The Greenwood Commonwealth. No place ...

The Greenwood Commonwealth. No place for an educated African-American

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“OPEN-MINDED NEWSHOUND- DERRICK”

Since: Jul 07

GREENWOOD

#1 Jul 21, 2007
I'm submitting this topic because of something that I discovered after having one of the most regretful job experiences of my life. About three months ago, I applied for and accepted a job with The Greenwood Commonwealth. This is a small newspaper and I really didn't expect anything spectacular so far as job promotions are concerned so I wasn't surprised to see that out of a writer staff of twelve to fifteen, not one of these people were black.
About a month into my employment at this place, the newspaper had a luncheon at the local country club. I wasn't interested in attending this event but it struck me as odd that the racial makeup of this facility is an equal amount of African-Americans and Caucasions, only the white people were invited to the luncheon. At this point I began to observe the daily "functions" of this place and I learned the following:
The long-time press supervisor had recently retired so that left an opening for a new one. An African-American employee who had seventeen years of experience in that department was overlooked by the editor of the paper when it came time to hire someone for the position. Instead, he hired a white man with little or no experience with the printing press. Every other day the press employees would encounter problems with printing. This "new" surpervisor would hold up the printing process for hours because he didn't know what he was doing. Why the editor didn't hire the African-American is beyond belief.
The job I applied for was a part-time position paying only $7.00 an hour. My responsibilities for this job included - get this now -
1. downloading the various newspaper pages.
2. pairing the pages.
3. pre-flighting the pages.
4. Scanning, cropping and enhancing pictures that would be included in the newspapers.
5. "burning" the pages to plates so that they may be placed on the press for printing.
6. bending the plates.
7. developing negatives for the newspapers that chose that process for their paper.
8.cutting and punching these negatives.
9. taping the unwanted portions of the negatives.
10. burning these negatives.
11. changing out the developing solution when needed.
12.punching the plates that would be used each day.
Twelve different things had to be done for $7.00 an hour.Six years ago, I worked for a local picture frame factory. I made $7.85 an hour an my only job duty was to staple the backs on picture frames.
I left this job after the "press supervisor" demanded that I and I alone clean up one of the machines. Let me just state that a white guy and I both worked on this machine but the focus of this "press supervisors" anger was directed towards me. I walked out never to return.
Just out of curiosity, I contacted the editor of the paper two days later and gave my side of the story.Since he was on vacation at the time of the incident, he wasn't aware of what happened until he returned that following Monday. I was told that an "investigation" would be held to determine my "eligibility" to return to the job. I had no intentions of returning. My only purpose was to see if the editor would go along with the supervisors version of what had happened. Let me state here that the supervisor had previously been in the editor's office for the very same type of incident with two other African-American employees. He has this thing where he believes that he can just talk to you any kind of way and the editor had proof of this prior to my calling him. What did he do? He agreed with the supervisor and i wasn't eligible to return. What a laugh. Now the newspaper has the very same job opening listed in the help wanted section of the Greenwood Commonwealth. If you are an African-American or just anyone that doesn't want to be taken advantage of and worked like a slave would be worked, don't apply for this job.
joy

Altamonte Springs, FL

#2 Aug 12, 2007
In response to the "open minded newshound", I am a white female who once lived in Greenwood, Ms., and I can totally understand what you are going through. Although I am white, I was in disbelief when coming to Greenwood from Texas. Greenwood is like a third world country, and the only people I could relate to were the black people there. I could not believe the racism.
I am sorry for your experience, just know that not all of us are ignorant and 100 years behind from everyone else in the country.
LEON

Jackson, MS

#3 Aug 17, 2007
IT'S NOT CALLED RACISM,WE WOULD SAY,"NOT WHAT YOU KNOW,BUT WHO YOU KNOW"IT'S BEEN AROUND BEFORE THE FIRST AFRO-AMERICAN EVER SET FOOT IN AMERICA.BY THE WAY,I'M AN AMERICAN-AMERICAN OR WHITE-AMERICAN,OR.... WELL,YOU GET THE MESSAGE. SHUR DO HATE IT FOR YOU MY FRIEND.BUT IT HAPPENS,AND YOUR NOT THE FIRST,OR WILL IT BE THE LAST.
former greenwoodian

United States

#4 Aug 26, 2007
Again let's point out that most elected officials are black in Greenwood. Also, I knew a white guy that had the job mentioned & he had the same responsiblities & he didn't get paid any more than open minded newshound. It's ashame everything in Greenwood becomes about race. It's usually the blacks that make it that way. In a town where blacks are the majority there's no way you can blame it on white racism. BTW I hear the McDonald's in Minnesota is offering $10 an hour for employees to take orders at the drive thru.

