Sunday, October 28, 2007

Today I Want to Talk About---Billary....

You cannot imagine the weariness that overcomes me whenever I hear yet another person making my home state the butt-end of a point they are trying to make. It used to make me violently angry in my youth. Seems that it is so easy to just use Mississippi for any analogy from taking a dump over the state to proving your point about backwardness. I just wish people would realize that it was only a select few that sealed our fate many years ago. It was not me. I come from a long line of people on the other side. People that did not agree with the politics of the day and stood up against them. Newt Knight was my great grandfather on my mother's side. If you want to read a glorified, fictionalized account...the one I grew up believing, read Oh, Promised Land and then Tap Roots by James Street. There are three more in the set but these two give you the gist of it. Mr. Street died of a heart attack the year I was born. I wish I could have met him to thank him for giving a little girl something to be proud of in a world that hated her on many levels.
The first hatred I experienced was because my mother was a single parent in the fifties. I had to be a bastard and she had to be a whore. We were neither. My mother was a voracious reader, devouring everything she could get her hands on until the day she died after finishing the New York Times Sunday Crossword puzzle, an award winning critical care nurse and made more than most men of that time. My father was a bohemian artist too free to be held to the responsibilities of family life. Ventana Abierta gives a very good description of the bohemian artist on her blog. I understand my mother more than I ever did, now that I have raised my own child alone.
The second hatred of me was because I was an overweight child. People could be so cruel back then. It's funny don't get that so much, now that everyone else seems to be catching up in the weight department. :)
The third hatred I experienced was because I was caucasion. Until I was seven or so I lived in ignorant bliss, happily playing with whomever I pleased. I was never told I could not socialize with people of different races. Maybe I should have been. I know it would have saved me quite a bit of heartache if I could have remained forever blissfully ignorant. That was not to be the case.
The Freedom Riders (the short version), for a more complete history (the legacy of the Freedom Riders) came to town when I was seven and for the first time in my young life I saw fear in my mother's eyes. Can you imagine being barely 30, a single parent, working nights so you can get your child to school and not knowing if the place you lived was going to go up in flames like what was happening in Alabama? If you've never lived under Marshall Law then how can you understand?
From that point on, how I approached my life changed. I sought out people of other races to talk to and learn from and learn I did. I've been very fortunate to have known and been understood by many people of other races. I've always thought that I was born with an old bluesman's soul because that is where I am most comfortable and people that really know me understand that and relate to it on that level.
Getting back to "Billary." Speaking of "backward" just the very idea that she would use Mississippi in the context that she did shows the world her very own backwardness. I think she should go here and answer the questions posted in the comments. When she can give reasonable and creditable answers to the questions posed in the comments of this article I might reconsider her as a candidate. Yes, I was considering her as a candidate, as I think a lot of women voters were here in Mississippi. More apparently than her numbers were telling her, but she probably cured us of that consideration by her comments.
I am so tired of being called "backward" I could just scream.... so for my readers that aren't from here and can only judge by what they've read I have found some links for you that will tell you some good stuff about Mississippi, if you're willin' :) They can be found on the left sidebar as always.

1 comment:

  1. Mississippi... To me, an European, it means cotton fields, black labor and the blues. To our eyes, that makes it, with every other of its myths and legends, one of the worse places to be in the US. I'm certain that things cannot be as bad as described in movies and TV, and that tere are lots of food things about it. But i fail to remember any... Sorry.