Friday, December 22, 2023

In Her Own Words: The Loveable Rukia Lumumba

Lies, lies, lies.  Such are the ways of Rukia Lumumba.  She recently spewed more lies on The Coolest Show podcast.  It will cost $19 billion to fix Jackson's water system. Ted Henifin has a ten year contract.  Blacks are picking cotton in the Delta as in you know what days.  Jackson's water hasn't been safe to drink since the 1990's.  Lie, lie, lie.  You can't make this up. 

Check out what she has to say as the podcast and a transcript (with running commentary by yours truly in italics) are posted below. The transcript is long but yours truly highlighted the relevant parts to make it easier to skim. Enjoy.

Listen to the podcast with Rukia Lumumba.

Rev Yearwood: Everybody, this is Rev Yearwood with “The Coolest Show,” and I love it when we have returning guests. That’s something that means a lot for me. It means a lot because you know that guest is making it happen. And so really excited to have the powerful Rukia Lumumba. Rukia, how are you doing?

Powerful? Yes, got beat by 20 points by an unknown candidate in the House #72 election.  

Rukia Lumumba: I’m good. Thanks for having me back. I really appreciate it. 

Rev: Yeah, well we gotta have you back. You know, I think I told the story last time about how much your dad meant to me in my time of fighting the good fight in New Orleans after Katrina. He actually was, before he was mayor of Jackson, he was helping with security, and let me tell you, never have I felt more secure in my life than with your father, I gotta admit. And it was some characters, too. Folks was acting up. So how are you doing? 

Rukia: I’m doing good. I’m holding strong. You know, we got a lot happening in this world right now, so I think all of us are holding strong. 

Rev: Well, we asked you this question last time. And so since that time, I’m curious to hear your answer. Who is Rukia Lumumba? 

Rukia: Such a good question. You know, so much has happened over the past couple of years, and I’ll tell you, that is the question I began to ask myself again over the past weekend, over this weekend. But ground-level, at the root, I am a woman who loves black people. I love humanity. I love righteousness. I love doing good in the world, like doing what’s right for us. I love seeing people flourish and just have joy. Like I love being able to contribute that. That’s who I am. I’m a person who believes in building the opportunity for self-determination in our individual lives as well as in our broader community. I am deeply committed to something called co-governance, which allows for most of us, if not all of us, to willingly be a part of the decision making around the policies and the practices that govern our lives. I want to see true democracy, that direct democracy where we’re making big and small decisions. And I deeply believe in that, and I think that’s why I engage in my life in both my personal life around decisions including folks and also in my work. So I’m a woman of integrity, I’m a woman of purpose, and I’m a woman that loves. My middle name means “loveable,” and I’ll tell you, I love hard. I love hard. 

Rev: That’s a good thing. I want you to keep loving black people hard. Don’t stop that. 

Rukia: That’s right. 

Rev: Don’t stop that at all. Please. 

Rukia: Even when they don’t love you back, right? Right. 

Rev: We need that. And for folks who don’t know, who is your community?

Rukia: My community is the community of Mississippi. Starting with Jackson, Mississippi, where I was raised, where my parents journeyed with a brave vision of creating self-determined communities there. And so my community is Jackson, Mississippi. My community is also, my roots are in Detroit, Michigan. But home, who I represent is Mississippi. I’m a southern girl, and I am wholly Mississippi. I love everything Mississippi. 


Rev: Well you know, as somebody who was born in the south, born in Louisiana, I love to hear that. That’s a wonderful thing. Thank you again for being here on “The Coolest Show.” I wish that the water crisis, particularly in Jackson, Mississippi was solved completely, it was solved at all. Unfortunately, that is not the case, as we know. This situation –  this disaster, really – dates back to… ooh, the 40s, maybe? And for one, this thing has been the result of just decades of environmental racism, historical inaction, obviously anti-blackness. So this is something that was a disaster that was not only put forth but was created. Where are we now? I know that there were literally, what is it, 2 plus million people living without… and this is throughout this country. We know that there’s many people who are living without indoor plumbing and drinking water, and we know that within Jackson, Mississippi, that the poor water infrastructure is something that literally has created a crisis. Where are we now at this point, from your opinion? 

Rukia: Good question. Thank you so much. You know, I didn’t mention that in addition to who I am just personally, I’m also the Executive Director of the People’s Advocacy Institute, which is a Mississippi-based organization that works to provide transformative justice initiatives throughout the South. Specifically though, we focus on Mississippi. And so the water crisis has taken over a good percent of our work. We did not come into this as environmental justice experts. We came into this as community members trying to transform the criminal legal system, and we were immediately pushed into environmental justice in a way where we were allies, working, showing up, volunteering around environmental justice efforts, but now turned full environmental justice advocates. Actually moving, we have provided over a hundred thousand residents with resources, water support, filters, a number of different things because of the water crisis not only in Jackson but throughout the state of Mississippi, and I’m glad you have started with Jackson, but I know that even in your opening commentary talked about how it’s impacting so many more places including throughout Mississippi’s rural communities. 

We are unfortunately very much in the same position we were when the water crisis actually happened, the first crisis in 2021, which many people weren’t aware of because our attention was on Texas. In 2021 we saw the winter storm hit Texas and parts of Louisiana extremely hard, knocking power, electricity, and freezing pipes across Houston and Dallas areas. Well, that same weather impacted Mississippi. In Jackson in particular, many residents were without water for six weeks. I in my own home was without water for several weeks. It froze pipes. We had 130 pipes burst in 2021. In 2022 we had over a hundred and something days of boil water notices. In 2021 we had 221 days of boil water notices. This is after the storm. This includes both before and after the storm. 

