Sunday, September 11, 2022

Bill Crawford: Nor any Drop to Drink but Blame Aplenty

Ancient citizens of Jackson can relate to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner. Whether adrift at sea or aground in Jackson, Coleridge’s epic line applies – “Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”

An ill-fated albatross did in the mariner. An equally ill-fated figurative albatross did in Jackson’s water. The media just cannot determine which bird(s) to blame.

W. Ralph Eubanks, visiting professor of English and Southern Studies at Ole Miss, blamed the “White Republican supermajority” and raged against these “remnants of Jim Crow” on CNN.

“It is no surprise the state government of Mississippi has ignored the city’s problems with its water system to the point of absolute failure of the system” he said. “How could a state ignore the needs of the residents of its capital city and allow things to deteriorate to this point? The answer as I see it is simple: racism. Jackson is a Black majority city and Mississippi is governed by a White Republican majority that refuses to invest in Jackson because of who lives there and who governs it.”

Wyatt Emmerich, publisher of the Northside Sun newspaper, blamed Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba for “one of the most colossal municipal government failures in the history of our country” and called for his resignation.

“It’s not like this crisis sprang out of nowhere,” he wrote in his biting editorial. “On March 30, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a scathing report of the Jackson water system. It listed dozens of major problems and gross understaffing. That was the time for Mayor Lumumba to take swift and immediate action. But he did not.”

“There is no possible way for Lumumba to blame anyone but himself. He has been in office five years, during which our water plants have been allowed to fall into total disrepair. Complex systems were not maintained. Software wasn’t updated. Automatic systems failed and were replaced by impossible attempts at manual controls by understaffed and untrained staff.”

WLBT TV published commentary blaming city government. “We have shared many times the list of core functions of city government. Providing reliable, safe water is included in that list of priorities. Sadly, Jackson has failed miserably in fulfilling that responsibility due to a lack of leadership, lack of management, and lack of maintenance.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the state’s only Black congressman and chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security appeared to divide the blame. The state bears some of blame for neglecting Jackson for decades, he told Mississippi Today. But if the capital city cannot properly run its water system, “I would not be in favor of the city being given back the authority to run it.”

Fortunately, Gov. Tate Reeves and President Joe Biden declared emergencies to bring in state and federal experts to solve immediate concerns. No doubt a whole rookery of blamed albatrosses will circle Jackson before long-term fixes can be implemented. 

“Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ He said, ‘I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?’”– Genesis 4:9.

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Jackson.



Anonymous said...

An Ole Miss professor has blamed d white Republicans? I stop the presses!

Anonymous said...

The real problem is that we have become so terrified of being labeled racist that we dare not criticize incompetent minorities. This means we also don’t see much praise for competent minorities. Instead the status quo is to assume all minorities are like children who must be sheltered and given participation trophies. The reality of that is that it perpetuates the negative stereotypes because now we can all see the incompetence, but we aren’t allowed to criticize it. So we just whisper and chuckle and make thinly veiled remarks. But we all know we are living in a deception.

Anonymous said...

No mention of the Siemens fiasco.

Krusatyr said...

I used this obviously applicable metaphor, "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", for Jackson's water crises a month ago. Although the mayor has New Afrika as well as something deservedly brown and turbid permanently about his neck, it will never lead him to prayer and salvation as the Mariner was by the neck encircling albatross.

Wyatt Emmerich (Editor NS Sun), btw, tried to salvage some opportunity out of the new mayor's election four-five years ago, gave him a chance to rise above the New Afrika legacy of Lumumba Senior. Now Emmerich has only a pyre for the mayor's destructive tenure.

Note that if the Governor and the State Health Dept had taken control of the mayor's water duties any sooner, cries of anti-black white oppression would have been even louder. Reeves had to bust a move once O.B.Curtis went down.

I suspect Bennie T and Councilman Stokes have been advising Lumumba to resign. After appealing "Veto a No Vote" fairy tale to the MS Supremes, who but Omari could pretend respect for this utterly failed mayor? Well maybe Ralph Eubanks and Bill Crawford if they see a race baiting angle.

Anonymous said...

Water, water everywhere and the City board should shrink!

Anonymous said...

I'm a pragmatist.
I'm less than thrilled with an incompetent legislature have much control and I'm not entirely certain they will do better in avoiding competent hirings in favor of "good old boy" hirings.

Nevertheless, it's clear that as long as Jackson's system of city and county government is structured as it currently is, the city will decline and be starved of funding into failure.

I wish any takeover would be audited regularly by an independent auditor. Indeed, my prayer is that the federal auditors coming to Mississippi stay a very long time.

WISEOWL said...

Does the State of Mississippi have a history of bailing cities out of issues like water?

Anonymous said...

The good mayor was on CBS DeFace the Nation this morning. He was asked if he was a target or concerned about the ongoing federal investigation. He appeared surprised and Scrabbled for strong words to use in his reply. He was not asked about "the dope boys".

Anonymous said...

If only Jackson had a city government the state could confidently give money to fix the problem. Not even close.

Anonymous said...

echoing 10:11, nearly $90M siemens settlement - attorney fees and I hope that meter readers have been upgraded to get the city on track for future water / sewer revenue. Absolutely, the Mayor needs to resign!

Anonymous said...

'Visiting Professor'. Visiting from where? How much is a return trip Greyhound ticket?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be too concerned with the opinion of the 'Visiting Professor', or Mr. Crawfish, I meant Crawford.

Both were leaning so far left, at a very early age, that their brains have fallen out.

It is a well known saying that all young people are liberals, until their brains mature. Then they begin to act more conservative as the responsibilities of life require it.

All those that don't follow this pattern, are mentally deficient, in some capacity. The two I mentioned above are prime examples of this.

Anonymous said...

The water problems in Jackson isn't just a Mississippi story, it is foreshadowing what is to come for other water systems.

Back when he was mayor of New York City, Ed Koch said that a couple of disruptions to the city's water supply would cripple the city. He said that some of the mechanisms in the NYC water system were more than 100 years old. The mayor noted that parts were no longer being manufactured to replace the screws, bolts, levers, that made the system work. Koch said parts of the system's mechanisms had completely rusted out, but removing them would bring the system to a halt.

Like it or not, the eyes of the nation are on Jackson, Miss.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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