Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/20/2013 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In being radical, mayor strikes a similar chord with Thomas Jefferson.

Jackson Mississippi has a mayor unlike any other. Chokwe Lumumba is a self-proclaimed black-power revolutionary and mayor of the troubled city that is beset by financial and infrastructure difficulties. However, despite his personal ideology he is above all, pragmatic, even to the point of appointing rivals to get things done.

Chokwe Lumumba is the Mayor of Jackson and is applying revolutionary ideas to government.

Chokwe Lumumba is the Mayor of Jackson and is applying revolutionary ideas to government.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/20/2013 (6 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Chokwe Lumumba, Jackson, Mississippi, mayor, empowerment, self-determination


JACKSON, MI (Catholic Online) - Before he became mayor, Chokwe Lumumba was an attorney with a controversial past. His most high-profile cases revolved around black radical activism. He was even the vice president of the Republic of New Afrika.

The Republic of New Afrika, in case you were wondering, was the hoped-for new nation that encompassed Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. Under the dreams of late 60's black power radicals, a new country would be carved out for American blacks.

At his public gatherings, Lumumba gives a black power salute, leads gatherings in hymns and chants that are also associated with the movement.

Such behavior is far more befitting a pep rally, but rallies might be just what Jefferson needs. The city is suffering from a dwindling tax base as middle-class residents flee to suburban neighborhoods in neighboring communities, and infrastructure decays.

Decayed sewage and water networks and decayed roads, and poverty all combine to make Jackson a challenging place to live. Residents often find themselves boiling water for drinking and cooking.

So what can a Malcolm X style mayor do to change all this? Quite a bit actually.

Chokwe Lumumba's stated goal is self determination for the people. Generally, by self-determination, Lumumba means self determination for blacks, but as mayor his interest is now self-determination for all people who live in Jackson.

To accomplish this goal, the people must have a voice, and they must have the power to decide how money is spent and what projects are advanced. They must be able to decide what the laws will be.

Lumumba used Detroit as an example of what the city should not become. Detroit is now a city governed by a state, and has lost its self-determination because of decades of financial mismanagement, crime, and blight. Jackson, if he gets his way, will be nothing like Detroit.

Since his election in June, Lumumba has already built a coalition of leaders to help advance projects in the city's interests. In this goal he is very pragmatic, even appointing rivals to key posts to get jobs done.

Lumumba was already regarded for his Ward 2 People's Assembly. As a councilman, he hosted meetings in church halls and community centers to listen to the people, their needs and concerns. He would meet with heads of city departments at these assemblies.

The assemblies serve to give people voice, so as mayor Lumumba plans to implement the assemblies across the city.

His next step is to convince those with money and power in the city, mostly those with successful businesses, to invest in the people and infrastructure of Jackson. He is asking them to hire local laborers for work and to build and improve housing for local residents.

However, his greatest challenge is the city's infrastructure. Roads are cracked and buckled, sewage and water lines regularly bust, and the local Pearl River is badly polluted.

Lumumba proposed a budget to fix these problems -a budget that was almost twice the size of the previous year's. To cover the spending increases, he raised water rates by 29 percent and asked for a one-cent raise in the sales-tax rate for public works.

Quoted in Al Jazeera America he said, "Dealing with infrastructure is a protection against being robbed of one's self-determination. We've seen what's happening in Detroit, where the whole city has been taken over by the state. We don't want that to happen here, so we want to conquer those problems. And we're trying to expand the base of the population and the alliance which is trying to fight for this avenue for self-determination. We aren't trying to create more enemies."

Lumumba objects to state control over local affairs and believes the people must decide what improvements are made, when they are made, and by whom. He has fought back against state attempts to control local decisions. He continues to listen to proposals for new laws, everything from drug legalization to a human rights charter, according to Al Jazeera.

Ultimately, Lumumba represents a curious thing. He represents a form of democracy, almost Jeffersonian in nature. By returning power to individuals and their communities, away from the state, he does much to validate the notion of local government as superior to centralized power. Then again, for intelligent, rational thinkers, there is no better way than self determination and responsibility.

Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More U.S.