Oh yes, the water system crashed during the ice storm.  It didn't crash during previous ice storms, even in the 1990's when the Rez completely froze over.  Let's not forget your brother covered up the truth when the EPA discovered the poor condition of his water plants a year before in early 2020.  The EPA placed the city under an emergency order, which he HID from everyone.  The Health Department warned in the summer of 2020 one more event would cause the system to collapse.  However, no one could actually help because your brother covered up the truth.  Unfortunately, truth means little to Sista Rukia. 

And so what we are seeing now is that in Jackson we have what we call a third party administrator. I’m going to try quickly to break this down a little bit for you. So the water crisis 2022 happens in August of 2022. On August 29th 2022, our water system fails. The city, community groups immediately go into action to do what we’ve done before. We try to immediately provide water to our residents, to ourselves, to our community members, our neighbors. National groups come in and they begin to send water to us and help out. 

So much for the water distribution centers MEMA operated during the crisis.  

The EPA decides, and I think they had good intention, but the EPA decides that Jackson has two choices. Because the water infrastructure is so bad, and we have yet to fix it over a period of over 30 years, more than 30 years, significantly more than 30 years, that Jackson has two choices. Either it can cede its water system to the state, or it can give its water system under the control of a third-party administrator. Now this is a city where I’m going to tell you right now the true heroes of the water crisis and our water woes have been residents. Residents who back in 2013 voted by over 90% to tax themselves an additional 1% to provide financial relief to our water issues to help improve our infrastructure. 

 Actually, that's not exactly true.  The water was working fine in 2013.  The tax was sold as a way to fix the crumbling roads.  Remember them? It made sense because water and sewer systems are supported by revenue streams.  Roads require actual appropriations as they are not funded by user fees. 

This is a city that every single black mayor since Harvey Johnson of 1997 when he was first elected as the first black mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, has asked for water support for our infrastructure in Jackson, has asked the state to provide financial relief to help fix our infrastructure issues. This is a city in which the federal government was sending money to the state to provide to Jackson, to provide part of that money to Jackson for us for our water infrastructure needs, and the state gave little to nothing, many years nothing at all, including in 2021 when we had over 130 pipes burst, including in 2020, when Jackson put forth –  under my brother, who’s currently the mayor – when Jackson put forth a legislative ask that included not only Jackson, but several rural communities, to actually provide money directly to the City of Jackson and other rural communities for water infrastructure, and the governor vetoed it in 2020. This is the same city who the administration, even administrations beyond the current one, has attempted to maintain a failing water system that is a 19 billion dollar issue with a city budget that at its best reaches maybe 300 million.

She somehow forgets to mention the "federal aid" was a loan program created by Congress.  Guess what? The Health Department and MDEQ approved every single loan application submitted by the city of Jackson.  Every.Single.One.  

She also conveniently leaves out how the Siemens deal and moratoriums on cutoffs bankrupted the city's water and sewer systems.  But what is the truth when you are making things up on the fly and trying to cover up for your brother's incompetence? 

Wait a second.  19 BILLION DOLLARS??? Where the hell did that number come from?  So now she is running around the country telling people it will really cost $19 billion to fix Jackson's water system.  Um.... ok. 

 So this is a place that is predominantly black, over 85% black, and has been maintaining, has been doing what it can with very little resources to actually maintain a quality of life for residents just to have access to clean water. And so during all this time what we forget is that when you are under EPA violation, you are fined as a city. So every time you are unable to fix the problem, regardless of the reason, regardless if the reason is because you just don’t have the financial resources to fix the problem, you are constantly fined. And so you’re supposed to fix a problem as a poor city while also paying a fine. It’s just like when we get locked up and we get out. We’ve done lost our job because we got locked out, but we’re supposed to also pay the probation fee when we get out, we’re also supposed to pay whatever fees and fines were associated with our court fees when we get out, and we’re supposed to live and survive.  How are we going to get ahead? So the EPA was fining us all that time as well. 

I'm sorry, but when did Jackson actually pay any fines?  The EPA kept agreeing to delay collection.  The result? The sewer system is worse than it was in 2012.  Sista Rukia must have forgotten that little tidbit. It seems to be a pattern, doesn't it? 

So lo and behold, the end of 2022/2023 comes around, and the EPA says, “We’re going to help you.” The federal government, through the assistance also of Bennie Thompson, comes in and says, “We’re going to help y’all. We’re going to give you 800 million dollars from different federal resources, and we’re going to make sure that money comes directly to Jackson.” And we’re like, “Yes, that’s what we need!” But then they throw in this wrench that you’re gonna have to choose between the state or this third-party administrator.

Just can't give Senator Roger Wicker or Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith any credit, can you? Yeah, we know why.  Pictures are truly worth thousands of words.  The real truth is CHS is the one who made that aid  happen while Wicker took care of aid from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Bennie got it all through the House. 

What? No one trusted Jackson with the money? You mean after several Mayoral administrations turned a $7 million a year money-maker into a $20 million a year money-loser, ran off the competent employees, covered up EPA orders and hid the truth about the water system, you mean after all that the federal government nor congressional delegation trusted the city with $800 million?  Why would that be? 

