Today, the NAACP filed a Title VI Complaint for Investigation into the State of Mississippi's gross mishandling of the water crisis in Jackson, citing a long history of discrimination through years of neglect and the repeated denial of requests for federal funds.
NAACP President & CEO, Derrick Johnson, released the following statement:
"Everyone deserves safe, clean drinking water. In 2022, there is no excuse as to why our government cannot provide the necessary infrastructure to ensure that all of its residents have access to this basic human right. The residents of Jackson, Mississippi, a predominantly Black community, have suffered at the hands of discriminatory state leadership for far too long. It is apparent that the racist funding policies of Governor Tate Reeves and the State of Mississippi prevented the execution of critical infrastructure updates necessary to avoid the crisis we are now facing.
"While the boil advisory may have been lifted, the threat of water insecurity continues to loom over Jackson. Governor Reeves and the State of Mississippi have placed thousands of lives at risk and created a crisis that will impact the Black community in Jackson for decades and generations to come. The NAACP will continue to push forward in the fight to ensure that justice is served, these inequities are addressed, and the people of Jackson receive the clean drinking water they deserve."
Abre' Conner, NAACP's Director of Environmental and Climate Justice, added:
"The water crisis in Jackson is just the latest example of negligence – if not racist – pattern of underfunding basic water services for Black communities. Make no mistake – this is nothing new. Our country has a longstanding history of mistreating, and neglecting Black communities, putting the lives of men, women, and children at risk. As our infrastructure continues to age and the effects of climate change worsen, we will continue to experience crises such as the one in Jackson, not only in Mississippi but in predominantly Black communities throughout the country.
This is just the beginning. We urge the EPA and the DOJ to take the necessary actions to right these wrongs. The NAACP will continue to work with our partners, fighting for environmental justice and holding leadership accountable for their discriminatory actions and the harmful impacts they pose to our communities."
The full complaint can be found below:
- NAACP Title VI Complaint