Jackson, Mississippi, remains gripped in an ongoing water crisis. The task of distributing water to local residents has been largely taken up by community organizations like Cooperation Jackson and Operation Good. Organizer, writer, and educator Kali Akuno joins The Marc Steiner Show to explain how the current crisis is a reflection of capitalism’s failures and decades of institutional racism. Though Jackson today is more than 80% Black, this is a recent demographic development created by white flight and capital flight from the city. The state’s prolonged neglect of Jackson’s infrastructure is a consequence of an entrenched far-right politics in Mississippi’s public institutions. And what’s happening currently in Jackson is a sign of things to come around the country. To fight back, Akuno emphasizes the need to build mass movements and grassroots networks capable of exercising real political power.
Kali Akuno is a co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson, and an organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM). Formerly, he served as the coordinator of special projects and external funding for the late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba in Jackson, Mississippi. Akuno is the author of “Let Your Motto be Resistance,” and co-author of “Operation Ghetto Storm” and “Every 36 Hours: Report on the Extrajudicial Killing of 120 Black People.”
Post-Production: Stephen Frank
The transcript of this podcast will be made available as soon as possible.