As for self-determination, the people of Jackson self-determined themselves right into this mess by voting for incompetent Mayors who ran the water system into the ground.  

Now, at the time, we are in the midst of the crisis. We are in the midst of this very just… I don't know if you've ever experienced it, and you probably have, ‘cause you're from Louisiana. When you don't have access to water, when you can't take a bath, you can't brush your teeth, you got to make sure you got drinkable water, bottled water in your house. I remember one day coming home from distributing water all day long and then coming home and realize I ain't bring no water home for myself, and I ain't have no water. And so we're in the midst of that. And so when given the option, it immediately was like, well, we'd rather a third-party administrator than the state, because the state ain't never done nothing for us. The state ain't never actually treated Jackson with respect and provided it the resources or the autonomy to be able to actually live and provide a good quality of life for residents.

 Wrong, Rukia.  Even in Louisiana, running water has not been a problem.  The New Orleans Water & Sewer Board has had its share of problems, pretty bad ones actually, but New Orleans didn't have to worry about actually having water to drink.  That honor goes solely to your brother.  


Rev: And a lot of people don’t understand that. Jackson is the state capital of Mississippi. So if folks are wondering if this is some remote part of Mississippi off to the side. If you don't know, this is their state capital. But as Rukia said, 85% of the population of the 150,000 people is black. But keep going.

Rukia: Yeah. And Rev, 85% of the people are black. Jackson is the largest city by three in the entire state. There is no city bigger than Jackson in the entire state. Jackson is home to all the major hospitals in the state of Mississippi. And Jackson is also where the majority of businesses and money is made, is in the city of Jackson. Yet resources are constantly extracted from Jackson, similar to what we see happening in African countries where you get mining, all these gold, all this rubber, all these things, and the people there are living in poverty because the corporations are just taking, taking, taking. And so we see the same impact in Jackson.

Oh wow.  The burbs plunder Jackson? Um how? In case you haven't noticed, most of the retail is now in the burbs and Jackson is struggling to hold on to what it does have.  Most of the major businesses have left.  Do Cellular South, Puckett,  or Coca-Cola ring a bell?   You should be grateful for the third-party administrator.  If he hadn't come along and started fixing things, Amerigo's and Little Tokyo probably do not come to Fondren but then the Steward didn't want any help when the Orcs showed up either.  

And so the EPA decides to appoint this third-party administrator. We think this third-party administrator’s gonna work with us, gonna work with community. He comes in saying he’s gonna work with community, saying he's gonna work with the city, and that he's gonna have everything back on track to turn back over to the city in less than four years. Now what we hear is that, one, he's extended his contract to 10 years. He has completely stopped communicating with the city. He has refused to communicate with groups like mine and the Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition. And he has complete control over the 800 million that has come to Jackson. And so we find ourselves in the same position we were before, consistently being exploited.

Ten year contract? That is either a damn lie or Rukia is that damn stupid.  Henifin has a four year contract.  Four years.  He signed Jacobs Engineering to a ten-year contract to operate the water plants, a contract that has caused no small amount of grief to the Order of the Sisters of Rukia as they try to make mischief for the Water Receiver every chance they get .

And it begins to weigh on you. You fight so hard for something, you finally get it, then you got to fight again. And so right now our fight continues to ensure that we have clean water. Our fight is to be sure that we have oversight of how that money is spent. Right now, this third-party administrator is making close to a half a million dollars a year to be over our water system in a city where the median income is between $35,000 and 40,000. He's making a half a million dollars a year. This is a place where we know that our water infrastructure system is a 19 billion dollar issue, and we know this 800 million will help us get there, help us get to a place of safer drinking water, but it's definitely not gonna get us to the place of eradicating the problem altogether. This is a place where we know our pipes leading to our homes, to many of the homes, many of them are over a hundred years old. Others are 30, 40 years old and are lead pipes that have to be replaced that haven't been replaced. The money that's coming down from the federal government could be used to replace those pipes.

These are just bald-face lies.  Lies, lies, lies.  Ted Henifin is paid $400,000 per year.  Guess what? That has to cover his living expenses.   Rent, food, travel,  Carmina shoes (j/k), taxes, etc.  No competent administrator would have taken that job for the $125,000 or so salary the city pays its public works directors.  He has to literally build a water/sewer system from scratch.  This is just Sista Rukia making up facts just to inflame "the community."  Of course, the host falls for it hook, line, and sinker.  I take that back.  You can't dupe the willing .... or an accomplice. 

I really encourage folks to just go and look at our community statement on our website, Jackson Peoples Assembly, that's, tells you a little bit more about what we're asking for, what we're pushing for from this third-party administrator. And most importantly, we don't want our water systems to be become private. We want our water systems to stay public. And so we're really pushing to ensure that it stays public. And why is public important? Because when it's public, it's cheaper. When it's private, the cost goes up and up and up. You see what happens with your energy bills. You see what happens with your gas bills. Water is no different. And so that's what’s going on in Jackson.

More economic ignorance on display, not that she cares.  Utility bills go up when costs rise (Kemper aside).  Most water systems are public or have boards that are publicly appointed.  What Sista Rukia doesn't say is that majority-black cities such as oh, St. Louis and Birgmingham, use public utility districts to operate their water and/or sewer systems.  Boards consisting of members appointed by government bodies (usually the Mayor, City Council, or County) operate such districts.  So what is so special about Jackson that its water/sewer can't be run the same way? Hell, it was your brother who looked at allowing KKR to come in and buy or lease the water system.  Forgot that, didn't you? 

