Something is very wrong in the Land of Cotton



Dr. Robert Bullard
Environmental Justice Movement Founder

Friday, September 24, 2010

Perry County, Alabama and the Sins of Albert Turner, Jr.

**Congratulations to the filmmakers for winning the Alabama Award in this year's Birmingham Sidewalk Film Festival**

Filmmakers N'Jeri Eaton & Matt Durning both graduates of UC Berkley's School of Journalism produced the following videos and brought attention to this ongoing TVA Kingston coal ash dumping issue in Perry County, Alabama.

In appreciation of their hard work we present it to you here and invite you to please visit their site linked through in this posting.

Mr. Turner steps away from his father's legacy in a shameful way by turning his back on his own people in favor of greed, influencing elections and a self absorbed penchant for personal profit which seems to have become standard practice among many of the Civil Rights groups in Alabama, including the self-declared "christian based" leadership coalitions such as the New South Coalition and Southern Christian Leadership Coalition.

They're often too intimate with big business and fail to serve as their brother's keepers by choosing the altar of the almighty dollar above solidarity with their own who suffer from the constant assaults of their toxic industry neighbors.

It's a downright dirty shame and a sin of egregious proportions.

PERRY COUNTY is a half-hour film documenting the controversial decision to dump millions of tons of coal ash waste from the 2008 spill in Kingston, Tennessee, at a landfill in this poor, disenfranchised, predominantly black county in central Alabama.

The short-term economic benefits of the coal ash are clear: more than $4 million dollars in dumping fees and 80 new temporary jobs in a region desperate for industry. But the long-term health and environmental risks, wholly dismissed by local politicians, have raised a chorus of concern among local residents who question the true cost of this so-called progress.

The man at the center of the coal ash dispute is Albert Turner Jr., a powerful Perry County commissioner and son of respected Civil Rights leader Albert Turner, a key figure in both the Selma to Montgomery march and the passage of the Voting Rights Act. The film reveals how Commissioner Turner exploits his father’s legacy for personal gain, ignoring the serious concerns of the poor, black residents living around the landfill, one of the same communities his father once fought to empower.

A 2005 incident that resulted in legal charges against Mr. Turner which occurred at the time the deal was being made for Perry County to receive the coal ash waste from the TVA Kingston spill.
Judge Lynn Bright found Albert Turner Jr. guilty of harassment in Perry County District Court 
Wednesday March 30, 2005
Turner was originally charged with Assault III, but the lesser charge was applied after the probable cause hearing showed conflicting testimony as to what actually happened.
According to the complaining witness, Ms.Vinnie Royster, Turner attacked her during a meeting with other Perry County Commissioners regarding comments made by Turner in a radio broadcast the previous Sunday. 
Turner, while promoting the proposed landfill in Uniontown, referred to those black citizens that opposed the landfill as "hanky-head n*****s." 
As Royster played a recording of the broadcast for Commissioner Johnny Flowers and others, Turner came into the room and started yelling at Royster; poking her in the chest. Royster poked Turner back, then according to Royster "the next thing I knew, he hit me with his fist". 
Turner then reportedly grabbed Royster around the throat, and held her to the ground until other commissioners and two deputies pulled him off of her. Royster had to leave the meeting in an ambulance.
Turner was ordered to pay a fine of $400, court costs, and restitution to be worked out at a later date. He's stated he will appeal the case to Circuit Court, where he wants his case heard before a jury. 
Turner is running for the Alabama House Seat in District 72, which includes most of Marengo County.  
It's hard to believe he actually got elected, but he always does through "controversial elections" and he seems hell bent on destroying the "hanky heads" who opposed his plans for his personal enrichment scheme, courtesy of the coal ash dump business he was responsible for, and by doing so, he brought great distress to Perry County, Alabama.

Oppression now comes to these former hotbeds of Civil Rights struggles from inside their own boundaries--but it's still business as usual in the long-standing cesspool of Alabama politics. 

More on Albert Turner, Jr. from Left In Alabama and Facebook discussing the Civil Lawsuit against the Perry County Commission.

Bookmark and Share


  1. Thanks for posting a clip of our film. If you would like to see the film in full, it is playing this weekend in Birmingham as a part of the Sidewalk Moving Pictures Festival.

    When: Sunday, September 26th at 1:40PM
    Where: Civil Rights Institute, 520 16th Street North, Birmingham, Alabama 35203

    Please continue to visit www.perrycountyfilm.com for updates about the film

  2. Ms. Eaton--

    It is our pleasure to support your work on this and we are grateful to you for your fine efforts.

    We'll put a link to your site in the right sidebar as a stand alone section if you have a logo of some kind (or image) you can share with us, that will allow a click on it to link directly to your site.

    Thank you for what you are doing for the people of Perry County Ms. Eaton.

    Please keep us updated of important developments.

    MAX & Winger

  3. The Birmingham News shows a different movie for that time slot, have they changed it or is it a typo in the newspaper?

    On Coal River
    In the Coal River Valley of West Virginia, a former miner with insider knowledge takes on the school board, the state government and the coal company when a toxic waste facility threatens his granddaughter's elementary school. 1:40 p.m. Sunday, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

  4. WB--

    From what we have been able to find out the Perry County Film is at 1:30 and will be followed by the On Coal River film at 1:40.


  5. These groups are nothing more than POVERTY PIMPS and sellouts!!!!!!!!
    The racial epithet Turner uses against his own tells you how they think_"I don't give a damn if you're black like me, you are beneath me."
    "You're "HANKEY HEAD" and you don't deserve what I deserve, go be the white man's slave, here I will hand you over to him and you'll go because I say so."

  6. Why doesn't the Birmingham News story mention the Perry County film? They mention the Coal River film at 1:40, how come that is the only one listed?
    Is it because of the editor's close ties to the BBA who threw a big party for her not long ago?
    They have become nothing more than the pages of press for big business and toxic terrors like BARD.
    No unbiased press in Alabama from the big outlets.

  7. **Editor's note

    We don't see the film listed in the downloadable PDF schedule either:



    You hit the nail on the head, but one error to correct Ms. Siddall is the News publisher, not the editor.

    And yes she is far too cozy with the BBA to remain objective in our opinion.

    We are hearing through our sources that recent evidential documents have been presented to the news questioning the ethics of a judge they have endorsed and the information was completely ignored by the News.

    We have also heard that they have refused to look into other local issues that are of public interest that would work against "certain powerful interests" if they were reported on presenting both sides of the story.

    It certainly raises some questions and seems to indicate filtering of information.


  8. I really enjoyed this film and speaking with the filmmakers. Kudos to N'Jeri for helping an audience member from Perry County who had a medical emergency.
    These two folks are my kind of people and Alabama owes them a great big thank you for caring about some of our citizens!!!


IP tracking & BS detector is enabled.
Don't set it off.