Here’s to the State of Mississippi

When reading about the recent, town-wide conspiracy against Constance McMillen, the gay high school senior who only wanted to take her girlfriend to prom, I couldn’t stop hearing Phil Ochs in my head. Phil Ochs was a folk singer in the 1960s and it frightens me how often his lyrics are still relevant.

“Here’s to the State of Mississippi” is about the unpunished murder of a black man and how such things were pretty much par for the course back then. Well, apparently nothing has changed. I really couldn’t say it any better than Mr. Ochs did:

Here’s to the schools of Mississippi
Where they’re teaching all the children that they don’t have to care
All of rudiments of hatred are present everywhere
And every single classroom is a factory of despair
There’s nobody learning such a foreign word as fair
Oh, here’s to the land you’ve torn out the heart of
Mississippi find yourself another country to be part of

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