Rev: So, so much there, Rukia, and I want to unpack some of that. So important. This is why this conversation is so important. Because I think that when some of the main media leaves, people think the problem is solved. They think that, okay, well, it's all good. That's why it's important for us to follow up and tell our stories. The one thing I want to get to, you mentioned the city's population. Obviously it's over 85% of the 150,000 of the city population or more around that range is black people. And what we know is that more than one quarter lives below the federal poverty level. And you mentioned that with how much people are making literally between 30 to 40, $45,000 a year while the person who's there to help put forth your water is getting paid a half mil, which to be honest, is a lot in Mississippi. I mean, let me just say, some places that may be one thing, but that's a lot of money. The state has the lowest level of life expectancy in this country, and it has, as you mentioned, it has a lot of health concerns that are ranging from diabetes, hypertension, stroke, infant deaths, deaths from cancer, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and on and on and on.

And of course, the host starts repeating the lie.  Accomplice. 

At what point do you… I want to make sure, I think you know where I'm going with this thing, because the same question for those in Flint. At what point, how do we get to self-determination in a setting when clearly the goal of people for decades is to create situations where it is affecting people and people's lives? It is creating infant mortality, it is creating a decrease in maternal health, it is creating other chronic diseases. How when you have this lack of access to clean water, which creates these health disparities, how do you create self-determination, and is that the best thing?

Rukia: Yeah, yeah. Listen, I always think self-determination is the best thing, because anything else is temporary. It's a temporary fix that's gonna lead to devastation, that's gonna lead to all of those same issues coming back and tearing families apart. I think part of what we've been seeing in our communities over the past several decades has been the fact that we haven't focused our efforts on self-determination. We focused our efforts so much on assimilation. We focused our efforts so much on just getting the moderate to come a little closer to our views or moving to make friends across the aisles, instead of focusing on where we need to focus in our communities with our people, educating our folks, motivating our folks, organizing our folks to do what is necessary. I was just listening right before we jumped on the interview with you, right before coming on your show, I had playing in the background “High on the Hog.”  That's a Netflix show about food. Really cool. I watched the first season. It was really good. So anyway, it was playing in the background, and they were in Atlanta, in Georgia, and they were talking about how they had an underground food service. And underground meaning that just like you had the Underground Railroad where you had different houses where you can go, they had chefs, they had caterers that were underground that literally were making food for folks who were out on the protest lines or whatever. And when the cops would ask, “Well, where'd you get this food?” They would say, “Well, I don't know. It just showed up.” Because nobody would know where it came from, intentionally. And they talked about how that underground food service turned into an underground transportation service so that people could get to work and people could do all of these things.

Ah.... her black separatism starts coming out.  

And so one of the things that we have to remind ourselves of is that we have been self-determined people, and that we are even self-determined people in the midst of the turmoil that we experience even now in modern day society. When I think of self-determination, I think of the fact that when the water crisis happened in 2021, the state did not call for a state of emergency until three weeks after we had already been suffering. It was organizations like mine, People's Advocacy Institute, and the Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition, and so many other churches and faith-based groups and organizations that came together two days after the storm and began to get in our four wheel drives trucks and get kerosene to elders who were in icy weather where we have never experienced and got them kerosene and heat. It was community members. It was neighbors that made hot plates when they had the heat and got it to the community, their other neighbors. It was passing out water to everybody that needed water. That is self-determination. It is us creating our own rapid response and mutual aid services that take care of each other when the state has yet to do what we need them to do. We've been passing out filters since 2021. The state just now began to offer filters two years after the fact. So we don't have to wait on the state to take care of us. We can take care of ourselves. And that's what self-determination is. And I think we really have to invest more in our own self-determination.

Her new buzzword: "self-determination."  I'm sorry but the last time I checked, this 85% black city, as you put it, is run by a City Council and Mayor, all duly elected by the people.  The people.  The people already have your so-called self determination.  Of course, her idea of self-determination means she is determined to be in charge.  Such is the way of the demagogue.  

As stated earlier, the "people" self-determined themselves right into this disaster.  

Rev: I’m with you on that so much. And I want you to know, people who are listening, that not only is that just a critical piece, but I think that's the only way that we get to a solution is through self-determination. I want to get to the broader Mississippi conversation around water and water insecurity and how that impacts the daily life of many communities. But I just want to ask this question for folks who don't know. You mentioned how you were giving out bottled water, and then you forgot to get bottled water for yourself. Can you just tell folks how using bottled water to cook, to clean, to bathe, how was that psychologically stressful?

Rukia: Man, listen, I'm gonna tell you, we got a little trauma. And I mean, it doesn't come from just 2021 or 2022. And I want to be clear, I've never known a time since living in Jackson since the early ‘90s that I've been able to drink the water out of the tap. We've always been told not to drink the water. We've always received boil water notices. It is actually only since this third-party administrator has come into being where we haven't been receiving boil water notices, but people's water is still brown. And his theory is, “Oh, you've been getting too many boiled water notices,” but that ain't the truth. We know we don't need to be drinking the water. It ain't fixed. Until the pipes are fixed, the water ain't fixed. And so I do want to acknowledge that our trauma came way before having to use the bottle when we didn't have water coming out of our pipes. It's come from never being able to use the water out of our pipes. 

