[Kamikaze] A Jackson Reality Check | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Kamikaze] A Jackson Reality Check

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Brad Franklin

It's time for some hard truth. Some Jackson detractors may have taken my ProJack stance as blind love for our fair city. Some have accused me of selling hype over substance. I've refuted crime stats, championed development and screamed "Buy Jackson" at the top of my lungs.

Guess what. None of those things will change. I love my city. I will forever sing its praises. I'm grounded firmly in the belief that we will win. With the people's help and hard work and a little luck, we will win. We will be the capital city we are supposed to be.

With that said, I've had to swallow some of my exuberance and deal with hard truths. The recent dust-up around town about "white flight" and the dropping census numbers was a needed reality check. I was disappointed to scan social-media networks and read the comments from a bevy of Jacksonians and former Jacksonians criticizing Jackson. This wasn't the usual parade of anonymous posters bashing Jackson with racist comments on The Clarion-Ledger website; this was a diverse mix of frustrated citizens voicing their gripes.

I don't know about "white flight," but I do know a number of middle-class Jacksonians, black and white, are making beelines for the suburbs once they are able. It's disappointing that even after all we have accomplished in the past three years, we still haven't been able to stop the bleeding. Consequently, it may be hard for us, and our public officials, to admit that we've dropped the ball somewhere. I'm sure there are some white folks who moved because they'd rather not live next to black folks, but the majority of those who have moved don't mention race as their reason.

Are you prepared to face it?

Some Jacksonians and former Jacksonians see our City Council as a joke. Many lack confidence in them. The meetings oftentimes digress into embarrassing childish displays. It's just not smart to think people are going to stay if they have no confidence in leadership.

We can show our citizens all the positive numbers we want and rail against the fear-mongers. Fact is, the stink is out of the horse. Though most folks who cry "crime" haven't actually had one committed against them, if they "feel" unsafe, that is their reality. They have no confidence in JPD or its leadership, and, honestly, why should they?

Next, folks are moving because they want their kids in better schools. JPS is only the choice of hardheaded parents like I am and those who have no other choice. The district is a laughingstock, and there are not enough positive stories coming out of JPS to quell the negative.

If we don't begin to take the steps to change these glaring inadequacies, we're going to see more people leaving. A grassroots campaign of concerned citizens is in the works as we speak. Realize, however, that only the mayor, the council or the school board can fix many of these problems. Ask yourself: Are they "really" doing their jobs?

Jackson cannot be successful being an "only white" city or an "only black" city. We've got to learn harmony. We can't prosper when black officials continue to make excuses for poor black leadership. We can't prosper with white Jacksonians feeling like they have no voice. Likewise, we can't move forward without white Jacksonians respecting black leadership, and without realizing that black citizens need more than an entertainment district or an arena.

At this moment, ask yourself: Is Jackson keeping it real ... with Jackson? If your answer is "No," what are you prepared to do to fix it?

And that's the truth ... sho-nuff.

Previous Comments

ID
162135
Comment

The column is reading out of order for some reason. The entire first paragraph is missing I think. It starts correctly on the home page but when you click on it it starts on the 2nd paragraph

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-16T22:33:41-06:00
ID
162141
Comment

Problem appears to be solved. Thanks

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-17T06:32:45-06:00
ID
162144
Comment

I often get inbox messages on Facebook from readers of my column or disgruntled citizens who just want to vent. I received an inbox msg last night which for me captures the frustrations of some Jacksonians however trivial they may seem to some. These problems are huge for those who are experiencing them. A woman who resides in South Jackson describes the joy she felt in moving into a then nice neighborhood...moving into her first family home(her and her husband and kids). Most recently she's gotten neighbors who are for one staying 9-10 folks deep in a 3 bedroom home who constantly keep up noise, litter their street and yards, and have had police called to their home numerous times. She called the landlord. Nothing. Even after he went and talked to the tenants. She called her councilperson(Tillman)..got nothing. Called JPD. Nothing. So to her it's as if no one cares that she doesn't feel safe in her own home and has neighbors who have no respect. It is THISquandry that faces many and causes them to consider leaving. In this city you go through the proper channels. Even if you talk to the "right" people..theres a chance NOTHING will be done to solve your problem. Frustration is putting it lightly. What do we tell this lady. What do we tell those like her?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-17T08:49:29-06:00
ID
162147
Comment

Jackson is a primarily owned by a "rentier class" as opposed to a stable middle class. Our middle class is squeezed by trade, anti-union, & tax policy on the national level. It is almost as corrupt as old Mexico because we are becoming a narco-state. Our addictions are like modern slavery 2 b honest. I feel 4 the people in our ghettos who are truly trapped, uneducated, and powerless. Our leaders don't help them because they benefit from the current 'plantation' system. Please c my recent note, Kamikaze. http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/note.php?note_id=181159718592828

Author
Aeroscout
Date
2011-02-17T09:09:57-06:00
ID
162148
Comment

"Frustration is putting it lightly. What do we tell this lady. What do we tell those like her?" 'kaze - she came to you for help and relief and I'm going to be honest with you, as a group here on JFP - we gotta start self governing! PERIOD! This is what I mean by self governing, before we put Coucilmen Tillam on blast, we need to get her concerns down on paper, tell her o.k. - I can't guarantee you this or that, but I will make this known - create a paper trail. E-mail councilman tillman and say, we got this complaint from one of your constituents, there seems to be no kind of action or response from your office? whats the hold up? give'em a certain amount of time to respond, he doesn't give us anything - we put'em on blast, in JFP - not clarion ledegr or WAPT 16 with Andrew Kinsey, because everything is a smear campaign against our fair city anyway, with the likes of them. Come time for election, you let him know - "he you remember when we contacted you regarding a matter for such and such; we never received any relief regarding that matter?" If you don't believe me, I got documentation I maintain with councilman Weil until this day! It's all about our approach to getting it right for OUR community. We got to learn how to hold these elected officials in our city accountable.

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-17T09:20:47-06:00
ID
162176
Comment

We can try the rational measures like creating a paper trail to hold political leaders to account. It really depends on one's level of frustration. We can wait on return emails or phone calls. Duan, we could wait until the next election rolls around. We can show up at the next scheduled city council meeting. Sign up to speak before the mayor & council for 3 minutes at the end of the lengthy council meeting...that is taking it to the next level of political commitment. Turn up the heat another notch with a little American styled political unrest. We have the constitutional right to assembly so we could protest outside the city hall with signs and a bullhorn. It all depends on the people's desire for change...like the recent events in Egypt.

Author
Aeroscout
Date
2011-02-17T21:35:21-06:00
ID
162185
Comment

Creating a paper trail while living in the middle of what this woman and her family is going through is not doing anything to make her feel any better about her situation. There is no reason AT ALL that she should STILL not have a call back or a visit or a response in some fashion after going through every feasible method of reporting/correction. It's ridiculous that she should be ignored in this fashion. She has gone through all the proper channels and she is getting spit on by a unconcerned, indifferent group of folks who are paid to BE CONCERNED and to ASSIST the people they are elected by! That is NOT happening. We need to call a spade a spade and stop making excuses - not saying that's what you're doing Duan. But, a paper trail doesn't comfort this wife and mother when she's trying to provide her family with a pleasant/safe environment. It's not! Simple! When she leaves, then everyone (at one time everyone included me) will say she gave up; she didn't try; she should stay and fight. Well, it's not easy to fight when you've exhausted all avenues and no one is concerned about the battle but you! (or at least that's how it seems)

Author
Queen601
Date
2011-02-18T09:19:16-06:00
ID
162187
Comment

In the woman's case, the home owner should not be allowed to rent a three bedroom house to a family of 10. That, in a nutshell, is slumlording. I think that Aeroscout is on to something commenting on the rentier class issue. What we are seeing in Jackson is the result of a middle class squeeze. Not enough people living in Jackson can actually afford to purchase the homes they need. So many have to rent. Reforms from mortgage lending to zoning and economic development need to be considered in trying to bring Jackson back. we cannot lay the issues of schooling solely at eh feet of the schools, or the parents. There is just as much, if not more, blame that needs to be levied in corporate board rooms and suburban city council chambers as well. The schooling issue is also reflective of this. I still say that the issue with JPS is concentrated poverty. Poor communities lack much of the human and other social capital to sustain thriving educational systems. And honestly, there is only so much that can be done in school policy and structure to mitigate against the effects of concentrated poverty. Until community development reforms take place (like mixed income and mixed use residential developments, corporate tax reform, and mortgage lending reforms) we will still have the same concerns about our educational system that we have had for at least a generation now.

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2011-02-18T09:55:15-06:00
ID
162193
Comment

@ Queen I feel you, all I was doing was telling your husband/my frat - that hey, this is what WE can do as a group. If you got any other ideas about what we can do, I'm game. Most of us have been chit chatting up here for a good minute, and I think most of us are about 80% on the same page, in regards to current issues and topics, we can pool our strengths/ideas together to attack this kind of matter. "indifferent group of folks who are paid to BE CONCERNED and to ASSIST the people they are elected by!" in response to that, I can only point to what Aeroscout said, "It all depends on the people's desire for change...like the recent events in Egypt." That's why I said - the group up here together could be fierce - if we pooled together. Just a thought

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-18T12:29:56-06:00
ID
162194
Comment

I agree wholeheartedly with the comments made here. Aeroscout makes some good points especially. Simply, there HAS to be a collaboration of sorts between grassroots efforts by engaged, concerned citizens and the public officials/policy makers. One cannot be fully successful without the other. Successful to a point, but not breaking through the ceiling if you catch my drift. Many of the problems I mentioned in my column can be attacked by the citizenry. YES! The people MUST have a desire for change but...without the follow-up. without the leadership in place to help execute some of these things we will continue to hit a wall. We need the right Superintendent. The Right Police chief, the right head of Planning. the right constituent services person. A great lobbyist, A hardnose code enforcement person, The RIGHT mix of folks on the council. A mayor. etc...2 efforts travelling on the same wavelength meeting in the middle to make colossal change. The people and the policymakers melding movements. Follow me?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-18T13:34:10-06:00
ID
162195
Comment

We simply cannot dismiss the fact that outside of the 19,000 white Jacksonians who left there were over 10,000 BLACK residents who left. I had to just come to grips with the fact that this is NOT solely a "race" issue. Sure, as I stated, I know there are some white citizens who simply cannot fathom being governed by Black officials. some just dont want to be around diversity. Cool. But Why then are the Black citizens leaving? And why is it that people just assume that because we are Black we are not supposed to want(or DONT want) great schools for our kids, safe neighborhoods, and a competent government that we can trust will AT LEAST not embarass us when the cameras come on? ALL folks want this. And those are not problems that can JUST be fixed at a grassroots level. There must be synergy

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-18T13:48:43-06:00
ID
162196
Comment

10,000 blacks left because they could. This brings to mind all of those old episodes of "Good Times" where it seemed that the Evans family just was stuck in the projects. Whenever there is a significant amount of concentrated poverty in a community the goal is always to get out, for individual families. At this point, it is very hard to fault anyone, black or white, for leaving Jackson. White flight has caused the tax base to dwindle, therefore impacting the quality of life for all Jacksonians. But trust, this isn't a chicken-or-the-egg type of comparison. We have to go back to how we got here. White flight caused this, and we should not forget that. We have to see these issues for what they really are. I'm in a discussion group with white Christians at Galloway UMC concerning issues of white privilege and one attendee noted that he was upset because , living in Jackson, he felt he had to send his kids to private schools (he is white mind you). Somehow, he blamed the situation in JPS on the black people who are now in charge. But, he failed to see that white flight changed the dynamics of public schooling in Jackson. White flight leaves behind a vacuum of resources and results in concentrated poverty. What we have witnessed over the last decade is simply a legacy of the white flight that started with school desegregation efforts in the 70's. Now, we can all champion reforms in education and community development (and I do, it is our only pragmatic hope), but the reality is that there is simply not enough resources (human and other social capital) in Jackson to sustain a decent level of quality of life for most people. There will be some people who simply command enough wealth to be self sustaining, but that doesn't change the reality for most of the people of Jackson, and doesn't really represent progress or a real opportunity for progress, unless these people truly invest in Jackson. Without a serious restructuring of the Jackson metro area, these issues will persist.

