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Raw Sewage and a Raw Deal in Rochelle, GA


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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
03 May 2013, 11:00 AM
When the town's toilets flush, guess what ends up in African-American yards
Nine residents of Rochelle, GA are suing their city government for discharging the city's raw sewage onto their properties.

Alisa Coe and Bradley Marshall—attorneys in our Florida office—took off on a two-hour drive last month and ended up 60 years away in the rural Georgia town of Rochelle, where black people live on one side of a railroad track and whites on the other.

You’ve heard of this place if you pay attention to news; last weekend the national media was reporting on the local high school’s first interracial prom … ever.

But even as the media focused on the prom, Alisa and Bradley faced up to the town’s mayor and chief of police, who bullied the two attorneys as they investigated claims that the city’s sewer system routinely dumps raw sewage into the streets and yards of the black community (but not the white community). The mayor used his car to block the attorneys’ car when they drove into a black neighborhood, and then screamed and threatened them with arrest. The chief of police pulled up with his lights flashing and told the duo to call him before coming back to Rochelle.

Those fellas obviously didn’t know who they were messing with.

Alisa and Bradley are members of a legal team led by managing attorney David Guest, who is famous in Florida for such things as ignoring alligators as he wades through the Everglades investigating environmental offenses. The whole team’s infused with that spirit.

Monica Reimer, along with residents of Rochelle, investigate a manhole from which raw sewage flows into neighborhood backyards.Monica Reimer, along with residents of Rochelle, investigate a manhole from which raw sewage flows into neighborhood backyards.
View photo slideshow »

So—without calling the chief of police—Alisa and Monica Reimer, another attorney in our Florida office, went back to Rochelle a few days ago, armed with cameras to record evidence of environmental injustice and to document any more intimidation tactics. The bullies stayed away this time, letting the attorneys sign up, as clients, nine African-American residents who are tired of raw sewage bubbling up through manholes and pipes into their lives. After decades of living like this, they want it to end.

No one describes it better than Rufus Howard, a night shift worker who talks softly as he walks about his backyard showing puddles of raw sewage and describing how they can’t use the toilet or shower and can’t wash for days when sewage lines get full. He sums the issue up thusly:

They [city government] won’t do something about it. They live comfortable and I want to live comfortable, too.

Raw sewage in Rufus Howard's backyard.Rufus Howard points to the raw sewage
flooding his backyard.  View photo slideshow »

It’s nothing more complicated than that. Rufus and all his friends and neighbors just want the simple comforts of the white community—not the raw sewage. They want nothing more than to flush away sewage, not use shovels to clear it off their properties.

Sixty years ago, folks in towns all over the South were fighting and dying for the unfettered right to vote, the right to sit in the front of buses, to eat in restaurants without checking their skin color at the door, and even for the right to use the bathroom without having to read racial directions on the door. As a very young boy in that bad old South, I saw bathroom signs that said, “White Only” or “Negro Only". Today, so many decades later, those printed signs are gone, but other signs of discrimination persist … all over the yards and streets of folks who asked Earthjustice to help force the ruling system to fix the sewage system on the black side of the railroad tracks.

Raw sewage pools in Mr. Howard's backyard.Raw sewage pools in Mr. Howard's backyard.
View photo slideshow »

Yesterday, that help began when Alisa filed an official demand with the city to correct its sewage discrimination or face the wrath of a federal Clean Water Act lawsuit. They have just 60 days. We'll keep you posted.

Just one more reason why the planet and its people need a good lawyer … like Alisa, Bradley and Monica.