Sista Rukia lies again.  The water was plenty safe in the 1990's.  It was plenty safe in the 2000's.  There are a stack of government reports documenting it was safe.  The problems did not start until the mid-2010s after the Siemens deal and the moratoriums crippled the finances, preventing the city from hiring staff and performing maintenance.  

The city water is safe RIGHT NOW.  Sista Rukia is fear mongering in an attempt to get control of the $800 million.  If she was too scared to drink the water in the 1990's, perhaps she should instead consult a mental-health expert.  However, don't expect honesty from Sister Rukia.  $800 million is at stake.  Or is it $19 billion? $30 billion.  To quote The Producers, I WANT THAT MONEY!!!!!

When I go to other cities, when I go to other people's homes in other cities, even when I'm at hotels or things like that, I don't drink the water. I have a legitimate fear of drinking tap water unless I see a filter on it. And I'm not the only one. Most folks that I know will not drink the water. And you talk about in communities, like we have a growing Latina community of indigenous people from Central America, and they have not always gotten the information because it's not being issued in languages that they can understand. And so when we tell them about the water, they immediately stop drinking the water. But they also begin to complain and say, well, I was wondering why my baby was getting these blisters, or wondering why I wasn't feeling good after drinking the water. I'll tell you, it is psychological for sure. It impacts your psyche. And buying water has just become a part of everyday life. I don't know not to buy water. And to be transparent, we're still giving out water to people. We haven't stopped giving out water to people.

Oh wonderful, she is telling the Hispanic community not to drink the water at all.  Well, guess what, sweetpea, I've been drinking the water out of the tap most of this year.  No problems.  It tastes fine. The water itself is safe to drink.  Indeed, your own brother was screaming the water was safe to drink when this website uncovered the emergency EPA order.   Funny how he didn't say it was not safe to drink when he was called before Judge Wingate but again, facts mean little to the Order of the Sisters of Rukia.  

Rev: Well let’s talk about how close you are, because you’re not far from the Mississippi River Delta area, right? How does it feel to be getting… and folks don't know what my hat says, stop petrochemicals, and that's stuff in plastics. And so for me, there's a double-edged sword here that plastics is oil and gas. And so we got all this plastic that's being bottled up, and then that's also another problem. So we got one problem on top of another problem on top of a whole other problem. And I know there's different areas, so for folks who don't know, they think of Jackson, Mississippi, they think of the Mississippi River. How close is that? How far is that? And how are y'all connected to the work that's also impacting the water-related challenges to those folks that are affecting black and indigenous communities?



RukiaYeah, so Jackson is actually surrounded by water. We're surrounded by several lakes.

Surrounded by lakes? You can't make this up.  Well, she can but most people can't.  The woman is truly gifted.  

Rev: Now hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on. Hold on, Rukia. You can’t…  Wait a minute. Wait, hold up. Y'all here ain't got no water. Y'all trying to get your pipes fixed. Y'all got all this money coming. Somebody's trying to steal the money. Y'all surrounded by water, but y'all ain't got no water.

It never occurred to this clown to actually read a map.  There is the Pearl/Rez on one side.  I'm sorry, is there a lake on the west or north sides of the city?  I wasn't aware Lake Caroline was so big. 

Rukia: It’s crazy, yeah.

I think we all know who is crazy. 

Rev: That’s the meaning of crazy right there. I ain't mean to cut you. I'm just saying, somebody listening gonna be like, man. And we know. I've been saying for folks who understand me, be very clear that this ain't just about water. Be very, very clear. This is water. It's about water. But this is also about racism. This is also about environmental racism. It's also about the inaction to literally try to punish a community that also, people should know, that was the key city in the civil rights of what has happened. People go to Atlanta, and they may even go to Birmingham, but you need to understand there is no civil rights movement without Jackson, Mississippi. From Jackson State to the people there, they held it down. So just want to make sure for the people listening that this is not just in some vacuum. But how do those things connect?

Rukia: Yeah, that's a great question. And before I answer, I do want to talk about the bottled water, like you said, and I just really want to shout out some of our partners, national partners like Love Like Water, and even Colin Kaepernick and his group, 501CTHREE and their group that really helped us have some alternatives to bottled water. So we were using boxed water to distribute to folks as well. And 501CTHREE, that's I think Jaden Smith’s org, sent us a water filter system, like a whole huge water filtration system that we were able to place at one of the community centers in one of the poorest areas of Jackson where people can come and fill up repeatedly their jugs of water with filtered water, with very well filtered water. So just want to really shout them out. And thank you for lifting that, because one of the things people forget is that bottled water expires. We learned this, we had to learn this through our own experience. And when it expires, those toxins can enter your body as well. So you're not doing yourself any better, any good from drinking that water. And so it's not a good solution to just be able to use bottled water. It's not healthy. It's not a healthy solution. And so thank you for lifting that up.

 Must be that bottle voodoo. 

Rev: No, thank you for lifting that up. Thank you for lifting up our brothers, Jayden and Colin, who also are doing good work. I guess one thing about this too, being intersectional from an environmental standpoint or from a human standpoint, that these issues connect for sure.

