The Meridian Star—the 110-year-old daily in Meridian, Mississippi—offers a somber apology for oversights in coverage during the civil rights era, and sets a hopeful agenda for the future.
There was a time when this newspaper—and many others across the south—acted with gross neglect by largely ignoring the unfairness of segregated schools, buses, restaurants, washrooms, theaters and other public places.
We did it through omission, by not recording for our readers many of the most important civil rights activities that happened in our midst, including protests and sit-ins. That was wrong. We should have loudly protested segregation and the efforts to block voter registration of black East Mississippians.
Current management understands while we can’t go back and undo some past wrongs, we can offer our sincere apology—and promise never again to neglect our responsibility to inform you, our readers, about the human rights and dignity every individual is entitled to in America—no matter their religion, their ethnic background or the color of their skin.
The Meridian Star’s gravity sets a marked counterpoint for the celebrating masses portrayed on cable news, and a welcome moment of reflection amidst all the glee.