Meridian Tea Party

By: Tametria Conner Email
By: Tametria Conner Email

Many proud Americans from Meridian and the surrounding area gathered for one purpose at Dumont Plaza in downtown Meridian July 4.

"We believe our country is going in the wrong direction and we want to make it known that we want to turn around," Meridian resident Debbie Boles said.

And they say what a perfect day to exercise their right to peacefully assemble, their right of freedom of speech, and their right to petition the government.

"This country is broke. And we want to let Congress know that this thing is not going to die and we are not happy with their spending of money we don't have," Meridian Tea Party organizer Wayne Lagrone said.

These few hundred, along with thousands across the country, are screaming they're taxed enough already and are not pleased with how business is being handled in Washington. It's a tea party or spin off idea from the Boston Tea Party. Coordinators say these protests started on April 15, the tax filing deadline, and are being done symbolically on Independence Day.

"This is what our nation was founded on and we can express that on this holiday," Lagrone said.

Critics claim this is a race issue, as these mostly Caucasian conservatives are coming against the Obama administration. But local coordinators say it's not a black or white issue and they say African Americans like Kym Wade prove that. Wade is a talk show host for a Jackson radio station. He's a former member of the nation of Islam, now turned conservative Christian, that has been very outspoken about his displeasure with President Obama and his administration's practices.

"He's black, so explain that. It's not a race issue; it's a belief issue and we must stand up for what we believe, no matter what color you are," Lagrone said.

"We have got to talk the talk and walk the walk," Boles said.

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