My freshman year in college we had a choice of 4 topics which would be our focus topics for English 101 and 102. I chose environmental racism because I thought the idea was preposterous! Living out west communities tend to be segregated more by class than by race and I felt that the issues were more a matter of environmental classism. This is not to say that I ever doubted certain people were bearing a larger share of the burden of environmental pollution but simply to say that living in the west my naivety was related to not observing the kind of segregation and racism there is in other parts of the US. I felt that in the modern world I lived in, there was no way a place like Rochelle could still exist! And for that reason I thought environmental racism was a problem of the past, replaced in modern times with socioeconomic class discrimination. Then, a few years ago I had the misfortune of having to spend a year in Florida. I believe I cried the entire time I was there. It was pretty eye opening to see how backwards this entire region is. I since moved back west and can only hope I will never have to set foot in the south again. The energy in integrated and diverse northern cities, like Washington DC and New York, is so much better, for everyone, it's such a shame in the south the white bigots are not able to wrap their heads around that fact. They don't understand that any complaint they have about the black community is a product of their racist actions. The rest of the nation has proven the worth and equal potential of all races. I can't see any reason why these residents won't win their lawsuit and I hope in addition they sue for actual damages, for being enslaved as involuntary sanitation workers and additional punitive damages to make every backwoods bullshit good old boy network take notice. I'm sure this legal team will tear it up. As long as their actions are moved to a venue outside of this horrid little place, I think this is an open and shut case and doesn't even require the wishing of luck, they don't need it. I think good sense and common decency and the law is on their side. I look forward to a day when racism is not something even understood in the American lexicon.

Contamination's of Raw Sewage does not discriminate people do! When Raw Sewage comes knocking on your door what will you do? The Inadequate, aging and failing sewage infrastructure all over the Nation is No longer something we can turn our backs too. This is a disgrace to our earth and human life. We must not fight with each other we must come together and make that change. “Nothing changes unless you change it!" Raw Sewage Injustice.

The chemical industries know that they can spin the "jobs" idea in a poor area. People are desperate and need any type of job. What they don't know is that job might kill them. When they find out, there is no money to fight. When they do fight back, they are attacked with slanderous slurs created by a well financed group who are not afraid to do what is necessary because their is no link between them or the company they represent. The politicians are in the pockets of the industry so those who don't support what they wish to do are label outsiders. Sounds all to familiar and I have been an environmentalist since the very first Earth Day Celebration.

One comment : ENVIORNMENTAL RACISM.

My family experienced a similar environmental disaster in their community when I was a young child. I spoke of the condition on the sewage side of the tracks and queried why our community had a sewerage ditch which was not shared on the other white side of the tracks. The answer was not forthcoming and the attitude of the community was not comforting. In other words the answers were framed by non involvement and a nonchalant attitude of "it's not so bad".

We lived there a short time and moved. It was not long before I discovered how severely racist this city was and felt totally suffocated by all the indignities that were to be offered. So, it difficult to understand how a waste pool down the middle of a black community remaining uncovered with a pipe is not an "act of racism".

I am saddened an sickened by the mayor's deliberate negligence of neighborhoods where Blacks live. It reminds me about the Civil Rights movement when Blacks challenged unequal housing and services caused by cities and states abusing Jim Crow. This is beyond Jim Crow! Access to clean water and proper sewage treatment are essential human needs. Allowing sewage to regularly flood a community and trying to cover it up is horrible independent of one's color. We are all members of the human race, demanding acceptable standards that protect our health and industry.

Earth Justice is doing exactly what they are supposed to do.This in truth isn't a race issue as incidences of raw sewage leakages and spills occur globally and these events adversely effect the environment in one way or another. This is the beginning of the twenty-first century, isn't it about time we stop quibbling about which ''race'' is responsible for allowing environmentally dangerous offal to contaminate this town and do something to correct this problem? Look at the pictures,clearly there is a problem here.

If there is raw sewage in backyards why is this a discrimination case? The clean water act should have been invoked at the start. An environmental group should deal with the environment. If the ACLU wants to file a discrimination lawsuit then let them do that, but Earth Justice needs to deal with the ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES.

Sometimes dealing with pollution means clearing out the racist scum first.

Plain and simple of the whole thing here is that the pipes should be fixed no matter were you live and what color you are. Backed up sewage is a breeding ground for bacteria and will cause health and environmental issues. It's not good for anyone OR anything to be breathing in that crap.

