by Mumia Abu Jamal
A train races through the cool wintry air, its wheels turning on iron rails until sparks burst into flames, and in the blink of an eye, a city in western Ohio becomes the latest scene of a railroad chemical disaster, for some of the trains contained vinyl chloride, which erupts into flame, belching dark funnels of poisoned air into an early morning sky, and a local town, called Palestine, also erupts into fits of fear and fury, a roar: How could this happen? How could it?
One way is when politicians, eager to please voters, cut taxes. You know what happened? Deregulation. That other beloved, cost-cutter, right? Deregulation: that favorite target of so-called conservatives also cut something else. Safety.
The disaster that struck Palestine, Ohio, will give residents heart palpitations and deep worry for generations at least. How many headaches, cancers, or even unknown diseases may result from this massive chemical spill? No one really knows. Deregulation causes needless disasters. It’s as the saying goes: “Penny wise and pound foolish,” and it may yet cost lives.
With love, not fear, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.