Rukia: Yeah, yeah. No, absolutely. And Stacy Epps, like I said, Love Like Water and The Solutions Project out in LA really have helped us significantly to be able to support community. But when we talk about Mississippi and the Mississippi River overall, it leads us to the poorest area in Mississippi, which is the Delta. The Delta, for folks who don't know, was the richest area in all of the South during slavery. It was “Cotton is King,” that's what they would say, because cotton was its largest producer and made that area one of the wealthiest in the nation. It is now the poorest in the nation. And it is a place where most black people have their roots in Mississippi. It is a place where still to this day, you can find people picking cotton in the summers to earn a little money. It's a place where running water is not a guarantee. It is a place where you still have outhouses. It is a place where electricity is not guaranteed. Many homes don't have electricity. But it is a community, like in most of Mississippi, it is a community that can continues to fight back and to demand more. 

People still pick cotton in the Delta? Who knew? Actually, running water and electricity are available to anyone who can pay for it.  Now if the bank account and pockets are zero, well, then there is a problem.  However, economics mean little in Lumumbaland. 

And I want to just lift that, because I don't want people to think we're sitting back doing nothing about our conditions. Black people in Mississippi have been resisting oppressive conditions since the moment we've experienced them, and we will continue to do that. So I don't want you to think we ain't doing nothing about it. We are the most resourceful people you can imagine. We have been able to live and to experience some semblance of a good quality of life based on what we have been able to do for ourselves. And so I just want to make sure I throw that out there.

Rev: What does the future look like for Jackson, Mississippi? And I'm gonna add a caveat for you here, Rukia. I can't help but think of the T-shirt that I saw. One of the brothers had a T-shirt that said “Welcome to Boil Water Alert, Mississippi.” So what does the future look like either for Jackson, Mississippi or what does the future look like for Boil Water Alert, Mississippi, which hopefully are two different things, but what's the future look like?

Rukia: Listen, listen. Well, honestly, what's happening in Jackson is just a microcosm of what's happening all across Mississippi and rural communities throughout Mississippi. So I want to be clear, Jackson is just an example of what's happening in the Delta, of what's happening in communities on the coast that is right there on the Gulf Coast where water is. You got the whole ocean there. What is happening in Jackson is an example of a state's willful neglect to invest in infrastructure and systems that care for its people, period. And it is doing that more in areas that are predominantly black, in areas not only that are predominantly black, but areas they can willfully neglect because they're poor.

And so I say what we're experiencing in Jackson is experiencing everywhere, but also I see a bright future for Jackson. And I see a bright future because we're finally getting the national attention that we need, and we need opportunities to be on “The Coolest Show,” and on other places, other spaces to talk about this, to help people understand what's going on. And we need people to come and experience it. Like, we'll make sure you got clean water. We’ll give you some bottled water. You'll be all right. We’ll give you a filter. Come visit, and you can have the best food too. Good food, good food. And so I see a bright future for us. I see a future that is self-determined. I see people that have been so self-sufficient for so long that we have the ability to actually be a model, an example of what self-determination looks like.

We can be a model for what self-determination looks like not only in Jackson, but across Mississippi. You look at our recent elections this past November where we had our governor's race and our state legislative races. And if you look at those races, we see that we came really close to shifting the governor's seat. We came extremely close to shifting that governor's seat. And so I see in about 10 years, I think that governor's seat is gonna be shifted to one that's more progressive. We already have the largest percent of black elected state representatives, which doesn't mean a whole lot in a super majority white caucus, but there's opportunity there, right? There's opportunity. We are a state that is likely if things don't change, we'll be the first state to have a majority of black residents in the state. And so that's really exciting. Right now we're hovering in the 42, 43 range. We’re getting closer to over that 50% range. And so I think that's exciting. I think don't sleep on Mississippi.

Rev: No, no, not at all. Well, listen, before I get to my question of how folks can support you and find you, I do gotta ask this question. I asked a question about what's the future for Jackson. What's the future for Rukia Lumumba?

Rukia: Listen, my future is dictated by what is necessary. So we'll see. If we moving and thriving and self-determined, my future looks beautiful. I'm gonna be over chilling somewhere by the water, enjoying some relaxing years. But if not, then I'll still be organizing in the community. If I need to organize in the state legislature, I'll be there too, or in Congress. I'll be wherever I'm needed. But I take my direction based on need and from the people that are most impacted, that direct me.

Rev: I don't want to leap in. I ain't from Mississippi, but I can speak up for folks around the globe, from world citizens here, that, man, your voice is powerful, and it's needed, and we need a whole lot more Rukia Lumumbas out here fighting the good fight. 

Rukia: I appreciate that. Thank you. You’ve been leading the way for a long time, so I’m excited to follow in your lead. 

Rev: So on that good note, on the old man vibe, I can tell you that. I can give you the old man. Listen, in that case, then you are definitely special for our movement. And how can folks find you if they want to support your work? They hear this now, they know it's not over. In Jackson, y'all still fighting. How can they support you?

Rukia: You can definitely always go to or you can go to Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition, which is Stay up to date on what we're doing. You can also follow us on and learn all the things that's happening, all the work that we are doing, including the water crisis work. And so hit us up. We love to have you join our efforts from wherever you are. We need your support.

Rev: My sister Rukia, thank you so much for being here on “The Coolest Show.”

Rukia:  Thank you.

