Thursday, April 24, 2014  
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Oliver Parks
  Hello Mississippi and America.
  When I watch the United States put 12 years in Afghanistan trying to spread democracy and prevent human rights violations, it sends cold chills up my spine when I compare it to what is going on in our own country.
  When I look at the fact that attempts are being made to take women’s reproduction rights away and about equal pay in the work force, it’s hard to believe we here in the U.S. are in a democratic society.
  When I see blacks and Latino’s being stripped of the right to vote, it’s very hard to believe.
  When I watch the effort put in to doubling the interest rates on student loans it’s also unbelievable. When I watch the effort put in to preventing poor people from affordable health care and them being denied food stamps, it’s almost unbearable.
  When I watch 80% of my country believing that we should have some sensible gun legislation, and the right wing not believing the same, it’s disheartening.
  Allow me, if you will, to talk about my own beloved state of Mississippi. Our state ranks on or near the bottom in every area you can imagine except teen pregnancy, obesity and racism.
  I want to take a moment to shed some light about our government in this state, and why we are staying at the bottom. It’s not Mississippi government’s fault, it’s the voters fault because we continue to send the same people back into office that are not doing what is needed to help our state.
  Mississippi has the highest percent of blacks of any state in the union, which is 37.6%, so we have to stop complaining and get up and go vote. That is one of the main ways that change will come about.
  The new gun law here in Mississippi says that anyone can strap a gun on his hip and go about his business. Therefore, when everyone has a gun, there is the thought that there will be less shootings and killings. That makes about as much sense as having more cars on the street preventing more accidents.
  It is my belief that we are making it easier for hot-headed people who will want to take the law into their own hands to start killing people at will and use the “self defense” excuse to get off, as we have just seen in the Trayvon Martin case.
  Stay tuned to my prediction of what racism, greed and division is slowly doing to this country.    Remember, united we stand, divided we fall.

  Grenada resident Oliver Parks retired from the Army as a Sgt. 1st Class.

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Grenada, MS
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