I just happened to stumble across your blog and I have to say that I am sorry that you feel that way and quite frankly I'm offended. It's people like you who give the south a bad name...especially Mississippi. Maybe you should check out www.mississippibelieveit.com and maybe you would change your mind. I'm proud to be from Mississippi and yes, I have all my teeth and wear shoes too!
17/3/08 10:07 PM
I just happened upon your blog and boy that is very insulting to anyone from Mississippi. It's people like you that cause the ignorance to continue with regards to Southerners. What you should see is that Mississippians are very caring, giving, compassionate, loving, family-oriented people. Perhaps you are just too ungrateful to value the things that you were blessed with in your life.
17/3/08 10:18 PM
Randal Reeves said...
In regards to your insulting comments about all Southerners, which would include me, I will be removing you from my myspace friends list. You may need to seek out serious pyschological assistance for your obvious mental issues.
17/3/08 10:23 PM
- I was born and for the most part raised IN Mississippi, which technically makes me a "Mississippian" and a "Southerner", the very things I lambasted in my post.
- The blog these comments refer to was a blog about MY opinions, MY family and MY experience with living in the south. If your family is perfect then good for you. Please consider yourselves excused from any of the generalizations in that post. I was talking about those other Mississippi people
- It's my flippin' blog and my flippin' opinions. You don't have to like them. I'm sure you have opinions that I may not like. That's what makes the world such an interesting place. People are DIFFERENT.
I won't apologize for not having a "southern" mentality. Yes the majority of the people in the south are very kind, giving, family oriented people. I've never said anything to the contrary. The problem with those kind, giving, family oriented people in Mississippi, is that they are stuck in the past living lives and following beliefs that degrade, even if unintentionally, and judge people who don't "fit" in with what their idea of right is.
Most of my family are some of the most friendly personable people you'll ever meet. Most of them are also alcoholics, drug users and convicts who are completely content to do the absolute minimum to survive, never striving for anything better and that's their decision. They are my family, and while I may not always like or agree with their lifestyles or choices, I do love them. I choose to live a different life. I don't think it makes me any better than them, contrary to popular opinion. I do however, know that it makes me DIFFERENT. I'm ok with different.
I lived in Mississippi until I was 25 years old and HATED every day of it. I hated the slow laid back mentality of it. I hated the racism and ignorance I was constantly surrounded by. I hated the "Bible Belt" mentality that gives people the idea that they have the right to tell someone else that how they live their own life is "wrong".
There is a reason Mississippi is one of the lowest paid states in the entire country. There is a reason they have one of the lowest education ratings in the country. For the 2006-2007 school year Mississippi ranked 48th out of 50 states on a Smartest State Ranking. They ranked LAST for percentage of people per state who complete high school and that's including people who got their GED.
On StateMaster.com they rank states in a variety of areas. Here are some of the categories Mississippi came in LAST in.
Economy > Median Family Income
Economy > Nest Egg Index
Education > Assessments > % of Students Above Advanced > Grade 8 Math
Education > Percent of People Who Have Completed High School (Including Equivalency)
Health > Oral health > Visits to the dentist
Lifestyle > Best States to Live
Lifestyle > Children Ages 0-5 Who Are Read To Every Day, Percentage
Hello Miss "I have all my teeth and wear shoes too!", Guess what, I was born and mostly raised in MS and I have all my teeth too, and haven't had a cavity since I was 6yrs old, but see that up there. Mississippi ranked LAST in Oral Health/Visits to the dentist.
It's not people "like me" that give Mississippi or the South a bad name. It's all the people who stay there and continue to live in the past, refusing to adapt and move forward with the times. Granted sometimes new isn't always better but I mean damn.
Did you know that you can still find water fountains in places in MS that are labeled "whites" & "colored"? I'm sure people will tell you, oh they just left it that way because it's a piece of history. So are nooses and burning crosses, but I'm sure as hell not going to have either in my yard. It's history that was WRONG and history that many, not all, but many people in Mississippi and the South still live by.
I mean seriously, I've lived in quite a few cities in Mississippi and every single one is racially divided. The "black people" live in one section of town and the "white people" live in another. Then there are the Asian & Hispanic population who are even more ostracized and separated. Sure there are those who are not held by their ancestors ignorance and have moved on to become educated successful people who truly believe EVERYONE is equal, but I wouldn't hesitate to put money on it that those people are the exception rather than the rule.
Some would say that I feel the way I do about the south and Mississippi in general because I moved away for several years and lived in a "big city". Some would be wrong. I've felt the wrongness of the ideals and ways of the state long before I ever left for Michigan. And I'm not for a second saying that only southern states are guilty of the things I've mentioned, but they do stand out more for their failure to advance, adapt and evolve along with the rest of the country.
I live in Alabama now and I have to say that while the general environment and atmosphere is better than that in Mississippi, Mobile isn't exempt from many of the things I dislike about Mississippi. My roommate just moved here from Oregon and she noticed immediately the difference in the culture and general attitude of people here. Black people look at her like she's crazy when she talks to them because well.. white people don't talk to black people much in the south. She and I have both been told that we shouldn't go to certain areas of town because they are "mostly black areas" and it's not safe. I mean seriously, are you kidding me? Did I slip into a coma and while I was asleep the US zipped through a time warp back to 1925?
I lived just outside of Detroit and didn't get told not to go to areas because they were "mostly black", because they were "mostly gang frequented" maybe, but not because a certain race lived there. Michigan has the largest Arab American population in the US and I didn't see as much racial profiling there during 9/11 as I have in Mississippi and Alabama. It's just ridiculous.
One of the comments said that I must not be thankful for the blessings in my life and they couldn't be more wrong. I'm exceedingly thankful that my mother taught me that EVERYONE deserves to be treated equally. The "n word" was not a word that was used in our house, and my brother, sister and I were taught that it was not acceptable for other people to use it either. I'm thankful that my mother realized what I was capable of at a very early age and pushed me to do the best I could in everything I attempted. Granted, I am now slightly obsessive compulsive as a result, and push myself entirely too hard to strive for perfection in everything I do as a result, but I sure as hell can't be accused of half ass'ing anything or lacking in determination. I'm thankful for many things in my life, but I can honestly say I don't think any of them have anything to do with the location I was brought up in.
Not everyone in the south is bad, and I never said "everyone" fit the characteristics I listed in my previous post, but sadly enough many do. I'm all for having pride in your history and representing where you came from, but only if it's done in a positive way that doesn't hurt, judge, ostracize or put anyone down. The south has produced some amazing talent over the years; incredible authors, singers, playwrights, athletes, artists and social activists and of those things I am proud of. The ignorance and hatred that is shown towards those of a race, gender, and/or sexual orientation that don't "fit", I'm not nor will I ever be proud of.
A "friend" of mine told me that I was very judgemental in my post. I wasn't making judgements about people who were born of live in the south. I was making an observation based on MY life and MY experiences. If people can't see the difference then that's not my problem. Guess what, it's a free country and I have the right to my opinions and beliefs, my own personal likes and dislikes.
I don't like the general mentality of the south. So move you say. I did. I moved to Michigan and loved most everything about living there. I was happier than I'd ever been in my life and if it weren't for my niece being born and wanting to be a part of her life I'd have never left. I left the one place I'd ever been happy living and moved back to the equivalent of hell for me to be near my family. So excuse me if I have an opinion that you don't agree with. No.. on second thought don't excuse me, excuse YOU, this is MY blog... if you don't like what you read.. take your cotton pickin' ass on. =)