Mississippi approves ban on bedsheets to prohibit Klansmen from wearing them
Bedsheet sales have stagnated economic growth, according to some local politicians. Photo: Klan & Barrel Catalogue Collection.
By Gwendolyn L. Spelvin
JACKSON, MS – In an effort to erase its own racially violent past and ease current racial tensions, the state of Mississippi voted to ban the sale of all thread count bedsheets.
The controversial decision came Tuesday afternoon amidst a private congressional debate on whether or not the sale of bedsheets is fueling a resurgence of Klan activity throughout the state. Mississippi has not had any Klan mob activity on record since the mid-1970s.
Lawmakers in the state agree a formal policy was introduced after the Klu Klux Klan announced in June they would be opening up membership for the first time to minorities. Politicians in the state worry that such a measure would lead to uncontrollable hostile societal conditions not seen since the 1940s.
Republican governor Phil Bryant signed the bill into law in front of an opinionatedly mixed crowd that was neither for nor against the eradication of bedsheets, but rather there for the complementary snacks served while screaming party loyalties and political group affiliations via twitter updates.
“I’m gonna get into trouble if I tell the truth,” said Governor Bryant, “A few bad apples spoiled the bunch. Bedsheets have become a bad thing; a gang symbol of hatred. And I am the only governor with the balls to safeguard our children and grandchildren from this prejudice.”
Some lawmakers have been vocal against the new law, citing Mississippi cannot afford to miss out on the revenue the sale of bedsheets annually brings in. More than half of the state’s collectable taxes comes from bedding and accessories.
“Ole Miss is the 49th poorest state in the union, and that’s a fact,” said Gulfport mayor Billy Hewes, “And I’ll tell you what, if you take away that good ol’ boy money you’ve taken away that young money, if you catch my drift.” According to Hewes, sheet revenue supplies over 70% of funding for welfare benefits the state gives to more than half of its predominately black population.
House leaders have taken stride in getting bed accessory replacements; a million tons of hay was recently ordered by the state to help transition people over into alternative comfortable bedding.
“I reckon some folk may not take stow in it, but hay is quite comfy. It worked for the slaves back in the glory days of the South, and it’ll work for us now.” said Speaker of the House Rep. Phillip Gunn. “Our grannys and mammys slept like this and so can their young’uns.”
Pressure has mounted on state politicians to create an industry out of hay for the state. Hay has not seen a resurgence as an alternative bedding component since the days of Reconstruction. Governor Bryant is sure that once the people get used to the idea, it will bring financial prosperity.
“This here is an opportunity to do more with less. This type of resilience is what got our state through the Boll Weevil crisis, when there wasn’t a stitch of cotton to make nothing with. God save the Confederacy.” Governor Bryant said through tear stained eyes.
The Klu Klux Klan organization has been vocal about the new law, vowing to sue the state of Mississippi for infringing on their constitutional and civil rights, citing discrimination, racism, and infringement on political and religious merits, among others.
“It ain’t right, just ain’t damn right. We let the darkies in and everything,” Grand Wizard Elijah Joseph said outside the state capital building in Jackson. “This ain’t granddaddy’s White Knights. Our robes are tailored by the Jews. Sheets is for sleeping! This here’s emotional distress. Making a white man sleep bare ass nekkid on a mattress. We ain’t animals.”
The Klu Klux Klan says they are applying for a protest permit, and will be having a Bedsheet Sleeping Matters rally next week.