WOW, WOW, WOW, so much hate, that's just a bunch of shit! Back to the real problem, this town only represents a greater problem and need for equality under the LAW... that being said, THERE are TWO problems, the sewage and the inequality of this towns citizens' right to live without sewage in their yards and streets. All this hate only perpetuates the problem, The haters need to grow up and join this century, or leave and crawl back into the swamp for whence they came. Thanks for EARTHJUSTICE!

There is a good reason why many of us want to be anonymous. I live just over the Georgia border in Tallahassee FL, which prides itself on being progressive, and on paper it is. Nonetheless, there is a large belligerent, vocal, and poorly educated portion of the white population, even in the middle class, which has a strong sense of self-righteous entitlement and poor control of their anger, which seems to lurk just under the surface. They also have a lot of guns and sometimes carry them on their person and in their cars. My personal experience (as a white person) is that upon returning to the area a few years ago after a few decades absence, despite a lot of progress among the local population, a shocking number of whites have the attitude that the black community gets favored treatment and that young black men are automatically criminals. Although my neighborhood is a tidy middle-class development with mixed races living in it, after a young black guy walked down the street recently past some neighbors I was conversing with, they started talking about how he had no business being there and they had guns to take care of "them." A few weeks before, another group of residents chased away a young man who was on our street. I tried talking to them about public rights-of-way after the victim left, but it gave me a very terrible feeling about another Trayvon Marin situation developing.

Do you know what the Georgia and other southern states gun laws are? Do these characters need gun permits and don't have them? That might be one way of stopping them or at least getting them to think.I don't know what the gun laws down there are but in Minnesota we have to go through a course of study and prove we can hit the target and then the County Sheriff does a complete background check on us including criminal background if any and then we wait so many days to get our permit for a handgun. In Minnesota, we do not recognize Georgia for a handgun permit and they don't recognize ours. I'm pretty sure that this is because Georgia doesn't have them go through a training course first. So maybe they don't have to have one. And, we do have laws about carrying shotguns and rifles and that they have to be in a gun case anytime the person is on public land, roadways and in municipal area, or as far a I know we still do have those laws. My point being that if there is some way to catch these guys doing something illegal then maybe it will make them stop and think twice before they threaten people and say they will use their guns to "take care of" someone. We do need tougher gun laws in many state to help insure that only responsible people carry guns and that if someone even threatens to use a gun on someone, they can be arrested. I think you should report this to the local authorities so they can be aware or to the County Sheriff or State Police then file a written report or complaint, making sure your name will not be disclosed to anyone who might try to harm you because of filing such a report. Every step we take can make a difference as long as responsible people (police, sheriffs, etc.) hear us.

So glad this newest (publicized!) occurrence of the nexus between civil and healthy environment rights is being brought to the fore! Everywhere, it is the disenfranchised, underrepresented and poor who are being disproportionately burdened by environmental pollution. Way to go, Earthjustice!

Regardless of ethnic background of those affected--any municipality should manage to do better at collecting sewage and treating it properly before it ends up in places it should NOT be. If sewage is treated properly, it should be possible to get both methane (same stuff as natural gas only not a fossil) and Algae Systems is working on bio-diesel from algae which they expect to get cost-competitive with petroleum in 2016, and which they feed half-treated sewage and CO2 captured by Global Thermostat from ambient air. So it will be a big help in recycling both water and carbon.

Georgia is one large sewer that is in need of flushing!

Re: "Georgia is one large sewer"

You are obviously an idiot and should be flushed yourself. Georgia is a beautiful state that is rich in diversity and you have obviously never even been here.

Grow up.

They should be a shame of their self. You will reap what you sow.

Awesome job EarthJustice for posting what happens around our communities! Too bad others can't handle the truth and wan to blame victims and "coincidence".

Hopefully this focus will inspire the town officials and residents to work together, Rise consciously, upgrade waste disposal for the whole town and establish top notch environmentally safe practices. No doubt Earthjustice attorneys are experts on the best ways to make that happen. Toxic yards are not acceptable for anyone.

Can you just treat humans like humans? And try not to kill off our planet with this nasty stuff? I'm sure you do live comfortably.

Is there a petition going around about this? There should be and I'll sign it if there is.

We still have to take care of our utilities, somehow.

