CONSIDER THIS: Mississippi's Flag back in the spotlight - - Jackson, MS

CONSIDER THIS: Mississippi's Flag back in the spotlight

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Archives Source: WLBT Archives

Before you start emailing and leaving voice messages telling me to go back to where I’m from, I am back. I was born and raised in Mississippi, and like many young people, I eventually left the state to advance my career. During that journey, I lived in several states across the southeast.

Unlike many people who leave, in 2015, I chose to come home, to join the WLBT team. I love Mississippi. I love the people. The outdoors. The food. The music. Unfortunately, outside of our state, we have a terrible image.

Until I lived in other areas, I didn’t realize the full extent of our terrible reputation. Some of it is unwarranted, but much of it is based on our past, and our past is ugly. And our flag sends the message that we are stuck in that awful past.

Now our flag is once again center stage, reinforcing that negative opinion for millions of people. Many of you will say, who cares what they think? That’s exactly the backward thinking that keeps us at the bottom of nearly every list. Mired in poverty, poor health, and a sub-par educational system.

We can and should be better.

Consider This:

Some politicians deflect addressing the flag saying there are bigger issues. Absolutely. You could pretty much say that about any issue we tackle. There is always another challenge that could be positioned as more important. However, until we have a new banner, the flag will continue to be a distraction and hold us back from fully dealing with those bigger issues.

Some state leaders call for a referendum. That’s weak. They are merely playing politics. Conveniently picking and choosing only the controversial topics to put towards a vote.  If they believe in the referendum philosophy, why do we have them in office? We should just have a referendum for every decision.

We could sure save a lot of money not paying their salaries. The only necessary referendum is the one we have every election when we vote for the people who represent us.

For people who are passionate about keeping the flag, just like the south in the Civil War, that battle is lost. The Confederate flag has been adopted by white supremacist groups and it will forever be aligned with racism, hate, and terror.

We need a progressive, unifying image. We need to send a message that we’re not the Mississippi of old. The flag is about history and this piece of history belongs in a museum.

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