“OPEN-MINDED NEWSHOUND- DERRICK”

Since: Jul 07

GREENWOOD

#5 Aug 26, 2007
It's also true that African-Americans are now the majority race in Greenwood and I think that was proven true during the mayoral race. Former mayor Harry Smith managed to steal the first election when his poll workers suddenly and magically "found" two - hundred some odd votes - just enough for him to "win." Stevie Wonder could see that something was wrong with that. Well, there was another election and the voters spoke. We now have our very first African-American mayor who just so happens to be a woman. The predicted that this would be Greenwood's downfall; some white people even vowed to move to Carroll County to get away from "this." You have to be really ignorant and stupid to put your house up for sale and move somewhere else just because the city you live in just so happens to have an African-American as mayor but let's not forget, racism is ignorant and stupid so I would understand why some would want to move. I've been in Greenwood all my life and I've never seen this much progress in so little time. There's new construction all over the place and even more planned. Downfall? No. I think this is what potential businesses have been waiting for. A change in the racial climate so to speak. Now it's here and the city council - which is also majority African-American - along with our new mayor will see to it that not just one side of town will benefit from the tax dollars and government funding but the WHOLE town. White racism will never die. You know why? The white man's fear that he has to always have the power; they have this superiority complex that they will never get over. Well, get over it because everyone is equal.
Now this has to be a coincidence: I'm going to Minneapolis in two weeks for a graphic art convention. I'll stop by Mickey Ds and get you one of those applications. Say "thank you."
former greenwoodian

United States

#6 Aug 29, 2007
Awful defensive there Mr. Newshound. I'm over it...your the one spewing hatred at whites just as SOME whites spew hatred at blacks. That would make you a racist just like them. I was gone from Greenwood long before those elections. Why? Because of the school system and because I was seeking better job opportunities. Neither are good in Greenwood but I never blamed the blacks. I do blame bad leadership, Harry Smith, was mayor. I would never leave a place because the city council, mayor, police chief, etc are all black. That would be silly! I personally believe that Mrs. Perkins is a much better mayor than Mr. Smith could have ever been. My point is simple...not everything is about race. A white man had the same job, same pay, same responsiblities who is he suppose to blame. You can't blame race for that crappy job....it's a crappy job...that would be why they can't keep anyone black or white.
BTW I'm very happy where I am, I wasn't the one complaining about my job. I make more than $10/hour and there are no racists, black or white, at my place of employment. It's called a good job, everyone should be equal & have one.
Carroll County Girl

United States

#7 Jan 8, 2008
I agree with the former greenwoodian...I have lived in this area for 23 years now, and the only racists that I have encountered are blacks against whites...Don't sit there and think that white people are to blame because you cant keep a job... We are the ones who have to deal with racists most of the time, its you and your ability to not have an open-mind.... Let me get out my little violin for you...You were not the ones who were slaves, and we didnt own you, our ancestors did...Also, the majority of jobs, apartments and delevelops in the past few years in greenwood are for the black communities, so don't even play like greenwood is one-sided...If you cant get a job that your not too lazy to work, then i suggest you go to the unemployment office and welfare because i need it more than you, but you usually wind up getting it...Also, I serve this country with people of all races, because in the end race doesnt matter, its what you make of yourself... So stop the whining and go do something about your life and quit blaming the white people, because as a soldier and a white female, i find that very stupid for you to be racist when you are talking about a your bosses, who are white, as if they are the entire white race....So check yourself...
TEXAS T