Rev:  And I am Rev Yearwood, your host of “The Coolest Show.” Thank you. And all power to the people

Kingfish note: Rukia Lumumba is the leg-breaker, enforcer, for her brother.  Or maybe the roles are reversed.  The Lumumbas want to micromanage how that $800 million is spent, the water or people of Jackson be damned.  The people already have self-determination.... through their ELECTED officials.  However, democracy can be messy and what the Lumumbas want to be are monarchs at the head of a mob they can inflame at will.  We've seen their kind before.  Words such as Marat, Mao, or Maduro come to mind.  

They turned on the Receiver - and make no mistake, that is what Ted Henifin is,  the Receiver for Jackson's water and sewer system - when they realized they couldn't get their way and steer contracts.  Keep in mind the City Council and Mayor approved all agreements with the EPA, Henifin, and Judge Wingate. The elected officials of Jackson. 

No one elected Rukia Lumumba.  She does not represent me nor you.  She created her little groups and poses as a community leader in Jackson.  When she tried to become a leader through the elected route, the people rejected her.  

However, $800 million is quite a prize, enough to ensure the Lumumbas will keep coming after Ted Henifin and that, my friends, is the bottom line.


Anonymous said...

Cliff Notes please....

Anonymous said...

I think her definition of "self -determination" is taking tax dollars from mostly white taxpayers and then pretending she fixed the problem all by herself.

Anonymous said...

None of her blather matters. When the real decisions have to be made, and when the adults start solving problems, just bringing up the name "Lumumba" will get you a seat the kids table. Period.

Anonymous said...

That is the problem with "self-determination" on the public and personal level. You must finance what you determine. If "self" cannot pay for what it "determines" then you must get the money elsewhere. That is why Rukia and her brother need to move to San Francisco or Sacramento before those havens of madness implode to finance their dreams of a socialist utopia. Jackson MS simply can not financially sponsor their mistakes, and the federal money is running out. Time to move on Rukia.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is picking cotton.

Chopping cotton, maybe.

(In case you don't know, you don't actually chop the cotton when you are chopping cotton. You are chopping weeds, and this job has provided extra cash for Delta people, especially teenagers, for a long, long time.)

Anonymous said...

I think the whole podcast is best summarized with the below quote.
"Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

Anonymous said...

Here is a fun fact. Rukia and he merry band of self-righteous renegades are trying to sabotage the water system. They are running around cutting on fire hydrants at night to drop the pressure in areas to overwhelm and overwork Jackson Water. This is 110% fact.

Anonymous said...

People are ready for the Lumumbas to leave the state. They can’t go back to Detroit bc they have a white mayor and a growing white population. So who knows what’s next for their family. Anywhere but here!!!

Grifters will grift said...

$19 billion - 10% for the big buy = $1.9 billion to the grifter-in-chief. Right?

Anonymous said...

Good water coming out of a rusty faucet and a rusty pipe will contain rust. Yes many people in Jackson can and will have bad water no matter what the receiver does. So unlike any other city Jackson residents should have all new plumbing installed to alleviate environmental racism. That will do nicely for Rukia and her storytelling.

Anonymous said...

Santa Claus has her on the top of his Naughty List.

Stan Back said...

Somebody is straight-piping Doo Doo from an unknown source into her ear and straight out of her mouth.

Anonymous said...

Dang, Kingfish. Transcribing this is impressive. Its not easy to do.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish can barely contain his thinly veiled hate-crush on Rukia. Yes, she is an attractive woman. No, she wouldn’t give a little troll like you the time of day. But don’t hate the player. Hate the game.

Anonymous said...

Rukia attractive? This is a joke isn’t it… my gosh she sure does make a lot of shit up for a private privileged college grad and her brother attended private school with me growing up. Talk about spoiled. He had a silver spoon in his mouth!!! This white boy wishes I didn’t have to drive a tractor in summer and after school and on weekends and could have the money and privilege of the Lumumbas.

Anonymous said...

I have a problem with the hireling giving the interview. He sounds like a real disgrace to the cloth. He didn't call her on any of her lies.

Anonymous said...

How can you have peace, and harmony in the community when there are deceivers like this peddling lies.

Rukia, Pay Your Taxes said...

When the truth is foreign to you, lie and raise the race card. Right?

Anonymous said...

@2:04 PM -The game and the player are one and the same. Thanks for checking in Rukia.

Anonymous said...

Her picking cotton comment was a gem for laughs. I am old enough to remember people picking cotton by hand, but unless she is talking about a machine, and those are not driven by folks just trying to pick up a few bucks, she has clearly never been anywhere near a cotton field during harvest. It’s been many years since cotton was harvested by hand. Now it is picked by cotton pickers that cost, for large scale, high end models, up to $300k or more. Small scale, no frills pickers are over $10k. I would guess those lower end models are few and far between in the Delta.

Anonymous said...

I pretty much have to agree with @11:50

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Ted should sue the show and Rukia for defamation.

Anonymous said...

I was a resident of Jackson for 75 years. None of these problems existed in Jackson in the 20th century to any significant degree. The present predicament started around 2010 and quickly progressed to the terrible state the city is currently facing. Rukia is either delusional or quite stupid (both IMO). Her exaggerations/fabrications can all be debunked by simply checking the facts. The population is shrinking. The public school enrollment is dropping. Major businesses are leaving. Empty downtown office space is at record levels. Whites and blacks have fled (re: public school closures). Rukia's 85% have been in complete control for 27 years. Please have her graph out all the things that have improved since 1997. The slope of that line will be negative.

