Okay, so are you really surprised? Phil Bryant of course signed House Bill 1523, also known as the Religious Accommodations Act today. Why wouldn’t he? If we take common sense and history into account, it should have been signed yesterday.
“Cue The Rant!”
Mississippi has been incredibly artful at thwarting any and everything that would actually further its real self interests, to the point where it’s actually been down right impressive. I literally wake up every morning and read news about the leadership of the state we dwell in smiling at just how good we are at doing everything in our power to hurt ourselves. It’s like a running joke here. And hey, I have to smile to keep from crying.
Whether it’s Mississippi seriously proposing firing squads as an execution method, or Mississippi leaders and lawmakers intentionally trying to confuse constituents on a ballot initiative to fully fund public education, (and then telling them to their face ‘hey we know 200,000 plus of y’all wanted this on the ballot but we don’t want to do this so we are trying to confuse you’), or Mississippi not expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (that would give 200,000 Mississippians healthcare along with boosting its economy) or Mississippi not interested in bringing a lottery here as they watch Mississippian’s cross the state lines to spend hundreds of thousands because hey, our casino lobby is scared it could hurt their bottom line (never mind how a lottery would boost the entire state economically for EVERYONE), we’re the World Heavyweight Champions at shooting ourselves in the foot.
While it’s not right and it’s not okay, don’t act like you didn’t see this coming yesterday or 4 years ago or whenever. When has Mississippi’s MO ever been to do anything that helps itself out? From 50 years ago to today, never have we ever made good decisions for ourselves. We’ve always been that mean fat kid rounding the corner to finish the race that ended 5 years ago. And the only reason we finished it is because our coach (the federal government) was dragging us as we kicked and screamed the whole way.
The fact that Phil Bryant couldn’t be Governor anywhere else in the United States but Mississippi speaks volumes about us as a state. And it’s not just on the people. It’s a toxic combination of the uneducated, uninformed, and uninspired that literally makes this state into what it is today. The folks who vote here are uneducated and uninformed and the ones who could change this state don’t care, aren’t paying attention and don’t understand that they could actually change things. So they don’t and they stay home.
That’s how we arrived here and keep arriving here. That’s why I no longer get upset or downcast. I know where I live and I know the mindset. And it serves as a constant reminder to me to keep working. I couldn’t imagine living somewhere like California where they just passed a law that will incrementally increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, have Medicaid expansion, and have the largest cities and the coolest attractions. How do you stay inspired in a place like that? That’s why all the best things come out of MS. It’s like being in a constant state of self-inflicting pressure. While it sucks to live in such an environment, I must say that this good ole Mississippi struggle is inspiring. And it keeps me working as hard as I can.
And the good news, though, is that pressure makes diamonds. Hey, don’t judge me. Anything that helps me sleep better at night is fine by me.