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2011-02-18T14:24:32-06:00
ID
162198
Comment

What type of "restructuring do you suggest? And FYI I had Rachel Kabulaka on my show this past Tuesday and she talked about the "White Identity" discussions that you guys have been having at Galloway. Good Start

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-18T15:06:51-06:00
ID
162199
Comment

"Somehow, he blamed the situation in JPS on the black people who are now in charge. Makes you wonder if that person, whom so happens to be white, is questioning the ability of a black person directing his child? which leads back to the point 'kaze made: "I know there are some white citizens who simply cannot fathom being governed by Black officials"

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-18T15:17:55-06:00
ID
162200
Comment

Duan, you are right. We, here, are singing to the choir. I for one sit and read alot because I grow weary of talk. I've said many times that an action needs to follow the conversation otherwise it's just beating a dead horse with a lot of lively dialogue. So, I am certainly with you. I don't think creating a paper trail is a bad idea, I simply am a mother and a wife and I am very familiar with the song this woman is singing. I have been in the same situation. Fortunately now, the houses that were an issue on my street have new owners who plan to do something new with the homes and hopefully it will attract people who will take care of the homes and are considerate of their neighbors. Everyone isn't lucky enough to have someone come in and purchase the houses next door so they have to put up with the not so mindful people who move in. I don't mean to throw salt on conversation either. We have to talk openly to figure out a solution. But, at some point, after all has been said (repeatedly) some form of action has to happen. That's all I'm saying. I'm with you! Matter of fact, let's get off the net, set up a meeting and hash out a course of action.

Author
Queen601
Date
2011-02-18T15:34:39-06:00
ID
162202
Comment

By restructuring, I mean that there needs to be policies in place that de-incentivize "flight" by any and all. Things like really investing in shopping and professional work environments in Jackson, and incentivize the professionals to purchase homes in Jackson. There simply must be way to get the tax base more viable. I think Mayor Johnson had a good idea about getting the in lieu of taxes funding from the state to offset the loss of tax revenue from so many state and federal office buildings in Prime real estate areas in Jackson. The legislature and the state government as a whole needs to stop exploiting and neglecting Jackson. The business and corporate community need to stop exploiting Jackson as well. We can rename Lakeland drive "the Great White way" during rush hour. So many of the people who won't live in Jackson, certainly work in Jackson. I know that charging a commuter tax on them was proposed and had no political will, but there needs to be incentives for these people to come back to Jackson, because the main problem Jackson has is a dwindling tax base that cannot sustain the municipal services this city needs. But ultimately, I believe that people's minds and hearts will have to change in order to really transform the metro area, and I understand that may be out of the reach of any social or economic policy that could be enforced. Cornell West talked at JSU the other night about how people in the (black) middle class need to strive for greatness, rather than success and adopt more of a community mindset when we consider the social realities we confront. It is not sustainable for communities to segregate according to class and expect for a city to thrive when more people don't make a living wage than do. Sure, individual people can amass a good living for themselves, but if we don't care enough for community to see the damage that is done when you become indifferent to the plight of poor, working class, and minorities, what should we expect other than what we see in Jackson? To change hearts and minds, we need institutions like churches, media and schooling to radically rethink their purpose and really begin to address what the community's needs are. Too often the mantra concerning "freedom" is what we have the right to do, rather than what the right thing is to do in many instances. Sure, those well to do and professional class whites had the right to leave Jackson in the 70's and enroll their students in suburban and private schools, but was it the right thing to do? Sure, professional class blacks have the right to sit on the job and maintain the status quo in order to keep the mortgage (the overpriced mortgage because of red-lining and nefarious lending practices) but is it the right thing to do to ignore the plight of other minorities when you could work to change the status quo? Sure, every Mississippian has the right to continue to vote against their own self interests in an effort to maintain people in political power who would champion (out-moded and in effective) "Mississippi values", but is it right for this state to champion political and economic policies that further punish the poor for simply being poor so that the wealthy minority here can continue to benefit from the status quo? This is where critical consciousness and analysis are needed and should be taught in our churches, schools, and media. But, we don't demand them from these institutions. And the status quo continues to reign.

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2011-02-18T16:00:30-06:00
ID
162211
Comment

@Tyler, We could call Robinson Rd. the "Great Black Way", but it wouldn't indicate any solution to the problems facing Jackson. I'm sorry if you are offended by the "racial overtones" of this conversation, but this issue was racial long before Kaze wrote this piece. We cannot progress until the problems are addressed at their roots. Lakeland Dr. during rush hour represents the tax base that would be (and should be) sustaining Jackson if it weren't for the fear and ignorance that generates all forms of racism. Anyone serious about solving the problems in Jackson (and in MS for that matter) and is not serious about addressing institutional racism is merely blowing smoke. Sure, we can yell "Pro-Jack" all day, but the reality is that there is simply too much concentrated poverty in Jackson and too few people with ability to do something about it who aren't indifferent to this reality. This is why I also offered a solution centered on changing people's hearts and minds through educaton, media, and church/religion. To really see a change, it is going to take sacrifice, a selfless giving of ourselves, our fortunes, and our insecurities for the sake of community. If there aren't going to be solutions grounded in sacrifice, then it will be mere window dressing.

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2011-02-19T16:04:09-06:00
ID
162237
Comment

Let me introduce the unthinkable in terms of race. What if there was a loss of civil order here in Jackson? The riot would turn into a race war and the "Great White Way" would be the path for the remaining white folk to escape. Its likely the military might establish a security ring around the hospitals & capitol complex, but it would not be pretty. Another idea I would like to introduce is the possibility of a 'planned exodus' of the white folk. Who built the "Great White Way", the highly expensive automated traffic system (computer controlled traffic lights), and the suburbs in Rankin, or elsewhere? The 1997 autobiography of J.W. Underwood would shed some light on the development of the suburbs. Interesting history yet to appear.

Author
Aeroscout
Date
2011-02-22T04:06:07-06:00
ID
162239
Comment

@ queen - I'm game, I will shoot 'kaze an e-mail @ blackwatch - as always, you make some strong points in your posts, wonder if you would be game to meet with 'kaze and queen as well? Or just give a heads up the next time you put something together at Galloway? I hope your still not hanging on to the "Clayton Bigsby" thing?

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-22T09:13:57-06:00
ID
162246
Comment

Thank you for posting that Helen. It "Just Makes Sense"...I love it!

Author
Queen601
Date
2011-02-23T16:47:07-06:00
ID
162248
Comment

Here's something that hasn't been pointed out here yet: that just about every community within Hinds, Madison & Rankin except Canton had a decrease in the percentage of white people. In fact, Pearl, Richland and Clinton had a decrease in the actual number of white people who live there. Though I can't prove it, I wonder if we're about the see the exodus of whites from some of these suburban communities and out to unincorporated areas. I'm just saying.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2011-02-23T22:36:34-06:00
ID
162250
Comment

Well G.E. You make a good point. I've always said that there are some white citizens who are so intolerant. So insensitive that eventually they will wind up on the moon to keep from living in a racially diverse area. You could look at the comments in The CL under the Byram story to validate that. There are STILL some who equate Blacks moving in an area to the deecline of that area. And that's sad but reality. However, there are a lot of Black citizens feel the same way. What we are challenged with is figuring out HOW to keep folks Black and White IN the city. HOW do we get transplants to relocate IN the city and not the burbs? How do we restore confidence back in those institutions city government, JPD, JPS and start the beeline BACK into the city?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-24T06:25:19-06:00
ID
162251
Comment

@Helen you can argue RIGHT NOW on several fronts that it "makes sense" to live in the city. Commute, Access to entertainment etc. And the reality is others (not the young lafy you spoke about) are sacrificing money, gas etc to NOT do what makes sense. Many of them don't have a parent who is willing to foot their gas bill. Sure when gas gets to 4-5 bucks a gallon some will come back but we HAVE to take a look at US when you have folks who will cut off their arm NOT to live IN Jackson. There is no reason that the capital city should not be THE most appealing place to live in the state and we've got to get control of that narrative

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-24T06:31:31-06:00
ID
162255
Comment

You could look at the comments in The CL under the Byram story to validate that. There are STILL some who equate Blacks moving in an area to the deecline of that area. And that's sad but reality. However, there are a lot of Black citizens feel the same way. Sho nuff! My mom has even said the same about not wanting to live around other black people. She has a house in the country now, so she doesn't have to worry about it right now. I read some of those comments and it was quite amazing to see how people suddenly turn on the suburbs because they're suddenly getting blacker. I've already seen comments in the past on how some think Northpark is about to turn into another Metrocenter. Before you know it, they'll start reminiscing on how Ridglenad High or Pearl High used to be really good high schools until the blacks move in.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2011-02-24T14:08:18-06:00
ID
162259
Comment

"we've got to get control of that narrative" Those words are so key - excellent point But I would like to ask administrators that work at WAPT Channel 16, WJTV Channel 12, people at the Clarion-Ledger - what are they gaining by the negative press, besides local ratings and local sales - how is the kind of news they are reporting really solving anything? Jackson is so prime for growth its ridiculous. But 'kaze I'm with you on one other thing big time, where were the elected officials when they had a motivated group in place to talk to? Were they too scared to come out or what?

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-24T16:46:59-06:00
ID
162260
Comment

I don't have time to jump deeply into this one. But this whole conversation about "flight" is way out of context. For one thing, a lot of people of all races are leaving the entire area due to loss of jobs. And it's not like "white flight" is a new thing; it's what made our city the way it is today. I don't quite understand Kaze's emphasis on the police chief, planning director, etc. That sounds a bit like campaign talk -- running for something, Kaze? -- and, to me, rather plays into attempts to blame African Americans for what is wrong with the city. That seems way too simplistic, and sure isn't a narrative I think any of us should buy into. Finally, re the Jackson 2020 meeting last night and public officials: I doubt many knew about it. We didn't know soon enough to get anyone there. You can't complain about people not coming if you don't invite them in time to get there. And I don't see any notice of it above on this thread even. I scanned it fast, so perhaps I missed it? And for goodness sake, don't overlook the fact that many of the people getting the most hysterical about the "news" that white flight (and economic flight) exists are many of those who have used crime to bash Jackson for years to try to get their people elected. The extremely foolish choice of Frank Melton alone probably drove 10,000 people from the city.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-24T16:54:48-06:00
ID
162261
Comment

BTW, I really like Blackwatch's comments above. They really capture the challenge best, I think. Yours are amazing, too, Helen. Not saying others aren't; I just don't have time to really read through this right now.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-24T16:55:38-06:00
ID
162263
Comment

I got last moment notice as well? But I still came? I guess we need to give elected officials that work for the people 2 weeks in advance notice of anything?

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-24T17:19:47-06:00
ID
162264
Comment

Duan, that's a bit reactionary. No one's saying anyone needs two weeks notice, but people have lives and plans that can't be changed at the last minute. I teach a class on Wednesday nights, for example. That's not something I can just decide not to do from one minute to the next. How was the meeting publicized? Looks like the only notification was in The CL Monday and then on the DJP blog late on Wednesday morning. Curious that no one bothered to mention it on this thread. Did anyone send a notification to the JFP?

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2011-02-24T18:42:44-06:00
ID
162265
Comment

To piggyback off Ronni's point, it always amazes me how cavalier people are about scheduling in Jackson -- thinking that people are available at the last minute. I can't tell you how many press releases we'll get the day of or the day before an event from people too lazy or too disorganized to give people amply notice. We had heard originally that this was a "closed" meeting during the day on Wednesday; late Wednesday afternoon I heard it was Wednesday night. I saw no organized effort to get people out other than the people already involved. That's fine, but it leaves no space in which to complain that people didn't come. That's disingenuous. I sure hope whatever strategy people come up with for "controlling the narrative" has better planning behind it. Oh, and I don't know anybody who gets their event info from the Ledger.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-24T19:09:49-06:00
ID
162266
Comment

I will also add that this seems to be taking on the tone of the ill-conceived Safe City when it was established. Way too much effort was put into fingerpointing -- especially against elected officials people involved didn't like. Such a strategy is incredibly shortsighted; if anyone out there thinks this issue is about who is in the planning department at a given time, I have a lakes project to sell you.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-24T19:12:30-06:00
ID
162267
Comment

Donna, no one's "running for anything" and if you read the column it clearly indicates that this is NOT a racial issue. In fact, I took pause because of the numerous Black residents I talked to, or who emailed me, or inboxed me on FB after the article and after I sent out my email. Black residents are equally frustrated and hopefully this isn't an attempt to gloss over folks concerns. Folks black and white that I ran into all noted the 3 things I mentioned in my column as reasons for folks leaving. It's not a "blame black follks issue" it just so happens that some of the officials that folks have lost confidence in are Black. Until we're real with ourselves about key issues we'll never start solving core problems. And to take the "race" element just ask some Black residents. Or go back and read some of the threads on FB I saw under the Fox 40 and the WJTV pages. It's not ME empasizing anything. It's citizens. I don't know where the Jackson 2020 came from. Have no idea. That discussion was not organized by a specific group. But as always Ben says he sent emails out to all the elected officials at the same time everyone else got one. They never show up anyway so I wasn't really surprised. White AND Black officials are to blame. White AND Black folks will have to play a part in changing our city. If we look at this as "just a way to blame black folks" we're severely missing the point. MIDDLE CLASS folks are leaving and it's NOT solely because they're losing jobs.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-24T19:13:02-06:00
ID
162268
Comment

