Last week in Louisiana, the state’s Supreme Court paved the way for a largely white enclave within Baton Rouge to break off and form its own city, which will be named St. George. The push to cleave off this part of Baton Rouge from its less affluent and more diverse surrounding areas has been years in the making.

A group of affluent white residents in Baton Rouge have successfully concluded a lengthy legal dispute by gaining approval to establish their own suburban community separate from the predominantly black city. Maybe they feel there is some anti-white racism. This victory comes after the state Supreme Court overturned a previous ruling, ultimately voting 4-3 in favor of the incorporation of St. George, a new suburb located in southeast Baton Rouge.

“This is the culmination of citizens exercising their constitutional rights. We voted and we won,” Andrew Murrell, one of the leaders of the St. George campaign, said in a statement following the victory.

“Now we begin the process of delivering on our promises of a better city,” he added. “We welcome both our friends and foes to the table to create St. George.”

When cultures collide over taxes, education, and values, tensions can run high as each group may have differing opinions on how society should be governed and how resources should be allocated. Disagreements over tax policies can arise when some cultures believe in higher taxes to fund social programs while others prefer lower taxes for individual freedom.

Baton Rouge Will Suffer

Similar to Central, the most recent incorporated city in East Baton Rouge Parish, the St. George initiative initially aimed to establish a new school district. However, residents ultimately chose to pursue cityhood instead.

In 2015, the St. George supporters fell short of securing enough votes. However, four years later, the initiative successfully won the election, only to be halted by a prolonged court battle, as reported by the New York Times.

Sharon Weston Broome, the mayor-president overseeing the unified Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish administrations, filed a lawsuit against the St. George organizers. She contended that the separation would divert over $48 million in yearly tax revenue from the local government. Opponents further asserted that St. George would lack the necessary budget to sustain itself independently.

Justice William J. Crain, the author of the majority opinion, expressed disagreement with the city’s assessment and suggested that a thriving St. George could potentially benefit the declining Baton Rouge.

Despite her previous stance, Mayor Broome conceded defeat on Friday following the Supreme Court’s ruling. The NAACP, however, remains concerned that the creation of St. George will have a negative impact on Baton Rouge’s predominantly black community.

In a statement released on Monday, the local chapter of the NAACP expressed their worries about the risks posed by the St. George plan to the education system, critical programs, and community representation. They emphasized the uncertainty surrounding funding allocation for schools and the potential threat to education, which they consider the foundation of the community’s future.

During a news conference held at the St. George Fire Department headquarters on Monday, Murrell assured residents that the new city’s officials are committed to establishing a new school district. He acknowledged the challenges that lie ahead but promised to work towards overcoming them.

“Number one, we created a city. We have not created a school district,” Murrell said. “They are two distinct separate animals. They have separate budgets, separate leadership structures.

“But I would be dishonest if I didn’t tell you what’s next on the agenda would be the creation of the St. George school district, which is long overdue in a parish that is near dead last in a state that is near dead last in the country in education,” he added.