I still do not judge by color/race or anything of anybody. I still do not feel it's right. We still should dispose of the toxic waste and things.

I still do not judge by color/race or anything of anybody. I still do not feel it's right. We still should dispose of the toxic waste and things.

A substantial portion of the mostly anonymous commenters here are trying out for writer's gigs at the Onion, or some such comedic publication ... right? I'm hoping its clumsy snark. If not, it's remarkable that this is all the scratching it took to unearth the ghosts of that era whose unlamented passing a majority of the Supreme Court appears ready to assume in its consideration of the Voting Rights Act. The overtly bigoted comments do effectively make the argument for seeing this failed sewage system as the racist result of a profoundly dysfunctional political system. And, about those voting rights won, the struggles for which the post references as part of the past, I think our highest Court may be about to say, "Not so fast, ..."

The residents of east Biloxi located in Biloxi, MS 39531 are experiencing a situation associated with the water lines also. The neighborhood is a predominantly african american,Vietnamese, and economically challenged Caucasians community. The water possesses a sewage scent and several residents have complained stating the color is questionable. The Mayor A.J. Holloway is stated to possess the funds to repair the water lines but refuses to dedicate the funds to restore them. The issue can not compare to the story associated with Rochelle,GA. When the problem involves the health and safety of any individual it is a serious concern

There's got to be a way that he can be legally forced to fix the situation. Has anyone taken this to the local court or higher?

The reason this case has come up in Rochelle is not because it has mostly whites south of the tracks and mostly non-whites to the north, but because the discrimination is in an environmental matter which gave the lawyers a case resting on so many different legal issues that it has to be a sure win. I grew up in northern New England in a community where, because of the community's bankruptcy during the Depression, funds for schools were very limited. The north end of town, where I lived, and where most of the non-Catholic managers and professionals lived, got the best school and the best teachers. The rest of town, largely Catholic, had underfunded public schools, partly because the North End had politically active and connected residents and in part because the Bishop wanted the parochial schools to attract all the faithful, which they did--even having to pay tuition--because they had better facilities and very good teachers. This was during the 1940's and 50's, and most of the teachers were nuns. The discrimination in both cases was politically based. That doesn't make it right, but it does show how politics works: the squeaky wheel with connections gets the grease.

Whew! Such a battle and one that is as old as there have been humans, when you think about it. I was born in Germany [but no, I'm NOT Jewish - not even going to go there!] to parents who weren't married but were leaving their small town near the Polish border after WWII had ended. Some 4 years before, that little place had been overrun by the Russian army and my grandfather was taken, never to be seen or heard from again. My mother, who is now in her 80's and refuses to discuss this with me, was attacked by the soldiers - and for better or worse, I now have a wonderful older sister who exists because of that attack. However, my 'real' parents never did marry and I was adopted out to an American army family, only to be raised by extremely abusive 'parents' who were both from Memphis, Tennessee. And on down that ole' familiar road...! I started school in Nashville - it was 1956 and segregated for sure! I learned to hide under my desk in case 'they' [meaning people of another color] bombed our school. The parents tried to teach me to 'hate' - anyone who wasn't like 'us' as it turned out - not just people of color but also those who they called 'poor white trash', people who spoke with certain accents, or people who dressed differently. A few years later, when we moved 'north', this was a kind of reverse discrimination as well - I was sent to a private school for a year to get an 'enriched' education. But the kids there were termed 'snobs' and I was told that they thought they were 'better than me'. I grew up so confused that it took many years of counseling to figure out just who I, myself, was as a person, much less who everyone else was. Now, as it turns out, after locating my biological mother, I've learned that she married an African-American soldier shortly after she gave me up, and I have 6 younger siblings who are of mixed race. I have only met one younger brother [again part of my mother's anxiety and paranoia which I still don't understand] but I can only say that after many, many years of traveling around, being married and divorced, having 3 children of my own, I've reduced my own philosophy to a very simplistic one as it says in the children's Sunday school song 'Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.': It may sound too easy, but why does it have to be difficult? I consider myself extremely fortunate to be one of the 'children of the world' and I know I'm loved by the God who created me, regardless of who or what color my family and friends are. I'm also blessed to live in a large city that is, for the most part, an open and caring community. But it is in the Northwest, not the South, and I don't have to deal with sewage in my yard. So I would hope, and pray, that people could see this as a 'human' problem, one faced by 'people' who are so much more LIKE them than different from them. I sincerely doubt that ANYONE wants sewage in there yard! So let's just clean it up and move on to the next problem of living and stop wasting time on those things [and ideologies as someone else mentioned] that are taking up precious time that can be used for celebrating our lives, our selves, our very existence. On another note, my older son lost his fiancé last month to an unexpected asthma attack that couldn't be reversed. He is, of course, devastated, and recently told me that at age 37, he is finally learning just how precious life really is. And I'm very sad as well, both for his loos and my own. I still don't have grandchildren so this potential has been lost, at least for the time being, too. However, just for you folks who don't believe in crossing racial lines, my daughter-in-law to be was Chinese. Did I worry about grandbabies who wouldn't look like my fair-haired son? Of course not! I just want to be a Grandma! So how about getting down to the business of using NOT ONLY your brains people, but listen to your HEARTS! Char Pinegar

