In general relativity, an event horizon is a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. In layman’s terms, it is defined as “the point of no return”, the point at which the gravitational pull becomes so great as to make escape impossible.
In Mississippi we passed an event horizon in 2001. That’s when Mississippi held a referendum on whether to change the state flag.
While Mississippi voted overwhelmingly to keep the flag, we, as a state, had already gone past the point of no return. The mere fact there was even a vote was the event horizon. We are going to change the flag. We are going to strip away the racist, confederate symbol and move on to become a healthier, more well-adjusted state.
The Mississippi Business Journal has been consistent in our views on the issue.
In 2001, prior to the vote, we wrote, in part,
Tourism was a $6.1-billion business in Mississippi last year (2000). That’s a tremendous segment in the Magnolia State’s economy, and it will be just as important and significant this year. …
A serious problem looms over this success story, as well as many others. In April, we vote for or against a new state flag. The emotional intensity of this issue has been inflamed by the reckless rhetoric from extremists on both sides of the flag issue. It’s been ugly, and chances are, it’s going to get worse.
This is all nonsense. Bottom line on the flag issue: get rid of the old flag. If we don’t, Mississippi will lose jobs. Period.
In 2001, following the vote, we wrote, in part,
One thing is certain: our failure to remove a divisive symbol of hatred, slavery and segregation for one in three Mississippians and countless others will do damage to the state’s economy — an economy that enjoyed healthy investment and growth in the 1990s, but whose future doesn’t look as bright. …
This issue isn’t going away. Supporters of the old flag may have, in fact, won Tuesday’s battle, but the war remains.
This war is about image and economics, and while we might claim that it does not matter, it does. We can expect the damage from last Tuesday’s vote to be long-lasting, widely felt and embarrassing, too.
Well, the embarrassing issue is back, and yet there are still those out there who stick their heads in the sand and talk about topics like heritage and politics. Yet, they don’t consider the anti-business message, let-alone the anti-Christian message, they send.
Having said that, the train has already gone down the tracks.
This issue has already been decided. We have passed the point of no return. We have passed the event horizon. Our flag may not change today or tomorrow, next week or next month, but it is going to change. Of that, be certain.
For the good of our people, for the image of our state, the good of our economy, we need to start focusing on what the new design will be. Our new flag will be a sight to behold.
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