Gov. Bev Perdue should apologize for the cheap shot she took at Mississippi recently, recognizing that while her annoyance with the state’s backing of Amendment One might have merit, pegging another state as backward in its thinking didn’t.
After all, what has Mississippi done to us? Quite frankly nothing, and bringing them into our debate hardly seems the right path to take.
Perdue backed herself into this corner last week after N.C. voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The governor told WITN in Greenville on Friday: “People are saying, ‘What in the world is going on in North Carolina?’ We look like Mississippi.”
And that upset Mississippi’s governor, Republican Phil Bryant, as well as some former Mississippi residents. We understand that. After all, wouldn’t the governor have been just as upset if an official from another state had pigeon-holed us as backwards because of our less-than-stellar educational ranking?
Indeed she would, and so would we.
Like Perdue, we didn’t support Amendment One, but unlike the governor when the fat lady sang, we accepted that the majority ruled. We have moved on, hoping that approval of the amendment doesn’t divide our state nor define us.
She should have done the same thing.
While the governor talked with Bryant on the phone Monday, she stopped short of apologizing for her remarks.
In fact, WRAL TV reported that the governor said “that Mississippi, for years, tended to be more conservative and North Carolina tended to be more progressive.”
Probably so, but we simply think she would have been better off to have left Mississippi out of the conversation.
It’s clear that she thinks North Carolinians, by virtue of their vote, have set the state back and taken away the perception that we are progressive thinking. True, too, she might be uncomfortable trying to explain away the state’s reasoning when championing the state’s economic causes across the world.
And she could have taken that stand. It’s only when she pulled Mississippi into the equation that we thought she crossed the line.
It’s rare we disagree with Perdue’s reasoning on issues. We support her tenacity to win more funding for public education and we have agreed with her stances on any number of battles she’s had with the General Assembly of late, but this time out, we simply believe the governor was wrong.
She has a right to her opinion, even on Mississippi, but when you’re the state’s top official, sometimes you have to be restrained in what you say about others. This was one of those times, and she owes Mississippians an apology for bringing them into a fight that wasn’t theirs from the beginning.