By David Glenn Cox
Mississippi is entering full time, third-world status. A state Capital in the United States America, without indoor plumbing or potable water. Way down yonder in the land of cotton, infrastructure there is long forgotten. Look away, look away, and pretend that you care. Heavy rains have knocked out the drinking water plant for 160,000 people in Jackson, because it was old and decrepit. And should have been replaced decades ago. It is a problem many if not all, third-world countries face.
Due to extensive and widespread poverty, the tax needy are many and the taxpayers are few. Generally, the landed gentry, intelligentsia, children of big shots and the well connected. The few with money, don’t want to pay for the people they impoverish. Same as it ever was.
Tijuana, Mexico, has the same problem and needs a new sanitation system. Experiencing a growth of workers, but not of owners. The poor cannot afford a new sanitation system, and the affluent are not about to buy them one. When it breaks down, the raw sewage just washes up on California beaches, but no pressure.
It’s way easier to buy politicians and cheaper too! And it’s a legacy going back to slavery days. A racial animas bread in from his daddy to his daddy before him. “The nerve, the Federal Court come down heh. Trying to tell us how to run our damn schools! We know, we know. The Supreme Court says we gots to integrate our schools. And it’s only been four years, we were just getting round to it. But to come down heh and order us around, is just too much.
I am withdrawing young William Charles Hamilton Johnston IV from the public school, and they can all go hang for all I care. And I will enroll him in Brightside Lilly White Christian Academy. (Educating the few, for prosperity.) And if we don’t support public schools no more, what we need is a tax cut.” Yes it was long ago, all the way back in the last legislative session. Governor Tate (Pappy O’Daniel) Reeves announced the largest tax cut in the state’s history.
Everything is so chill; we are going to give you your tax money back. Because those who have the most in Mississippi, also have the most power. Good conservative government, patch, mend and fix until the company that built it is out of business and you can’t get parts for it anymore.
My son’s elementary school in Alabama, needed a new air-conditioning system. The new system would pay for itself in three years. Through improved efficiency and the savings incurred by not having to repair it, when it broke down twice a month. The bond referendum was soundly defeated, just like all the others before it, going back forty years. “We are willing to pay more before aiding any public school, thank you.”
But it was lovely school, at least the side faced the street was. The backside of the school had peeling paint, cracked windows and no landscaping. (We’ll get around to it, eventually) But if you are struggling to keep the buildings utilities running, where is new paint on the necessity scale?
It’s not like they had a crackerjack school system to start with and just let it run down because of integration. It wasn’t all that to begin with. One frog carefully dissected, can last a whole high school a whole semester, and we pass the savings on to you!
Ever since the Supreme Court said that public schools couldn’t coerce their students with introductory prayers and supplications. School administrations have been forced to rename the practice “Thought for the day, from the desk of God.”
But hey, it’s for their own good! They just don’t know how badly they need public school prayer, and we do. We’re only trying to help these poor heathen bastards out! Why with enough religious proselytization, these poor buggers need never know just bad they’ve really got it. Schools functioning on the four R’s, Reich Wing, Reactionary, Redneck and the ever-popular, Racist.
These deeply held traditions going back to the Civil War. They don’t want anything from Washington, except checks. But they don’t want to be told how to spend those checks. The community development block grant money was used to renovate a National Guard Armory. Converting it into a Ballet Center for little White girls in the middle of a Black neighborhood. (Gee, what’s wrong with this picture?) Like building a polo field inside a public housing project. “Gentlemen, where are your polo ponies?”
The center closed after a couple of years, because it seemed little White girls didn’t like studying ballet in a Black neighborhood. And Mom didn’t like dropping them off there or picking them up either. They just threw that money down a rat hole on a play pretty for the children of the affluent. “We could make it our club house and hold dance recitals there!”
The buckle of the bible belt and “Am I my brother’s keeper” was an anathema. Of course not! Pull yourself up by your own sandal straps Jesus. I didn’t take you to raise, get a job hippie! They are poor and uneducated and because of that, can attract no industry.
Though Alabama is fast becoming America’s favorite garbage dump. If it’s broke, smells, toxic or you just don’t want it anymore. Send it to Alabama and let us bury it for you! We have acres and acres of only the finest dumping grounds money can buy.
The only way out is to educate the multitude, but that costs money and they don’t want to pay for it. Not for educating other people’s children anyway, “fuck em!” So, they will curse the poor and blame them as the source for all their troubles.
And so, each generation slides into the next, and very little changes. The pipes get old, and the pumps they burn out, but that’s okay, we will just use the back up pumps for a year, until it floods and knocks those out too. Those jokers are expensive you know? And we were just trying figure out how we were going pay for them when my tax refund arrived.
Then when it flooded, we couldn’t do nothing, cause all them pumps was busted and burned out! Oh, cruel fate! Oh, how could this happen to us? Why has God forsaken us? I’m voting for the conservative because he loves the lord, and won’t raise my taxes.
Always remember; Gomer Pyle was non-fiction.
“We got no necked oilmen from Texas
And good ol’ boys from Tennessee
And college men from LSU
Went in dumb, come out dumb too
Hustlin’ ’round Atlanta in their alligator shoes
Gettin’ drunk every weekend at the barbecues
And they’re keepin…”
- Randy Newman