Letter to the Editor: Mississippi is not for you
Mississippi’s HB 1532 is not for you. It has nothing to do with you, whether you support it or not. Whether the rights of LGBTQ+ people are protected or trampled in the mud under the feet of the God-fearing masses.
HB 1532 is for an entire matter altogether, designed to divide you and distract you from what is truly happening right here in Mississippi. The sole purpose of this bill is to ensure that you have no idea that this state is imploding, and soon there will be nothing left for us, the dwindling masses. HB 1532 is meant to show you that Mississippi is not for you, and it has not been for quite some time.
This week, I saw my social circles explode with chatter about this legislation: fraternity brothers arguing in the comments section on one of their posts on Facebook; retweets to attack or support opinions that person read on their feed; colleagues whispering quietly in the hallway, shaking their heads and sighing. Many people everywhere are enthralled with this issue and for good reason. It essentially accomplished nothing but has huge ramifications not only for the LGBTQ+ community, but on anyone that might find themselves on the wrong side of any religion.
The disastrous policies of Mississippi’s government over the last few decades have led us to this point. Our politicians blind us with contentious issues, and we take the bait they dangle in our faces because we are too busy trying to cope with the consequences of previous measures. We are blind to what is happening around us; yet, we see the disastrous effects of our government’s oligarchic policies every day. Each consequence is so isolated, and our lives so busy, that we do not take into the full account of what is happening.
This state is not dying. This state is dead.
There are a few pulses every now and then, but these are just the last signals sent. The brain has been dead for decades and the heart’s thump and powerful force is softly fading. Many of us know the Mississippi Delta is a place of poverty and extremes, a place of the Old South (because it must still be capitalized with unholy reverence) and old ideas. Studies have shown that the GDP of the Delta is lower than third-world African nations; yet, these problems have been neatly labeled “Delta” and tucked to the back of our minds. The popular refrain forced upon us by the Mississippi government is the rest of the state, oh yes, it’s doing swell. This is a lie perpetrated by those who profess they speak only the truth, which is based on complete fabrications and observations made on confirmation-bias.
Coffers are filled somewhere, and people are prosperous. But the people who are experiencing such wonderful results of the state’s “economic growth” are not the majority of Mississippians. These people are the nobles with their multi-thousand acre properties in the Delta, their homes on the square in Oxford, their beachfront properties in Pass Christian, their long driveways to a columned portico in Madison. The real Mississippians live like the sharecropper of yesteryear in a world where their lives are incomparable to the upper echelon and will never improve if conditions do not change. Poverty is rampant. Ignorance, blind, helpless ignorance, is prevalent in every major aspect of our society from schools, courthouses, barbershops, law firms, to even, yes, by God, the state capitol.
STDs ravage both communities and cities while teen pregnancy is just as equally high. Obesity, not the result of laziness but poor nutrition, kills thousands each year. Others die from failure to treat their illnesses due to a lack of proper education of their disease or because they simply cannot afford care.
You can chalk these issues up to the ghosts of slavery and denial of civil liberties. You can blame the failure of agriculture to recognize the future.
You can blame the lack of resources for major industry. Numerous times in our history we failed to do what was right when it was needed. We have blamed the failures of our day on those around us or said we are powerless to fix what is already broken. That has not changed. That is happening at this very moment with HB 1532.
We are failing our state by not holding the people who are responsible accountable. We are not actively engaged in our own state’s future, ignorant to machinations of powerful men with powerful friends. And it is because of the politicians’ deceitful practices that we are not even able to call them on their intentional wrongdoing.
Instead, we have to work over 60 hours a week to pay the bills. We are single parents responsible for the well-being and happiness of multiple future Mississippians. We have to clean, cook, dress, bathe, and support our families and ourselves in what extracurricular activities we can afford privately or through school. Mortgages, car notes, hospital bills, student loans and credit cards haunt us every single day because they adversely impact our ability to spend and grow and educate.
We simply cannot afford the lives we need, our kids need, our parents need, let alone the life of which we dream.
The state legislature and the governor’s office have been against Mississippi and its people for some time. They strip away our finances. They attract new businesses that do not live up to the promises they made and outsource their hiring processes.
Tax cuts are given when the state already has a budget deficit with no realistic plan to recoup the losses. They blame “welfare queens” instead of their own greed for the lack of resources available to the average Mississippian. They accuse outside interests for any backlash against their policies when their own campaigns are funded by major corporations outside of Mississippi.
They offer us flashy “progress” with no substance, adding “In God We Trust” to the state seal. An amusement park attraction that has not bettered the life of any Mississippian. The infrastructure needed to support new businesses, trade, and growth has long been underdeveloped and under-budgeted and will likely continue to be for some time.
Without proper infrastructure for our citizens and businesses, without, not adequate, but excellent education for our citizens, without proper taxation, without proper representation of what not only people truly want but what all Mississippians truly need, then this state will fail.
We will not be able to support a tax base when the cities and roads crumble, no one is prepared for the workforce, and people have no hope for a better future. Our leaders’ actions suggest this is the future they have envisioned for us, and the message is loud and clear. Mississippi is not for you, it is not for me, it is for them. Mississippi is theirs to rape and pillage like some Viking marauders, and when the vanquished lie dead in the gutters and gold is stowed away safe, they will leave. This land is not for us, not anymore.
Gov. Phil Bryant recently stated that Mississippians should “grow where you are planted,” that they have reason to do so. This statement is untrue. His government, this legislature, have done everything in their power to encourage flight. We all have friends living [elsewhere] with science and technical degrees who cannot find adequately paying jobs and satisfying work in this state. Not because companies do not come to Mississippi unless offered $1.3 million dollars in tax breaks by our government. Mississippi’s lack of growth economically, politically and socially is due to Haley Barbour, Phil Bryant, Tate Reeves and whoever else takes part in their elitist conspiracy. A solution, however, awaits us. Next election, vote the lords out of the castle.
Make Mississippi for you, for us, for them, for our kids, for everyone.