No, the issue is not who's in the planning dept. Not on the outset at least but competent department heads is in the chain somewhere. This is about folks who for whatever reason do not trust or believe in the officials elected to serve them. It's about the chikdish displays. (theyre on tape btw), it's about whether folks "feel" like they can trust and believe their police force is keeping them safe. We all know this city isn't the war zone folks make it out to be. Our numbers are better than other places, but if a person doesn't "feel" safe..then that is their reality. It's about whether people are confident that their kid is going to get the best possible education in our public schools. If they don't feel they will they will remove them. I'm the biggest ProJack there is and will continue to push a psoitive Jxn but I also need to get ny fellow jacksonians, as many as we can get to join us, to be as positive as us. And right now, a lot of them aren't.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-24T19:24:45-06:00
ID
162269
Comment

Kaze, I think you're not reading me very carefully. I never said this was about one race or the other; In fact, I think it's much more complex. It just seems that in every post you do you complain about people in public office. With due respect, I think you assume that people have more power than they have. I've always shaken my head at how much energy some local people will complaining about elected officials, thus giving them more power than they have. I have sat and listened to very smart people complain and complain about "The City," when they could be using that energy much more constructively. It's not like the city administration has to give us permission to make changes in our city; we've been leading those kinds of efforts for almost a decade and very seldom do we bother mentioning our plans to the city until and unless we need a license or such, and we haven't found any of that hard to make happen. I'm glad to see that Ben Allen is leading an effort to get positive messages out about Jackson. Perhaps in the future he would consider advising his candidates not to herald that Jackson is one of the "most dangerous" cities -- using rankings done to sell books that even the FBI warn against taking seriously. You either mean this or you don't. And people need to be consistent. Otherwise, I really hear frustration and confusion from you, which I can respect. But I personally find it alarming to hear you strike out against (mostly) African American elected and appointed officials without any real specifics of what individual ones are doing wrong. If you haven't noticed, *that's* exactly what many people who fled to the suburbs have done for many years, and it's exactly what they want people to think about Jackson's black leadership. Of course the flight isn't all about race (any more), but much of the rhetoric certainly is. You've said that before yourself. And, yes, a lot of it most certainly is about jobs, not only in Jackson but in the metro. People can't stay where they can't make a living. That is fact. It is also about intense poverty, which in turn creates conditions ripe for crime. We'll be doing our own analysis of what is going on soon -- we will take the time to bring context into the equation before jumping to easy conclusions. Meantime, I urge people to take a breath. The sky is not falling because Jackson is a little blacker than it was a decade ago. I would like to hear or see a tape of the conversation last night. I heard that there were some good ideas discussed.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-24T19:25:12-06:00
ID
162270
Comment

I'm the biggest ProJack there is and will continue to push a psoitive Jxn but I also need to get ny fellow jacksonians, as many as we can get to join us, to be as positive as us. And right now, a lot of them aren't. Kaze, there are plenty of people positive about JXN; we have been criticized incessantly by some for being overly positive. I encourage you to take a breath and think about the messages you're sending out: They are very mixed right now. On the one hand, you sound panicked about how bad you think it is here, and on the other, you want to create a positive narrative. I honestly don't see you fitting it together into a cohesive message, yet; and from some of what I've heard, you could be feeding into some of the Jackson-bashing out there. What I'm saying is to be careful because words do matter, and sometimes they can have unintended consequences. I know you mean well, though, and are passionate -- one of your more admirable traits!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-24T19:28:20-06:00
ID
162271
Comment

And I guess I don't have to mention the irony that the same daily newspaper that created this hype has eliminated many jobs to keep its shareholders happy, as well as exported jobs such as laying out its paper to Nashville. And lot of those folks live in the 'burbs, too. In my editor's note in the new BOOM Jackson today, I explain that I think the city v. suburb debate is getting very tired and dated. I just don't want to be part of any more arguments about whether the city or suburbs are "better" -- the truth is that central Mississippi and the entire metropolitan area has challenges with shrinking tax bases. Many of those challenges can be tackled with a collective focus on supporting businesses that create and keep jobs in Jackson and our surrounding communities. This is no time to split the baby in half and engage in petty squabbles about whose is, er, best. Let's all join forces and lift our entire metro up and reject attempts to pull us into the finger-pointing mud. We'll all lose if we do that and -- a hint about what's to come -- both the city and our bedroom communities will suffer. It's time to think bigger, y'all. And local jobs matter. Take it to the bank.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-24T19:43:29-06:00
ID
162272
Comment

Donna, don't need you to shape my words. And don't need to "take a breath" you've lit into many a poster for telling someone to do that. So respectfully, I've fully aware of my words and just hope they hit home. As one raised by a great man to be a man the one thing I learned is that you accept blame, admit fault where there is some, and be willing to listen to criticism...in love. And what I'm not one to let ineptitude slide. Excuses being made for bad leadership etc. We've got to ask for more. With due respect. This isn't passion, but an opinion formed after careful conversations with a lot of laypeople from all walks of life. Friends, fans, colleagues, patrons etc. I don't shoot from the proverbial hip. I do research, just like you do. I'm not panicked. I'm very concerned and don't want these stats just brushed aside. AND I'm fighting to push the positive. Both need to be done. Not wearing rose colored glasses and Not falling for propoganda either. Last night was good. Some ideas were presented re: branding but wasn't what I had hoped. A litle more discussion was in order but...that will come I'm sure.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-24T19:47:27-06:00
ID
162273
Comment

seriously? I've wrote columns, spoke to groups, and fought Jackson bashing for years. It's documented. And I will continue to do so. When folks are fear-mongering or just flat out wrong, I will debate them to the end. But if there IS indeed an issue, I'm not one to act like it doesn't exist either. And then I'll debate them too. It insults the intelligence of citizens to tell them all is perfect. But it also hurts them to tell them nothing good is happening either. It IS indeed complex.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-24T19:58:45-06:00
ID
162274
Comment

I'm not trying to "shape" your words, Kaze. I'm telling you how many of them are sounding to me and some others. I'm sorry if that offends you; I don't mean to. Of course there is an issue. There are many issues. People leaving is a symptom. So is crime. And don't even try to cherrypick my words and pretend I have ever said everything is perfect here. If you do that, you just sound like one of those bloggers with an "anti" agenda. And I know you're not that. What I'm trying to say to you is that your message is muddled; the most specific thing I can ascertain from it is that you don't like the current city administration. That part is old news. But feeding that particular political fire is going to do very little to reverse any kind of flight from this city or from our suburbs or from our state. I'm encouraging you to use your passion to focus on what this city really needs, and it's about far more than a PR campaign: We need companies that produce local jobs and people who support those companies. We need good information that doesn't feed into empty hysteria. (And calling out something for being hysterical is not the same thing as saying everything is perfect, and it insults anyone's intelligence to pretend that it does.) We need city leaders who don't throw out-of-context "dangerous" rankings on glossy mailers for their candidates and blanket white neighborhoods with them. We need people to step up who don't waste everyone's time fingerpointing and who are willing to talk about the real roots of problems no matter who it offends. We need people who are willing to understand the historic context of our city's problems so that we can fix them. And we need people who don't think it's up to the damn city government to do everything for us. I truly believe that our city is most strapped by small thinkers with personal agendas and vendettas. They waste everyone's time. My response: Stop whining about who is in public office and get something done. Melton, yes, was a huge problem because he was so freakin' over the top, but otherwise, it just doesn't matter all that much. And my biggest advice is to not fall victim to the hype that corporate media outlets put out there to try to scare people into picking up their shrinking publications. Freaking out about white flight at this juncture is taking our eye off the ball.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-24T20:16:10-06:00
ID
162277
Comment

Donna and Kaze, What do you propose be done? I agree flight is not just white anymore and it is indeed middle class flight that is killing Jackson's tax base. This leads to a host of municipal problems (both perceived and actual). What can we do, sans elected and appointed political figures, to help rekindle the tax base? I am for one, a person that believes that ineptitude and indifference needs to be called out, whether it is a public official or a private business. If it serves to help maintain and sustain the status quo, it is the enemy of progress. For instance, in the educational realm, too much leadership in JPS focuses on test scores and rankings from the state, rather than providing more students with rigorous instruction needed to develop critical and creative thinking that can help them to solve many of the municipal problems they see in their communities. Think about it, what does passing the MCT or SATP do for the students themselves? They can't use those results to get scholarships, get admitted to colleges, or get any technical licenses. So why is the instruction from 3rd grade on, so centered on these tests? It is leadership that structures these educational experiences in this way. And any teacher that goes along with this plan needs to critically assess its usefulness in helping the students they claim to love so much. I could go on in many other areas, but ultimately, solutions have to be grounded in courage and sacrifice. In dealing with the essential issue of poverty, anyone in a free market economy will be met with fierce opposition from the establishment. To them, poverty is necessary and results simply from people who lose in the competition for scarce resources (in any competition, there must be winners and losers). This is why the message must be clear, consistent, and persistent. Jackson suffers from concentrated poverty. The best way to deal with that is to work to diversify the tax base by de-incentivizing residential segregation- "white" or middle class flight-(for instance eliminate covenential subdivisions that restrict the size of new houses built and drag the concept of "property value" out of its racist and elitist constructs) and incentivizing integrated communities. Then we will see dramatic changes in many municipal institutions.

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2011-02-25T05:54:04-06:00
ID
162280
Comment

"Duan, that's a bit reactionary. No one's saying anyone needs two weeks notice, but people have lives and plans that can't be changed at the last minute. I teach a class on Wednesday nights, for example. That's not something I can just decide not to do from one minute to the next." Actually Ronni, if it was targeted towards you - then I could see your argument, but it was targeted towards the people, that were elected to represent and address the concerns the citizens of this city, after 17 years of living here - how else am I supposed to respond? Not one county supervisor, not one city councilman? But the mayor did send a representative, whom was sitting next to me and told me such, if you don't believe me you can check with Tenika? "Duan, the Press has NEVER cared about reporting what is morally right or even correct." Helen, I kind of feel that's a little dismissive to my concerns as a citizen of this city. That was why I said the narrative is key - because whether anyone wants to admit it or not, Jackson is getting hammered in everyday conversations where I work, on 2 of the 4 local news stations, the major newspaper of the city and a couple of side papers less this one. I FEEL we gotta start calling them out for it and a couple of others made sense of that argument as well and I'm on board with it. "I truly believe that our city is most strapped by small thinkers with personal agendas and vendettas. They waste everyone's time. My response: Stop whining about who is in public office and get something done." Ladd I am at a lost? You want people to speak out, but you don't want them to whine about it? Then you said our city is most strapped by small thinkers - to me it sounds like your basically saying that no one has as much of a clue as you do to what's going on and basically they don't have any real argument? If I took that in a wrong way, then correct me? "This is why the message must be clear, consistent, and persistent. Jackson suffers from concentrated poverty. The best way to deal with that is to work to diversify the tax base by de-incentivizing residential segregation- "white" or middle class flight-(for instance eliminate covenential subdivisions that restrict the size of new houses built and drag the concept of "property value" out of its racist and elitist constructs) and incentivizing integrated communities." Blackwatch - I wholeheartedly understand what you are saying and where you are trying to go - your posts on this thread have hit on two major points - peoples mindsets and the level of poverty in Jackson. But you are talking about psychological manipulation - and let me clarify, your not saying all that in a bad way - but what you are asking for is a major task and I just want to know what would be a good starting point to address your concerns? Right now I think people are being to dismissive of peoples opinions and when you have that you can't have open honest debate, because its a true deflator for conversation. I think everyone has Jackson and the metro area's best interest at heart, but we are no where on the same page. It's like 4 different schools of thougt on here in regards to this topic and we just gotta merge that into one, because I feel everyone's argument is viable, its just trying to get the pieces of the puzzle to fit.

