Dixiecrat Environmentalism In Virginia

Downtown Waverly, VA

Frank E. Reid

After mere weeks of white public outcry over landfill odors in Bristol, VA senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner hurriedly announced they've joined forces at the highest level of the U.S. government to show their solidarity with the grieving white masses of rural Virginia. There were already local attempts to mitigate landfill odors resulting in Bristol residents being given free air purifiers along with city promises to shut down the landfill altogether in the near future. Now, Google Maps over to Waverly, Virginia, where that practically all-black town has been silently suffering landfill odors and brown, foul-smelling water flowing out of their kitchen faucets and showerheads since the early 2000s at least. Add to that the thousands of prisoners who are literally forced to endure all of the above while (ware)housed at Virginia DOC's Sussex 1&2 State Prisons, both located in Waverly Va. Yet, Dixiecrats Tim Kaine and Mark Warner (both having wooed black votes in the past with false promises of progressive state criminal justice reforms) haven't uttered a single word on behalf of the landfill afflicted population of Waverly, VA. The January 6 insurrection reminded everyone that elected representatives in America better uphold this country's foundational right to be angry and white.

[note by Victor Wallis: Frank Reid is currently incarcerated as #1063812 at Red Onion State Prison (P.O. Box 1900, Pound, VA 24279). His chapter-length autobiography, under the pen-name "Outlaw," appears, along with his extensive correspondence with Kevin "Rashid" Johnson and also his poem "Defying the Tomb," in the 2010 book put out by Rashid under that title.]

[for more information about ongoing environmental justice organizing in Virginia, visit the Virginia Environmental Justice Coalition's website; to further explore the impacts of landfills, please see this piece on the Fresh Kills landfill in NY; it references the Waverly situation.]