Brown walking against injustice'
Sept. 5, 2001
In 1999, former Mississippi Valley State dean of students Troy D. Brown decided to make a run for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. He lost in the primary to eventual winner Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck by about 88 percent.
In 2000, Brown sought the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate post held by then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Brown won the primary, but was trounced in the general election showdown with Lott. Brown's numbers were higher, but the race was still soundly lost.
This month, Brown's not running anymore. He's walking. Brown says he walking on a four-day "journey for justice." Justice for whom is an answer more elusive and one that must by tempered by the fact that Brown remains involved in litigation regarding allegations of "wrongful termination" against MVSU President Dr. Lester C. Newman stemming from Brown's dismissal during the 1999 race with Tuck.
Brown has announced his intentions on Sept. 17-20 to walk from the campus of MVSU to the Mississippi Research and Development Center on Ridgewood Road in Jackson the site of the offices of the Board of Trustees of Institutions of Higher Learning to deliver a letter which seeks to bring attention to what he calls the "injustices that go unaddressed at Mississippi Valley State University."
What injustices, pray tell? Do they have anything to do with the lawsuit? Brown rejects the question.
Brown points to the recent departures of a number of high-level administrators at MVSU as evidence of the "injustice" he seeks to highlight at the Itta Bena campus. Yet the nagging question of the wrongful termination lawsuit Brown has afield remains.
Brown's MVSU contract was "non-renewed" after he entered the race with Tuck. Brown later filed a $2.5 million wrongful termination lawsuit against MVSU, Newman and others seeking restoration of his job and other damages. Brown was later hit with a countersuit seeking unspecified damages by Greenwood attorney A. Lee Abraham, Jr. accusing Brown of making "false and defamatory statements" about him "for the ulterior purpose of obtaining press coverage" for this 99 campaign.
In his lawsuit, Brown claimed he was pressured by Newman to drop out of the race against Tuck and linked Abraham to that pressure. Newman and Abraham have both denied the allegations Abraham was later dismissed from the suit and in the countersuit, Abraham accused Brown of making "false" statements about him.
Brown's walk all 129.4 miles of it according to MapQuest will require him to walk about 32.25 miles per day. That's some walking even for a trained
athlete especially in Mississippi's burning Indian summer heat.
While it may be Brown's longest walk, it won't be his toughest. He made two statewide campaigns in 1999 and 2000 with virtually no money. He slept in his
car, took meals with people he met along the way and never visibly lost faith in what he was doing.
A fellow politically crazy enough to run against the sitting Senate majority leader shouldn't find a four-day walk to Jackson too daunting. Will it do any good?
The State College Board has had about all the complaining about university administrators that the group can abide for one year and Brown isn't doing a
great job at this point of articulating his complaints with Newman other than those being litigated.
But running or walking, you gotta like Brown's spunk. He never quits.
Sid Salter is Perspective Editor/Columnist at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson and a syndicated Mississippi political columnist. Call him at (601) 961-7084, write P.O. Box 40, Jackson, MS 39206, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.