As someone who works for a Wastewater Agency in California, I'm astounded that this situation can exist. I'm not naïve, I understand there are how do you say "subtle" differenced even in California. But, sewage "overflows" are a finable offence. The fine MUST be increased to give this sewerage Agency a wake-up call, that NO "overflow" will be tolerated in ANY community, period. It is not just the community that is affected, it IS the environment that has to considered too.

I'm shocked, but now I guess I know what happened to the equal rights movement after the demonstrators left -- those who weren't killed. Nothing. I grew up in Arkansas, where there was a clear dividing line between where whites could live and blacks on the other side. The pavement stopped at the dividing line. The gravel streets were allowed to become practically useless. Many of the blacks' houses had no foundations, just stacks of bricks at critical places, with the bottom of the house sagging in between. Our "maid" walked between her house and ours -- about 3 miles. When I found out about that, I gave her rides. Her feet were misshapen and her shoes were very worn. I don't know how old she was, but she looked exhausted. My father was the only white man in town who had black friends so I was lucky. I remember we would go to this black-owned funeral home just so my father and the owner and the people there could chat. I also remember my neighbor, a white cop, bragging about shooting a black man in the stomach because there was a fight at some black bar. I don't know how much segregation there is where I live now, but I do know the blacks and white shop together without any rancor. How can one group of people hate another so much? Maybe because the whites lost their slaves after the Civil War and they still resent it.

What a minute --- something is wrong with this whole article and its assumptions regarding sewage and discrimination. State and regulatory agencies will fine the heck out of any sewer authority or municipality that allows sewage to leak or spill on the ground --- period end of story. It has nothing to do with black or white neighborhoods. You have sewage on the ground it a health risk, Contact EPA or the state agency involved with enforcement of environmental laws.

Sorry to hear that this discrimination is still happening in this day in age, but not surprised. Also very sorry to hear that there are still strong overtones of white supremacy which are being justified with Christianity. Gee Mr. God's Will man, maybe that is why the blacks "choose" to primarily live separately from the whites, because they don't trust them!? Thank you to those brave citizens for taking action and thank you to the attorneys for your hard work and dedication. You're bravery and hard work brings us all one step closer to a hate free, white supremacy free, more peaceful society. Thanks, - Cat

Good grief.....!! Yes.. They need to apologize and fix it... We have a neighborhood here..in S. Carolina. Where predominantly black people live..and guess what..? The coal company or Electric company that uses coal...dumped coal dust on their dirt rd. Now they are breathing it in...that way they don't paid to dispose of it.... criminals... How can they get away with it.? In peace.... :(

