From the leaders in environmental news we can use, CBS 42, Sherri Jackson and Ken Lass bring us full circle with the pervasive contamination in north Birmingham and beyond in their upcoming summation documentary on "Deadly Deception."
In what should be a contender for a well-deserved RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award, this groundbreaking series from CBS 42 proves that one state media organization understands the concept of being unafraid and bold.
For decades the minority population in the Collegeville area of Birmingham have been the victims of toxic secrets, secrets that have cost them not only their health, but many have lost their lives for nothing more than just trying to live their lives. It didn't have to happen to them. The state knew the risks. The EPA knew the risks. Many people in positions of authority knew the risks. The citizens directly affected by the contamination were willfully kept in the dark while the profits poured into everyone else's pockets.
It's happening all over Alabama: a flippant attitude of "better dead than unprofitable" permeates the economic development platform of this state. Jobs and profits trump clean air, clean water and the rights of citizens to exist in communities with a reasonable expectation that they will be safe from exposures that can kill them.
Years have passed, and many Alabamians are just now learning their right to live safely in their neighborhoods has been taken away from them by corporate Alabama. Compounding the tragedy is the fact that it's taken death after senseless death for these people to find out what they have been living with.
Why has it taken this long and why did so many have to die? How many more will?
Don't we have a Dr. "in charge of Alabama now" sitting in the Governor's mansion? Has he cast aside his Hippocratic Oath in favor of a monetary oath owed to his BARD benefactors and similar corporate campaign contributors? The same question stands for our lawmakers: where do their true loyalties lie?
There must be an end to this "deadly deception" and the paying to pollute mindset before any more lives are lost, communities are irreversibly ruined and more schoolchildren are sickened from the complete lack of responsibility by those charged with supposedly keeping us all safe.
Anything less is not just a "troubling situation"--it's a fatal vision.
CBS 42 Deadly Deception Documentary-1