It’s midnight once more in Mississippi. Tonight, tens of hundreds of Jackson residents lastly have clear water, however nonetheless don’t have any actual solutions about how metropolis and state officers mismanaged their water provide so badly that they had been just lately left with out clear water for extended durations of time. Nor have they got adequate solutions as to why state officers had been reluctant to offer reduction.
Maybe NFL Corridor of Famer Brett Favre has bother sleeping tonight, overcome with disgrace over the truth that he nonetheless has not repaid greater than half of the $1.1 million in state welfare funds he acquired in a large embezzlement scheme involving the son of wrestler “Million Greenback Man” Ted DiBiase.
Greater than 1.1 million Mississippians resting their heads tonight voted final November to legalize medical marijuana; the Mississippi Supreme Court responded by nullifying the ballot measure and declaring all the referendum course of invalid. Writing for almost all opinion, Josiah Coleman, grandson of the segregationist governor J.P. Coleman, instructed that petitions for poll initiatives couldn’t have greater than 20% of their signatures from any one of many state’s 4 congressional districts. Tonight, Mississippi’s training ranks within the bottom 10, however we nonetheless know that Coleman’s math doesn’t work.
Tonight, Gov. Tate Reeves rests simply, happy that with no poll initiative course of, the state has no hope of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to grant health-care protection to 200,000 Mississippians till at the least after the subsequent spherical of state elections in 2023. Reeves is aware of that if Medicaid growth passes in Mississippi, Mississippians will view the years of Republican obstruction on the difficulty in a harsh new mild. A nonprofit backed by the Mississippi Hospital Affiliation, annoyed by years of legislative inaction, had just lately launched a petition for a referendum when the Mississippi Supreme Courtroom’s ruling got here down.
Sure, Reeves sleeps properly.
Making Voting ‘A Little Extra Tough’
Secretary of State Michael Watson clearly has nightmares about Mississippi school college students voting. Watson, who oversees the state’s elections, just lately lamented that it would be easier for “woke college university students” to vote if the For the Individuals Act turned federal legislation.
That remark mirrors earlier remarks of U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who sleeps someplace within the Beltway tonight. “After which they remind me that there’s a number of liberal people in these colleges who possibly we don’t wish to vote. Perhaps we wish to make it just a bit tougher. And I feel that’s an incredible concept,” she said in 2018. However Watson and Hyde-Smith can each take consolation figuring out that the Mississippi Supreme Courtroom’s choice additionally killed a petition to put in early voting within the state’s elections system, guaranteeing that Mississippi will keep among the lowest levels of voting access within the nation.
They’ll additionally take consolation figuring out that even Mississippi Democrats who’re capable of vote lie in mattress tonight with a sense of disenfranchisement. State legislative districts are so gerrymandered that whereas greater than 40% of Mississippians vote as Democrats, they solely make up 30% of the state Senate and 36% of the House of Representatives. The following spherical of redistricting will possible exacerbate that subject.
Allen Russell sleeps in a jail cell, as he’ll each night time for the remainder of his life, due to a Supreme Courtroom choice to uphold a life sentence for possession of simply over one ounce of marijuana. Russell beforehand pleaded responsible to 2 burglaries in 2004. On the time, housebreaking was not thought of a violent crime in Mississippi. However 10 years later, lawmakers modified that, which meant that when he was sentenced for marijuana possession in 2019, prosecutors pointed to his historical past of “violent crime” to justify a life sentence.
Some Mississippians, out of labor due to the COVID-19 pandemic, stare at their ceilings, questioning how they are going to have the ability to afford hire now that Gov. Reeves has announced the state will start refusing federal unemployment subsidies. Reeves and different state leaders have made a giant present of being pro-business, however they’ve carried out little to achieve out to the workers who make business possible.
Exterior Accomplice Affect on State
The Accomplice sympathizers throughout the state sleep properly tonight. Oh, 2020 was a tumultuous 12 months for them, as they noticed their beloved stars and bars faraway from the state flag. However they know that they nonetheless have outsized political affect within the state.
That’s the reason Gov. Reeves declared April as “Confederate Heritage Month” and closed state workplaces for “Accomplice Memorial Day,” preserving alive the lengthy Mississippi custom of whitewashing the horrors of the Accomplice motion.
In truth, Sen. Hyde-Smith is certainly one of our chief Confederate fetishists. As a state legislator she sponsored a decision praising a Accomplice soldier as somebody who “fought to defend his homeland,” and tried to call a freeway after Accomplice President Jefferson Davis. In 2014, she posted to social media an image of herself sporting a Accomplice cap within the residence of Davis with the caption, “Mississippi historical past at its greatest.” In 2016, she offered a group award to a pro-Confederacy group known as the Dixie Alliance. And through her 2018 marketing campaign in opposition to Mike Espy, who’s Black, she joked about attending a lynching, a heinous act embedded in Mississippi reminiscence.
Sure, the defenders of Mississippi’s legacy of white supremacy sleep properly figuring out that certainly one of their very own is representing them in america Senate.
However progress is on the horizon. Mississippians throughout the political spectrum have cried foul on the Mississippi Supreme Courtroom’s choice concerning poll initiatives. Reeves was little doubt pleased with the choice as a result of he appears to consider, as many people consider, that almost all Mississippians need the types of insurance policies that he’s devoted to combating—the types of insurance policies that may be handed by means of poll initiatives, like medical marijuana, Medicaid growth and early voting. It’s not a coincidence that the state with the most important share of Black folks within the nation has at all times held among the most suppressive voting laws.
However increasingly more Mississippians are overcoming that suppression. And their voices are being heard. Final 12 months, Mike Espy carried out as properly in his Senate race in opposition to Hyde-Smith in Mississippi as Jaime Harrison did in his South Carolina race in opposition to Lindsey Graham, regardless of far better nationwide assist for Harrison. That’s the reason increasingly more pundits are starting to surprise if Mississippi might be the subsequent Georgia.
Sure, it’s midnight once more in Mississippi. However morning is coming.
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