Belle Glade Sun

Letter to the Editor: An open letter to Norah O’Donnell

Dear Norah

You are stabbing us in the in the heart.

Many of us wake up with you every morning as you co-host the CBS Morning News. We trust and admire you. So, if you have followed at all the ‘work’ of the Everglades Foundation or the fight they have forced Floridians into you can image our horror to hear that on Feb. 18 you are to be the star attraction at the Everglades Foundation Gala at the Breakers in Palm Beach.

Your client the Everglades Foundation is a billionaire’s social club hell bent on running generations of Floridians off their land. They are very wealthy outsiders who view Florida as their playground and Floridians as their servants. Their supporters have called our communities of African Americans, Hispanics and working class farmers “slums,” and suggested “blowing up” the dikes that protect us from the might waters of Lake Okeechobee. They cheer for the destruction of our way of life and ask callously to “let God sort it out.” They have told us to “get the hell out of Florida” and even called for “burn[ing] our communities to the ground.” And some have resorted to racial epithets; I, an African American woman, was called a “coon” by one of their supporters recently.

Your new friends at The Everglades Foundation, are now pushing a plan to “Send the Water South.” It calls for Glades area residents south of Lake Okeechobee to give up their homes and livelihoods to make way for Lake Okeechobee’s excess water. But this plan is not a solution — it’s a weapon. A weapon designed to destroy agriculture, punish farmers and displace communities. The plan will not make our water cleaner or more abundant. It only serves to turn Floridians against each other for the pleasure of very rich people who don’t even live here. The shameful truth of the matter is that the plan will not work, it is based on Fake Science and the folks who are paying you a big fee and putting you up in that fancy hotel know that.

Norah, these are the people you have chosen to support and their cause is, sadly, now your cause. Those of us here in the Glades area hope you will reconsider your association with the Everglades Foundation and we pray that you come to realize that one night of decadently hobnobbing with the rich and famous is no substitute for true compassion and civic courage.

Thank you for hearing us out.

Glades Lives Matter