Denton, TX

#8 Feb 20, 2008
I'm a black woman that was boarn and raised in greenwood Ms. The only way that I found a better way to live is to leave and move to another city. Mississippi is so behind in times. Yes there are some people that make excuses of not being able to find jobs there, but we also have to look at the education factor. I say use the system to get an education to further your career. Don't be afraid to move and take a challenge to find something different. Wherever you move to these days cannot be as bad as where you are now.
Carroll County Girl wrote:
I agree with the former greenwoodian...I have lived in this area for 23 years now, and the only racists that I have encountered are blacks against whites...Don't sit there and think that white people are to blame because you cant keep a job... We are the ones who have to deal with racists most of the time, its you and your ability to not have an open-mind.... Let me get out my little violin for you...You were not the ones who were slaves, and we didnt own you, our ancestors did...Also, the majority of jobs, apartments and delevelops in the past few years in greenwood are for the black communities, so don't even play like greenwood is one-sided...If you cant get a job that your not too lazy to work, then i suggest you go to the unemployment office and welfare because i need it more than you, but you usually wind up getting it...Also, I serve this country with people of all races, because in the end race doesnt matter, its what you make of yourself... So stop the whining and go do something about your life and quit blaming the white people, because as a soldier and a white female, i find that very stupid for you to be racist when you are talking about a your bosses, who are white, as if they are the entire white race....So check yourself...
Concerned in Mississippi

United States

#9 Feb 22, 2008
First of all, each of you should get a refresher course in the English language.

Carroll County Girl, you do not put a commas in front of the word because , and I quote "when you are talking about a your bossess." This makes no sense.

Texas T, "boarn" is spelled born. Greenwood is always capitalized.

Come on people, did anyone graduate?
Concerned in Mississippi

United States

#10 Feb 22, 2008
First of all, each of you should get a refresher course in the English language.
Carroll County Girl, you do not put a comma in front of the word because , and I quote "when you are talking about a your bossess." This makes no sense.
Texas T, "boarn" is spelled born. Greenwood is always capitalized.
Come on people, did anyone graduate?
Getting Real in Greenwood

United States

#11 Mar 2, 2008
Hey “OPEN-MINDED NEWSHOUND- DERRICK,
Did you know you were replaced by an African American woman who is doing just fine.
I bet if you really did the work that say you had to do at that job, you would still be working!
Kenny Harris

Lawrenceville, GA

#12 Mar 30, 2008
I know a lot of this is racism MANY OF YOU KNOW IT IS BECAUSE YOU ENDURE IT ON A DAILY BASIS. its not only in Greenwood I live in a little town called Griffin Ga and the racism here is just as bad, what folks (blacks) have done is accepted the prejudice system which is what Dr. King fought against as well as the others who fought for us in Greenwood. It is a damned shame that this is 2008 and people still want to believe there is no difference in the way many cities and towns still use race in order to keep one race from getting what they deserve. Many are afraid to speak out because things are more prevelent now more than ever. What I mean is there is more getting rid of people than it was in the early days. Many will pay your on people to do it for them just like back in the day. We call ourselves a Christian World but I swear that will never be true no matter what. Take it for what it is worth many of the blacks who still live in Greenwood have no where to go but they still be subjected to the racist ways of yesterday and that goes for everyone anywhere!
Kenny Harris

Lawrenceville, GA

#13 Mar 30, 2008
I meant they should not be subjected to racist ways
Kenny Harris

Lawrenceville, GA

#14 Mar 30, 2008
I believe people in Greenwood know what is going on but still want blacks to stay in their so called place but those days are over. Some of us write on these comment boards but use them as a spring board for starting racism all over once again and getting feeble minds involved only to persuade them to do crazy things please just accept that racism is wrong and the way blacks in Greenwood are treated is terribly wrong as well. Don't let the smooth talk fool you I love a good fight (legally).
Past resident of Gwood

