Saturday, August 6, 2011

All Publicity is Not Good Publicity:From an Educated Young Woman in Mississippi

Earlier this week Actress Viola Davis and T.V Personality Rocsi Diaz made some pretty offensive comments towards the state of Mississippi.

On Thursday BET's 106 & Park interviewed Viola Davis, one of the stars from the new film 'The Help'. While the show's host, Rocsi Diaz, was interviewing Davis she asked her if she faced any challenges while being in Mississippi. The statements that followed were unpredicted and rather harsh.

Davis stated that she faced problems staying away from all the "FRIED" foods and the "MOONSHINE" which she called "Apple Pie, Peach Cobbler and Milk Punch". Her rude statements continued, she went on to say that there was nothing to do in Mississippi except go to Wal-Mart (country accent). Making matters worse, Rocsi Diaz replied to her statements by asking her if she had tried the "FRIED KOOL-AID" (which I have NEVER heard of).

I take in account that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and perhaps Mississippi is not a state that either Davis or Diaz prefer, however I was always taught that if you can not say something good then do not say anything at all.

Due to the fact that I am a native of Mississippi who has been outside of the state of Mississippi and survived on my own, these comments took me back to some pretty difficult times. I understand the stain that comes along with being from the south, nevertheless Mississippi, and I know how others place judgement on us residents without even knowing us. This judgement stems from things that were done in the past as well as things that are still taking place. Furthermore, I understand that my state still has some issues that we need to work on, but, honestly, what state does not?

In retrospect of this situation, It pays to watch what you say and how you say it. Someone might be reading this post now saying, "Those statements were not really worth this kind of reaction' or 'Is she really that upset over what they said?" The answer to both questions is YES and if you are a resident of Mississippi or have relatives in Mississippi you should be offended as well.

These statements, given on live Television, not only reflect on my state it reflects on me. Wondering how? Lets say, hypothetically, I apply for a job in New York City because I am well qualified for it and when I get to the interview the employer looks at my resume and sees that I am from Mississippi. Perhaps that particular employee has a child who watches 106 & park and heard that particular interview then told his/her parent about how us "Country Folk" in Mississippi eat all kinds of fried foods (as every other state does) and has nothing to do with our lives but go to Wal-Mart. Well, if that employer takes those statements into consideration along with all the other misfortunate titles that Mississippi has, then I'm probably as good as fired before I am even hired. I say this to say We can do bad all by ourselves Ms. Diaz and Ms. Davis, we do not need your 'Help'.

Speaking of 'Help' I feel that if any star of 'The Help' can come to our state and film a movie about people in our state then go off and talk about our state in a rude way, then they do not deserve to profit off of our state. I feel that we should work as a state to have that film banned from the state of Mississippi. I also, feel as though BET should be accountable for the statements of their host. I heard that she made other rude statements, however I did not hear those statements for myself.
         Fellow Mississippians do not let these statements get you down because, clearly, those who know better do better Such as :
B.B. King *Legend*
Oprah       *Legend*
David Banner *Humanitarian*
Elvis Presley *Legend*
The Canton Spirituals
Faith Hill 
Morgan Freeman *Legend*
Monte Ellis
Big Krit
Lance Bass
Bo Diddley
Medgar Evers   *Legend*
Brett Farve
William Faulkner  *Legend*
James Earl Jones   *Legend*
Simbi Khali
Brandy Norwood
Ray J
Walter Payton       *Legend*
Charlie Pride
Leontyne Price
Jerry Rice          *Legend*
LeAnne Rimes
Sela Ward
Muddy Waters      *Legend*
Eudora Welty        *Legend*
Richard Wright
Bobby Valentino- Born in Jackson, Mississippi
Rick Ross - Born in Coahoma County, Mississippi
Soulja Boy- Made most of his music while living in Mississippi.

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