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The struggle is real, y’all.
First of all, let me say up front that #NotAllMississippians talk the way this guy talks.  Not all residents of The Hospitality State hate all the same things this guy clearly hates. Many of us are here for different reasons and hope to see some kind of progress filtering down through the national scene to eventually touch even our lives here.  Pockets of progress and culture pop up in various places all over the state, and they provide a little haven of modernity amidst an ever-churning stew of angsty yearning for the woebegone days when Southern white evangelicals could just say what they think without ever having to worry about whether or not it affected anyone besides themselves.
In fact, this video was brought to my attention by my friend and fellow Mississippi humanist, Patrick Jerome (go read his breakdown of the video on his blog) because he’s as frustrated by these living anachronisms as I am.  This video’s got everything.

  • White people talking about how great things used to be?  Check.
  • Guns?  Check.
  • Jesus?  Check.
  • People in flannel and outdated jeans and shirts that praise the military?  Check.
  • Hatin’ on Obamacare and Common Core?  Check.

Be sure not to miss the not-at-all-veiled racial trope that he throws in around the 1:27 mark and see if you have any trouble deciphering the message he’s sending to his potential constituents there.  Welcome to my world, folks.
Incidentally, if you make it 2.5 minutes in, you can spare yourself watching the rest of it because after treating you to an obligatory rendition of “America the Beautiful,” the rest of the video is just the candidates talking about themselves. They live just south of Memphis, TN and are campaigning to represent their cul-de-sac in both the state Senate and House of Representatives.

YouTube video

This video strikes me as hilarious, not so much because it seems to be a caricature of what the rest of the world thinks Mississippi is like (and clearly for some Mississippians they’re not exaggerating at all), and not because of its complete lack of awareness of how ridiculous this looks to the rest of the world.  No, what strikes me the most is how in this self-congratulatory (forgive me) circle jerk they have the audacity to suggest that instead of things like this making us the laughing stock of the country, people will all one day want to be just like us.  That’s right, we are so sure that our way is the best way that we’ll be expecting the rest of y’all to come around to our way of thinking someday.  Yessir, one day you’ll all see, and when that day comes, it will become evident that, far from being behind the times, we Mississippians have been ahead of the times all along.
Lord have mercy.  I need to pour myself a large Hot Toddy and go fan mahself.
Just as Patrick suggested in his blog, I think maybe we should drop a note or two in the comments section of his video. Because why not?
EDIT:  It appears they turned off comments on this video.  Go figure.

Neil Carter is a high school teacher, a father of four, and a skeptic living in the Bible Belt. A former church elder with a seminary education, Neil now writes mostly about the struggles of former evangelicals...