A killing in Mississippi is the first in the state to lead to a hate-crime conviction. Deryl Dedmon is going to prison for killing a 47-year-old black man, James Anderson, with his truck:

“The Dedmon case is shocking for many reasons, but none more disturbing than this belief that a churchgoing white teenager could kill a blameless African-American man he called a ‘nigger’ and not be a racist. By all legal definitions, what he did was a hate crime. And yet it also appears to have been a chillingly unacknowledged one—an extreme example of white people doing racist things while rejecting the R word itself. David Duke. George Wallace. James Watson. Michael Richards. Don Imus. The list is long and always growing, the rolls swelling in banal and not-so-banal ways. At root, all this ‘nonracism’ reflects a national confusion—now that police dogs and burning crosses are behind us—about just what a 21st-century racist is.”