Most of Jackson, Mississippi, still lacks safe water, a month after the severe winter storm last month ravaged the city’s water system and left much of the population without any service at all for three weeks. Even now, city officials cannot show the water is potable, forcing those residents for whom service has been restored to boil water to drink, brush their teeth, and attempt to clean themselves. That Jackson’s water infrastructure needed improvement did not come as a surprise, and for residents of the 80% Black city, the racism is clear.

“We have to recognize the role that [racism] plays, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba told NPR. “We have to realize that issues of race are as American as apple pie.” (Clarion Ledger, Mississippi Today, Clarion Ledger, NPR, New York Times $, NBC, AP, CNN, Slate; Commentary: CNN, Keri Leigh Merritt op-ed; Climate Signals background: February 2021 polar vortex breakdown and central US winter storms