I am delighted the subject of sewage is being tackled by Earthjustice because I live in So. CA where water is becoming critical* yet what used to be a sacred lake to the local Native Americans (Kawaiisu) must now be used as a treated sewage holding pond due to a small but high-density development suffering economic constraints. Their mostly elderly residents are white (like me), and the geese, ducks, egrets, herons who used to raise their young there are not black, but they are even more invisible and have all but disappeared from this lake in the last three years since it started out with bright orange shorelines before turning the color of day-glo Poltergeist puke green. Yet in our upcoming severe water shortages, this lake could have made a natural cache basin for capturing rain water since the creeks have drained their for millenia. Except that it probably now contains nitrite/nitrates, heavy metals, flame retardants, 72 pharmaceuticals, steriods & hormones that a chlorine chaser does not kill. *Bakersfield petro-chemical hydraulic frack jobs are draining Kern County (where I live) of it's life force--millions of gallons of water for each frack job forever contaminated with "proprietary formulas" for big oil's "hush-hush" profitable frack sites.

I bet that the pipes have been neglected a long time, and now that the town is getting noticed because of its integrated prom, maybe the residents are feeling courageous enough to finally say something about the sewage.

I am horrified at the amount of racism in these comments and lack of empathy in this day. It's really sad that people try to excuse bigoted actions and opinions.

Too much anonymity here. To the anonymous poster saying "god wants it to be this way", your racism and hatred is showing (and sickening!). May God teach you a few lessons about how to treat other people.

Everyone knows that Georgia and Mississippi is where you can find the biggest mess of backward thinking,ignorant white people on earth,who think they speak for G-d and really can barely read or write. I set one and only one condition for my husband before marriage: we would never set foot in the deep south. I am pure white.I glow in the dark. But I cannot and will not tolerate bigots. As a refugee from Nazi Germany,I recognize hateful,irrational people an all their habitats. G-d doesn't like white people more than any other kind. That's how sunburns came to be.

Everyone knows that Georgia and Mississippi is where you can find the biggest mess of backward thinking,ignorant white people on earth,who think they speak for G-d and really can barely read or write. I set one and only one condition for my husband before marriage: we would never set foot in the deep south. I am pure white.I glow in the dark. But I cannot and will not tolerate bigots. As a refugee from Nazi Germany,I recognize hateful,irrational people
an all their habitats. G-d doesn't like white people more than any other kind. That's how sunburns came to be.

Before the republican crash of 2008 there was money available from the EPA to repair sewer systems and even replace sewage treatment plants. This is no longer the case since the Tea Party thugs took over the House of Representatives. In 2001 we received a threat from the EPA in Dallas that we would be fined something like $250,000 a day if we didn't do something about our sewer system. In answer, in 2001 we televised all of our sewer lines and ranked them A through F. We found thousands of feet of sewer lines that had collapsed and manholes with dirt bottoms made of stacked bricks. We had sewage lift stations that were failing or were nonexistent, flooding low areas with raw sewage. We even found sewer lines from homes connected directly to storm drains. Our sewage treatment plant is over 30 years old and kept in decent condition. It does need repair. In 2003 we received about $3 million from the EPA another $500,000 in 2007 to repair our sewer lines, rebuild and build lift stations, and replace manholes. In President Obama's stimulus bill of 2009 we received almost a half million dollars. We have just scratched the surface of our problems and desperately need more money. Now we are told that there is no more money from the EPA because the tea party and republican party will not spend the money. How sick is that? I am sure our city is just a small example of problems across the country. In fact, talking with a contractor, the big city near us has a 42 inch diameter sewer trunk line that could rupture day sending thousands of gallons of raw sewage into the streets. Is this the way we want to live. These people are disgusting.

I recommend God's law of science to restore this. You need a large cement pond w/ quartz embedded in the concrete . Then you fill the pool's source(the sewage) with natural untreated charcoal. Let the area drain to the pond and add a fountain as circulation. Next fill it w/ turtles, plants, and fish. When they die it's proof that there's poisonous chemicals in there. The poop should be filtered and not deadly..Then you send the bill for the whole pond to the city. Say it's chemicals killing your pets and demand water testing. You just need more of that drainage to test it. Those puddles aren't enough.

Before the republican crash of 2008 there was money available from the EPA to repair sewer systems and even replace sewage treatment plants. This is no longer the case since the Tea Party thugs took over the House of Representatives.

