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Mississippi Burning (1988) Poster

Quotes

Deputy Pell: You got no right to be here. This is a political meeting.

Ward: Doesn't smell that way to me, Deputy.

Deputy Pell: It's a damn political meeting, Hoover Boy.

Ward: Oh, it looks like a political meeting, but smells more like Klan to me... with or without the Halloween costumes.

Mrs. Pell: It's not good for you to be here.

Agent Anderson: Why?

Mrs. Pell: It's ugly. This whole thing is so ugly. Have you any idea what it's like to live with all this? People look at us and only see bigots and racists. Hatred isn't something you're born with. It gets taught. At school, they said segregation what's said in the Bible... Genesis 9, Verse 27. At 7 years of age, you get told it enough times, you believe it. You believe the hatred. You live it... you breathe it. You marry it.

Anderson: You know, if I were a Negro, I'd probably think the same way they do.

Ward: If you were a Negro, nobody would give a damn what you thought.

Ward: What's wrong with these people?

Deputy Clinton Pell: You have to be a member to drink here.

Anderson: Member? A member of what?

[long pause]

Deputy Clinton Pell: Member of the social club.

[Agent Monk has kidnapped the mayor]

Agent Monk: You. I'm gonna tell you a story. A kid named Homer Wilkes lives 30 miles north of here. He'd just taken his girlfriend home and was walking along the road. A truck pulls up beside him. Four white boys took him for a ride. Now Homer, he headn't done anything, except be a Negro. They took him to a shack, a regular old shack like this one. Then they took out a razor blade.

[shows him a razor blade]

Agent Monk: Ragged old razor blade, like this one. They pulled down his pants, they spread his legs, and they sliced off his scrotum.

[shows him a coffee cup]

Agent Monk: Then they put it in a coffee cup, like this one. Mayor, do you know how much you bleed when someone cuts off your balls?

[throws the cup at him]

Agent Monk: HUH! When they found Homer, he looked like he head been dipped in blood up to his waist. He was barely alive when they got him to the hospital, and he can barely walk now.

Lester Cowans: [after the three civil rights workers are killed] You only left me a nigger, but at least I shot me a nigger.

Anderson: Make no mistake about it, Deputy. I'll cut your fucking head clean off and not give a shit how it reads in the report sheet!

Eulogist: They want me to say, "Let us not forget that two white boys also died helping negros help themselves." They want me to say, "We mourn with the mothers of these two white boys." But the state of Mississippi won't even allow these white boys to be buried in the same cemetary as this

[points to coffin]

Eulogist: negro boy. I say, "I have no more love to give! I have only anger in my heart today, and I want you to be angry with me! That I am sick and I am tired, and I want you to be sick and tired with me! I-I-I am sick and tired of going to the funerals of black men who have been murdered by white men! And I-I am sick and tired of the people of this counrty who continue to allow these things to happen!" What is an unalienable right if you are a negro? What does it mean, Equal Treatment under the law? What-what does it mean, Liberty and justice for all? Now I say to these people, "Look at the face of this young man, and you will see the face of a black man. But if you look at the blood shed, it is red! It is like yours! It is JUST... LIKE... YOURS!"

Frank Bailey: Get this straight, you corn-holin' fucker. You tell your queer-ass nigger bosses that they ain't never gonna find those civil rightsers down here! So you might as well pack up and go back up North where you came from and...

[Anderson grabs his crotch hard, Bailey screams in pain]

Anderson: [while grabbing Bailey by the balls] Now get *this* straight, Shit-kicker! Don't you go confusin' me with some whole other body. You must have your brains in your *dick* if you think we're gonna just walk away from this. We're gonna stay 'till this gets done.

[after opening his coat and exposing his gun he turns to Deputy Pell]

Anderson: How 'bout you, Deputy. That gun of yours just for show or do you get to shoot people once in a while?

Anderson: [Releases his grip on Bailey, then takes a swig of beer] Thanks for the beer.

Mayor Tilman: You know what, Anderson? You're starting to get so far up my nose, I'm beginning to feel your boots on my chin!

Mayor Tilman: Do you like baseball, do you, Anderson?

Anderson: Yeah, I do. You know, it's the only time when a black man can wave a stick at a white man and not start a riot.

Anderson: Don't you have the whole world to save?

Clayton Townley: In the courts of Mississippi, they have been reminded, that they cannot, by force, turn our communities into replicas of their communities... communities in which negroes run riot, unrestrained and unpunished, as they do this summer in the streets of Harlem, or they do in the streets of Oakland, or they do in the STREETS OF CHICAGO!

Mayor Tilman: Fact is, we got two cultures down here: a white culture, and a colored culture. Now, that's the way it always has been, and that's the way it always will be.

Anderson: Rest of America don't see it that way, Mr. Mayor.

Sheriff Ray Stuckey: Rest of America don't mean jack shit. You in Mississippi now.

Deputy Pell: Y'all think you can drive any ol' speed you want down here.

Goatee: You had us scared to death, man.

Deputy Pell: Don't you call me man, Jew boy!

Goatee: Yes, sir. What should I call you?

Deputy Pell: You don't call me nothing, nigger-loving Jew boy. You just listen.

Goatee: Yes, sir.

Frank Bailey: [sniffs Goatee] Hell! You even startin' to smell like a nigger, Jew boy.

Goatee: [to his passengers] Don't worry. We'll be all right.

Frank Bailey: Sure you will, nigger lover.

Floyd Swilley: He seen your face. That's not good him seein' your face.

Frank Bailey: Oh. It don't make no difference no more.