Corpus Christi, TX

#15 May 7, 2008
I was born in Greenwood, MS, and I know that there is racism in Greenwood. Here is one question that everyone should ask.
Why do blacks stay on one side of the town and the whites stay on the other (North Greenwood or Caroll County)? Living in Caroll County or North Greenwood does not make a person better. There are nice houses in North Greenwood, but there are way better houses in states like Arizona. I am black, and have owned two of them.
I think that living in separate places is very stupid. I have lived in Arizona, Oregon, and now Texas. I am African American, and I live around tons of whites and other races. This is how it is now in other states. Nobody cares about that kind of stuff. If you have money to buy a nice house, you move in the neighborhood. This is not geared towards whites or blacks. I do think that whomever is racist needs to get out of town for a while to see how things are being done in the present.
As far as someone criticizing English, whenever you type on a forum, you are typing so fast, and mistakes can happen. Just because you spell something wrong does not make you uneducated. I feel that that comment was to say that blacks are uneducated, but since everyone makes mistakes, I guess we must all (blacks and whites) be uneducated. I have been blesed with a huge nice house, car, education, and family, and I am black. The best part of it is that I don't have to work. I have a well educated husband who is also African American, and he is a great provider.
The moral of this story is to let blacks and whites know that everyone is equal. Blacks can get all of the same things that whites can and vice versa. Everyone was made the same except for color. If we use our brains, everyone could have the same nice things in life.
Suggestion of the day: Try visiting other states to see how happy blacks and whites are living in the same neighborhood. Check out the cool block parties while you are there, and count the number of black and white people.
Former local writer

United States

#16 Jun 3, 2008
I formerly worked as a Greenwood Commonwealth employee. I have a degree in communications. I worked as a staff writer and covered the local school board, the supervisors, and many other areas. I am Black. I had a very successful experience. I left the Commonwealth and went to another news outlet, in the Delta, and had a similar experience. My career in journalism continued for several years and now I work as a consultant. I say to all of you that racism still exists. Inequality continues to be a part of our lives; however, the two are not hiding around EVERY corner at every turn of our lives. Try to stop worrying so much about what others are doing, white or black, and work on yourself.
New to the Delta

Pinola, MS

#17 Jun 16, 2008
I have lived in the delta just a short time, I have spent time pretty much all around this country of ours and I can truthfully say that attitudes in the delta are different. I see a differance in both white and black, both better and worse than other places. As for the economis of the area it is worse overall but it is worse across the board for both black and white folks. I believe that until EVERYONE starts to see people instead of color we will not ever get any better at the race thing. I see racism both black against white and white againt black across America. BUT it is in the minority and all WE can/should do is ignore the ignorant few and make our lives the best we can at all times. Pray for Godly wisdom for the ignorant and for the intelligent folks alike and God will sort out the rest.
Carrolton

Brandon, MS

#18 Jul 3, 2008
My family moved to Greenwood from China when I was 9 years old, so I basically grew-up there.

What dlomane wrote is absolutely truth, Greenwood is a delta town run by "old money", not necessarily wealth, but prestige and lineage. Although the facade of modern Greenwood may convey diversity, the underlying power still reside with the "old money" residents.

Indeed the town is divided by the Yazoo river, the old money live in North Greenwood and the poor manual laborers(blacks mostly) on the other side. Everything and everywhere have an underlying segregation to them. The blacks and whites go to different schools, usually eat at different restaurants, played at different parks, and participate in different clubs and activities. I went to a public high school there in the early 1990's , and we still had separate proms then.

Despite their fancy hotel and their claim of small charm, Greenwood's under-belly is tattooed with racial intolerance and century-old prejudices.
PostKing

Plaquemine, LA

#19 Jul 16, 2008
All of these posts are good. Good facts and well meaning on both sides. The Chinese lady Carrolton has said it best. And what she said is true. My wife (she is white as I am) used to work there. She was paid dirt wages too. "Greenwood" pays dirt wages. It's the Delta. "They" have kept out a LOT of businesses and Industry that pay high wages over MANY decades. The Planters did this on purpose. Greenwood ALSO prides itself in being a "NON-Union" town. "They" do NOT want you to be successful. It is unbelievable that you can move just a few hundred miles away and instantly double to triple your salary all with about the very same cost of living. We escaped many years ago and have never looked back. It's true, the town is run by "Old Money". Money made by their ancestors. Very few there have "made" big money on their own. Remember that. It took me a long long time to realize that. "That Newspaper"......
is an exellent example of the aforementioned.
Lesley

Nashville, TN

#20 Aug 25, 2008
I lived in Greenwood most of my life. I am only 23 now, but it sure didn't take me long to realize what a hell hole that town is. I try to tell all my friends to move away like I have. Greenwood is one of the most racist towns in the USA. I travel quite a bit. I have been to just about every state in the U S and I have found very few other places that are so socially and racially divided. The people live on such old and distorted values. It's almost like the people there are stuck in a time warp and really don't see the errors of thier ways. It's very sad that racism is still around.

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