I received an email after I posted the article about the history of the Bluffs by Stanley Nelson. I thought it was interesting, so I am sharing it with you - with permission from the author who wishes to remain anonymous.
When you look at the history of Natchez, you see that these patterns go all the way back to the birth of the city. Everything was basically laid out for us. When I say us, I mean the elite that ran the city then and continue to run it now. We never needed to develop an ethic based on industry and thrift. There was always an easy way. We extracted everything we could from the soil until it was gone. We extracted everything we could from the black man until he was freed, then recommenced the process for another 100 years until he was freed a second time. We extracted most of the timber. Then just when things looked really bad, we found oil and extracted that. When that ran out we looked around again for the next thing that would save us, even courting the film people, who would make romantic fantasies of “our way of life”. But then, Deus Ex Machina! Up the river came the gambling boats with the promise of easy pickings once again, and off we went. Big time extraction of money itself this time—and from those who had the least of it.
What I'm saying is I think there is in Natchez a culture much more akin to that of Latin America (after all the Spaniards and the French were the first of the colonists), than to the US. Values like hard work, education, openness to change, debate in open town meetings, even democracy--- the TRUE American values-- never got a foothold here. And we're seeing it today. An attitude of "I get mine; you get yours". Everything done by cabal, behind closed doors, for the benefit of the insiders. No vision, no commonweal, no investment in public facilities, except when necessary to serve certain private interests. For god's sake, we can't even commit the money to maintain the trees in our parks.
I've always found that people who inherit money have a very different attitude than people who make money; for the former, there is no more after that so they hoard and fear the future. For the latter, there is always more to come so they can be generous and welcome the future. For a city that lives in its past and relies only on what was handed down to it, it is the same: a mentality that there is only one pie, and you have to get your piece of it before your neighbor gets it. Particularly if he is of the opposite race. How sad.