The town of Rochelle, Ga. must be stuck in some type of time warp. Last month, Wilcox County High School held its first ever integrated prom, a few decades after the rest of the nation decided it was no big deal. Enviromental racism was an issue addressed nationally back in the '70s and '80s, so naturally it's something that Rochelle hasn't addressed yet. Now the city faces accusations that it's diverting sewage through minority neighborhoods.
According to Earthjustice, “White residents of Rochelle live on the south side of the city’s railroad track. African-Americans live on the other side.” The city maintains pipes in the predominantly white neighborhood, but not the African-American side. “As a result,” writes Earthjustice, “untreated sewage backs up and overflows into the streets and the yards of residents on the north side of the tracks.”
“Sewage overflows my pipes and flows under my house. It’s time somebody did something about it. They [the white community] live comfortably and I want to live comfortably, too,” said Rochelle resident Rufus Howard.