Will This Proposal Diminish Black Political Power In The Country's Blackest City?

mississippi state capitol
Zain Murdock
March 13, 2023

On February 7, 2023, white Mississippi representatives voted in favor of House Bill 1020, a dangerous plot for a separate white judicial district with only white appointed political officials.

This bill would expand the murderous Mississippi Capitol police department and create a new judicial district with new judges and prosecutors. This district would coverselect areas including the city’s majority-white neighborhoods in Jackson, which is the Blackest city in America.

Worse, those judges and prosecutors would be appointed by two far right white officials.

Ultimately, this would diminish the power of Black voters to choose prosecutors and judges. The bill has already passed the House and is on its way to the Senate.

“This is just like the 1890 Constitution all over again,” decried Rep. Ed Blackmon, referring to the legal document that required poll taxes and voting literacy tests. “We are doing exactly what they said they were doing back then: ‘Helping those people because they can’t govern themselves.'”

Blackmon’s right. And anti-Black politicians are wrong about us. Our agency is power.

This is a major attack on the Black vote, echoing the post-Reconstruction and Civil Rights eras. We need to follow this story and support Black Mississippians’ calls for action as they come. But let’s also look out for similar efforts spreading across state lines.

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