Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Is this Mississippi?

Let's get some things straight before I begin.

1. I am Mississippi born and raised.
2. I LOVE Mississippi.
3. I consider myself quite the liberal.
4. I'm also a fan of Bill Maher

Ok, so I saw this on TV the other day and I cannot figure out just how I feel about it.
Let's watch, shall we?

When I first saw it, it made me quite angry. Just what Mississippi needs...another handful of backwards, bible thumping, toothless morons presented as representing the whole of Mississippians. That is NOT who I am. That is not who my friends are. That is not (mostly) who my family is. I know tons of free thinking, educated, normal, middle class people.

But, after thinking for a while, I realized that, sadly, there is a large percentage of the population that are JUST LIKE these people. Seriously, I would say 3/4 of my (white) customers at work look/sound/act like these people.

I feel very conflicted. This is nothing new, though. Growing up in Mississippi, one is forced to reconcile a lot of things. Mississippi's past, my family's past, race, religion, socioeconomic status. All of those things are so difficult in Mississippi. There is a fine line between being proud of where I am from and being mortified by some of the things that happen here. Being Southern is wonderful, but hard.

I think Kathryn Stockett said it best.
"Mississippi is like my mother. I am allowed to complain about her all I want, but God help the person who raises an ill word about her around me, unless she is their mother too."

Opinions, anyone?


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