When Coal Came To West Oakland
When coal came to West Oakland; local citizens, faith leaders, environmentalists came together with petitions and lawsuits. They learned a private developer and the Governor left cheek sneaked a deal behind closed doors to use their city to receive trainloads of climate-disrupting coal and export it to the rest of the world.
The environmental impact study showed money trumps citizenry every time. The developer and the Governor brought Black Lung to a black community already oppressed by crime, poverty and police violence. Avenues of recourse congested by lawyers caused failure of heart and pocketbook. Powerless to stop them; benzene, radionuclides, heavy metals spread over the county, and into the bay.
On a foggy summer afternoon, the Governor, developer stood on the dock marveling their creation, thanking each other for the profitable deal they made. But it was unusually quiet; no birds flew in the sky, and the water was a strange steel gray. The sound of laughter and children’s voices caught their attention. Outraged they searched the docks; it was no place for children to play.
The laughter echoed around the loading dock, following it they came to the train yard. The Governor insisted they were hearing things. But the laughter and children’s voices came again and the developer ran off in search, leaving the Governor behind. He shouted after him, it was a job for security. But he insisted he’d be okay, and disappeared among the cars.
Left alone, the fog thickened and swirled around the Governor, and the laughter grew louder. It was coming from a coal car next to him. He called for help, but the developer was nowhere to be seen. He thought what could happen to him he was the Governor after all, and slid the car door open and yelled, “Caught you!”
Developer heard the Governor scream and came running. He found him laughing hysterically, lumps of coal piled at his feet and asked him what he found.
The Governor told him there was nothing to worry about, it was only ghosts.
Baby Back Rib BBQ Sauce. The Governor’s Delight.
10 Dried Pasilla Chili’s
6 Cups Water
1 Large Onion
6 Cloves Garlic
¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Oregano
½ Cup Brown Sugar
Combine water, garlic, and onion in a pot. Boil until soft. Add Pasilla Chili’s, cover and simmer five minutes. Add brown sugar and oregano, cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Puree in blender. Strain the seeds out through a colander. Add salt to taste.