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1 September, 2022

Jackson Mississippi: Mapping the racism in contaminated water

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Republican racism still contaminates the water in Jackson Mississippi

Republican racism contaminates the water supply in Jackson, Mississippi.

"About 150,000 residents in Jackson were without safe water. Problems at one of the town’s two water-treatment plants has left many without water to drink, brush teeth or flush toilets. Residents in the majority-Black city have been on a boil-water notice since late July, and they have faced water supply problems in the past, from lead concerns to a cold snap last year that left residents without water for weeks." - MSN

Should clean water be a privilege for only privileged Americans? Why do Trump Republicans vote against Federal funding that would provide clean water and improve infrastructure for their Black constituents? What can you do to help ensure every American gets clean drinking water? First start by understanding how racism contaminates the Mississippi water supply.

Racist water contamination

Republican racism contaminates the water supply in Jackson, Mississippi.
Share this map freely with this link or as a GIF

A tale of two communities in Black and White

"More than 80% of Jackson's residents are Black, the result of a gradual exodus of white, wealthier residents into the suburbs after the racial integration of public schools in 1970. About a quarter of Jackson’s residents live in poverty. The city has lost tax revenue, and over the years water service has gotten increasingly expensive and the infrastructure harder and pricier to maintain. 

“There has been an overall lack of investment in infrastructure,” said Perry, an expert in economic inclusion and equity. He said infrastructure is a shared responsibility among local and state leaders, which can make it difficult to coordinate investments. “Inevitable crises, storms will come. However, Jackson always ends up taking two steps back whenever there's a crisis,” he said. “This is the quintessential example of how structural racism plays out in this country."  - MSN

The truth shall set you free (John 8:32)

Start with the facts. We mapped the racial composition of different census tracts in Jackson, Mississippi with ArcGIS Online. The map shows the number of residents in each tract along with the percentage who are Black and White. Next we added a layer with data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service to show which areas are most likely to have water problems and suffer from flooding.

Use the slider to see for yourself how the water risk depends on the color of your skin in Jackson, Mississippi.

Mapping the racism contaminated water in Jackson Mississippi

Trump Republicans misguided priorities

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said yesterday at a separate press conference that he welcomes the support and valuable resources the state is now providing, but said the city has for years been in a “constant state of emergency” between boil-water notices and low water pressure, and that the long-standing issues stem from inadequate maintenance, staffing and resources. “We’ve been going it alone for the better part of two years when it comes to the Jackson water crisis,” he said. “I have said on multiple occasions that it’s not a matter of if our system would fail, but a matter of when our system would fail.”

The city’s problems have politicians pointing fingers at how members of Congress voted on Biden’s signature infrastructure package. Mississippi Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith took to Twitter yesterday to voice her support for a federal effort to solve the city’s water problems, though she did not vote for the Infrastructure bill. Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat who represents most of Jackson, voted for the legislation, while the three other House members in Mississippi, all Republicans, voted against it. - Politico

Reeves signs abortion ban

Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed a law that bans abortion based on the race, sex or genetic anomalies of a fetus, adding new limits in a state that already has some of the strictest abortion laws in the U.S. Reeves signed the new law two days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that required doctors who do abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Mississippi's nearly identical admitting privileges law has long been blocked by a federal judge. The new Mississippi law that bans certain reasons for abortion took effect as soon as the governor signed the bill. It sets a prison sentence of up to 10 years for any physician or other health care worker who knowingly violates the ban. - ABC News

TakeAway: Democracy and clean water is on the ballot this November. Vote Democrat.

Deepak
DemLabs

Special thanks to Julia Bayer at esri for her help with data used in this map. Title image credit: ReclaimingKin

DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THE DATA FOUND IN THIS BLOG AND INFOGRAPHIC HAS BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, LEGALITY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY SUCH INFORMATION. THIS DISCLAIMER APPLIES TO ANY USES OF THE INFORMATION WHETHER ISOLATED OR AGGREGATE USES THEREOF.

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