Editorials

Y'all make yourself at home in Mississippi

SUN HERALD/FILEVisitors and locals enjoy the Lighthouse Pier and the beach on Porter Avenue in Biloxi. The Coast welcomes visitors to our beaches and to enjoy all our state has to offer.
SUN HERALD/FILEVisitors and locals enjoy the Lighthouse Pier and the beach on Porter Avenue in Biloxi. The Coast welcomes visitors to our beaches and to enjoy all our state has to offer. THE SUN HERALD

We are more bemused than angry at the Mississippi representative from up north who suggested a woman from Gulfport move back to her native Illinois simply because he disagreed with her.

But we are wondering why the leaders of the Hospitality State have been silent. At the least they should have made it clear that Karl Oliver's sentiments aren't shared by the leadership and most Mississippians.

As it is, we are once again in the national news for the wrong reason.

For a state that depends greatly on tourism, whether on the Gulf Coast, the Blues Delta, or elsewhere, the gentleman from Winona's comments undermine our open arms policy of welcoming people of every state, to quote Rep. Oliver, to the Great State of Mississippi.

We can forgive Oliver. He's new to state government and apparently unaware of the reach of social media. A friend on his Facebook page said Oliver doesn't often read comments on his page.

He should. And he should take this advice before sending emails to squeaky wheels he doesn't agree with: Before you hit send, count to 10. And, imagine your email on a billboard, or worse, an opponent's campaign ad.

This should be a word of caution to the rest of our legislators. It's OK to disagree, just don't be disagreeable.

To the more than a quarter of the state's population who were born elsewhere, thank you for choosing to live in Mississippi. To the military personnel from all over who serve on the Coast and elsewhere in the state, thank you for your service. And, we hope you consider Mississippi your home away from home.

To the visitors who are here enjoying our beaches, casinos, restaurants, shows and museums, thank you for coming and come back soon.

This editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists, and cartoonists are their own.

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