Mississippi Governor To Send Troops To Stop Black Sovereignty
NEWS 10/06/2039 5:45 PM ET
Mississippi Governor To Send Troops To Stop Black Sovereignty
by Ben Keybourn

CC0 1.0 Untitled by rogerp64 | Writer image: CC0 1.0 Untitled by kentdballard | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only. Image changes released under the same license as the original.
Paul Firstworth has historically been opposed to Sovereign Black Neighborhoods.
We learned today that Mississippi Governor Paul Firstworth is going to personally intervene to prevent the city of Jackson from granting Sovereign Blackness to its African-American residents.

The city - ably represented by Mayor Lyndstrom James - has been negotiating with The College, an alliance of grassroots Sovereign Black Neighborhood organizations. The College has been sending senators for six months, hammering out details of how Sovereign Blackness would function in practical effect.

Jackson has been split along racial lines for decades. African-Americans have traditionally occupied west of I-55, while whites have mostly taken land in the east and north of the city.

There are small black communities in the northeast but they have been shrinking in size as black people find their way west. Similarly white neighborhoods in the inner west, stretched vertically from the University of Mississippi Medical Center have been disappearing in favor of black ownership. White people have been heading east.

Black people and white people occupy clear majorities on their respective sides of Jackson. If there is a city better suited for a Sovereign Black decoupling, I've never seen it.

But what we want is not simply a neighborhood - we're striving for something far greater for the black people in Jackson.

It doesn't make sense to squeeze African-Americans (84.1% of the city population according to a survey conducted by the University of Mississippi last year) into a Sovereign Black Neighborhood. We would be stacked on top of each other like sardines. Granting us one small patch when we already occupy half the city is not reasonable.

It's not like there is no precedent for a larger Sovereign Black community: Los Angeles and Miami both house so-called "Super-SBNs" which span multiple neighborhoods.

Back in February, we first floated the idea with Mayor James that black people are entitled to a greater portion of Jackson for their Sovereignty. In the months that followed, it was agreed among The College that an area enclosed by I-55, to the east, I-20 to the south and I-220 to the west and north was a solution worth working toward.

It's an area of approximately 37 square miles, which sounds like a lot - until you realize that approximately 312,000 people live in that area. And should other black Jacksonians want to live in a Sovereign area, space would be needed to accommodate them. Effectively, we're fighting for a Sovereign Black City.

Throughout the year we've acted in good faith toward Mayor James and his administration, and we believe he has returned the gesture.

We spent months toiling away at 16 hour days with the city's separation committee, working on the most minute details of decoupling. Working on what infrastructure construction and maintenance would look like. Working on screening (a physical barrier delineating our city). Working on taxation and funding. Working on whether we have our own police or use Jackson's police department. Working on education, health care, jobs. The limited right of white people to enter certain parts of our city (for instance, UM Medical Center). The right of black people to enter and stay in the rest of Jackson.

Sometimes we got stuck on certain points and we had to compromise, or they had to compromise. Each side scrapping for the best outcome for their interests.

We slept little. We drank lots of coffee. We wrestled on details like Pearl River seawalls for days, sometimes until dawn. People didn't see their families much. We dealt with it. Our cause is just. This was our labor of love for the black people of Jackson, securing their future in a space where they didn't have to worry about discrimination or the oppression of living in a country majority ruled by another race. Where we could be free.

Our community gave generously. They gave millions of dollars which they sometimes didn't have, to support our cause. Black people from other parts of Jackson migrated to our new city-in-waiting, in expectation of success.

People moved from other parts of Mississippi and even other states. They came to visit us at our headquarters to tell us the effect we were having on black people all over the country. A Sovereign Black City! That's something we've never had in this country, they would say.

And now Paul Firstworth is going to blow it all up.

His office released a statement today saying, "Mississippi is for all Mississippians. We do not permit discrimination nor do we tolerate segregation."

That was a funny statement to release. If you look back through the pages of history you can find plenty of discrimination and segregation targeting black people in Mississippi. It's clear what we have here - Governor Firstworth is scared of black assertiveness. Millions of CoUNTA identities just waiting to assert their rights, first and foremost as African Americans.

Governor Firstworth has reportedly decided that he will call in the National Guard if he has to, in order to stop our new city from being formed. We saw what happened when they tried that in Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Detroit. And we saw what happened in the aftermath. The SBN movement wouldn't have succeeded if authorities didn't massively overplay their hand, bringing condemnation from the whole world down upon them. If you come at your people with tanks and gunships, other people will take notice.

But being sovereign means something to us. It means self-reliance including self-defense. Thanks to this nation's tolerance for guns we have access to a lot of them, and we aren't afraid to use them if we need to. We'll die using them if we have to.

If Governor Firstworth wants a war, we estimate we can mobilize 100,000 people to conduct the most vicious guerilla campaign you ever heard of. Our Sovereignty is our right and we're going to defend it.

We would prefer to continue working with Mayor James of course, but Governor Firstworth seems intent to force some sort of conflict - why else would he try to end the conversation so prematurely by going to the troops?

Maybe it's a cynical ploy to divert attention from his incredibly amateurish play at devising a new foreign policy.

Maybe he's just in over his head.

Or maybe, he just hates the idea of black sovereignty.
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