Miss. is on track; others cant follow

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 15, 2006

Mississippi&8217;s changed; you haven&8217;t.

Consistently since the 1960s things in our state have been evolving. It might have been slow going in parts for a while, but Mississippi has become a state of highly educated, shoe-wearing, money-making, giving, loving people.

The only thing about Mississippi that hasn&8217;t changed is the perception non-residents often have.

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We know the truth, but sometimes there&8217;s something to be said for shedding a little light on things countrywide.

Enter Rick Looser, a Jackson man who doesn&8217;t understand the meaning of the word apathy.

A few years ago Looser got sick of the stereotypes. Since then he&8217;s spent $300,000 of his own money on a national advertising campaign aimed at enlightening the country.

Ads like &8220;Yes, we can read and a few of us can even write,&8221; which features pictures of William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams and John Grisham, are a part of the &8220;Mississippi, Believe It!&8221; campaign.

His slogans are funny, catchy and powerful. They come in print advertisements, on Web sites and on T-shirts.

Looser has done his part for our state and created a model for the rest of us.

Perception is a tricky thing though. The people doing the perceiving are the ones who really need to open their minds to Mississippi and to the 21st century.