The capital city of the state of Louisiana in the USA, Baton Rouge, is in for a rough ride as its predominantly white southern suburbs want to secede from the northern inner-city areas. According to the latest American census 50,4% of Baton Rouge residents are Black or African American, 40,8% White, 0,5% Native American, 3.5% Asian, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos were 3,5% of the population.
According to the Raw Story website, ‘The predominantly white and wealthy residents of the southern area of Baton Rouge have proposed seceding from the city proper and incorporating into a new one to be called ‘St. George’.
“The movement began as an effort to create a new school district, but after the state legislature repeatedly mothballed its proposals — claiming that they could not approve an independent school district that was unaffiliated with a city — organizers shifted their energies to the creation of ‘St. George’.”
The new city would be the fifth largest in the state, with over 107,000 residents, and would include two of the largest tax revenue bases in the state: Perkins Rowe and the Mall of Louisiana. A study by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber concluded that Baton Rouge residents “will be disproportionately paying taxes to the proposed municipality”, given city governance’s reliance on sales tax revenues.
If the succession were successful, the study claimed, it “could entail the dissolution of the present system of governance”.
The black mayor of Baton Rouge, Melvin L. “Kip” Holden, is opposed to the idea and claims that the problems in the school system have been addressed.
According to one expert, “the demographic shift the incorporation of ‘St. George’ would create is almost as troubling as the economic difficulties (caused by lost tax revenue from white residents). According to a recent study on the demographic impact of Hurricane Katrina, the city of Baton Rouge accepted over 200 000 displaced New Orleans residents, the majority of whom were black and settled in the northern, urban parts of the city.
The ‘St. George’ proposal would create a poor, black, and urban Baton Rouge and a wealthy, white, and suburban ‘St. George’.
Here is a video news bulletin on the issue.