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-25T10:14:25-06:00
ID
162281
Comment

@Donna I agree with you 100%!!! but you left out that we need a city council that doesnt dissolve into embarassing childish displays, in public at least, making us a laughingstock. And that we need JPS leadership that can improve on our current numbers and decrease the number of underperfomring schools. So that young black lady I spoke with on Twitter who says she gets up at 530 every morning to take her daughter to flowood to school DOESNT feel she has to do that. Remember we all have said this isnt just a "white" issue. Black folks are leaving too. And all of it isnt because of jobs. Whether they have been coerced, tricked, or fell victims of propoganda, some black folks arent happy either. How would you explain that? @Blackwatch yes. Diversifying the tax base. REvitalizing the tax base. Shoring up infrastructure. the more folks leave the less we have. Simple math. I like your comments. and THIS.. "I am for one, a person that believes that ineptitude and indifference needs to be called out, whether it is a public official or a private business. If it serves to help maintain and sustain the status quo, it is the enemy of progress" Well said! Time to stop giving passes for ineptitude. Ultimately, we are all on the same page. We have different paths but we want the same result..a better Jackson! ideas are different but we want the same goal. I welcome all comments even if we disagree

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-25T10:23:34-06:00
ID
162282
Comment

Oh and BTW Melton was included in that "embarassing display" grouping. In fact, he may have kicked it off! #carryon

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-25T11:31:57-06:00
ID
162283
Comment

For instance, in the educational realm, too much leadership in JPS focuses on test scores and rankings from the state, rather than providing more students with rigorous instruction needed to develop critical and creative thinking that can help them to solve many of the municipal problems they see in their communities. Think about it, what does passing the MCT or SATP do for the students themselves? They can't use those results to get scholarships, get admitted to colleges, or get any technical licenses. So why is the instruction from 3rd grade on, so centered on these tests? This is a direct result of No Child Left Behind. If they don't pass the tests, they lose federal funding. Not saying JPS administration doesn't not have some deep-seated issues. Just saying that this part is something that can't really be helped. As for everything else (and some parts I'm not getting into), I agree with Helen. We are in throes of regentrification (bad word or not) and this whole party is about to come full circle. The white people that ran to the suburbs will be scrambling to get back in. That's why I just bought a house in Fondren. By the time these dumba$$es figure out (once gas hits 5$ a gallon once again) that its better to be close enough to walk to a grocery, your friends, and work, it will be interesting to see what happens to property prices inside the city limits. I think we are in the "laboring" phase. Its an important phase. But, just like giving birth to anything, it SUCKS REAL BAD. As stated above, this is a process that every metro area that is currently "revitalized" has gone through. We are not "losing this battle" we are in the middle of it and can't yet see the other side. The people in the suburbs are pissed because we are WINNING. If we weren't, why the hell would they care? These numbers are just what they are, numbers. They don't really reflect what *I* am seeing in Jackson (and I spend my days off McDowell Road and my nights off Meadowbrook-so I get around :) ). I am seeing old houses being bought and redone, I am seeing new restaurants, groceries, and schools. It IS happening.

Author
Lori G
Date
2011-02-25T11:43:45-06:00
ID
162284
Comment

Damn, that sounded Polly Anna. Promise I'm not on drugs. Well, not a LOT of drugs. ;)

Author
Lori G
Date
2011-02-25T11:45:04-06:00
ID
162285
Comment

To add to what Lori is saying: An amazing city is not about quantity; it's about quality. Quality of life; quality of citizenry; quality of jobs; and so on. If people are leaving because they don't want to live in an urban, crowded, peopled atmosphere, then so be it. The word to be done isn't finger-pointing because those people left. It is to make the city a quality place where engaged people want to be. That is happening; and so much has changed for the better over the last decade. Duan, even public officials have schedules and families. They don't drop everything they're doing because you, me, Kaze, Ben Allen or anyone else sends a last-minute e-mail. I respect them enough to understand that. I urge you to as well. Duan, disagreeing with you or anyone else is not an attempt to squelch your opinion. I am challenging you to think as others do me. Put on your big-boy drawers if you to want discuss issues with me. @Donna I agree with you 100%!!! but you left out that we need a city council that doesnt dissolve into embarassing childish displays, in public at least, making us a laughingstock. Kaze, I'm just going to be honest and say that you seem to pay more attention to the Council than many people do, and I honestly don't know who specifically you have it in for on the Council. Why don't you just call out specific instances? As for the effect that political pandering has on our city, you give it more power than I do. When we first started the paper, Ben Allen and Kenneth Stokes went at each other in embarrassing ways constantly, and Allen was on that horribly embarrassing radio show with Larry Nesbit where they talked about hanging "thugs" in front of the state capitol (while Allen was on the Council). Then there was Melton and his sidekick Bluntson. It's all silly politics and show; and the suburbs have embarrassing displays as well. So do other cities. Again, I'd argue that it's a side show, and we should stay focused on the main event. (With Melton, it was much worse, of course, but I'm not sure I'm seeing any real danger coming out of the Council. The worst thing about the Council under Melton is that they didn't have the courage to truly challenge Melton, or most of them didn't. Crisler gets credit for being to speak out then. Others, word has it, couldn't because the Melton crowd, shall we say, "knew" stuff.) My bottom line, pardon the expression, is that the Council just doesn't have the power that you're giving them. And not everyone on the Council is a bad person. Blanket indictments of the city's leaders are what Jackson-bashers just love. If you're going to criticize, I urge you to be fair and specific so it doesn't sound like you're indicting the entire city leadership. That is counter-productive, and some folks will use to argue a very disturbing (and racist) point. I don't believe in pulling punches that need to land, especially with public servants, but blanket indictments are not cool, and this website or publication is not the place for it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-25T12:21:54-06:00
ID
162286
Comment

Jackson suffers from concentrated poverty. Amen, Blackwatch. And anyone who wants to "control the narrative" about Jackson without being serious about addressing poverty, jobs and education here is you-know-whatting in the wind. And I agree with you about calling people out. I've been doing it for nearly a decade here now, and I don't give a damn what race someone is. That is not the same thing, though, as blanket indictments that play into the stereotypes that racists. IMHO, that is extremely irresponsible and counter-productive. What's remarkable to me about the so-called discussion that The Clarion-Ledger's simplistic reporting caused is that it has taken on the tone that black people (thugs and people not doing enough to stop them) are running the poor white people (and some middle-class blacks, too) out of the city. Meantime, the people fleeing are not being held accountable; they are the poor victims of the horrible (black) leadership. I'm sorry, but this is a first-grade, and very disturbing, interpretation of the Jackson metro's dynamic, even if it does play into some folks' small-minded agendas.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-25T12:30:43-06:00
ID
162287
Comment

Well let me not harp on "just" the council. I do believe the BOS has had some pretty embarassing moments..(A door locking incident comes to mind) and the school board meetings lately have had some mud slinging going on. so dont let me just pinpoint ONE entity let me say that these displays dont do much to instill confidence in a citizenry. All the GOOD things these bodies have ro are trying to do can be killed by ONE public embarassing moment. So if folks arent trusting in them how do we restore it? And to my knowledge and email was sent 5 to 7 days before this gsathering. Cant say if that was enough time but it wasnt "last minute" IMO. But as I said they rarely, if ever show up, so I wasnt surprised. And again dont pin this as JUST me Im not the only one who feels like this and not the only black person who feels like this either. Again we are talking about folks perceptions which help shape their realities. If the folks feel or believe public officials locally to be incompetent, unless shown otherwise, theyll create their own opinion no? and again I ask you..Why do you think Black folks are leaving the city as well? Why is the middle class leaving? I know the council doesnt have as much power as folks think. and I TELL folks that everyday. Some dont understand how govt here works. we get ALOT done despite govt. BUT... to folks Ive run into, they are embarassed by what they SEE. (again the image). should we turn the cameras off in the chambers? who knows. I think you may be confusing REALITY with folks PERCEPTIONS. and "perceptions" here have shaped the narrative. I know this city isnt a war zone. i know that JPD is doing the best they can being undermanned. I KNOW that there are folks trying their best to improve JPS but the PERCEPTION of some laypeople is that NOTHING is being done. So how do we change their views is what im saying? If theyve lost faith. If they have nothing or no one to believe in..what do we do for THEM?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-25T13:00:32-06:00
ID
162288
Comment

I told a gentleman during the last mayoral elecetion that the people have a BS meter/detector. Theyre not as dumb as some politicians make them out to be and thus thats why you see a general distrust of politicians by younger folks and some black folks. That said, if a person is living next door to a crack house and nothing has been done about it for months, if they see to grown men talking over each other at a mtg on public access, if they see policemen in their hood stopping trying to get ladies numbers instead of patrolling and then someone stands up in front of them and tries to tell them that everything is ok...theyre gonna look at them with a strong side eye and call "shenanigans"!!!! All Im saying. and I think "first-grade" may be discrediting differing opinions from yours unfairly. Ive heard that same opinion that you described and Ive decided that I want to dig deeper and find out why some folks are thinking like that. thats why Ive been talking to folks. and ironically its White AND Black folks who are feling the way you just described Ive found. Its a crazy stance to take I agree with you... so esepcially with the black citizens, I want to WHY they feel like that.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-25T13:10:13-06:00
ID
162289
Comment

"Duan, disagreeing with you or anyone else is not an attempt to squelch your opinion. I am challenging you to think as others do me. Put on your big-boy drawers if you to want discuss issues with me." Donna how can I debate the issues, when I'm not even looked upon as a equal? As a feminists you should understand that? I can only chase the proverbial carrot for so long? "Duan, even public officials have schedules and families." Ladd, we can all hang it up to that then for not ever attending anything, whether it's a civil meeting, or a charity event. I had to learn this a long time ago - Excuses are the tools of the weak and incompetent. Used to build monuments of nothingness. Those who excel in it seldom excel in anything else but excuses. "that the Council just doesn't have the power that you're giving them. And not everyone on the Council is a bad person" True - it is only so much the council can do, but however the wards that Bluntson, Stokes and Tillman preside over - are seriously disenfranchised and they need to find ways how to get their constituents in the loop and the excuse, "well I wasn't informed or they weren't informed with enough time" can only be used so many times To hear how some of my colleagues, that are of the opposite ethnicity - cut into Kenny Stokes and Lumumba, then when its pertaining to our own backyard - its only so much I can cover up for the few? Ladd, believe you me and I don't want to bash my elected officials - no more than the next - but I can't give'em a free pass either. Not saying that their not good people, Frank Bluntson son is my frat brother - but we need to see something out of them, and I'm not saying all of them have to be there - but they should be able to say to each other, "hey - can anyone make it to this meeting and see what's going on?" Ladd, I can't sit up here and say I disagree with the point of being fair and also looking at Ben's methodology behind DJP. But sense this census stuff has came about and some of the talking points that's out there - we gotta start focusing on something? Ben's saying you can't wait on the leadership in the city, 'kaze is worried about the motivation in the leadership and the citizens of the city, blackwatch is saying we got to start changing peoples minds and attitudes, your saying we got to be careful and keep our eyes on the prize, then you have Dr. Powe saying UMC is the way to go, and we have people saying change the narrative? All that is viable - but what can you say, right now, makes the most sense to focus on right now at this time, in order to move this city forward - if 90% of the media outlets in our city are only reporting roberries, murders, shootings, rapings - and showing mostly black males, in Jackson - how can the citizens or the leadership focus on poverty, jobs and education? Once again it goes back to Blackwatch's psychological manipulation, I feel you got to put pressure on the media outlest in order to get them to focus on just what YOU think is the main problem - poverty, jobs and education?

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-25T13:39:18-06:00
ID
162290
Comment

Donna how can I debate the issues, when I'm not even looked upon as a equal? As a feminists you should understand that? I can only chase the proverbial carrot for so long? Huh? Not an equal? Of course you're an equal. I'm essentially saying to say what you're going to say and stop being so damn sensitive about me disagreeing with you. That's how equality ought to play out. "Duan, even public officials have schedules and families." Ladd, we can all hang it up to that then for not ever attending anything, whether it's a civil meeting, or a charity event. Duan, the point is that this was a LAST-MINUTE EVENT. You can't expect people to show up wherever you want them when you tell them at the last minute. Professionals tend to plan their calendars in advance, as they should. True - it is only so much the council can do, but however the wards that Bluntson, Stokes and Tillman preside over - are seriously disenfranchised and they need to find ways how to get their constituents in the loop Totally agree. (And I like the specificity in that statement.) That doesn't, however, mean that when Ben Allen calls, everyone should jump. Ladd, believe you me and I don't want to bash my elected officials - no more than the next - but I can't give'em a free pass either. Not saying you did. And it is a logical fallacy to say that I did. You're arguing with yourself, Duan, when you pretend someone said something they didn't. Ben's saying you can't wait on the leadership in the city I agree with that statement. But, of course, it depends on what you're not waiting for. I can't quite get past the irony that he was the treasurer for a council candidate who, just weeks, ago pushed the meme to (mostly white) constituents that Jackson is one of the most "dangerous" cities. NOW, he's telling us we need to control the media narrative? I've been one of the loudest critics of crime sensationalism for years now. Of course, we need to speak out against it (not to mention all the racist and hateful anonymous comments on the Ledger site). That doesn't mean I think we should look our heads over the Census numbers. The way some of these guys started screaming about this now, people will leave just because they think Jackson is full of crazy people. Like we say in our workplace: Tamp down the drama. Drama gets nothing (useful) done. how can the citizens or the leadership focus on poverty, jobs and education? They/we have to -- if we want to change anything. Don't allow the media to lead you around by the nose ring (so to speak; not saying you wear one, Duan, so don't yell at me). Either we're willing to focus on what matters -- OR we let someone else control the narrative. Yes, put pressure on media outlets to talk about those things -- but I'm not completely convinced that is what all these voices are trying to. I suspect some of them (certainly not Kaze) would rather sweep the vital education/poverty/jobs component under the table. It'll take hard work, and not everyone's willing to do it. Too many people just want the convenience of shopping at Walmart or don't want any of their taxes to go to public education. They're fine with the Barbours of the world supporting sending jobs to other countries. No one said this is easy.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-25T14:57:19-06:00
ID
162291
Comment

