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May 22nd, 2009
11:29 PM ET

Former mayor defending the KKK?

In a 2005 interview with Anderson Cooper, the ex-mayor of Philadelphia, Mississippi shares his thoughts on the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • Race in America
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. maria munuche

    Astonishing ignorance! How did he get to be the mayor!

    May 25, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  2. Andrea

    I can't believe that anyone would defend the KKK in anything. Kudos to AC for keeping his cool during the interview. I can see that he was seething, I would too if I were in that position.

    May 25, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  3. zelma43

    I'm so glad to watch CNN. I'm a black woman, and your news is the best in the world. You feel close to Candy, David, Roland, Rick, Nancy, and I can't mention eveyone. But, your news talks to people of every back ground and race. Your news should be taught in all class rooms. Fox is a hate station. They are back in the 50's and 60's. I don't want to forget Cafferity file's. I just love everyone at CNN. I'm leaving alot of people out. Nancy, Beltzer, Jane V., Lemon, the best,
    Anderson, etc. I can go on and on. I will be 63 in Sept.
    Oh my God can you beleive I left ou Larry King. For give me, when I sent this to you I will, think of some one else.
    Thanks for being the best,
    ZEE

    May 25, 2009 at 2:51 am |
  4. Nick

    Dang! Anderson you had that guy jumping through hoops

    May 24, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  5. fred hutchkinson

    Whats the big deal, Obama hates white people and America. Can it get any worse than that? Hillary Clinton can step forward and admit shes a cannibal and it would bother me as much as anti-white-Christian-Semetic-American Obama. This guy is small potatoes compared to racist Obama.

    May 24, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  6. victor

    The people of color still have a way to go in this country. We will always be faced with racism. It runs to deep. Black mayor,black president...does not matter.

    May 24, 2009 at 1:06 am |
  7. JIM S CALIFORNIA

    What everybody doesn't understand is the Mayor was describing what it was like back in the 60's in Mississippi. I believe the civil rights workers should have known better to go into a racist area.

    May 24, 2009 at 12:31 am |
  8. Mike in NYC

    I found Andy's reflexive, self-righteous huffiness more offensive than anything the ex-mayor said.

    Whatever you think about the man, you have to admit he's a straight shooter.

    May 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  9. Theresa G

    This is very sad this mans way of thinking but its no different his way of thinking than the way terrorist are raised to think about all of the U.S....this man was raised in that moment in our history to think the way he did and like the saying goes u cant teach an old dog new tricks-it is inbeded in their psyche to think like that and even if as an adult man he learns that maybe that was not the way to be its still might be in the back of their minds...this is the same way that Texans lynched Mexicans back in those days as well....actually they still shoot at Mexicans in this day and age so u see some things never change....but no one cares about the illegals because well they are not U.S. citizens....what it comes down to if u where raised and taught how to have genuine compassion for humanity these types of crimes would never have happened not in our past present or our future...period

    May 23, 2009 at 9:21 pm |
  10. Marlene Petta

    Hon,
    if your in the air or whatever, of couse you're slleing with me whe you get here, if either of us can sllep at all. I'm fine, both feet on the ground(but hopefully not for long), and where ring size of 7 should you need it.
    Can't wait to here from tou or see you, but really would appreciaye an IM, E-mail or phone call to let me know when your coming and any other help or needs you may have.

    I've never been in love like this before in my life.

    Marlene

    P.S, Also I house full of kleenex if we need it.

    May 23, 2009 at 8:16 pm |
  11. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    He will never heal if he choose not to face the 1964 slaying of three civil rights workers.

    May 23, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  12. walter

    wow what a difference a few years makes. it's very touching when he talked about having keys to places that at one time he could not enter.
    what a dark pass we have in this great nation of ours but i think more people are seeing the light and looking at things from a logical point of view

    May 23, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  13. Sharon,Daniel Island, South Carolina

    Well ! I am sure he will be honored by the WABrotherhood, and Brothers alike. Mr. Killen don't pick up the soap

    May 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  14. Miss J

    And they voted for him twice!

