Feb 20

Why “F%&@# the South” Will Never Work

People defaced the state of civil rights hero James Meredith last week. Many people had a whole bunch of valid things to say about it, but it’s often the same old song and dance. Someone inevitably starts sounding like FuckTheSouth.com. I am a blue heart in a red state, and this only pisses us off. Please do not distract us from our work for equality, justice and unity. We have enough detractors on the ground.

There are people here in Mississippi who fight the good fight, some who have lived here since before James Meredith became an Ole Miss student. I have met civil rights activists who endured horrific indignities to their souls at the hands of their government and neighbors. Instead of fleeing, they–with more courage and integrity than I have ever possessed in my life–stayed to fight tooth and nail to nudge Mississippi forward.

Faulkner (or Willie Morris… depending on whose story is best for the occasion) said you had to first understand Mississippi in order to understand the world. I don’t understand it tonight, and sometimes I think I never will. Sometimes, it’s scary to advocate for equality, agency, progress in Mississippi. Sometimes you feel like nothing you ever do will scab over the pain we inflict upon one another. Please don’t pile hate upon hate.

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