Saturday, July 15, 2017

"The kids know how to look out for it"

Appalling must-read from a columnist touring Louisiana's poorest industrialized communities.

Can't shake these paragraphs:
But the most tragic story involves the schools. Not only are Reserve children being poisoned with a known carcinogen but, “they’re not teaching our black boys anything except sports,” says Taylor. “They’ve taken out shop, they’ve taken out home economics, they’ve taken out music!” Remember, Wilma Subra had said, “the industries in these community become partners in education and have total control over the topics that are taught. If you have a student who wants to do a project about plant emissions, they get told, ‘No.’ And the school board members need money to run for election, and where do you think their money comes from…?” 
Louisiana is intentionally raising a generation devoid of the knowledge necessary to comprehend their own toxic situation. Not only is the state poisoning its people, but it is taking away their means of being able to understand that they are being poisoned. And it doesn’t stop there. Louisiana State University and many reputable institutions across America receive large sums of money from the petrochemical industry, so who, Subra asks, is going to do the research that actually critiques these corporations?
A lot of legitimate panic now over the Trump administration's deregulation without thought, but this political cancer is rooted in decades (centuries?) of federal, state, county and city policies in the name of industry, infrastructure, blind capitalism and the cruel convenience of ignoring those most effected by the consequences.