Since early June, we (the team) have learned more about trash money, county governments, politics, and corporate trash pollutants than we would ever imagine. To date, speaking for myself, the most disturbing is how certain areas are indeed targeted by trash companies – strategically. We were indeed targeted!
However, don’t take my word for it…
“Moreover, the communities where the landfills sit are largely poor and African American, raising complaints from some that they have been targeted.” Washington Post
“Some residents near the mega-fills share Morgan’s fears and suspect their home towns were chosen as trash sites in part because they lack clout.” Washington Post
“In the counties with mega-fills, residents are on average much poorer, less well educated and more likely to be African American than the average Virginian, according to the U.S. Census.” Washington Post
“Landfill companies target us because we are land-rich and dollar-poor,” said Bonnie Ware, 46, a landfill opponent and a 20-year resident of Charles City who runs a kennel. Supervisors are enticed by the payments the landfills offer, “but because the residents are dollar-poor, we can’t fight them.” Washington Post
We’ve reached out to both local and national advocates. The biggest educator has been The Center for Health, Education & Justice. In regards to Cumberland County being targeted, the weightiest information is The Cerrell Report. This report provided an analysis of what areas would be most and least resistant to a trash dump coming to their town.
The Least Resistant are:
- Southern communities
- Rural communities and small towns with less than 25,000 population
- Low Income
- Ranchers, farmers…people in “nature exploiter” occupations
- Low education level (high school or less)
- Elderly/above middle age
- “Old Time Residents” (defined as having lived in communities for 20+ years)
The list above is specific to the community. Now think about those who either voted for the proposed mega dump and/or who say they are in favor of the proposed mega dump:
- People who work for or who are close to someone who works for the operator
- People who live beyond the point where they can see or be bothered by the facility
- People who see significant economic benefits form themselves as a result*
*CHEJ.org/How To Deal with a Proposed Landfill
In speaking with neighbors, I’ve discovered that the majority near the proposed site are below or at high school education, African American, below middle class, without computers and some, without cell phones and most importantly – ill informed. This swift kick was indeed strategically planned and it is an injustice!
Cumberland County was not chosen because we “met some carefully devised technical criteria”. Cumberland County was chosen because we matched a profile of an “Easy Victim”!