Suffering, Struggle and the Christian Revolution Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Christian tradition instructs us that even undeserved and unmerited suffering, when joined in love to the sufferings of Jesus Christ, can produce extraordinary fruit within us - and then through us, as we change. This is a part of the teaching on the mystery ... continue reading


Live the Easter Way! The Holy Spirit which Transformed the Early Church Enlists Us! Watch

Image of Candle by candle, the light of the Resurrection illuminates the world around us as He who is the Light of the World fills it with His radiance.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I just watched Pope Francis preside at the Easter Vigil at the Basilica of St Peter. His homily on encountering Jesus and finding our own Galilee was beautiful. Now, I am about to depart for the Easter Vigil at my parish in Chesapeake, Virginia. I will greet the ... continue reading


Holy Saturday: God has Died in the Flesh and Hell Trembles with Fear Watch

Image of Holy Saturday Byzantine Icon. This is a day which presents to those who approach it in contemplation, an opportunity to probe the mystery of life and death. It is a day to enter into the deeper mysteries of the faith with the millions and millions of those who have gone before us.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all ... continue reading


The Birth of Catholic Evangelism Watch

Image of I recently interviewed Jeff Cavins  for my weekly show  on Ave Maria Radio.  Jeff, who is nationally known for his study guides to the Bible, has just taken a job as Director of Evangelism at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  It's a significant point in this nation's Church history that an apologist/educator with EWTN origins has taken a significant job inside an archdiocese.

By Deal W. Hudson

In spite of being ignored, and in some cases blacklisted, several of the hosts of EWTN radio and TV shows grew ministries of their own in the evangelistic Catholic style of Mother Angelica's still-prospering network. Jeff Cavins is one of the most successful of ... continue reading


Good Friday: Behold the Wood of the Cross Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

This is Good Friday. This is the day when the whole world stands still. We recall the great Sacrifice offered on the second tree on Golgotha's Hill. There, the one St. Paul calls the New Adam (1 Cor.15), in the perfect obedience of love, did for us  what we ... continue reading


Finally Justice! Small town city manager gets 12 years in jail on corruption charges Watch

Image of Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo's party came crashing down when it was revealed in 2010 that Rizzo was giving himself an annual salary and benefits package of $1.5 million.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bell, California is a small town with less than 36,000 people. That didn't stop City Manager Robert Rizzo, along with his friends, from awarding themselves hefty raises and drawing yearly salaries as high as $1.5 million. It was fun while it lasted - now Rizzo ... continue reading


FORCED BESTIALITY: Evil teenage girls sexually assault autistic boy - and record it for posterity Watch

Image of Seventeen-year-old Lauren Bush along with her 15-year-old accomplice are accused by the St. Mary's County sheriff's department on numerous charges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an episode shocking for its sheer cruelty, two teenage girls in Maryland are now in custody after they repeatedly abused a 16-year-old autistic boy - eventually making him perform sexual acts with a family pet - and recording it all on their cell phones. LOS ... continue reading


HOW LONG BEFORE THE SYSTEM BREAKS? Working Americans increasingly made to pay for those on welfare Watch

Image of Those who work in America are increasingly being made to pay for those who don't -- in the manner of an over-burdened ox.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're an American who awakes each day to begin a day of toil you have no interest in, take heed: There are only more reasons to hit your pillow in frustration each night as you drift off to sleep. You are an endangered species, and the media has not rallied ... continue reading


Ron Paul warns Feds may stage 'Waco styled' raid Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy has been fighting with the Bureau of Land Management for 20 years over his cattle and grazing rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Cliven Bundy, his family, their supporters, and myriad militiamen forced federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management to back off of the Bundy's Nevada ranch and release hundreds of captured cattle, one politician warns that the feds could be planning ... continue reading


What does this say about America? More people getting food stamps than women working full-time Watch

Image of There were only 15,678,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 1969.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a distressing figure that shines a most unflattering light on affairs here in the United States. According to recent statistics, those  participating in the food stamp program, or SNAP outnumbered the number of women who worked full-time, year-round ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 2:14, 22-32
14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
1 [In a quiet voice Of David] Protect me, O God, in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 28:8-15
8 Filled with awe and great joy the women came ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 21st, 2014 Image

St. Anselm
April 21: St. Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury and Confessor APRIL 21,A.D. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter