Saturday, October 29, 2011

Christmas on the Front Lines

Did you know that coal plants are usually sited in certain kinds of communities? Want to take any guesses as to what those communities generally look like?

This, maybe?


LOL....yeah, right.

Could you see a big industrial site and smokestacks coming up next to the tennis courts at the clubhouse?

Here's a more likely looking neighborhood:


And according to the NAACP, race--over class--is the number one indicator for the placement of toxic facilities in this country. In their recent report, "Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Over People," they said coal plants do significant and disproportionate amount of harm to low-income communities and communities of color.

That's pretty much my community: "low-income" and "of color."

Thus, making it a perfect target for a project like this.

One of my strongest motivators in fighting this plant is that injustice. I fight for my children, but the reality is that my children will not be here should this plant be built. We will leave. It will mean sacrifice and closing down a thriving business, but we do have the resources and we would be able to make it work.

There are so many who do not share the same privilege.

There are hundreds of children here who are just as beautiful, just as special, and just as deserving of every wonderful opportunity life has to offer as mine. Many of them come from families who do not have the resources to leave if the plant is built. Those children are a huge motivator for me--and many others--to fight this coal plant.

Proponents of the plant often criticize the opposition and this motivation. They say it's easy for us to oppose it since we are privileged. We aren't the ones who desperately need jobs. Some of us don't live in this community. And there is an implication that we only profess to care about these children, but really it's about our own vested interests.

Sadly, there's some truth to those criticisms.

There is a lot of privilege to fighting this coal plant. There are a lot of vested interests (from those who live next door to those who share this planet). And there certainly is a lot of privilege to sitting in my warm, snug den blogging about this fight on my laptop.

But, I will tell you what, I care about every child in this community. I would go to bat for any one of them. I would put myself in harm's way to spare any one of them.

I'm guessing you would too.

And now we have a fantastic opportunity to put our money where our mouth is.

This is an opportunity to help a few children in a front-line community by directly helping them--apart from a coal plant fight.

This is an opportunity to give some really wonderful children the kind of Christmas you may have had, your children may have, and the kind they matter what their parents' resources.

Please, please, please join me in making a contribution to Surry County's Department of Social Services Project Joy!

This is a lovely program that provides "food, clothing, and gifts to children from the age of birth to 14 years of age, who are living at or below the State's poverty level."

Our local anti-coal plant group, the Coalition to Keep Surry Clean, will be fundraising to make a joint contribution, and are calling on generous folks like you to give generously.

Let's all be more than just just selfish, privileged critics, let's directly help some really great kids to have a magical Holiday Season!

Contact me at to find out how you can help!

I'll keep bugging you until you you might as well just do it now. :  )

EDIT: Visit the FB event page for details and info HERE

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