Take pride in our ‘landmass’

Published 10:55 pm Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mississippi got dissed by a national media outlet. Surprise, surprise!

The Weather Channel referred to the 70 or so miles between Louisiana and Alabama as, “the landmass between New Orleans and Mobile” when showing computer tracks for what became Hurricane Isaac.

Getting dissed by national media is nothing new to those who live here. We are accustomed to getting the short end of the media stick. Most of the time, we take it with a grain of salt and move on with our days. But this notion that the Mississippi Gulf Coast is nothing more than a landmass lit the fuse of statewide indignation.

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Mississippians directed their ire via social networking sites, defending the state with back-bowed pride.

That is what should come from another national media slight — the reaction. Many Mississippians are still sporting mad at the coverage given to Hurricane Katrina seven years and five days ago. Lost in the devastation of New Orleans — flooding — was the decimation of entire cities on Mississippi’s Coast. Katrina never hit New Orleans. What devastated New Orleans was a colossal manmade mess. What devastated the Coast was the hurricane. But the misery index in New Orleans dwarfed that of Mississippi and the national media blitz followed the misery index.

So forgive us for getting a bit touchy, especially with the specter of another hurricane and all the storm brings with it heading in our direction.

What we need be forgiven for is a show of state pride. Getting labeled last in this, last in that and last in the other thing gets mighty tiring. The constant barrage of negativity directed at our state has to have an effect on the residents’ psyches. Hear enough negative, and soon one begins to believe it.

Let’s hope the pride shown here has the opposite effect.

That landmass to many in the United States is just that, but to us, it’s the beach, and Brett Favre, NASA, Jimmy Buffett, deep sea fishing and Mardi Gras. We could go on forever.

Make no mistake — we are much more than a landmass. And we’re proud of that.