Remember when I warned you that the battle for Western civilization was also, among other things, the choice between indoor plumbing and living in filth? That wasn’t rhetoric:
For decades, residents of Centreville, a nearly all-Black town of 5,000 in southern Illinois, just a 12-minute drive from downtown East St Louis, have been dealing with persistent flooding and sewage overflows. The smell of it is in the air all over town after a rain, and bits of soggy toilet paper and slicks of human waste cling to the grass in neighborhoods where children used to play on warm days, locals said. Kids don’t play outside any more. Gardens don’t grow.
Like Smith, other locals say their water tastes odd and refuse to drink from their taps, relying on donated shipments of bottled water. They worry about the long-term health effects of living under such conditions, and they say that for years elected officials and local utility companies inadequately addressed their cries for help.
Residents and environmental justice advocates also believe that these issues persist because the town is one of the poorest in America, with a median household income of less than $15,000 a year and almost half of residents living below the poverty line. They contend that authorities at the local and state level might have addressed wastewater problems long ago if the area was wealthier and more influential.
Though Centreville was once a larger town, it has lost more than half its population and nearly all its white inhabitants since 1970. Surrounding towns saw a similar shift, as local manufacturing jobs disappeared. The people of color who remain in Centreville are stuck with ageing infrastructure meant for a denser population – and the local government now has a much smaller tax base to draw from for upgrades.
The conditions that Centreville’s residents live with are “shocking”, said Catherine Flowers, an environmental justice campaigner who co-authored a 2019 study on raw sewage issues in low-income communities across the US. Flowers hails from central Alabama, where many households lack proper plumbing and rivers of wastewater flow through back yards. “The Centreville problem ranks as one of the worst I have seen,” she said. In Centreville, she noted, the “sewage is in plain sight”.
Non-Western civilizations simply don’t object to filth in the same way white Christian populations do. It’s a combination of factors, and the reasons differ from one to the next, but the fact is that once you remove the three pillars of the West from a society, one inevitable consequence is dwelling in filth, not just moral, but literal.
One resident says: “‘If white people were still here, this wouldn’t happen.” That’s true. Because the white people wouldn’t put up with it, the white people would fix it. There are 5,000 people living there and absolutely none of them are willing and able to do anything about it.
That’s the inevitable fate of the post-Christian, post-white former West.