Anonymous said...

Another "Glimmering Jewel Of Wisdom"

Anonymous said...

Yes, her cotton picking comment was top level gaslighting. No one has picked cotton by hand in years. Those pickers are going from $335,000 used, to $550 to $600,000 new. Farming is big business, requiring expensive equipment.

For the record, I have picked cotton, by hand, as a boy, in Alabama, for my great-grandmother. No, I didn't like, but how I felt about it, played no difference in the matter.

Anonymous said...

She should just pay her taxes & go sit down somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Man- what a Marxist.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Rukia did herself - or any of the peoples groups - seeking to intervene in the federal lawsuit against Jackson for violating the safe water drinking water act. Since federal Judge Wingate is hearing that case, he'll surely read her comments here. He has already called some in those groups racist, or ignorant or both. Rukia just reinforced the judge's comment.

Anonymous said...

"...what a Marxist..."

About the only thing this venal and idiotic woman has in common with Karl Marx is hypocrisy and wanting money from others who actually earned it, but at least Marx asked and received it from family members who actually earned it. She has more in common with Phil, Favre, the New family, Lamar Adams and crew, etc: yet another ignorant lying grifter who doesn't give a shit about anyone other than herself and maybe a handful of close family members. And it would not be a shock to see this type throw even those under a bus if their own ass was in enough of a jam. Everything they do or say is in furtherance of their own worldly interests, not anyone else's, and has nothing to do with any thoughtful system of beliefs. At least Marx appears to have truly thought about and believed his unworkable nonsense, and based it upon long and careful study, even if he got it largely wrong by completely misunderstanding the overarching human element, both good/positive and bad/negative.

As an aside, that is exactly what AI proponents and opponents are doing today - "Socialism (or AI) is a wonderful idea...until you get stupid and try to apply it to human beings in the real world..."

Anonymous said...

She sounds racist. JS

Anonymous said...

The real problem is their Non Profits can't steal money because Ted is fixing the water. So now they are stealing the garbage contract.
A bunch of Detroit Michigan Crooks

Anonymous said...

Here brother first said it would take one billion to fix the system, then he said two, now she says 19.

These people are a perfect example of why Detroit had to declare bankruptcy, except they are less polished at stealing public funds.

They are bush-league, and no one believes their BS, least of all the federal judge presiding over their cases.

Anonymous said...

I would love to know what Ted really thinks. Not what he says in public, but what he really thinks about the group in charge of Jackson and the mess they have made.

Anonymous said...

You guys are getting closer on your guess on the cost of a cotton picker. A brand new John Deere that will spit out a roll of cotton is closer to ONE MILLION.

Anonymous said...

Raised in evil and hatred, a tortured soul enabled by the like, sad.

Anonymous said...

She could be the first guest on the new Kenny Stokes Radio station.

Anonymous said...

I didn’t agree with their father’s ideology but it is actually sad to see what his feckless, venal children have done to his legacy.

Anonymous said...

December 22, 2023 at 10:13 PM, you are correct, I had no idea the price had ballooned to that level. We no longer have family that operate in that area of business. That price is staggering.

She Is Jackson's Christmas Gift said...

Show me outhouses in the Delta. And while you're at it, show me people hoeing cotton.

You can look for this modern-day Fannie Lou Hamer pretender to be the next mayor of your capital city. All she needs is a black stretch-Escalade and a bullhorn.

And for those of you who believe this family will disappear in a couple of years, know this - She ain't thru with Jackson. She's just now gettin' started! The tunnel is endless and there ain't no light at the end of it.

Anonymous said...

People like Rukia are why Jackson is a dump and will never change.

Anonymous said...

Now, now, people. It says right on his website that the Rev. Yearwood "hosts The Coolest Show so the smartest, most dedicated, and passionate leaders, who he admires, can have a platform to share their stories and truths."

Anonymous said...

You can’t really lay all of the blame on her Marxist upbringing. She had to learn it somewhere. Her parents did the job they set out to do and they raised a Marxist family. This is how you perpetuate the decline of society and in their case a once great city. It’s very doubtful that anything that remotely resembled the Old Jackson that we knew will ever come back. It is now a withering dead leaf on a vine. This is what the democrats set out to do. They never realized that the Old Jackson was once a great place for ALL people. Now, I hate to burst your bubble but everything that is new, nice and well taken care of will become the same as jackson. Madison, Brandon, Clinton are you listening? You already have the Marxists setting their sights on you.

Anonymous said...

A racist is anyone who disagrees with a liberal.

Anonymous said...

I spent some time this afternoon Googling Rukia and reading up on the woman. Interesting to say the least. She's an angry racist hell-bent on achieving her daddy's dream, at any and all costs. So is her brother.

Kingfish said...

Just like her brother said they took the water system private before Detroit went bankrupt. Or they couldn't get an electrical panel for OBC water planet for the pumps because of supply chain issues when he never ordered it. Or didn't tell the public about the ammonia leak at OBC nor would they answer any questions, claiming HIPPA. Or they were advertising for Class A water operators when they weren't. You get the idea. Rukia will make up anything and everything just to tell her narrative.

Anonymous said...

And her low IQ fans do not care that she is lying.
They will drink the Kool-Aid and ask for more.
Its just the truth. To the uneducated, emotional appeals and cries of racism are louder than her blatant lies.

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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!!!

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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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