Governor's Joke About Capital City Does Not Land Well

Mississippi's Tate Reeves says it's 'a great day to not be in Jackson,' which has had water trouble
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2022 10:55 AM CDT
Governor's Joke About Capital City Does Not Land Well
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

The governor of Mississippi has raised eyebrows with a jab at the capital city of Jackson, which has recently endured serious drinking-water problems. Speaking at a function in the city of Hattiesburg, Tate Reeves told the crowd it was great to be in the city. "It's also, as always, a great day to not be in Jackson," Reeves added, per Insider. Residents of Jackson recently went about seven weeks without being able to safely drink tap water, a crisis for which state and city officials blamed each other. In his comments in Hattiesburg, Reeves made clear he was referencing the water crisis.

"I feel like I should take off my emergency management director hat and leave it in the car and take off my public works director hat and leave it in the car," he said after the Jackson slam. The comment drew swift backlash, reports BuzzFeed, which rounds up examples. A notable one: "In the most disgraceful Governor sweepstakes, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves is a winner," tweeted Sherrilyn Ifill, former president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. (More than 80% of Jackson's residents are Black.)

WLBT notes that the governor's dig came only a day after he chided the media for playing the "blame game" about who's responsible for the water trouble in Jackson. "I ain't got time for it," he said. Axios provides context into the controversy, noting that Reeves has long accused the city of failing to provide state and federal officials with a proper plan to fix the water issues, while Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba says he has the documents to prove otherwise. (The city lifted its latest boil-water notice last week.)

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