As the country took great interest in the chaotic Cochran/McDaniel slugfest, one thing was obvious – racial overtones of the contest tainted us all.
The election turned Republicans against Republicans, Democrats against Democrats, and worst of all, communities against communities.
In the end we learned valuable lessons.
We learned that stepping across political party lines leads to better future politics.
We learned that good people can be hurt by what most of us view as basic partisan politics.
When candidates are selected based on who is perceived as racist or not, Mississippians are in trouble because we have fallen for propaganda instead of seeking the best candidate.
I watched as some of my friends and state Senate colleagues were made out to be bitter racists, which is a far cry from the truth. On occasion we all question ideas that we think are good policy for Mississippi, but we never question the integrity or the sincerity of the individuals with whom we serve.
I hope lawmakers realize that all of us, regardless of race, religion or personal beliefs, are accountable for the success of Mississippi through the political process.
We must practice respect and dignity towards one another as we continue to grow our state in the area of race relations.
Sen. Kenneth Wayne Jones, D-Canton
Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, chairman