    May 23, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  15. Cory R

    This video clip saddens me because it is emblematic of the mental rigidity that still exists amongst elitist elders in this country. Certainly its difficult to remedy values and ideologies that were instilled in you at a young age. However, the voice of reason should overtake your mindless justifications for racism when you are smacked in the face with such compelling evidence such as the facts that AC offered. This man is the embodiment of a generation that is the antithesis of civil rights improvement.

    May 23, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  16. isabel.

    It's amazing to watch a video of 2005 and analyze the evolution of AC360 (technology and understand (even more) the depth of your work.
    It's great to know that Philadelphia, Mississippi has elected its first African American mayor. It is the trend of the times and of the people.

    May 23, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  17. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    This is the first time I have turned off an interview midstream because the interviewee's comments turned my stomach. Hate cannot be validated no matter how many "honorable" things those promulgating the hatred do. Having lived in North Central Mississippi, this man's mentality is sadly the mentality of others in the area. Fortunately, though, they are in the minority. I am so glad the people of Philadelphia chose a new mayor who represents the best of them instead of the worst.

    May 23, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  18. isabel.

    It's amazing to know that even in nowadays we heard people defend ideas of social segregation, racism, repression, pain, and suffering – totally opposite to what you show on your show, daily

    May 23, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  19. DAWN

    he looks like Dick Cheney. Please stop airing dick cheney all he is doing is making it so obama has an even harder time with saving the planet and keeping the bad guys from wanting to destroy us. Please tell Dick Cheney to go away.

    May 23, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  20. abdullahi

    racism is part of the human race however much we want it end it will stay with us,racism is all around us in our houses,at school,at work,at public places and even between siblings.
    the only thing is that most forms of racism are tolerable because groups of people with same identities glorify there hatred towards others and that does not mean their victims are not racist they could be but the stronger one always gets the attention

    May 23, 2009 at 8:43 am |
  21. Ruth

    How sad is that? The man seems to be ignorrant? Considering what he was bought up in?is it really all his fault? Is this really any different to the rest of the world in area's where this is happening? I'm not condoning what he supports, I do understand the misguidance and the effects from that and one that he will realise eventually.

    May 23, 2009 at 6:06 am |
  22. aamir wani

    this man is a black mark on a great country like america.

    May 23, 2009 at 3:04 am |
  23. Joan, Berkeley CA

    Post-Racial America huh? Yeah right

    May 23, 2009 at 2:39 am |
  24. Gina

    Mr.Cooper,as i always say,` Simple minds are simply amused.`

    May 23, 2009 at 1:59 am |
  25. J.V.Hodgson

    Anderson,
    What a segment! You clearly could not understand the guys position and he came across as what he is KKK supporter ( and still is) and therfore no longer a Mayor.
    My only complaint. You kept him on too long as about half way thru no one was listening. At that point you should have said thanks for your views, and todays real news is... whatever.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    May 23, 2009 at 1:30 am |
  26. Michelle - St Augustine, FL

    you are never going to eradicate all the racist people in the world. You just have to make sure that the better message of racial harmony is louder than their message. The only option is to live and work harmoniously and keep in our minds the interests of the whole community. It is the outlook we must adopt for humanitys survival

    May 23, 2009 at 12:12 am |
  27. Debbie

    Why are we viewing this video from 2005? This man is disgusting. His arrogance, ignorance and bigotry demonstrate that there is still a lot of "South" in the south. Let's hope that his narrow mindedness and hatred has not been passed down to his children and grandchildren. Only when that generation of hate mongers dies off will America have a chance at truly moving forward. But once again, I ask....why is this a news story today?

    May 23, 2009 at 12:01 am |
  28. Brian C. MCGrowder

    Stupidity does not account for ignorance, people are people and there are going to do whatever were instill in them.

    May 22, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  29. Heidi Ann Berg

    Cooper you sure are a good interviewer

    May 22, 2009 at 11:49 pm |