There's Mississippi, and there's everything south of I-10
While the people of Southern Mississippi are decidedly Southern, and therefore aren't likely to badmouth their neighbors to the north, their frustration with how the rest of the state runs is obvious.
"We used to be called 'coast trash' (by people in the north)," says Brandon Lewis, general manager for Chandeleur Brewing Company. "And that's funny, because those people don't realize we actually lead the state in everything. Industry, tourism, tax revenue, everything."
"Mississippi's really good at giving the rest of the world the impression that we're small-minded," says Kait Sukiennik, a co-owner of Greenhouse. "But I don't think that's reflective of the population in general. I haven't met one person who agrees with 1523, in this entire state. Not one. It's really just the politicians looking out for themselves."
Whatever the impression, the people of the Gulf Coast are quick to let you know they welcome anyone and everyone to their shores. In an area that depends so much on tourism, giving anyone an excuse not to come can be devastating to the economy. Hence the "Everyone" stickers on the doors of countless businesses throughout the region.
"People wrote us off a long time ago," Whitney says. "But to not come here is just going to cripple the people who want to change it. And it takes us longer to get things in Mississippi. But we'll get there, and when we do this place is going to be wonderful."
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