Boanca Rojas: "We build your roads. We pick food in South Georgia. We pay taxes. We're here because employers want us here. We have great needs -- better education, drivers' licenses, access to health care. We ask, "Why do I build a road if I can't drive on it?' This country benefits from the work of undocumented people. So why not do the right thing? Give us our human rights."
Halid Rashid: "One of our trustees [of the Islamic Dar-un-Noor School] is an African-American. He was born here. He's a Vietnam veteran. He did two tours in Vietnam. He's a truck driver, but last month [the federal government] took away his hazardous material permit. He's never even had a speeding ticket. He lost his job. Why? One reason. He's a Muslim. I came in 1964 from Pakistan. I am an American."
With blacks and whites, the South remains race-conscious, as Holly Springs, Miss., retired teacher and political activist Russell Johnson notes. Johnson is black, and his remarks resonate with those of Frank Gurley, a white farmer and merchant from Marks, Miss.
Russell Johnson: "What divides people now is money. [Marshall County, Miss.] was once a Democrat stronghold. Still is, way I see it. DeSoto County down the road is Republican. Why more Democrats here, Republicans there? We got more poor folks, that's why. I'm not saying race isn't a factor any longer. But look at the people here. Black and white. There's no hostility."
Frank Gurley: "Around here, most whites are for Bush, but you know most blacks are for Kerry. That's the way things are and I don't see it changing."