Out: Gulf of Mexico. In: Gulf of America

People like to blame Mexico for all sorts of things. Drug trafficking, gastrointestinal disorders, stealing our jobs… and now, stealing our international bodies of water. Or at least that seems to be the opinion of one Mississippi Democrat, a Mr. Steve Holland by name, and he’s not going to take it any more. In fact, he’s introduced legislation to rename the Gulf of Mexico to something more… American.

If a Mississippi lawmaker gets his way, the Gulf of Mexico will become the “Gulf of America.”

Mississippi State Rep. Steve Holland, a Democrat, has introduced a bill calling for the part of the Gulf of Mexico that is bordered by Mississippi to be renamed the “Gulf of America.”

The measure, known as HB 150 and introduced to the state House Marine Resources Committee, says the body of water will have its new name beginning July 1.

The predictable and immediate response was not to call this idea stupid. Perish the thought! Why do that when we can call it… (say it with me…) racist.

The proposed name change has drawn criticism from various groups, including a Latino GOP organization known as Café Con Leche, which sent Holland a letter demanding that he withdraw the bill and calling HB 150 anti-Mexican.

“If this bill passes the legislature and is signed into law, perhaps it is time to rename the Mississippi River,” wrote Bob Quasius, Café Con Leche’s president, in the letter. “After all, sharing a name with a state that wants to rewrite maps out of disdain for Mexicans would be a disgrace to the rest of the nation.”

I’m not entirely sure where one state legislature comes up with the power to start renaming international bodies of water, but I still find this idea really exciting. Imagine the possibilities! In a tit for tat move, Mexico could rename the Gulf of California. (Take a look at the map… the Gulf of California doesn’t even touch California. It’s entirely bounded by Mexico.) And for those of you who never really trusted out neighbors to the north, we could rename Lake Huron to something like… Lake Ted Nugent. (Suck it, Canada!)

The opportunities are nearly endless.

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