I am a Mississippi girl. You can ask all of the friends who have met me throughout my life if I take pride in my Southern heritage. Every. Single. One of them would tell you that I do. I love the fact that I'm a Southern girl. I love all of the beautiful things that come with the heritage of being from Mississippi: the hospitality, the food, the intimacy, the family environment that we hold so dear. I could go on and on. However, some of you, my peers, my fellow Mississippians have turned my pride into anger, or righteous indignation.
A racist white guy walked into a church in Charleston, SC (which is currently in my backyard) and murdered 9 African American people who were there to worship. On the heels of this atrocity South Carolina opened their ears to the people of their city and decided to stop flying the Confederate flag on the grounds of their Statehouse......and all of Facebook went nuts!
There is now talk about changing the Mississippi flag. People are arguing and saying that if you think the Confederate flag has a negative connotation then you "need a history lesson". Yea, I've seen that one a lot. These same people are saying that slavery ended so long ago and people need to "get over it". I'm confused about this. What should we do MS? Should we "get over it" or should we educate ourselves and celebrate it? You are sending two very mixed signals here.
Here's what I think. I think that the Confederate States wanted to succeed from the Union to protect their economic interests. Guess what those economic interests were rooted in? Cotton! Guess who worked the cotton fields in vast majority? SLAVES!!! It doesn't take a genius to put this together.
But let's forget ALL OF THAT shall we? Let's talk about Mississippi's reputation. I have lived all over the United States and lived among people from literally all over the world. There is one thing that I know for sure. People think that Mississippi is a racist state. That is fact. They are surprised when they meet a white girl from Mississippi who is not racist. Is this fair? I used to say NO! However, recent Facebook activity by many of you have led me to believe that it is CERTAINLY fair to make that assumption if you get your information from media outlets....including the social media posts by it's own citizens. Mississippi has a great opportunity to create a more positive image going further with this decision. It also has an opportunity to create a better, more cohesive people. Why would anyone not want that?
Now, let's even forget the reputation. As cliche as it may seem.....Mississippians....my fellow Bible Belters! Answer me this: What Would Jesus Do?
Leviticus 25:17 "So you shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the Lord your God."
Micah 6:8 "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
Romans 13:8 "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law"