Kaze, are you really saying that I should be kinder to people who believe that white people are fleeing because black folks are running them off? Sorry ... no. That's a disgusting interpretation of a handful of Census numbers, and I will not dignify such a stance with any respect. It's straight-up racism. And Kaze, I'm much more embarrassed about what I've seen in classrooms and at local colleges and in some workplaces where teachers and managers do not hold Mississippians to high standards, and thus create cycles where people fail. I never lie awake at night thinking about the antics of the City Council, but I do lie awake worrying about how young people can possibly get to college without any sense of how to be successful, manage their time, show up prepared, act and dress professionally, and write a decent sentence. These are issues I see in much of what I do -- and I see way too few adults worrying about the bigotry of low expectations and low standards (which can be as true in Mississippi's historically white academies as in public schools, private school and universities). If we're really worried about brain drain -- my biggest concern; not whether white folks are fleeing to whiter pastures -- we really need to focus not only on the education system, but on the standards we hold and the expectations of excellence we need to share with our fellow Mississippians. To be honest, the city council is the least of my worries.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-25T15:00:18-06:00
ID
162292
Comment

@ Duan C, By advocating for more critical thinking being taught and modeled in our churches, schools and art (media) I am not advocating for psychological manipulation. I am advocating for a smarter, more informed, and enlightened democratic populous. Those institutions I mentioned have a very important role in a democratic society. They are the conscience raisers, the places where the democracy is bred and developed. When those institutions are used to maintain the status quo of elitism and plutocracy by not informing the masses about the machinations of politics, economics and big business, the voting public tends to get easily manipulated by power brokers. And this leads to a point being debated by Donna and Kaze. @Donna and Kaze, I think that the people Kaze is talking to who believe that the reason why there is so much white (middle class) flight from Jackson are the very people who may need to be enlightened by critical analysis. While what Kaze is noting are the honest perceptions of both black and white people, I think Donna's point about "first- grade" analysis hits home. People can be honestly and sincerely ill-informed about the reality they observe. At a glance, one could easily look at the social and economic condition around most of Jackson and see the leadership of the institutions in Jackson and note that somehow, the Black leadership is to blame, because that is who actually leads Jackson, at least VISIBLY leads Jackson. But, a critical analysis of social structures, racial politics, economic development and history would bear out that the social realities of Jackson in 2011 are a direct legacy of institutional racism, patriarchy, class exploitation and religious dogmatism that has gone unchecked by an ill-informed and manipulated populous. This reality is not new or unique to Jackson, but it is the reality none the less. To combat this takes real work at a variety of levels. There needs to be an influx of progressive policies that unseat the usual control of the business and social elites in both city hall and the state legislature so that resources can be freed to adequately improve the institutions and infrastructure in Jackson. The Church needs more prophetic and critical voices so as to challenge the comfort level of many in Jackson who have the resources to make change, and the educators need to amass more courage in challenging policies that preclude the true education for revolution that the students truly need.

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2011-02-25T15:29:37-06:00
ID
162294
Comment

I'm about to agree with Donna on something--if the news wanted to change the narrative about Jackson, highlight more efforts being made to improve things in the city while noting the challenges being faced, they could do it. But someone has to give them a reason to do so. And it has to go on ALL THE TIME. Successes like the King Edward and Standard Life and all those other projects are great. But Jackson boosters can't sit on their laurels and think because we did this one great thing, that the narrative has been changed. It's going to have to be a consistent, coordinated effort, day in and day out. I made a ten-year career doing positive stories about the metro, from performing arts to community efforts to new businesses opening up. Did I make a difference? In the stories I covered I'd like to think I did. Did I ever change the narrative of the metro that prevailed in the news? No, obviously not. But someone with more resources than I had could--if that person could get EVERYONE, from the city council on down--to agree to make it happen. What are the odds of that?

Author
JDLW
Date
2011-02-25T15:35:08-06:00
ID
162295
Comment

@Donna you continue to point to "white flight" and "white people fleeing" and in both my column and my comments(and the comments of others here)we've made it clear that this is bigger than a race issue. BLACK PEOPLE ARE FLEEING TO! are you just glancing over that fact because its nobel to address the "White flight" issue. I dont give a hoot what color the folks leaving are..im concerned that folks Black and White are leaving taking a piece of our tax base with them. I wont even respond to your first statement because you know good and well that wasnt what I was saying smh. Good grief! Youre so ready to attack the white folks who have left (and you and I both know the reasons some of them left)that you still have not addressed the reasons that middle class black folks have left. We need to be addressing why middle class folks of all races even hispanic or asian are leaving for the burbs furhter shrinking our tax base. @Blackwatch "I think that the people Kaze is talking to who believe that the reason why there is so much white (middle class) flight from Jackson are the very people who may need to be enlightened by critical analysis." ....THANK YOU!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-25T16:10:04-06:00
ID
162296
Comment

But, a critical analysis of social structures, racial politics, economic development and history would bear out that the social realities of Jackson in 2011 are a direct legacy of institutional racism, patriarchy, class exploitation and religious dogmatism that has gone unchecked by an ill-informed and manipulated populous. This reality is not new or unique to Jackson, but it is the reality none the less. To combat this takes real work at a variety of levels. Right on, Blackwatch. As usual. Thank you for helping translate what I'm trying to say. We need critical analysis and context and education. Sometimes you really do have to think before you act. Thanks for helping us think.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-25T16:12:07-06:00
ID
162297
Comment

@Duan C Ultimately you spoke to where I want to start placing my passions. Reaching out to those disenfranchised voters. Are there are a lot in ALL of the wards. Those who arent "civic-savvy" so to speak. Educate them on city goverment. Give them some insight into how it works and ultimately equip them with the ability to know when they are being bulls*****d. Help em to WAKE UP! (in my best "School Daze" impression). and thats when something will REALLY begin. And you gotta ask do Stokes, Bluntson, and Tillman really WANT their constituents in the loop? The more in the loop, the more enlightened... the more enlightened and one day somebody looks up and says "Wait a minute! you havent done ANYTHING!" You get the point

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-25T16:21:47-06:00
ID
162299
Comment

@Donna you continue to point to "white flight" and "white people fleeing" and in both my column and my comments(and the comments of others here)we've made it clear that this is bigger than a race issue. No, Kaze, I am not ignoring the reality as my own comments have shown. For one thing, though, the word "fleeing" is loaded. When someone leaves a poor city for a better-paying job, it is not "fleeing." It is not, necessarily, "fleeing" to decide you want to have a house in the country. What I'm suggesting is to calm down, especially with the hysterical language, and give some thought to the kinds of analysis that Blackwatch is discussing. Of course, we've had white flight for decades that pretty much started Christmas break 1969. There is no denying that; it is fact. That, in turn, inevitably turned into more of an economic flight as people of all types follow the money, the jobs, the micro-mansions, the "better" schools. That is also fact. And, of course, that will build as time goes on if not enough is done to equalize the playing field back in the city, as well as create jobs and opportunities for the people left behind. Of course. And it's been helped along by really repugnant media coverage. That is fact as well. Good grief! Youre so ready to attack the white folks who have left (and you and I both know the reasons some of them left)that you still have not addressed the reasons that middle class black folks have left. Huh? Are you even reading what I'm writing? Kaze, slow down a bit and think about it some before assuming people are saying things that they're not. You're the one freaking out about people leaving; I'm actually of the mind of quality over quantity. (See any number of my comments above to show how you are attributing to me the exact *opposite* of what I've actually said. I'm not in denial about what white flight created for the city, but I'm also not slamming people for moving, nor am I in the mood any longer for petty city-v-suburb arguments.) You've already poo-poo'd the idea that black folks (or white) might leave Jackson for better jobs. Or different opportunities. Middle-class black people leave for a wide variety of reasons just as white people do, at least in recent years. And I honestly don't think many of them has squat to do with Kenneth Stokes or anyone else on City Council. I'm actually not sure I've heard you talk clearly about what you think those reasons might be. As for this: I wont even respond to your first statement because you know good and well that wasnt what I was saying smh. Good grief! Are you paying attention, Kaze? You criticized me above for saying that the white-people-leaving-due-to-black-people attitude are using "first-grade" thinking. You told me I was insulting people with different opinions. I point out to you just who I was supposedly insulting (people with that attitude), and now you say I know you weren't saying that?!? I point you to Blackwatch, who understood my analysis the first time on this: While what Kaze is noting are the honest perceptions of both black and white people, I think Donna's point about "first- grade" analysis hits home. People can be honestly and sincerely ill-informed about the reality they observe. He got my point. People are engaging in hit-and-run thinking on a very serious subject, and your weak attempts to say that my response is somehow anti-white is ridiculous on its face. If you want to have a serious discussion about this, you need to take the discussion more seriously and not resort to the kinds of cheap distortions of my or others' words that are more worthy of anonymous tablogs. Put another way, just because I disagree with your approach does not mean that I am on some polar-opposite planet. Let's leave the binary thinking for the fools trying to stir up trouble with paper bags over their heads. I will say this to you: If efforts focus fully on making Jackson the best city she can be *for residents* -- not for people wanting to pass through to go to an arena or such -- but for residents of all backgrounds, then we will both retain more people and attract more here. Freaking out -- at this point, decades into the flight pattern -- because people leave is shortsighted. Working to make the city better and more prosperous for our residents (and everything that includes): priceless.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-25T16:30:45-06:00
ID
162300
Comment

And for the record, I'm all for efforts to get more engaged council members elected. It won't solve all the city's problem, but by all means, do that. I am no fan of Stokes (especially since he played the Melton lapdog role), Bluntson or Tillman for reasons we have expressed many times. I hope you succeed in getting younger voters engaged. But it's about more than that: They also need to not get caught up in the empty promises of another demagogue like Melton.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-25T16:38:03-06:00
ID
162301
Comment

I have two interesting statements I'm going to make (at least interesting to ME) that I think are valid to this conversation. I'd like to get y'all's take on it (because I'm so out of the loop on city politics right now and I'm WAY more interested in the sociological implications. Forgive me, I'm a social worker): 1) Out of all the people who have been pushing me to buy a house in the suburbs or asked "why are you staying in Jackson? You have a family now. It's time to move", 99% were African American. I could even go so far as to say they were 100% African American middle class. Now, I have no idea if they just assume all white people immediately take flight once we start thinking about babies and schools, or if its because they truly think people should leave Jackson if they are able. 2) Anyone ever think if they'd taken the census in 2007 there would be even less white people in the city? And that maybe the numbers actually rose in the past three years? (Or immediately after Melton went to the Big School Bus In The Sky? God Rest His Soul.) I don't know if anyone else has said that already . But, it was just a thought. (And seriously, no flack about the Melton comment. People die, some sins never do.)

Author
Lori G
Date
2011-02-25T16:49:17-06:00
ID
162303
Comment

I hear you Tom. I guess the change in the 7,500 new Blacks' pockets isn't enough. Ain't that some shit. If they were richer the the complainers and writers would acknowledge them. Forget the ledger and haters too. Thanks, Celo Green.

Author
Walt
Date
2011-02-25T17:35:08-06:00
ID
162304
Comment

@ Lori G - I get into, have been in and probably always will - get into very heated debates with my black colleagues that live in Brandon, Madison, Canton, and Pearl. I've heard the following arguments property taxes are too high, the crime is ridiculous, its ghetto, the politicians are trifling, they don't know what they are doing, ain't no way in hell I would stay in that hell whole, the roads conditions, oh yeah - the water is nasty - you can't bath in it, the school system is garbage, car tags are too expensive, then it all falls back ot the crime, the crime , the crime, the crime! Oh and the juicest comment of all - "I feel - SAFER!" How you can feel safer in a municipality, where the police force barely has any representation from people of your ethnicity is beyond me? Now with that said, 99% of the time - they are ready for battle, to debate and get it rolling, basically because their minds are made up. But the thing that baffles me, with some of black colleagues - is that - to me and I am stressing to me - that there just is not enough substance to their respective arguments. I told one the other day, that the main reason why they lived in the aformentioned areas was that they needed a sense of accomplishment - and its not really about safety and civil services - but simply to say, I live in such and such? I guess you can say the those areas have the current "it" factor. Now I can't go as far as Tom Head and say I love my representation in Ward 1 because its a new guy, but I do love my neighborhood - because it is diverse, good hard working people, that take care of their yards and my wife loves it as well. My neighbors aren't afraid of us and we aren't afraid of them. I love the fact that there is a Krogers within 5 minutes (although I'm ticked off that Brookshires closed) and I'm a hop skip and a jump away. The police in my area are prompt and active with our homeowners association. We have had break-ins, but who the heck doesn't. I stayed in Washington Addition when I was college and had only one hiccup. But back to your main point - those are the ones who are chasing the proverbial dangling carrot and in my honest opinion - going broke for appearance sake. I'm deep in the game out here and I know first hand some of us are doing well, but a lot of us are out of control too. also. But I'm to a point, where I been running my whole life and I'm ready to make something out of nothing, make it into my own and have a hand in its growth, potential, watch my investment grow and in Jackson - with the current state in this economy - we really have a chance to do something special to assert our city from our fellow southern metropolises in New Orleans, Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta, Mobile, Nashville, Atlanta, Houston and Dallas, etc. etc.

