Earlier today, I published an article that said a Mississippi State Rep. introduced a bill proposing to rename the Gulf of Mexico the “Gulf of America.”
I was wrong. It was satire. From the Associated Press:
All the people outraged about the Mississippi bill to rename the Gulf of Mexico as the “Gulf of America” have missed its satirical intent, the sponsor said Thursday.
State Rep. Steve Holland, a populist Democrat known for over-the-top gestures, said he was tickled that his provocation had rocketed across the Internet.
Holland says the measure is meant to mock other bills that would crack down on illegal immigration. At least six such bills have already been assigned for committee consideration in the state’s current legislative session, and more could be on the way.
“It seems the people of Mississippi have elected a majority group to govern that wants to slam all minorities and especially Hispanic,” Holland said, adding that he thought such legislation is un-Christian.
Holland’s current House Bill 150 manages to avoid even saying the word Mexico. It refers to “the body of water located directly south of Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties,” saying it will be renamed as the Gulf of America for “official purposes within the state of Mississippi.”
The longtime legislator is known for his sense of humor. Holland is a funeral director, and his funeral home gives out insulated beverage sleeves that say “We’ll be the last to let you down.”
My face is red, but I’m glad to know that I’m in good company. The sad thing is that the story was so believable. This type of jingoistic, pander-without-doing-anything-to-help-anyone legislation is nothing new in today’s political climate. The only surprise was that the legislation was introduced by a Democrat.