By Jim Hightower, Creators Syndicate
Aug. 17, 2022
From corporate polluters to political bosses, power elites try to create a myth of inevitability, trying to make workaday people feel helpless, too small to change the injustices of the system. “Don’t bother” is their message.
But the feisty residents of Boxtown, Tennessee, definitely did bother when they learned that a couple of profiteering fossil fuel giants were targeting them. Boxtown, a historic Black neighborhood of Memphis settled by former slaves 160 years ago, was considered by Valero Energy and Plains All-American Pipeline to be politically powerless, so when these multibillion-dollar petro powers decided to ram a dirty and dangerous pipeline through the Memphis area, Boxtown was their chosen route. The rich Texas oil barons even sneeringly called the lower-income community the “point of least resistance.”
Boy, did they get that wrong! Those “small” people of Boxtown resisted fiercely and smartly. Most flat-out refused to sell their family land at the thieving price offered by the oil slicks.
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