friends with Sam Bowers, who was the Imperial Wizard of the White Knights.  Bowers wasn’t like most Klansmen, who were pretty much the missing link, ignorant, brutal Neanderthals who didn’t know shit and hated anyone who wasn’t exactly like them.  Bowers came from Southern aristocracy and had attended the University of Southern California and Tulane University.  In other words, he was educated. 

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