Doug Masson sort of summed up the Indiana General Assembly’s current legislative session when he posted “Indiana should change our slogan from “Honest to Goodness, Indiana!” to “Not so fast, Mississippi!”
Our lawmakers are back in session: engaging in childish vendettas against the lone Democrat who won statewide office, ignoring environmentalists and family farmers who oppose creating a constitutional right to use “effective” farming techniques (aka a “right to pollute” measure desired by the big corporate farms), advancing a “religious” right to refuse service to LGBT customers, exempting charter and voucher schools from ISTEP….the embarrassing list goes on. And on.
Granted, Mississippi has a definite head start. One recent bit of news from the state that keeps “Hoosier” from meaning “bottom of the barrel”: a Justice Court judge in that state has just been accused of striking a mentally challenged young man and yelling, “Run, n—–, run.” (And yes, the elided word is just what you think it is.)
Reading about that incident was appalling enough, but as I read further, I discovered that in Mississippi, the only requirement to be elected judge of a Justice Court is a high school diploma. (There are those in the Indiana legislature who share Mississippi’s contempt for education, although we haven’t taken it quite that far. Yet.) After taking office, the judges are required to take up to six hours of training a year.
Six whole hours. Every year. That should compensate for the lack of college or law school.
It may seem that Mississippi has a lock on the batshit crazy medal–but back home in Indiana, we’re barely at the midpoint of a long legislative session. Don’t count Indiana out.