Cleaning house in Mississippi resonates on our Freedom Way | Jersey Journal editorial

©Advance Local Media LLC.

In a CNN opinion piece last month,columnist Aunjanue Ellis quoted Malcolm X speaking in Harlem in 1964:

"What has Mississippi got to do with Harlem? ... It's America. America is Mississippi. … If one room in your house is dirty, you've got a dirty house."

Those words rang true again last week as Mississippi’s legislature and governor were shamed into finally retiring and calling for a redesign of their state flag, which incorporates the Confederate battle flag.

The issue became local to Hudson County and New Jersey just over a year ago when Gov. Murphy, at the urging of state Sen. Sandra Cunningham of Jersey City, refused to allow the Mississippi flag to be flown with the other state flags on Freedom Way in Liberty State Park.

Obviously, there is much cleaning still to be done in America’s house. But we see reason for hope that the uprisings we are experiencing in the wake of George Floyd’s murder will foster change.

Friends of Liberty State Park President Sam Pesin confirms that Mississippi’s hateful flag is still in storage and not hanging on Freedom Way. Maybe next year a redesigned flag will make its debut there.

Send letters to the editor and guest columns for The Jersey Journal to jjletters@jjournal.com.