After two weeks, 19 counties, 537 miles, 4 flat tires, and only one crash later, I’m grateful to say: mission accomplished. Having returned home to New Orleans not long ago, I’m grateful to all those who reached out, took me in, put me up and fed me, prayed for me, offered words of encouragement or insight on the road, honked to let me know they were behind me, or joined me in any way along the way. Having stayed in motels, mansions and trailers, having traveled through affluence and destitution, I’m grateful too for all those Mississippians who showed me the depth of their welcome regardless of their place on the political spectrum or their stance on this particular bill, as well to the hospitality shown equally by the ACLU and by the Governor’s office in Jackson. Reminded time and again of the best of who we are, I’m convinced that the only legislation worth pursuing is that which both codifies and upholds the dignity by which each of us hopes to live. I believe that HB 1523 is not that legislation. But I also believe that we are capable of better, and that so long as dignity and respect precede suspicion and fear, Mississippi, and our country as a whole, still stand a fighting chance. This ride was a privilege, and my sincerest thanks to all who were involved.
For more details about the effort, the Jackson Free Press, the Hattiesburg American, and the Sun Herald provided coverage. Additionally, I’ll be appearing on “Now You’re Talking With Marshall Ramsey” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting this coming Monday, May 6, at 10am to talk about the ride.