Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/20/2013 (1 year 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.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/20/2013 (1 year 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: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More U.S.

The Prophetic Dream of Don Bosco and the Leadership of the Pope

Image of The saint saw the Church as a great Ship of Peter surrounded by a flotilla of other vessels. They were engaged in intense warfare. At the helm of the Church was the Pope who at one point in a fierce battle fell mortally wounded. The enemies of the Church closed in sensing this was their moment. In the vision two columns then emerged from the great ocean

By Deacon Keith Fournier

This vision could describe what is occurring in our own day. Visions use symbols to communicate. They often have numerous applications and interpretations. We have been blessed with successors of Peter who are steering Christ's Church through those two columns, ... continue reading


For the first time in 100 years, Yosemite National Park hosts extremely rare sighting of the Sierra Nevada red fox Watch

Image of For the first time in 100 years, the Sierra Nevada red fox has been spotted in the Yosemite National Park.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the first confirmed sighting in nearly 100 years, the rare Sierra Nevada red fox has been captured with motion-sensitive cameras in the Yosemite National Park. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "We are thrilled to hear about the sighting of the Sierra Nevada red ... continue reading


Disaffected Colorado teenager who tried to join ISIS gets four years in prison Watch

Image of After serving four years in prison, 19-year-old Shannon Conley must spend three years of supervised release and serve community service.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Poor choices made in youthful hast have consequences. Nineteen-year-old Shannon Conley, from Colorado has been sentenced to four years in prison for attempting to join Islamic State. At the heart of this disturbing story is an Internet romance that went ... continue reading


Coin collectors of the world eagerly line up to see 1822 Half Eagle at convention Watch

Image of Historically, nearly 18,000 of the $5 pieces were minted in 1822. As the concentration of gold was lowered in coins after 1834, most of the earlier coins were melted down for gold.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

One of the rarest coins in the U.S., the 1822 Half Eagle, originally worth only $5, will make its first public appearance in more than three decades in Long Beach this weekend. There are only three of the coins known still in existence. The coin will go on ... continue reading


California's Kern County declares state of FISCAL EMERGENCY with plunging gas prices Watch

Image of Supervisors adopted a plan to immediately begin scaling back county spending rather than making deep reductions all at once in July.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kern County, in central California, relies heavily on its petroleum industry for tax revenues. While motorists nationwide are currently enjoying lower gas prices, this spells certain disaster for the County of Kern - officials there have declared a fiscal ... continue reading


Could terrorists attempt to attack the White House with a drone? Crash sparks debate over future use of drones in war Watch

Image of A small, four propeller drone, crashed on the White House lawn, spurring a discussion on whether drones may be used by terrorist groups in the future.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A two-foot-long, four propeller drone crashed onto the White House grounds yesterday, raising troubling questions that drones could be utilized by terrorists or other potential murderers to attack the White House or other U.S. government institutions that have ... continue reading


The Thrill of the Chaste: Matt C. Abbott Interviews Dawn Eden Watch

Image of Dawn Eden, author of the highly-acclaimed My Peace I Give You and the Catholic edition of The Thrill of the Chaste

By Matt C. Abbott

Being a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, and receiving Jesus' own Body and Blood in the Eucharist, has given me a deeper understanding of the meaning of being embodied. I see more clearly how chastity enables one to love fully in each relationship, in the ... continue reading


GOP teams up with Israeli prime minister to forcefully override Obama's Iran policy Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

House Speaker John Boehner is seeking to enlist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support a congressional plan to override President Obama's Iran policy on March 3. Boehner hopes to bring Netanyahu to a joint session of the House and Senate. Boehner ... continue reading


The Prophetic Connection Between the March for Life and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

It is no accident that the March for Life always falls within the National Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It is prophetic.We have been thrown together in a common defense of life in a western culture which has lost its moral compass. Our Marching together ... continue reading


Early Christian Deacon and Martyr Vincent Calls Us to Heroic Christian Witness in a Hostile Culture Watch

Image of Vincent was born in the Third Century in Huesca, Spain and born again to eternal life only four days into the fourth century. He lived in Saragossa where he served the holy Bishop Valerius as a Deacon.He was one of the scores of Christians who suffered brutal persecution under the evil Roman emperor named Diocletian. Diocletian is associated with the last of the ten persecutions of the nascent undivided Christian Church of the first millennium of our history.  Like many early deacons of the undivided Church such as Stephen, Lawrence and Ephrem, the hagiography which has been passed down through the Church records his holiness of life and heroic virtue. He lived the way he died, as a sign of the power of the Gospel and the truth of the presence of the Risen Jesus Christ in our midst.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Deacon Vincent was a man like us who encountered the same Risen Lord Jesus whom we have encountered. He struggled with the choices which always accompany living the Christian life in the midst of a culture which has squeezed God and His truth out of the ... 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, Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
1 Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope ... Read More

Psalm, Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75
69 and he has established for us a saving power in ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:35-41
35 With the coming of evening that same day, he said ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 31st, 2015 Image

St. John Bosco
January 31: What do dreams have to with prayer? Aren't they just random ... 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