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-25T17:48:47-06:00
ID
162307
Comment

The 2010 census figures that have been released do not record Jackson's median income; Thank you, Tom, for pointing this up. At this point, *anything* about the middle-class leaving or staying is an assumption. We got a net gain of 7,500 new black residents during that 10-year period. Don't they count? I don't see anybody in the mainstream media celebrating that; too busy mourning the 19,000 whites who decided to leave. Latino population doubled from 0.8% to 1.56%. Don't they count? I don't see anybody in the mainstream media celebrating that; too busy mourning the whites. And we say the middle class is disappearing because "middle class" has been used as a euphemism for "white" for so long, re white flight, that even journalists and elected officials think the two terms are interchangeable. It's sad, and it's sick. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tom, for capturing (again) the smarminess of the hysterical reporting of and reaction to this. I believe that Kaze means well, but not everyone does. Like you, I am not going to freak out about a city becoming "blacker." Just not.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-25T20:22:54-06:00
ID
162308
Comment

Helen- The conversation you overheard between the daughter and father, the girl saying she is spending $50 on a 40 minute commute both ways between Brandon and Jackson just seems really high. My wife travels a 40 minute both way commute between Clinton and Ridgeland and it dosen't cost anywhere near that much in gasoline even at over $3 a gallon gas. The girl needs to go back and really figure out what her commute is costing her. If it is taking her 40 minute to travel to work she's probably driving about 13-15 miles one way in city traffic.You usually average less than 25mph on a commute. So let's be generous and say she travels 30 miles a day and 150 miles a week, ok lets go on the low end and says she has a car that get 20mpg. So she is actually using 7.5 gallons of gas on her commute. So she is $22.50 @$3 a gallon gas a week on her commute and not $50. She is probably spending $50 a week on gasoline but over half of it is probably spent on her shopping,nightlife,visting friends and entertainment(nothing wrong with doing that)but she isn't taking that into account or she is and just not wanting to tell Dad. I see her wanting to cut back on her overall cost of gasoline but she isn't taking an honest look at what her actual gas expense for commuting to work is. IMHO Ok carry on I don't like in Jackson, so I ain't got no horse in this race, girl's numbers just didn't add up to me.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-25T20:43:31-06:00
ID
162309
Comment

"Ive heard the following arguments property taxes are too high, the crime is ridiculous, its ghetto, the politicians are trifling, they don't know what they are doing, ain't no way in hell I would stay in that hell whole, the roads conditions, oh yeah - the water is nasty - you can't bath in it, the school system is garbage, car tags are too expensive, then it all falls back ot the crime, the crime , the crime, the crime!" Thanks Duan. I've heard the same. Had the same arguments. And most times the folks work IN Jackson.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-26T00:47:03-06:00
ID
162310
Comment

...and you DID say those were Black residents of outerlying cities that you were debating with right?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-26T00:50:13-06:00
ID
162312
Comment

And let me just say for the record that I agree with both Donna and Blackwatch..and Tom that there are underlying symptoms to a bigger problem here. There are those who do indeed have a problem with Jackson becoming a "blacker" city. But as a Black man that kind of racism neither surprises nor disappoints me so much that I let it stop my forward progress. There will ALWAYS be those. However, it is disingenuous to rest the bulk of this discussion there and continue to try and sway this as solely a "race" issue. As Duan pointed out (and Ive been trying to make the same point) is that as you see Black, Latino folks, and Asian folks are having the SAME frustrations and leaving for the SAME reasons. These are professional, independent thinkers who came to their own conclusions that Jackson is NOT the place to be. And I want to reverse that trend. Period. Jackson needs to BE the "Place to Be" So we should take a hard look at those things that Duan says detractors of Jackson say. It has sounded like folks are trying to say that the Black folks who have the problems Duan stated aboved are just mimicking what theyve heard white residents say or have been brainwashed and its "not their fault" that they have no confidence in the city. Is race a part of this? Absolutely. Its offensive as a Black man, and an edgy one at times lol, to be "schooled" as to why I should look at an issue a certain way. For me, race plays an element in everything. Its omnipresent. there are underlying issues that have shaped the way things are today. deep-rooted issues. But to just reduce it to folks "panicking"? to just reduce it to some white folks having a problem with Jackson becoming "blacker"? Cmon now. WE all know THAT isnt just the issue. The Black folks Duan and I talk to dont care the city is getting "blacker" What I care about is my tax base leaving the city. Some folks are leaving for jobs YES! but the bulk of them already WORK IN JACKSON and choose to LIVE outside of it because of the issues! So, I dont need a pat on the back cuz you think I mean well. Thanks but Im not speaking up for that reason. I ALWAYS mean well. as Ive always said if you dont agree with me so what! and if you DO agree with me so what! We ALL appear to be on the same page and want the same things so this discussion is great for sparking forward movement! And Im glad its happening. Because I want my almost 1 year old daughter to grow up in a Jackson better than the one we have now. I want her to have better roads, better water, safer streets, and amenities that dont make her think twice about staying home to go to college and then have a career(and then raise my grands).

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-26T06:50:37-06:00
ID
162314
Comment

Reality for Jackson is the general decline of America. We need to focus on the basics in education with less emphasis on competitive athletics and more emphasis on reading, inner awareness, useful math calculations, and communication. Physical exercise is valuable to classroom instruction and mental activity. Colleges waste millions on sports. The ruling class have made tons of money on drug smuggling for a generation, but no media stories about that and tepid law enforcement on their unlawful activities. The news is always about the symptoms. A proper historical and critical analysis of this matter would bring this country to a revolution. The Starsky Redd trial here in Jackson taught me that some corporate actors are engaged in drug trafficking. Nationally, some CNN news staff were some of the earliest traffickers as were certain government contractors and military folk. We need a complete housecleaning in America. A true reality check.

Author
Aeroscout
Date
2011-02-26T10:39:19-06:00
ID
162315
Comment

However, it is disingenuous to rest the bulk of this discussion there and continue to try and sway this as solely a "race" issue. Kaze, NO ONE has said that. That would be an asinine statement, and it's not like you to put those kinds of words in someone else's mouth. That's tablog-type B.S. to do. Please slow down and consider other people's comments more carefully before telling them they are saying the opposite of what they are actually saying. Better yet, let others speak for themselves, and you speak for yourself. There will be less confusion that way.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-26T11:40:40-06:00
ID
162316
Comment

LOL the last sentence my post should have been "I don' live" not like.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-26T13:08:24-06:00
ID
162317
Comment

Wow, looks like the fireworks lit up here since I last posted! Here's my take on all of this: I agree that flight from Jackson shouldn't be about race because some black Jackson residents have moved out to the suburbs. But chew on this: black flight was able to happen because of white flight. I'm not going to get into specifics as to why whites moved out of Jackson (we all know why), but as they started moving out, businesses (and the jobs they provided) followed them and left Jackson for "greener" pastures. Many Jackson residents followed them there, too, with their dollars, which has lead to a shrinking tax base. When you have a shrinking tax base, you can't fix the streets, repair and replace the water lines, fight crime, etc., as sufficiently as you could with a growing tax base. When things like this happen, it's easy to want to give up and move out. We can hammer the mayor and the council all we want, but things won't get better here until we can start keeping more of our dollars here in Jackson. My tax dollars doesn't do anything for Jackson if I'm spending it in Ridgeland. Spend more of it here and we can get better services. Of course, it's not a cure-all to stop flight, but it's a start.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2011-02-26T14:10:12-06:00
ID
162318
Comment

Tom, I know about as much about Jackson 2020 as you do. They didn't "call" a meeting and frankly don't know how it was introduced into the equation. The first I heard of it was the CL article. The meeting came out of response to an email I sent out after the 1st census article. It was supposed to be a small comminity discussion that kind of got bigger than was expected. I'm not recruiting you into anything or convincing you. With upcoming discussions youcan either join or not but it won't be under the auspices of any "group". You can even start your own discussions. We need all hands on deck. @Donna. Point taken. However, I don't think you're seeing my point. And clearly haven't seen my point. But many do and that's fine. It may not be clear to you but I've gotten plenty of responses indicating some folks see my point. What I will say is that all of us on this thread are on the same page. My methodology may be different but hey...such is life.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-26T14:16:52-06:00
ID
162319
Comment

and in case there was any confusion, Golden Eagle's post just summed up what I've been trying to say. Black people are leaving. White people arre leaving. For whatever reason Taking tax dollars with them. Some reasons valid. Some reasons contrived. I would simply like to be a part of the change to make our city appealing to them again. .

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-26T14:29:45-06:00
ID
162320
Comment

There are some people, Black and White, who do not believe a city can be successful without Whites running and paying for it. There are lots of Black people who think this too. I'm not one of them though. I strongly suspect there are people on this thread who believe that and think they have history as a teacher and testament. This probably explains a lot of the commentary. Anyone brave enough to publicly admit it or even comment about it. LOL. I'm joking but also very serious.

Author
Walt
Date
2011-02-26T14:43:31-06:00
ID
162322
Comment

I was born in S. Jackson. Went to JPS and had a wonderful time in my little neighborhood. However, in the mid-80's when I left for college, it was easy to see the deterioration and necrosis evident everywhere. Downtown never had any attraction, save for a restaurant and bar or two. After the Metrocenter dried up, sped up by Northpark, you could see the newer restaurants and places to shop fleeing the city center. The futile cycle of corporate flight literally sucking the taxpayers out with them ad infinitum. After I returned from out of state several years later, looking for a place to live, my financial situation led me to rent in the Jackson city limits. Run down neighborhoods all over in S. Jackson. I learned quickly that if I needed anything, including groceries, I had to do this outside the city because of brazen daylight criminals. Once the opportunity came to flee the city, I have never looked back. Stuff actually works in cities with governing bodies interested in maintaining things. Ordinances are actually adhered to. And police are plentiful and, yes, sometimes a bit overzealous. Rather have that than the laissez-faire attitude I remember from JPD. If my paycheck didn't originate from within the city limits of Jackson, I would never have a reason to cross the Pearl River. And, yes, I'm thrilled to take my income elsewhere as there still remains little within the city limits to entice people like me to return. Until the City Council starts practicing inclusion politics and the Mayor can lead/govern and be pro-business there will be little left for the city to spiral progressively downward. Cracking down on crime, shoring up the public school system and incentivizing people and companies to come back seem to be the only plausible attractions for us "White Fliers."

Author
Darryl
Date
2011-02-26T16:27:04-06:00
ID
162323
Comment

You know what Ton? Out of this entire thread, yours may be the best point yet. Make the city more appealing to those of us sill here. Improve the quality of life to those of us still here. Just concentrate on US!...and it will then slowly become appealing to those not here. Great point. Thanks. The dating analogy is spot on and I guess no one wants a girlfriend that no one else finds desirable either I'd add.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-26T17:15:33-06:00
ID
162324
Comment

Kaze just wrote: You know what Ton? Out of this entire thread, yours may be the best point yet. Make the city more appealing to those of us sill here. Improve the quality of life to those of us still here. Just concentrate on US!...and it will then slowly become appealing to those not here. Great point. Thanks. OK, Kaze, I'm going to choose to not take it personally that you just attributed to my friend Tom a point I tried to make to you yesterday. We women are used to you guys pulling that stunt. My earlier post up above to you: I will say this to you: If efforts focus fully on making Jackson the best city she can be *for residents* -- not for people wanting to pass through to go to an arena or such -- but for residents of all backgrounds, then we will both retain more people and attract more here. Thanks for agreeing. ;-) And, of course, Todd also has made that argument in just about every publisher's note he has written for the JFP for almost nine years now. It's not a new argument, but it is a very good one. I also thought you were working with Ben Allen on Jackson 2020, as Tom did.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-02-26T17:32:50-06:00
ID
162325
Comment

I want to pose questions to those in this thread who are lamenting the notion that white flight matters or that since in recent yeafrs even middle class blacks are fleeing Jackson, so that somehow "proves" that this issue, the decline of Jackson proper, is some how not a "racial" issue anymore. How do you propose to make Jackson better (specifically improve infrastructure, the tax base, JPS and lower crime) without addressing the flight of the viable taxbase to the suburbs? How are you going to attract businesses, professionals, and "the middle class" to a city that has little to offer in terms of opportunties and amenities for these entities?

