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State’s black caucus head not mad over Barbour ‘tar babies’ comment

By Alice Thomas–Tisdale

Jackson Advocate Publisher

Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour has been in the national spotlight this week for describing President Obama’s policies as “tar babies.” While the majority of the African American community is taking offense to the comment and Barbour has apologized for making it, State Senator Kenny Wayne Jones, Chairman of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, says the comment was not racially motivated.

“In recent days, I’ve seen Mississippi’s former Governor Haley Barbour accused of making racist comments by calling President Obama’s policies ‘tar babies’. The truth of the matter is that any public policy considered controversial is a political Tar Baby,” says

Jones. “Religious Freedom, for example, is a political tar baby for Mississippi because when you touch it you get stuck, and the more you struggle with it, the more entangled you get. Therefore, I do not condemn Governor Barbour’s statements as racist, nor do I believe he intended for anyone else to view his comments as such.” Jones is receiving heavy backlash for his position from the black community and legislators. Senator John Horhn is in total disagreement with his colleague. “I found Governor Barbour’s comments to be racially insensitive and in poor taste,” he said Wednesday.

Also aligning with Horhn is Senator Sollie Norwood. “I’m not in support of that. Yes, it is offensive. Growing up in the country, if I called my playmate a tar baby, I would have gotten a butt whooping. It definitely has a negative
See Barbour on 10A

A pat on the back for our Vets

The City of Jackson held numerous programs to commemorate Veterans Day Tuesday. The Johnnie Champion Senior Center dedicated the morning to its hometown heroes. Honored were Vietnam Sgt. Ollie Jackson (shown with coordinators Ruthie Jackson and Mary Seawood), Army captain Dr. James Anderson, Air Force vet Thomas Ward, Navy vet Ross Clay, Jr., Navy vet Carmela Crier, and John Blocker and Pamela Lee–Hookfin, not pictured. Guest speaker was Rosa Hearn King. Music was provided by the Johnnie Champion Choir. (Advocate photos: Alice Thomas–Tisdale)

What will you find during Medicare open enrollment?

JANS – Your health needs change from year to year. And, your health plan may change the benefits and costs each year too. That’s why it’s important to review your Medicare choices each fall. Compare your current plan to new options and see if you can lower some costs or to find a plan that better suit your needs.

Open Enrollment is the one time of year when ALL people with Medicare can see what new benefits Medicare has to offer and make changes to their coverage.

Whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll still have the same benefits and security you have now:

  • Certain preventive benefits – including cancer screenings – are available at no cost to you when provided by qualified and participating health professionals. The annual wellness visit lets you sit down with your doctor and discuss your health care needs and the best ways to stay healthy.

  • Medicare will notify you about plan performance and use its online Plan Finder to encourage enrollment in quality plans.

  • In 2015, if you reach the “donut hole” in Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, you’ll get a 55% discount on covered brand name drugs and see increased savings on generic drugs.

  • It’s worth it to take the time to review and compare, but you don’t have to do it alone. Medicare is vailable to help. Visit– plan to compare your current coverage with all of the options that are available in your area, and enroll in a new plan if you decide to make a change.

  • Call 1–800–MEDICARE (1–800–633–4227) 24–hours a day/7 days a week to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call 1–877–486–2048.

  • Review the Medicare & You 2015 handbook. It’s mailed to people with Medicare in September.

  • If you have limited income and resources, you may be able to get Extra Help paying your prescription drug coverage costs. For more information, visit i1020 or call Social Security at 1–800–772–1213. TTY users should call 1–800–325–0778.

  • Get one–on–one help from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Visit or call 1–800–MEDICARE to get the phone number.

This message is brought to you by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

John Doar dead at 92

‘He did a good job,’ says James Meredith

By Alice Thomas–Tisdale

Jackson Advocate Publisher

Presidential Medal of Freedom winner John Doar has died. Remembered as a leader in the federal government’s legal efforts to dismantle segregation in the South, Doar was heavily involved in the investigation of the murders of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman in Neshoba County, MS.

President Barack Obama commented that, “John Doar was one of the bravest American lawyers of his or any era. As the face of the Justice Department in the segregated South, John escorted James Meredith to the University of Mississippi. He walked alongside the Selmato– Montgomery March. He laid the groundwork for the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. “Time and time again, John put his life on the line to make real our country’s promise of equal rights for all. Without John’s courage and perseverance, Michelle and I might not be where we are today, and our thoughts and prayers are with his children, his grandchildren, and all those who loved See Doar on 10A

Senator Hillman T. Frazier, (standing with wife Jean), was recently awarded the Purple Peace Prize during the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s 5th Annual Purple for Peace conference titled, “Engaging Men in the Effort to End Domestic Violence.” The award was given for legislation passed early in Senator Frazier’s career when he served from 1980 to 1993 in the House of Representatives, where he was key to creation and passage of the Crime Victim Compensation Fund and also was a major force in the victim’s rights movement.

Commissioner of Department of Corrections and Local Businessman Indicted By Federal Grand Jury
- State Auditor Stacey Pickering participated in a news conference with federal agencies today in Jackson where former Department of Corrections Commissioner Chis Epps and local businessman Cecil McCrory were indicted by a federal grand jury.

Epps and McCrory face 49 counts of criminal charges including bribery and kickbacks.

“It is a very sad day in Mississippi when individuals with a history of public service are charged with blatantly committing crimes to increase their personal fortunes. They are accused of deliberately violating public trust while serving in positions of leadership. This case is a textbook example of state, local and federal officials working together to protect taxpayer money,” Pickering said.

Rev. Jerry Young, Pastor, New Hope Baptist Church in Jackson, Miss., was elected Thursday to a five-year term as President of the National Baptist Convention. Rev. Young, who was convention vice president, beat four others to lead the country’s largest black religious group.

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