Black Caucus Says Mississippi Has Been Fair


Legislative Black Caucus leaders say Mississippi has been fair in its treatment of all landowners black and white while acquiring land for a Nissan manufacturing plant.

``Our evaluation of the land acquisition process tells us that the Mississippi Development Authority has been upfront, open and honest in how it has conducted this activity,'' Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, said Monday.

The Nissan plant, slated to open in 2003, is in Horhn's district, the Jackson suburb of Madison County. Horhn held a news conference at the Capitol on Monday with three other Black Caucus members, including the chairman, Rep. Rufus Straughter, D-Belzoni.

Their defense of the state came days after the Rev. Jesse Jackson said Mississippi has offered black landowners one-third the price it offered a white landowner in acquiring land for the $930 million Nissan plant. The facility is expected to employ 4,000 people.

Stephanie Parker Weaver, executive secretary of Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Mississippi chapter, said Horhn and the other caucus members on Monday didn't tell the whole truth about the land acquisition. She said black families who might lose their land want ``to be treated like they are shareholders and not sharecroppers.''