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2011-02-27T07:47:45-06:00
ID
162326
Comment

You just askrd the 64M dollar question Blackwatch. And at it's crux is the question I've been asking all along. It's a question that we as a community need to figure out. We all can agree that our tax base is shrinking. And as Black and White Jacksonians leave they are taking tax dollars with them. It's the same premise that has me urging people to shop IN Jackson if they live here. Initially, I introduced a few ideas and they may be unpopular but we have to do the hard, unpopular things to improve life for those of us who are NOT leaving AND make our city attractive enough so that folks will WANT to move here. @Donna no ones heard me say anything about Jackson 2020. I strive to never be covert in my words . I say what I mean and mean what I say. If I was a part of or started Jackson 2020 I would have said so. I don't even knw where it came from. But no matter. It's time we start listening to ALL opinions and thoughts on this issue and not just those who are in lockstep with ours. Jackson's biggest critics need to be at the table as well if we're going to have open and honest dialogue. Because within those criticisms there's a shred of something there that could be helpful. I'm attempting to do that. Jackson 2020, who started it etc. Is irrelevant to the point of my original email on this subject.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-27T11:04:45-06:00
ID
162327
Comment

I think Jackson needs to look toward other cities that have been in decline and found ways to rebound. Atlanta is a prime example. For a long time, the metro was booming while Atlanta itself was declining. It was just within the last fifteen years or so did the city begin to reverse the decline. Of course, having the Olympics helps a lot. But we could learn from Atlanta what they did to get the ball rolling.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2011-02-27T11:20:21-06:00
ID
162328
Comment

The thing I've found GE is that Jackson has a uniqueness about it like no other city. It's hard to mirror anyone because we're SPECIAL. It's people. The talents of those people and their passion. That southern feel that comes from being dead center of other large cities. We are indeed a melting pot. It's hard to pinpoint a few things that will be "gamechangers" We are a city that needs several small victories timed perfectly don't ya think. There's no one here or involved in this convo that doesn't want to see this city win. No one. We differ on what it will take but lets all agree if we can that we want a stronger Jackson. My opinions on HOW we do it is different from Donna's perhaps and Donna's are different than Ben's and Blackwatch or Duan have their thoughts. But we ALL want a vibrant Jackson by appealing to folks who have stayed and making it sexy for folks who may come in the future.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-27T12:37:37-06:00
ID
162330
Comment

making it sexy for folks who may come in the future. Thank you 'kaze for making that point How do you propose to make Jackson better (specifically improve infrastructure, the tax base, JPS and lower crime) without addressing the flight of the viable taxbase to the suburbs? How are you going to attract businesses, professionals, and "the middle class" to a city that has little to offer in terms of opportunties and amenities for these entities? Those are good questions blackwatch and matter of fact those questions are really my biggest concerns. However, I think we need to know the next governor of Mississippi stance on what direction he or she would like to go? We have to address the strain these state agencies place on the capital city, one way or the other? We need to know what they would like to do in regards to creating mid-level paying jobs for this area, generating external revenues - just like our neighboring metro's such as New Orleans and Memphis - people drive through our city on a daily basis (via I-55 N/S & I-20 E/W) and we should be killing their wallets and purses with something? Gotta start thinking outside the box and some of the ideas you touched are good start in that attempt.

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-02-28T10:22:20-06:00
ID
162338
Comment

Helen- Wasn't correcting your math, was correcting her's and how her figures were flawed. If you go back an read what I posted, I didn't include trips for entertainment,shopping,etc because, she said her "commute to work" was costing her $50 a week, you wouldn't include those trips or their cost in figuring the cost of commuting to work because those aren't commuting expenses. You only figure actual miles driven to and from work to figure what your commuting expense would be,otherwise you are getting a not true picture of what it does cost. With all due respect Ma'am, you don't include the cost of buying apples and oranges when you are trying to figure out the cost of buying apples,or least that's what I was taught in accounting. If you spend $40+ a week on your actual commute to work,you need a car that gets better gas mileage,because what your Infinite gets sucks.:) Like I said, I don't live in Jackson,doesn't really matter to me what happens there.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2011-02-28T17:17:30-06:00
ID
162339
Comment

@ Walt, I want to address your question about white people leading cities. My analysis of the issue is grounded in a study of history, economics, social institutions and politics. White people, by simply being white, are no more qualified to be in leadership of cities or any other institution than any other group of people. What history, economics, and sociology teach us is that white people, in a racialized, white supremacist society, possess and command more power, be it economic, political, social, and municipal, than black people do. This is why I characterized the flight as white flight, because more than just white people leave in these instances. Economic, political, and social power leave with them as well. Others on here have noted that black people are leaving as well, and that is true. And yet, in Jackson over the last 10 years, more black people have come than left. If those black people brought with them what the typical white person brings, in the racialized context of America, then we wouldn't see the precipitous decline in the quality of life that has been witnessed by many on here throughout Jackson. The effects of white flight are primarily due to the fact that white people, on average, possess more wealth and other resources than black people. To put it plainly, when a white person leaves Jackson, chances are a significant amount of resources leaves with them. When a black person comes to Jackson, on average, they do not make up for the resources that left with the white person. For evidence, look at the educational systems around the metro and the state. If you have time, look at the stats for schools on the MS dept. of Ed website. Every failing school district is at least 90% black. Every Star school district (highest performing) is at least 2/3 white. This reality isn't a happenstance of skin color, but the result of the complex machinations of institutional racism. I mentioned in one post that property valuations are highly racialized. Simply because a community becomes more than 10% black, white people begin to leave, and the property value goes down. I read a study about integration churches, and the same thing was noted, congregations that get more than 25% minority will begin to experience white flight. In each instance, the quality of those institutions suffer, in terms of reach and effectiveness in achieving their goals. These are examples of institutional racism, institutional practices that serve to maintain racialized power distribution and relations in a society. So, simply because black professionals are leaving, doesn't mean that institutional racism isn't a vital cog in the problems facing Jackson. Also, to point this out isn't about admitting that a majority of white people are necessary to have a great community, rather, the resources they possess are vital. I am highlighting the reality that Jackson suffers from concentrated poverty due to white flight. If Jackson could keep the resources that whites take when they leave, then this wouldn't be a problem. If whites didn't control a disproportionate amount of the capital, power, and other resources, then white flight wouldn't be a problem. And thus I ask, without addressing white flight and its effects (as some on here are suggesting), how would we make Jackson better?

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2011-02-28T17:33:01-06:00
ID
162341
Comment

Bravo Blackwatch! You've helped me to better vocalize my point. No one is suggesting that Jackson NEEDS white folks in power to succeed. Not suggesting that a "Black run" or majority Black city can't succeed. Rather my point is that whenever white or Black middle class citizens leave the city they take income and valuable resources that may or may not be replaced by those of us remaining. We can't continue to lose people and resources without ever matching or replenishing those resources. Correct? As I said in my column I don't think either an all white OR an all Black city is the ideal. Our win has to come in our diversity and our appeal to both Black and White families. Public officials who speak to that diversity and public schools that show that diversity. So to answer your query Blackwatch. I'm open to all ideas from everyone. Even folks who I regularly disagree with. Where do we begin? How do we build wealth IN the city?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2011-02-28T18:54:42-06:00
ID
162349
Comment

All, I disappeared because I'm on vacation. I'll chime back in when I return. I refuse to get sucked into a thread right now. Carry on, and be nice to each other. I look forward to reading the result when I return.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-03-01T09:00:57-06:00
ID
162353
Comment

"How do we build wealth IN the city." Kaze I have a few answers. When we do something with our finances other than pile it on collection plates in the hundreds of churches we have here in the city. Far too many black folks will simply say, "I tithe and I will leave it up to the Lord to manage." We will have wealth when we realize that our ministers don't need fancy cars, hugh homes, diamond rings, J.G. Hooks suits and a dream vacation on some island. I'm not saying that they can't have these things: I am saying that they should buy them out of their own salary. We will have wealth when we stop trying to "OUT-CHURCH" each other. We will have wealth when we make these BANKS that collect every dime that is raised in the black church treat us the way that others are treated. The only thing the church can borrow money for is to build a "Family Life Center." Then there is no post-arrangement for generating income: The center becomes a cancer that most memberships will have to sell a whole lot of fish dinners. We will have wealth in this city when the majority race becomes something other than consumers. We must set up markets to sell hair products, tracks, weave, balls and bows. We will have wealth when there is a new mind set: That we no longer believe that another man's sugar is sweeter, his ice, colder and that their word is the only one to be believed and trusted.

Author
justjess
Date
2011-03-01T11:01:17-06:00
ID
162362
Comment

Blackwatch I don't have time to do your question justice right now. Let me say I wasn't targeting you in that question. I was targeting someone else who I have heard say there are no successful cities run by Blacks. You always have very well thought out reasons for your conclusions or assertions. I will answer you tomorrow if I have to leave work early to do it. I will say right now that we can't stop people from leaving. Certain kinds of people of all races always leave the cities for the suburbs. Although we need their money I'm personally tired of crying over them. How about we spend all our energies trying to create opportunities, entertainment and reasons to make others come here if only on weekends mostly. If we can get a necessary amount of their money I'm all for them leaving afterward.

Author
Walt
Date
2011-03-01T18:13:33-06:00
ID
162363
Comment

How about we spend all our energies trying to create opportunities, entertainment and reasons to make others come here if only on weekends mostly. I've been screaming that for the longest, thanks for making that point.

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-03-02T08:08:38-06:00
ID
162365
Comment

Walt, I agree with you. However, while you are "tired of crying over them", here's what I am growing more and more tired of: White people wanting to live in a separate society than blacks. Black people wanting to live in a separate society than whites. All the while all thinking that they are not racist. That racism isn't the core reason these ideas exist. Not recognizing that while they are in church every Sunday spewing out religious antics at any one who can stand to listen, they are living a dam lie. I don't care what you call it or how you dress it up, in order for our city to THRIVE (and thriving is different than "getting by") we can not do it with white folks in one area and blacks in another. It can not be done if we can not pull together, accept each other's differences and pull from our common love for the city. I am tired of hearing black folks (and some white) say "Let 'em go!" and I am tired of hearing white folks (and some black) say "Damn Jackson, I'm leaving". While we're at it, I'm tired of people who are TRYING to do something positive and worthwhile being dismissed and disregarded by idiots who refuse to do anything themselves other than complain and point out fault. SHUT UP! If you are not going to get in this fight, give your ideas about the direction we need to take - BLACK AND WHITE- then just shut up and watch the people who actually CARE about Jackson's future do the best they can. Sure there will be failures/mistakes but if you don't care enough to get involved and point out things that you know will be benificial to progression then don't speak up when the efforts of others don't go correctly. TOO MUCH TALKING AND NOT ENOUGH ACTION AND ACCEPTANCE.... I am a proud BLACK QUEEN who once believed that all I needed in my life was my African American brothers and sisters. Fact of the matter is that living like that put a shell around me and prevented me from loving in a whole way and kept me from being more full as a human being. Now if that's how some choose to live, so be it. I don't. I know that doing that is simply being closed minded and I refuse to live like that. Also, while I appreciate all voices and ideas, there is a very thin line between appreciation and arrogance. The black experience/struggle is just that...the BLACK experience/struggle. I can not tell a white person how to feel about their history and I refuse to allow a white person to tell me how I should feel about MY history or where we need to go and how we need to fix ourselves. YOU CAN NOT DO THAT........what you do is make us turn a deaf ear to your input no matter how worthy it is to listen to. Just FYI........... good day!

Author
Queen601
Date
2011-03-02T09:19:39-06:00
ID
162367
Comment

@ Jus Jess LOL!!! I will agree that the economic power generated by churches in the Black community could be utilized more constructively. I'd just wish one black church could open one quality academic school, K-12, that would serve as a breeding ground for economic, political, entrepreneurial, and spiritual development for our communities. Too often the church schools fall short in the sciences and math, and are very light on teaching literary and historical criticism and analytical thought. In general, I can agree with your critique of tithing, but practically, I don't think Black people will stop giving to churches any time soon. I don't see the problem as tithing per se, but the number and quality of churches being tithed to in the Black community. We have to hold our churches to a higher standard of ministry, intellect, and fiscal responsibility. @ Walt, I just wanted to clarify my stances. I understand your point though. @Queen, I agree that all people in a community must come together for any real progress to take place. Residential segregation is the invisible elephant in this discussion. People feel like they should be able to live anywhere (and any way) they want to. To many, the norm is that a residentially segregated community is a right, a privilege of class, and vital to protecting property values. White flight (as I described earlier) is merely residential segregation.The by product of it is the concentrated poverty that characterizes what we see around many parts of Jackson. To address the issues in Jackson at an interpersonal level, these ideas must be confronted, debunked, and replaced with values of community and justice. Until we are willing to confront social, political and business elites and advocate for sacrifice for the sake of community, we will be spinning our wheels.

