“Gulf of America” joke isn’t funny

When I first heard that a politician had proposed renaming the Gulf of Mexico to the “Gulf of America”, I was completely outraged. After another politician had proposed “White People Day” earlier this week, this just seemed like another blow against the Latino community and the diversity that makes the United States of America such a powerful country.

But then I heard that it was, in fact, supposed to be a joke by Mississippi Democrat Rep. Steve Holland in an effort to mock legislation that he considers anti-immigrant. Although I admire his effort to point out some seriously harmful legislation, I just want to say: the “Gulf of America” bill is no laughing matter.


The bill, which seemed like a serious legislative move at first, is under HB150, according to USA Today, it reads:

“For all official purposes within the State of Mississippi, the body of water that is located directly south of Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties shall be known as the "Gulf of America." This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2012.”

Apparently he was trying to “embrace” his Republican colleagues’ cause of trying to push anyone Mexican out of the region by actually satirizing their xenophobia and being just as outrageous himself.

Although I think he has a valid point, he basically wasted time that could have been constructively used to keep these archaic immigration laws from spreading through even more southern states. If you want to support the Mexican and Latino community in your state, Rep. Holland, please stick to supporting us--it's really not a laughing matter. 

Did you think that the “Gulf of America” bill was serious? How did you react to finding out that it was all just a big political joke?

Image via NASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr