Rebuttal for Idaho: Lazy, stupid people everywhere

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Published: April 17,2011

Tags: MBJ Letter for Editor

Editor,

I have a few comments regarding the ignorant rantings of one Idaho writer: let’s start with, “ leave him to his ignorance!”

I’m not always excited about the decisions that Gov. Barbour makes, but he is an EXCELLENT businessman; he knows how to hang on to money, and he has enough sense not to spend money you don’t have. Which may explain why Mississippi has fared far batter in this economic depression than most states, and not because we have “nothing to lose,” as has been suggested by some writers.

We also have leadership with enough common sense to prepare for the worst after our state was slammed with the worst in 1969 — Hurricane Camille. All you hear about is how Katrina changed the face of New Orleans, a place I like to call purgatory, having lived there for 12 looooonng years. But that’s another story. Katrina was not the demise of New Orleans; it was the levee break that caused all the damage, and, having lived there for so long, we always expected it to happen “someday.” It was often the topic of discussion at Tulane University’s Department of Earth Sciences, where I worked “back then.” And payday came, now, didn’t it ? You also need to know that part of the problem is the familiarity with the threat; too many residents of New Orleans were so accustomed to the threat, they did what they always do — didn’t take it seriously enough; they stayed in place, protecting their “stuff.”

But you don’t hear about the devastation caused on the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Katrina, and we took the brunt of the storm — a direct hit, to be precise. Why? Because our leaders had prepared, and we weren’t sitting around sucking our thumbs and yelling, “who’s gonna save us.” We kicked ‘er into high gear and gotta ‘er done. How do I know? I volunteered with the American Red Cross for some 15 years. Been there. Done that. The majority of Mississippians are not lazy.  Mississippians, as a whole, are not stupid — they are cunning like foxes. Notice I couch these remarks because you CAN find lazy, stupid people anywhere — including Idaho. But I dare say that, as a whole, people from Idaho are not stupid or lazy, either, so, we can’t generalize, now, can we?

Mississippi leads the nation in per capita giving to philanthropic organizations; it has been suggested that when you don’t have much to start with, it doesn’t hurt to give it away. Maybe there’s something to that. Or maybe Mississippians are just taught from early days to appreciate the gift received when you give something away.

Mississippi is very hot and humid for several months a year, no question about it. We are subject to tornadoes — almost 300 percent more likely to experience a tornado than the national average. Guess what? Idaho gets hit with tornadoes, too; not as often, perhaps. On the other hand, Mississippi is not subject to crippling snowfalls, ice storms and blizzards, as is Idaho. And our state stays truly cold only for about two months out of the year. Sometimes, we run around in shorts and t-shirts in January! Woo-hoo! I’m from the Midwest; I know what it is to survive an average of two blizzards a year. Nothing easy about it. We’re blessed to not have to deal with blizzards. Trust me. They’re killers and cause much human suffering.

The Aquifer is drying up in the far west  (think California, Arizona, etc.). Areas that have been the breadbaskets of the nation are losing that ability because of the disappearing aquifers. Mississippi, on the other hand, is in no such danger, thanks to the mighty river from which we get our name and the many freshwater lakes and streams. Mississippi is set to become the breadbasket of the nation for this century. Did you know that? You might want to be nice to us, Idaho — you just might need to eat something more than potatoes in the coming century.

Name-calling is the same as labeling and/or generalizing. No difference. Someone once said, “Name calling is the last resort of the defenseless argument.”  Remember that before engaging in name-calling or generalizing.

Make mine Mississippi, every time!

(Mrs.) Carol Burns

Brandon

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