The headline article in the March 8th edition of the Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS) startled me yesterday as I was visiting some of my former colleagues in the State Capitol. Dr. Ronald Mason, the president of Jackson State University, basically asserted in an e-mail to one of his faculty members that the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus could not be trusted and that the caucus was out to get him.
As a personal note to Dr. Mason, I just want to say thanks, sarcastically. Since I served in the Mississippi Legislature during that time, I just want to thank him for painting us all in such a broad brush. I personally don't know what I did to earn his distrust, considering I was one of his biggest supporters to be hired, and virtually shut down the House of Representatives to make sure JSU received their fair share of funding prior to Billy McCoy being the Speaker of the House.
True, there are some members of the MSLBC that would like to see Dr. Mason leave, but not all of the members, past or current. It was an unfair assessment of those public servants who have done everything they could to represent the best interests of Mississippi Public Historically Black Colleges and some kind of gesture should be made to make amends to those of us who respected his presidency, especially those of us who are alumni of that fine institution.
However, I don't think the damage he has done since talks of mergers of the HBCU's can really be repaired, primarily after his electronic critique has been published statewide. I just hope someday he will eventually understand that the majority of Mississippi's African-American legislators are the best allies he has in this state, no matter how many pats on the back he gets from others.
Really, Dr. Mason, I assumed you were better than that. I guess it is my disappointment.