Tena Clark on Racial and Political Fault Lines

Mississippi’s Senate run-off is exposing racial and political fault lines in the Deep South. Songwriter and music producer Tena Clark discusses the impact of this race in her home state, as well as her new memoir, “Southern Discomfort.”

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We're adding and reenacting hateful, I mean laws of hate, laws of discrimination and so therefore we're not, we're not attracting any jobs.

We can't attract any jobs.

What companies are going to go there that are OK with that kind of rhetoric and that and those kind of laws and bills that are being passed.

To me, it's being, it's pandering to a particular group that is hanging on for dear life, the older white Mississippi, not all older white Mississippians, but you knowb that group of mindsetb hanging on for dear life to the days of the patriarchy and how things are supposed to be and it's not until we can get those jobs and people coming in and people being able to be educated and have the educational needs met, etc.

It's going to be hard to get out of this rut, but I do feel with all of that said I feel like there's a lot of hope and I've been down there a few times recently in the past month and there is a lot of hope and hope within.

You know many more Mississippians than there used to be and so it is a slow train that is coming but it's coming it's just whether to be this time or not, but I have hope that it will be.

Well let's talk about those hateful laws you to talk about.

You've been you know opposing one of the state laws it's called HB 15 23.

I mean it practically codifies homophobia.

Tell me exactly what it means and what's the fate of it under this election now, this runoff.

Well it was, I think it was went into effect the summer of '17, if I'm thinking correct on that, but it's a law that basically just took homophobia to a whole other level and really made the LGBTQ community second class citizens in Mississippi.

It's saying that you know that we don't believe that you have your God given rights, that even if it's, for example one of the areas that it touched on, I mean there are other states that have, a few other states that have these horrible laws, but to me Mississippi is the is the first on the list of things you don't want to be first on the last on the list of things you don't want to be last on and that's not a good place to be in and so with this particular law is, like I said it basically makes gay and lesbian community LGBTQ second class citizens, but also it stretches into areas like counseling, or at school with school counselors, or even teachers that they can turn down a student's right to have counseling because if they're of the LGBTQ community.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Justice Minister Rory Stewart and former British Labour Party Communications Dir. Alastair Campbell about Brexit; and Tena Clark about racial and political fault lines in the Deep South. Walter Isaacson speaks with Revolution CEO Steve Case, best known for co-founding AOL, about how to spread tech talent.