HB 1523: Dead Bill Walking
I was hoping not to have to draft this post. I hoped our Governor would see how this bill is harmful to our state economy and hateful to our neighbors. Heck, every business organization in Mississippi (and - not that it matters - in the Country) called for this law's demise, but Mississippi's "leaders" would not be deterred. Indicating that Mississippi is not really fully open for business, as the Governor would have you believe, Mississippi's Governor pocketed his veto snuggly alongside his Bible. His Bible, however, reads very different than mine, which calls for me to love my neighbor.
It is not the contents of this new law - which at its best is an answer to a non-existing problem and at worst legalizing outright discrimination against Mississippi and US citizens - that is the most disappointing part of the passage of this law - though, the contents are indeed unacceptable. No, I have no doubt that this law will not pass Constitutional scrutiny under the Federal or even the Mississippi Constitutions. Rather, it is the continuing perception that Mississippi law-makers insist on perpetrating that Mississippi does not want you unless you look, sound, and act like they do.
Whether the legislators and executives in Jackson are wrapping themselves in a state flag which includes a symbol the KKK felt best expressed their organization, telling Mississippi citizens that they could "care less" about their political opinions and requesting they move away, or passing legislation which is so patently aimed at discriminating against our fellow human beings, this State through its leaders are telling future business and community leaders located in this State (and elsewhere) that they can find somewhere else to live, make money, reinvest, and grow. This perception when repeated over and over can quickly become reality. Then how do you address brain drain? Then how do you not be 50 out of 50?
Despite the constant headwind out of the legislature and the governor's office, we at Mantle are opening our doors to help change this perception. We, along with the loud chorus of anti-HB 1523'rs, believe that this State can push past this moment. We would love for those considering Jackson as a place to root and to grow to ignore the hot air coming out of this law because it is not representative of the people of Mantle, Fondren, or Jackson. This law is DOA in the courts. Let us, however, change your perception. We would love to show you that we are open to everyone who is willing to work aside us in advancing business ideas, community ideals, and a better, unified Mississippi.
So no matter your race, come grow with us. No matter your religion, come grow with us. No matter who you choose to love, come grow with us. No matter, come grow with us!