It was a time and place where the political structure was thoroughly aligned with ultra-nationalist hate groups. Encouraged by a mythologized version of their own history, and a perverted use of their religion, to justify their actions and ideology. Cheap thugs thought nothing of blowing up religious buildings filled with children; and throwing the bodies of unarmed men into the river which had defined so much of this society's culture and collective literary experience. Those who did stand up to the existing power structure, and we should never forget that there were those who did provide a "voice in the wilderness", often had to leave for their own protection. The local media convinced the citizens that they were "under invasion" and that news programs from the outside were nothing more than "propaganda" designed to destroy their way of life.
Of course, I'm talking about Mississippi in the 1950s and 1960s.
Recently the FBI has reopened the cases of several lynchings that took place in Mississippi and other states in the south; and bringing the now elderly klansmen responsible for their murders to justice.
Besides giving an overview of the crimes and investigations into these crimes, the above article also gives mention of the problems of trying to seek justice for crimes that occured decades ago; evidence gets lost, witnesses die, documentation from the orignal investigations would have been thrown out.
Meanwhile, we can only hope that in the Balkans the individuals responsible for immeasurable suffering and violence will someday be brought to justice; although it seems that with each passing day, and every press conference where some NATO official or whoever has a "new lead" for the search for Karadzic, the chances of that happening becomes smaller and smaller. The only measure of comfort is that their state organized and perpetrated crimes of extermination, systemetic torture, rape and forced deportations are much better documented than the atrocities carried out by some violent thugs in the South. Finding evidence doesn't seem to be the problem, finding them however is.
Oh yes, and speaking of ghosts from the past, and not to mention mass murderers, it is the anniversary of Slobodan Milosevic's death as well.