FRAZIER: The highs and lows of Mississippi
As a Mississippian, I get rather annoyed when we get misjudged.
A few years back, I was visiting Disney World and when folks heard me talking while on the bus to our hotel, they of course wanted to know where I lived.
When I replied, “Mississippi,” they immediately started asking me about my home state.
Can you believe these Yankees thought we all went barefoot?
Like, I just bought shoes for the trip to the theme park.
These yahoos apparently knew nothing of our rich history, which includes renowned authors like Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams and John Grisham.
And what about the athletes our state has produced — Brett Favre, Jerry Rice, Archie Manning and, most recently, Dak Prescott.
Then there are the music greats like Elvis Presley, Tammy Wynette, Muddy Waters, Conway Twitty, Jimmy Buffett, B.B. King and the list goes on.
There are some other famous folks that were born here. There is Oprah Winfrey, James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader, Jim Henson, Sela Ward and Gerald McRaney.
In addition to the Mississippians who have achieved recognition, our state capital is only one of four cities in the world sanctioned to host the International Ballet Competition. The first human lung transplant was accomplished at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, a group of slaves who lived in Mississippi and were freed by their master in 1834 returned to Africa and created the present-day state of Liberia and Barq’s Root Beer was invented in Biloxi in 1898, just a few years behind Vicksburg being the first city to bottle Coca-Cola in 1894.
This is only a smattering of Mississippi’s interesting history and its notables.
So, I am not sure why outsiders give us little credence. Mississippi is a beautiful place to live.
Yes, it’s hot as hades in the summertime, but unlike those folks in the northwest, at least we are smart enough to have air-conditioning in our homes.
As proud as I am to live in Mississippi, there is one thing I am finding a tad negative.
To date, we are the state with the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rate.
We can do better. We need to do better — and not just so we will be viewed in a better light.
We need to improve our vaccination rates to ensure the health and safety of all those living in our state.
While coronavirus numbers are not presently dire, we need to understand once summer has come and gone, the number of infections will more than likely climb.
With our little ones, those who have yet to have the opportunity to get vaccinated, we must do all we can to protect them until they are able to receive the shot. There are also those in our communities that for health reasons and compromised immune systems cannot receive a vaccine.
We need to protect them, too.
Thankfully, we are finally at a place in time where we can take off our masks and resume life as it was prior to the pandemic. But before, we celebrate wholeheartedly, we must continue to encourage all those who have yet to be vaccinated to go and get vaccinated.
Instead of being dead last in the country, let’s show our fellow Americans Mississippi knows how to take care of each other.