Letter to Jackson

Dear Reuben,

Now that I’m safely in Virginia, I’ll give you the impressions of Jackson you wanted.

I should say first that nothing prepared me for Jackson, Mississippi. I’m still not sure if it’s because that is as far South as I’ve ever been (or want to be again, to be honest) or because Jackson itself is so sullen and isolated.

The city is frozen; those capable of formulating effective fixes for the neighborhoods of row upon row of abandoned, decaying houses are either powerless or don’t care. An economic riptide is washing businesses away from a city bound and gagged by petty racial politics playing to self-interests.

Even compared to the rest of Mississippi, Jackson seems narrow-minded, divided, and backwards. The city reminds me a once-thriving outpost of an eroded empire, leaving an indifferent government, an inefficient bureaucracy, and venal churches blind to suffering and deaf to prayers.

Jackson is a nest  of grasping, insular people huddled together for safety on the banks of a dirty river where nothing is safe. What should be a shining stage for vision and concord is instead a fetid wallow of greed and dissent.

When change comes to Jackson, it will not come from within, but from without.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.