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2011-03-02T10:24:21-06:00
ID
162368
Comment

White people wanting to live in a separate society than blacks. Black people wanting to live in a separate society than whites. Queen, I would flip your comment to this: "White people wanting to live in a separate society than blacks. Prominant Blacks constantly chasing the proverbial dangling carrot, by trying to live amongst whites." You would think after 400 years of interaction between the two major groups in this country, we would be used to each other by now - especially after all the intermingling and reproduction between the two groups; Jackson is evidence how far that is from the truth. Good point Queen

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-03-02T10:39:49-06:00
ID
162369
Comment

Also Queen, I don't think the issue is spatial integration so much as it is an issue of power integration. What good does it do to have black and white living on the same street if the access to opportunity and resources is still unjustly distributed along racial lines. I Live in an "integrated" neighborhood where there are fairly nice homes (not "Madison nice"-read "expensive"- but nice enough for me). I have a white neighbor and two black neighbors on a cul-de- sac. My black neighbors are two income families, with professional occupations. My white neighbor has a professional job and his wife stays at home. I would venture to say that I make more than he does with my salary alone, but he got a much better break on his mortgage and was able to pay a substantial down payment on his house due to inheritance from his grandparents ( as he told me in convos over the years). Here lies the issue with power integration among blacks. My white neighbor has "middle class wealth"-multiple sources and access to financial resources, while me and my black neighbors have " middle class income"- with the only access to finances is thorough the income we generate on the job, no inheritance, no "bank credit", no significant investments rolling over with interest. This reality must be confronted, seeing as though many whites (not all) have gained access to wealth during a time when whites benefitted openly from segregation that locked many minorities out of access to opportunity. Thus, those resources are handed down and characterize much of the racial inequalities that we see today. So, in my estimation, it is not enough just to get people living in the same neighborhoods, though I believe that could indicate a progressive step. But it is incumbent upon us as community members to be genuinely interested in the economic and social empowerment of every citizen, regardless of race. The policies, practices, and intentions of the people must be oriented with this idea in mind.

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2011-03-02T10:54:51-06:00
ID
162374
Comment

Frankly, Queen, I agree with you and with Blackwatch totally. I think I answered Blackwatch question the best I could as I look back. And if I had a better answer I would be really busy being called upon by more people than I can count. And I likewise would be receiving a BET Award, Presidential commendation, Nobe Peace Prize or something notable. Anyone who really knows me knows that I have lived and worked in an intergrated enviroment my whole career. We're still after 11 years the only Black family living on my street and I doubt Blacks make up 10 percent of my neghborhood that comprise almost 600 houses. I like my neighborhood because it's only about 2 mile from where I grew up, about the same from where I went to undergraduate school and about 3 miles from my old high school. I have never been against real integration and I'm integrated mentally, intellectually and physically. I even serve on a national board of director comprising nearly 50 people where I'm 1 of 4 people who are black. I am doing and have been doing for years what lots of us talk about daily. I'm not an uncle Tom, dumb, lazy or a weak minded or knees Negro either. I don't want anyone to give me nothing, open up the door and I will get it myself if I can borrow from the late James Brown. I understnad the frustration you speak of Queen. Personally, every chance I get I do what I can to help in every way I can, that which I know is right reagardlesws of race and sex; and I furthermore challenge others frequently to expand their horizons, outlooks and beliefs. Being this way makes me friends and enemies, but I'm willing to run the risk for a greater cause. As we age and look back, the persons we appreciate the most or learned the most from isn't the people who were the kindest to us or the most loving - but the ones who challenged us to search deeper and work harder.

Author
Walt
Date
2011-03-02T17:47:51-06:00
ID
162376
Comment

As as white conservative male who works downtown, please allow me to ask a dumb question. Is there something wrong with having moved from Jackson to the suburbs in an effort to get away from some crime, get in better schools, have better roads, better water, and lower property taxes?

Author
independent
Date
2011-03-02T20:01:41-06:00
ID
162382
Comment

A couple of days ago the feds and/or JPD discovered two kilos of cocaine and 30 lbs of reefer in West Jackson due to a neighbors tip. Thats a huge amount of drugs and will make the city safer. Its the kind of thing that needs to happen more often. How can kids learn if drugs are so available? And who really is the supplier? Follow the money and justice will be done. Gangs and their corrupt associates will suffer, but the community and kids will prosper. This thread lacks this perspective unfortunately. Many of the parents who spoke out at the JPS hearing for Mr. Edwards talked about the prevalence of drugs in the community and demanded the authorities do more.

Author
Aeroscout
Date
2011-03-03T08:53:47-06:00
ID
162384
Comment

why am i seeing comments at the bottom of the page and not in the thread?????

Author
Queen601
Date
2011-03-03T10:14:10-06:00
ID
162385
Comment

I'm also seeing comments in my e-mail, but not seeing it on the thread itself. Something's really haywire right now.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2011-03-03T11:12:09-06:00
ID
162394
Comment

Great points, Blackwatch. Thanks for cleaning up my blog. LOL!!! I get carried away on this issue; however, I sincerely believe that we must become something other than CONSUMERS!

Author
justjess
Date
2011-03-03T14:42:48-06:00
ID
162398
Comment

Well damn! It really isn't a good look that no comments are being permitted on this thread!

Author
Queen601
Date
2011-03-03T16:49:12-06:00
ID
162400
Comment

test

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-03-03T17:45:47-06:00
ID
162404
Comment

Comments fixed. The iTodd took a break from his vacation to stop the conspiracy against you, Queen. But y'all will have to click through additional pages now, though.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-03-03T18:56:26-06:00
ID
162410
Comment

The iTodd took a break from his vacation to stop the conspiracy against you, Queen. <<

Author
Queen601
Date
2011-03-04T09:11:31-06:00
ID
162411
Comment

Queen, I was teasing you, as you've done me many times. Big hug. This thread had too many comments for the way it was set up. Todd had to change it, and we didn't see it right away as we're out of town and not looking at the site often. Should work right now. Carry on, troops.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-03-04T09:16:39-06:00
ID
162413
Comment

@ Independent, As I stated earlier, I don't fault any individual family for making any choice that they feel is in their own best interests. So, one family deciding to move to the suburbs is not my target for critique, nor do I think one family moving back to Jackson is something that will change much about the issues Jackson faces. What I am critiquing is the historic and systemic reasons and effects of white flight. I am critical of how it has gotten to the point where one couldn't blame families in 2011 who could afford to move out of a community ravaged by concentrated poverty when they do. Nor am I advocating for families who can move out to stay in communities with concentrated poverty. What I am advocating for is a total redoubling of the effort to combat the systemic racism that has created these realities. I condemn the interpersonal prejudice that characterized the first wave of white flight after school integration in the 60's and 70's. I also condemn the systemic racism that characterizes property valuation today that serves to help create and maintain concentrated poverty. But, looking at the environment in many areas of Jackson, what is needed is massive investment, not just financial, but civic, human, and social investments that will radically change how Jackson and the metro looks and operates. Someone mentioned Atlanta as a blueprint for "New South" development. Atlanta has several things we can point to: -During the expansion of the airport there in the 1970's, Maynard Jackson made a point to woo Delta airlines to have a hub there (along with the US postal service). This provided a strategic transportation and shipping asset that made the region more viable for commerce. -Atlanta is full of people who are not native, yet go to school there and stay. For example, I went to Morehouse College right after High school along with 5 high school classmates. After graduation, 3 of those classmates stayed in Atlanta and two still live and work there as engineers, after graduating more than 10 years ago. With that kind of sticking rate, Atlanta is the recipient of many communities' "brain drain". -Also, do not underestimate the massive investment Atlanta received as a result of the Olympics in 1996. That literally transformed Atlanta from a southern metropolis to an International destination Center. So many attractions, infrastructure improvements, and local amenities were developed and constructed that literally made it into a new city. I say all of that to note that without massive investments in Jackson's Educational institutions, transportation centers, and overall infrastructure and attractions, Jackson will not be able to overcome the systemic and historical exploitation that have ravaged the city and take full advantage of the potential that lies within its grasp. Will we be courageous enough to fight for the kind of change and investment needed to truly transform Jackson?

Author
Renaldo Bryant
Date
2011-03-04T10:11:27-06:00
ID
162415
Comment

@Independent, we are all suffering from the same issues here in Jackson. It's not like one community isn't affected by the lack of leadership, failing school system, crime, etc... So to answer your question, you have every right to leave if you choose. However, IMHO, when we leave the city without attempting to make a stand to improve these issues, the city will continue making it's way to destruction. If people didn't stand and fight for civil rights, we'd still be using separate toilets and blacks would still be sitting in the back of the bus. If no stand had ever been made against slavery, we'd STILL be on plantations picking cotton and singing ole negro spirituals to keep a straight mind. Now, this may not mean much to you, but, trust me, it means a hell-of-a-lot to many! Point is, the people have to do something. We can't continue to leave or no one will be left. If your garbage truck doesn't pick up your garbage routinely would you move or would you make calls to ensure that your garbage gets picked up? I'm not condemning you, believe me. It's just that leaving us here to fight for this city while working here and living, paying taxes, buying groceries, gas, etc...somewhere else, make this a tougher fight. We are loosing valuable resources in our talented young people to cities that are already ahead of the game. We need to be more willing to focus on the future of Jackson, for our children and grandchildren. Thank goodness those who gave their lives during historical struggles put themselves aside for those of us who were to follow otherwise, this life we tend to take for granted would not be as "wonderful". All that to say, I understand, but someone has to take this city back. Why is it the other guy's problem?

Author
Queen601
Date
2011-03-04T10:54:57-06:00
ID
162417
Comment

This article and some of the blogging here is becoming counter-productive. Instead of focusing on everything that is bad for and with the City of Jackson, we should be looking at the things that are positive. We build on our positive strengths; not our negatives. I'm sure that the students who are doing great things and are getting scholarships to some of the finest colleges and universities in the country are wondering why there is nothing said about them. Where were the kids educated who are being sought after for jobs in other states? To the Morehouse grad, I also have a son who graduated from Callaway High School, graduated from Morehouse and lived in Atlanta several years before moving on to Texas. All of my children went to public school here. I now have great neices and nephews at jackson State, Tougaloo and MS State. All are products of public schools. It is during this period that many complain about our "TERRIBLE" school system; yet, there are productive survivors. If you don't know anything about JPS and the good work that is being done, I recommend watching Ch 18/19 at least once a week. This past week, the students along with the Superintendent, Sean Perkins from the City of Jackson and others participated in a "Re-Cycling Project." There are "black communities" here that continue their essence of beauty, to include the Belair Community (One of Jackson's oldest Sub-Divisions). Pride and a sense of community remain. Perhaps we can start a list of positives for the City of Jackson. I'll start by listing our Convention Center and the great work being done to bring in star attractions. Remember that we are not just local readers of the JFP. for people living outside of Jackson and never having visited the City, we have painted our City as a complete ZERO. That is unfair and just know that NEGATIVES ONLY PRODUCE NEGATIVES ONLY. Just thinking!

Author
justjess
Date
2011-03-04T11:34:45-06:00
ID
162418
Comment

@ Jess - I will piggy-back on your comment! lol!!! I feel we are prime for a renaissance like no other southern city, two reasons 1. 'kaze - made a great point some time ago when said, we are the last unknown frontier in this country - due to our brutal past, people still assume Mississippians and Jacksonians, are living like Amish people - with horse drawn buggies, overalls, barefoot, dirt roads, with mix-matched car part vehicles. We have a great opportunity to tap into the unknown and bank off those who really want to see a change in this place, who are not from here - because they want to see a positive change in Mississippi 2. Queen, you gonna have to remind me ol' boys name from Clinton that talked about the costs of real estate, but in a meeting I attended - there was a fella that pointed out the price of real estate is super reasonable, wages are under control and because of all our junior colleges, technical training is available all over the place. Those are some positives I can point out.

Author
Duan C.
Date
2011-03-04T12:12:26-06:00
ID
162424
Comment

Thanks Duan C., you just lifted that heavy burden I was feeling earlier. I also "piggy-back" with you on Queen's blog. There are some simple things that all can do.

Author
justjess
Date
2011-03-04T15:42:09-06:00
ID
162425
Comment

Queen's blog? Just out of curiosity justjess, do you my comment?

Author
Queen601
Date
2011-03-04T16:37:47-06:00
ID
162426
Comment

Queen601, I was responding to your blog on 3/4/11 @9:54am. You said, "Point is, the people have to do something. If your garbage truck doesn't pick up your garbage...... Dawn C. pointed out several positive things. I was just simply doing a ditto with both of you who mentioned things that can be done short of leaving Jackson. Did your "curiosity" about what I blogged have any other suggestive meanings?

Author
justjess
Date
2011-03-04T16:59:31-06:00
ID
162596
Comment

All: The rest of the story is that Jackson's population loss/white flight *slowed* in the last 10 years after decades of shifts. See Ward's story here.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2011-03-18T15:21:16-06:00

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