Failed Pump Sparked Jackson Water Crisis, Media Figures Blame It on Racism


Liberal media outlets and figures blamed a long-running water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, on racism in the wake of Republican Gov. Tate Reeves declaring a state of emergency.

Reeves warned residents of Jackson, the state’s capital, not to drink the tap water due to the failure of water pumps at the city’s main water treatment plant Monday after the Pearl River flooded. National Guard troops began assisting efforts to deliver bottled water to the city’s 180,000 residents.

Many liberal media figures, including reporters from NBC and MSNBC hosts, claimed racism was the cause of the crisis.

“Gino Womack, who is the program director of Operation Good, said that no effort has been made to take care of the south side of Jackson – which is majority-Black and impoverished,” an article at Salon said.

“Jackson right now is what American structural racism looks like,” MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan said in a tweet featuring a monologue from “The Mehdi Hasan Show” Thursday. “In America almost all roads lead back to race. Even the fact that this morning 10s of 1000s of mostly Black Americans didn’t have clean water to even brush their teeth.”

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“More people need to be talking about Jackson, Mississippi. The city ran out of bottled water to give residents yesterday,” NBC tech and culture reporter Kat Tenbarge tweeted Wednesday. “It’s the largest city in Mississippi. It’s 80% Black. Their water system is failing because of years of neglect. This is environmental racism.”

MSNBC host Alex Wagner offered a theory about how racism was to blame.

“After Brown v Board of Ed, White Mississippians left Jackson, rather than have their children attend school w Black children,” she posted. “Black families were left behind & the tax base necessary for infrastructure improvements + repairs was decimated. This water crisis = the legacy of racism.”

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Former ESPN host Jemele Hill, a contributing writer for The Atlantic, claimed that “systemic inequality” was behind the crisis.

“Jackson, Mississippi — which is 80 percent Black — is without reliable running water,” Hill posted on Twitter. “The city will not be able to produce enough water for fighting fires or flushing toilets. I know you’ll be shocked but the long-standing problem is a result of decades of structural inequality.”

“If you truly think we live in a post racial society, look at Jackson, Mississippi struggling to have drinking water in 2022,” Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali tweeted. “70% Black population. Deliberately ignored and under-served.”

Reeves vetoed legislation in 2020 to address Jackson’s water system, claiming it would allow “politicians to say that individuals are not responsible for paying their water bill,” according to The Mississippi Legislature did not attempt to override the veto, according to Legiscan.

Some called for a federal response to the crisis.

“The city of Jackson, MS is under a water emergency. No water for things like fires, bathing, toilet flushing, drinking, etc.,” Ameshia Cross, a political analyst and Democratic strategist, posted on Twitter. “Because the state of Mississippi has consistently failed its Jackson residents, that are majority Black, we need a federal response. This is unbelievable.”

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