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By Scott Greer
Voters in Jackson, Miss., a mid-sized city in the heart of the Deep South, have picked a Democrat as their mayor. What’s different about this individual is that he is a former leader of the Republic of New Afrika, a group dedicated to creating an independent black nation out of five southern states.
Now leading the city of about 175,000 is Chokwe Lumumba – who has a long history of radical activism and whose plans for the largest city in Mississippi could be called “revolutionary.”
A co-founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, which promotes black “self-determination,” Lumumba was sworn in on July 1, after winning 86 percent of the vote in the general election.
He had won the Democrat nomination with 54 percent of the vote.
Despite what could be considered an overpowering victory, Jackson’s business owners are extremely concerned with Lumumba’s proposals for the city.
One of Lumumba’s primary goals as mayor of Jackson is to create a “solidarity economy” in the city. According to a report published by the Belfast Telegraph, a solidarity economy is an “umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of alternative economic activities, including worker-owned co-operatives, co-operative banks, peer lending, community land trusts, participatory budgeting and fair trade.”
Lumumba also has earned the highest praise from the Final Call, the official publication of the Nation of Islam, which called his electoral victory one of the “most important progressive political victories on a long list of important political leaders.”
Further in the article, Final Call noted that: “the seeds of a ‘Black Nation’ have already taken root in the state where Mr. Lumumba is mayor of the capital city.”
Lumumba discussed this idea of a “Black Nation” forming in Mississippi with Final Call and what can be done to bring it to life.
“Some of (the counties) are as much as 80 percent black. So, demographically we have a solid, a non-self-governing territory. What we need to do in that area – and actually what our people have begun to do, Mississippi has more black elected officials than any state in the United States – and if we can now give that some political content, some direction in terms of what we want to do in terms of taking these electoral victories, these economic victories and teach the message that we know from long ago, of self-determination, of self-governance, self-economic development,” Lumumba stated.
In addition, he calls this area of Mississippi the “Kush District,” and he raised his fist in a black power salute at the ceremony where he was sworn in as mayor.
Despite a worldview that seems overwhelmingly focused on race, Jackson’s mayor does not see himself as a racist and criticizes those who feel that he is one.
“People who talk about that are never really going to impact on the real racism, because they don’t have the understanding that racism still exists,” Lumumba told a local news outlet. “A racist, first of all, is a person that either systemically or individually victimizes someone and actually imposes some kind of power on them, deprivation on them because of their race. But, that’s really not our problem. Our problem is that there are people that deprive people of jobs because of their race. Our problem is that there are people who put people in jail because of their race. Our problem is that there are people that use force or energy to hurt people because of their race.”
He continued to explain how he is not a racist.
“Mr. Lumumba never lynched anybody. But, there have been lynchings in Mississippi. Mr. Lumumba never fired anybody off their job because of their color, but that does exist in Mississippi today. And so what we have to do to get to the base of it is recognize its existence first of all, and once we recognize the existence, we can come up with ways to solve it,” Lumumba commented.
Ben Kinchlow, author of the just released “Black Yellowdogs: The Most Dangerous Citizen is Not Armed, But Uninformed,” believes Lumumba’s principles go against the core values and principles of America and will lead only to further division in the country.
“We don’t need more division in this country, we need people who are recognizing that we have severe economic challenges that we need to address as a unified people, not as a group of separate individuals that are trying to split the United States of America,” Kinchlow declared.
Colin Flaherty, author of “White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It,” considers it hypocrisy that there isn’t more media coverage of this case when the media have been heavily covering a case of a few individuals trying to buy up all the property and set up an all-white town in North Dakota.
“If the mainstream media really wants to find a race-based government that is operating right now in America, they should go to Jackson, Miss., because this is where ‘New Afrika’ is operating,” Flaherty commented.
“They have basically established the principles of the ‘Republic of New Afrika’ in the capital city of Mississippi. Everything they do is done through the prism of race: hiring, police work, contracts, and they’re pretty explicit about it. In their view, the white people have been running the town for a long time and now it’s their turn,” Flaherty observed.
Lumumba was born in Detroit as Edwin Finley Taliaferro, but changed his name later.
The Final Call, Louis Farrakhan’s mouthpiece, quoted him talking about his goals.
“If you take Atlanta, for an example, over a 10-year period of time, from 1985 to 1995, 500,000 black people moved to Atlanta. If we had that kind immigration into Mississippi, Mississippi would be well on its way to becoming what you and I talked about,” a “shining city on the hill,” a virtual “New Jerusalem.”
During his career as an attorney, Final Call reported, he represented members of the Black Liberation Army, and he was vice president of the “Republic of New Afrika,” which claimed Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina to be the home of a new “black nation.”
His plans include summer youth programs such as what he calls “African Scouts.”
Blogger Trevor Loudon, of the New Zeal, “Shining the Torch for Liberty,” said anyone who doubts Lumumba’s dedication to being a Marxist revolutionary should watch him in action in 1998 in Washington.
There he demanded freedom for black “political prisoners” in the U.S.
He cited convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal as one of those needing “liberation,” Loudon reports.
Lumumba also listed another convicted cop murderer, Assata Shakur, of the Black Liberation Army, and Loudon noted that Lumumba was Shakur’s lawyer.
“We’re here in the governmental center of the citadel of imperialism,” Lumumba said about Washington, where the buildings were built “off the blood of our people” and using the “wealth they have stolen not only from colonies all over the world, but the African colony.”
“This is a corrupt system,” he shouted. “There can be no bargain with this system … there can be no compromise. … We are New Africans. We come here because we are colonized.”
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