While thousands of residents in Mississippi’s capitol suffered over a month without clean water, their soggy-faced saltine governor cracked jokes about it.
While Florida and Texas’ governors race to the bottom of the barrel, Mississippi still has a strong contender. For several agonizing weeks, over 150,000 residents of Jackson, MS had no clean running water. While this human rights crisis devastated the predominantly Black city, Business Insider reports Gov. Tate Reeves joked “it’s a great day to not be in Jackson” during a speech Friday.
If there’s anything shameless Republicans are reliable t, it’s saying the quiet (and racist) part out loud and broadcasting their own incompetence. The state’s largest city was already under a boil-water notice since July, leaving many without water pressure. After severe flooding in August damaged the main water treatment facility, thousands more only had mud-colored sludge flowing through their pipes.
“It is a great day to be in Hattiesburg. It’s also, as always, a great day to not be in Jackson. I feel like I should take off my emergency manager director hat and leave it in the car and take off my public works director hat and leave it in the car,” Reeves said.
The sick and shameless joke came only one day after the city lifted its 7-week boil-water notice.
“We’ve significantly increased the quantity of water produced. We’ve restored water pressure to the city. We’ve installed an emergency rental pump. We’ve fixed and reinstalled broken parts on site, and we’ve monitored and tested water quality,” Reeves announced at a press conference on Thursday.
Are these emergency management and public works hats in the room with us now? Reeve’s most significant contributions to Mississippi’s infrastructure have been to make it even worse. That’s technically an accomplishment considering the state’s crumbling vital systems have been among the worst in the country for years.
This summer isn’t the first time Mississippi residents had to scramble and scrape together extra money for bottled water during water crises. Reeves repeatedly denied Jackson’s requests for funding to upgrade dilapidated water systems. He also cut multiple state programs to help the needy, predominantly Black people of color.
Mississippi already had the highest poverty and child poverty rates in the U.S. Even with full-time jobs, many still struggle to survive on the $7.25 minimum wage. Although the pandemic increased these burdens, Reeves was first in line to eliminate his state from emergency relief programs.
On August 15, Reeves ordered the state to cut off the federal pandemic rental assistance program prematurely. The hate is so strong that he’s sending back up to $130 million in federal funds. He also prematurely opted out of the COVID-19 unemployment benefits in May 2021.
Who do Republican leaders of the state actually support? Other wealthy White men. Retired NFL star Brett Favre secured $6 million in state welfare funds to build a volleyball stadium for his daughter. Former Gov. Phil Bryant and several others stole funds from taxpaying families to build the welfare king’s facility at the University of Southern Mississippi.
When asked about the state fraudulently forking over millions of dollars to Favre, Reeves threw an HBCU, Jackson State under the bus instead.
“I don’t know all the details as to how all that came about. What I do know is that it doesn’t seem like an expense that I would personally support…I don’t even like the state building stadiums with general fund tax dollars. I’m not really excited about Jackson State building a football stadium,” Reeves said.
Reeves whined that donations should build JSU’s stadium, even though that’s precisely what Deion Sanders did. The school’s head football coach donated half his salary to complete construction on his team’s new facility.