[kills Goatee]

Frank Bailey: [after kicking Aaron to the ground] You've already been told once, nigger! And we're not gonna tell you again. If you go making any more trouble by squawking them boot lips off to any of those Federal men, then we sure as hell are gonna have to put you in the ground, boy. And that's without a pine box. Do you understand ME!

[kicks him again]

[about the black passenger]

Lester Cowans: I didn't kill him, I only shot him in the ass.

Anderson: We know that. He was already dead when you put your slug in him. But your buddy sees it differently. He says it like YOU killed the kid. Now either you go on the record with us right now, or it'll be YOUR ass we're talking about, not just the black kid's!

Mayor Tilman: [talking to a reporter] If the entire Secret Service couldn't protect the President of the United States, how the HELL are *we* supposed to protect a few negroes! It is nothing more than some poor white trash drinking too much cheap alcohol. More likely paint thinner and snake juice because this state's as dry as a martini, and we've got the alcoholics to prove it.

Ward: Just don't lose sight of whose rights are being violated!

Anderson: Don't put me on your perch, Mr. Ward.

Ward: Don't drag me into your gutter, Mr. Anderson!

Anderson: These people are crawling out of the SEWER, MR. WARD! Maybe the gutter's where we outta be!

Ward: Good morning. My name is Allen Ward. I'm with the FBI.

Deputy Pell: [mockingly] Oooh. The Federal Bureau of Integration? In that getup, you ain't exactly undercover, are ya?

Clayton Townley: Alright, I just want to know one thing. Who the hell called this meeting?

Sheriff Ray Stuckey: We thought you did.

Lester Cowans: You mean you didn't set this up?

Clayton Townley: Of this group? Are you stupid?

[the mayor has hung himself]

Agent Bird: I don't understand why he did it. He wasn't in on it. He wasn't even Klan.

Ward: Mr. Bird, he was guilty. Anyone's guilty who lets these things happens and pretends like it isn't. No, he was guilty all right. Just as guilty as the fanatics who pulled the trigger. Maybe we all are.

[on killing African-Americans]

Frank Bailey: I wouldn't give it no more thought than wringing a cat's neck! And there ain't a court in Mississippi that'd convict me for it.

[Ward stops Anderson from taking vigilante action against Pell]

Ward: We'll go after all of them. Together.

Anderson: You wouldn't know how!

Ward: You're going to *teach me* how.

Anderson: You don't have the GUTS!

Ward: Not only do I HAVE the guts I have the AUTHORITY!

Television Commentator: Your name, please.

Clayton Townley: Clayton Townley, local businessman.

Television Commentator: Are you, sir, a spokesman for the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan?

Clayton Townley: I told you, I'm a businessman. I'm also a Mississippian, and an American! And I'm getting SICK and TIRED of the way us Mississippians are getting our views distorted by you newsmen and on the TV. So let's get this straight. We do NOT accept Jews, because they REJECT Christ! And their control over the International Banking Cartels are at the root of what we call Communism today. We do not accept Papists, because they bow to a Roman dictator! We do not accept Turks, Mongrels, Tartars, Orientals nor Negroes because we are here to protect Anglo-Saxon Democracy, and the American way!

Television Commentator: Thank you very much.

[the FBI saved Lester Cowans from a lynching]

Anderson: You're lucky we've been watching your ass, Lester.

Ward: If you go on the record, Mr. Cowans, we'll give you protection. If not...

Anderson: If not, they're going to kill you anyway.

[sniffs]

Anderson: Oooh Lester, you need a toilet.

[Clayton Townley is addressing a large audience at a night-time pro-white rally]

Clayton Townley: I love Mississippi.

Audience: YAY!

Clayton Townley: THEY! They hate Mississippi! They hate us because we present a shining example of *successful* segregation. These Northern students, with their atheist, Communist bosses, that have come into our community with the wish to destroy us *this week*, have taken a terrible blow. *This week*, their cause has been crippled. *This week*, these federal policeman you see around here prying into our lives, violating out civil liberties have learned that they are powerless against us if every single Anglo-Saxon Christian one of us stands together!

Ward: Some things are worth dying for.

Anderson: Down here, things are different; here, they believe that some things are worth killing for.

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Anderson: Down here they say rattlesnakes don't commit suicide.

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Mrs. Pell: You marry the first guy that makes you laugh.

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Anderson: Did you make a speech like that the night you beat your wife?

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Mrs. Pell: If you're ever in Des Moines, don't send me a postcard.

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[first lines]

Driver: Uh, oh.

Passenger: What is it?

Passenger: [seeing the car behind them] What do they want?

Driver: I don't know... just pass me... pass me...

Driver: [trying to identify the following car] Is it a cop?

Passenger: I can't see.

[they are hit from behind]

Driver: What the fuck are these jokers playin' at?

Rear passenger: Oh, they ain't playin', you better believe it.

[they are hit again]

Passenger: What're we gonna do?

Driver: I don't know... OK, hold on, you guys.

[he veers to a side road]

Passenger: There's a truck, too.

[the car behind them turns on its roof light]

Driver: Shit, it *is* a cop.

Passenger: Better stop.

Driver: OK, sit tight, you guys. Don't say anything; let me talk... All right? We'll be all right; just relax.

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[last lines]

Agent Ward: You wanna drive, Rupert?

Agent Anderson: Yeah.

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Anderson: My old man was just so full of hate that he didn't know that bein' poor was what was killin' him.

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Deputy Pell: It's a goddamn political meeting, hoover boy.

Ward: Oh, it looks like a political meeting but it smells more like Klan to me, with or without the Halloween costumes.

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Deputy Pell: Funny, their kids are so cute.

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