Shame on Mississippi, shame on our state leaders, we are better than the backward, intolerant image they have painted for us! State representative Karl Oliver summed up the state leadership’s attitude all too well with his response to a concerned Mississippi citizen, “I could care less.” That attitude, that lack of concern for the state’s citizens, image, and future, has become evident in the actions and inactions of Mississippi’s leaders, especially the Republicans. As a result, the state is trapped in a nightmare. From education to religion, we have been bullied, led astray, frightened, and held hostage by state legislators, the lieutenant governor, and the governor who are dead set on recreating Mississippi in their image. With dead end funding for education; brainless, reckless abandon for throwing away state money; introduction of laws that violate the First Amendment rights of teacher citizens, attention to frivolous personal agenda laws in lieu of addressing the state’s crumbling infrastructure; the passage of the most blatantly discriminatory law since the Jim Crow era; and an atmosphere of hate and fear married to a lack of common sense, Mississippians might think they are living in a Class B movie written and directed earlier in his career by Quintin Tarantino, or that they have been “hogtied” and dropped into the NBC TV series, You, Me, and the Apocalypse. Mississippi is engulfed in turmoil and craziness like nothing it has seen in over fifty years. Unfortunately, unlike a Tarantino film there is no end in sight, nor is there a bunker, like the one in the NBC series, for people to hide until the madness is over.
So, how can Mississippians survive the political and social craziness and injustice that is strangling the state? That is not an easy question to answer, but here are ten survival suggestions that might at least save enough Mississippians to pick up the pieces and carry on if the carnage ever ends:
Ten Tips for Surviving Mississippi’s Apocalypse
- Trade in your flip flops for wading boots! More than likely, the crap is only going to get deeper as long as the present leadership has power in Jackson;
- Stay out of the sun! You don’t want to chance getting too dark;
- Never, ever, walk into a business in same sex pairs whether you are a couple or not;
- If you are gay and invited to a snipe hunt, DON’T GO!
- Incorporate yourself! State legislators may be reluctant to pay for the education of the state’s children, but they will give you the shirts off their backs if you can show you are a corporation in need of tax breaks and/or exemptions;
- If you are gay, buy a Ford or Ram truck, and become one of the boys (oops men);
- To steer clear of discrimination pick any sin you like except homosexuality;
- If you are an educator, I am sorry, but you might not survive. Under the present Republican leadership in Jackson, in the coming years, it will be easier for a pig to fart Dixie in a tornado than be a teacher in Mississippi;
- Speak out against being last, ignorance, discrimination, civil injustice, and abuse of political power! Okay, this one probably should not be on a survival list; and
- DO what Jesus would do and PRAY for the Pharisees.
Good luck friends! We are stuck in this Class B movie by our own doing, or lack of doing! With our vote and silence, we have allowed our elected state leaders to run our state into the ground by permitting them to prey on the people’s fear of rich, lazy educators, fear of government interference, and fear of tolerance for their fellow man. Unfortunately, it won’t change overnight, and there is not a bunker deep enough to shield us from the damaging fallout caused by their pursuit of personal and party agendas as well as their mindless recklessness. We are going to need people of action, a lot of luck, and a mountain of prayers to get out of this mess. We need more Mississippians standing up and shouting, “Hell no! We are better than this!”
©Jack Linton, April 10, 2016