In 2001 we received a threat from the EPA in Dallas that we would be fined something like $250,000 a day if we didn't do something about our sewer system. In answer, in 2001 we televised all of our sewer lines and ranked them A through F. We found thousands of feet of sewer lines that had collapsed and manholes with dirt bottoms made of stacked bricks. We had sewage lift stations that were failing or were nonexistent, flooding low areas with raw sewage. We even found sewer lines from homes connected directly to storm drains. Our sewage treatment plant is over 30 years old and kept in decent condition. It does need repair.

In 2003 we received about $3 million from the EPA another $500,000 in 2007 to repair our sewer lines, rebuild and build lift stations, and replace manholes. In President Obama's stimulus bill of 2009 we received almost a half million dollars. We have just scratched the surface of our problems and desperately need more money.

Now we are told that there is no more money from the EPA because the tea party and republican party will not spend the money. How sick is that?

I am sure our city is just a small example of problems across the country. In fact, talking with a contractor, the big city near us has a 42 inch diameter sewer trunk line that could rupture day sending thousands of gallons of raw sewage into the streets. Is this the way we want to live. These people are disgusting.

Wow! The denial here is pretty thick. In the end it really doesn't matter wether there is a ton of bigotry here or not. What matters is that one side of town that is predominantly black has raw sewage popping up after storms and it needs to be repaired. It needs to be repaired yesterday. Why did one side of town get funding to change over it's septic systems over to the cities and the other side not? Doesn't matter. It needs to be fixed and a sincere apology needs to be delivered now like yesterday. Louis Wagner

Anybody who wants to defend the city's actions in any way is either a fool or a Bigot. The "facts" are clearly stated that this problem has been going on for many years & although the side with more white people has been getting repairs; the others side has not. If you can't see that that is discrimination, you have to be either stupid or a Bigot! If this was a new problem, it could be coincidence. Years of it could not. Yes, I am assuming the "facts" are true; however, if they are not, that is something to argue. Not try to brush it off as coincidence. I hate Bigots: White, Black, or any other color!

To all those who spit in someone else's water, may God make you all have to drink it someday. You take the "Christ" out of Christian.

It sounds like there are a still a lot of Archie Bunkers (biased bigots) living in the south. Too bad those same deceived bigots can't look beyond their "better-than-thou" deficiencies. The God I know, the one who created mankind (even unintelligent bigots) looks on the heart of man and not on the outward appearance. God certainly did NOT create white- skinned people to have greater superiority! Far from it. The white man has always erroniously displayed an attitude of superiority, which will someday lead to his future demise. Get over the skin color thing, and start looking at the heart of man. Oh, that God would strike all mankind blind. . . Then, would skin color matter? I have family members and many, many friends who are of darker skin than mine, yet we are equal. There is an eternal consequence to pay for our mistreatment of our neighbor. It is written . . . Love your neighbor as yourself. Some of you obviously do not love yourselves. Go get 'em, Earth Justice!

This discussion is outrageous! How would the Police Chief and Mayor like to have RAW SEWERAGE in their back yards? What if this was happening only on the "white" side? I'm appalled that this is happening anywhere in this country! I cannot believe the people claiming "God wants it that way". You people must be kidding or really sick. Why would the God of Love ever want more for a certain race? P-L-E-A-S-E-!!! We are all God's people. You should be ashamed of yourselves - I certainly am. You obviously have no empathy for the suffering of others. Do you deserve to be in a public position if you do not serve - All the People - in your community? What is the Govenor doing? Has anyone asked him to get involved? Anyone in your state can get him involved - with a petition of signatures. Obviously the Mayor can not handle this kind of problem. I pray for a quick resolution for all of you.

If the south side of the tracks are down hill from the north, the cheapest fix would be to hook a pipe to the black system and run it down to the south side under the tracks, leaving it open for the south side folks to connect to their system. That way the whites would be given the chance to fix it or not as they choose; perhaps after experiencing the life of the north side for a while.

It is always nice to give people a chance to fix a problem.

Just saying...

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