I've been in every state in the country, and 30 countries around the World in my merry travels. So I get that there are places where the people are smarter than they might be in other places. And I've met my share of goons, goofballs and slack jawed yokels most everywhere I've gone. But when I read stories like this one, it lets me know that some places in the Old South are STILL the Old South.
A Sikh truck driver claims Mississippi traffic cops labeled him a “terrorist” because of his turban — and was then degraded in court when a
county judge called the religious headwear “that rag.”
Jagjeet Singh, 49, a trucker from California, was driving through the
Magnolia State when he was pulled over for driving with a flat tire in
Pike County on Jan. 16, according to a complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Singh was taken to a weigh station operated by the state’s Department
of Transportation, where he says cops ordered him to turn over his
“kirpan,” a 3-inch ceremonial blade that all Sikh men traditionally
carry in their waistbands, the ACLU said.
The letter said that Singh tried to explain that the blade was a sacred
talisman, and even showed the officers videos on his phone that
explained the Sikh faith.
“In response, however, the officers laughed at him and mocked his
religious beliefs,” the letter read. “One officer declared that all
Sikhs are depraved and ‘terrorists.’”
But Singh was humiliated even more when he appeared in court for the charge in March.
As he waited for his attorney in the back of the courtroom, four
officers approached him and told him that Judge Aubrey Rimes had ordered
them to kick him out if he did not remove his turban, Atwood said.
Singh’s attorney went to the judge’s chambers, where his orders were allegedly repeated.
“He further stated that Mr. Singh would not be allowed to re-enter the
courtroom unless he removed ‘that rag’ from his head and threatened to
call Mr. Singh last on the docket if he continued to wear the religious
headdress,” Atwood said.
I used to hate working in Mississippi. It always seemed like they'd missed the bus with respect to stuff like..knowing 1960 had come and gone, or that women could drive legally, or that men had walked on the moon. I used to really watch my speed down there and make sure that I was legal in every way, and shit like this story is why.
The other thing that concerns me on this, is the number of stupid people who still don't know just WHO the bad guys really are. I can get a couple of idiot DMV 'chicken coop' guys not knowing their asses from a hole in the wall. But a guy sitting on a judges bench, even if it is friggin' traffic court, HIM you'd expect to know something.
I am currently planning a road trip for my wife and I for our Anniversary, Mississippi wasn't on the list of states to drive through, now it's off the list of states to drive NEAR!