Vicksburg 03/28/06 Black Residents Make Discrimination Claim Vicksburg Protest Vicksberg Protest Video By Andrew Hasbun [email protected] Dozens of black Vicksburg residents believe the city treats them unfairly. On the steps of city hall, they claimed city officials are trying to shut down black owned businesses. “We are going to unite our community, and we are going to stand for what is right," said one protester. Dozens of Vicksburg 's black residents say the city abuses their rights. They claim old policies are still being used against black businesses. "This was done in the Jim Crowe era, there was no consideration for the needs of the people," said Alma Cash, the owner of Alma’s Grocery on Military St. Cash says she has been stuck in court for years, trying to change the zoning on her grocery store. "They won't change it because they want you out,” said Cash. “They want to get you out of business. They don't want black businesses down there, which is ridiculous." One by one, angry residents addressed the crowd as some officials watched from city hall's windows. Rev. Robert Mayfield stood on the same steps in 1964. He believes the black community now is more divided than in the civil rights era. He called on the crowd to unite and push for change. "You've got a lot of prejudiced blacks and a lot of prejudiced whites. I think when people get together, work together, and not fight then they can get it done," said Rev. Miller. "It deeply saddens me that it came to this point, where people felt they had to come perform a rally on the steps of city hall," said North Ward Alderman Mike Mayfield. Mayfield fired back when he addressed the crowd. "Sometimes you have more areas that you have to work in and you have to do what is right and what is fair for the citizens of this city," said Mayfield. While he thinks some concerns are legitimate, Mayfield believes the city treats everyone fairly. -------------------------------------------------------- Looks like the same dismal attitudes of black and white city officials in Philadelphia, PA of immigrant African and African-American communities for overall betterments from Beating of Liberian teenager. Just to think we have our so called "own" in government not wanting to promote "black businesses". They talk about development for "our" communites but this episode dont sure look like it. I believe this is a national problem and should not be considered an "isolated" incident.