Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tennessee Coal Ash Mined in Poor Black Alabama Community

Don't want to Smell it, Don't Want to inhale it!

The skinny, as reported in the New York Times, (linked into the title), is poor decisions by elected officials (mostly black) in an Alabama community have forced folks with fewer financial resources, to live in fear for their health.

The New York Times reports, that in:

UNIONTOWN, Ala.- Almost every day, a train pulls into a rail yard in rural Alabama, hauling 8,500 tons of a disaster that occurred 350 miles away to a final resting place, the Arrowhead Landfill in Perry County, which is very poor and almost 70 percent black.

We can not wish away the fact that race and economics delineates the two communities; it also influences the risk/hazard dichotomy. Well, folks in Alabama may be poor, but they aren't stupid. They are not happy.

The New York Times article further states:
[S]ome residents worry that their leaders are taking a short-term view, and that their community has been too easily persuaded to take on a wealthier, whiter community's problem. "Money ain't worth everything," sid Mary Gibson Holley, 74, a black retired teacher in Uniontown. "In the long run, they ain't looking about what this could do to the community if something goes wrong."

The Concerns Are Well Founded

Huffington's post Lisa P. Jackson stresses:
It's the environmental movements's own inconvenient truth, and it has tragic consequences. Blacks die from asthma twice as often as whites, and have higher cancer mortality rates than any other group. Nearly 30 million Latinos -- live in places that don't meet US air pollution standards. Native American homes lack clean water at almost 10 times the national rate.

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