West Oakland is a hot new spot for techies looking for a cheap neighbourhood, but it’s also a hotbed of environmental racism.
Racism plays out in many complicated ways for people of colour in the environmental movement — in addition to the structural inequalities that degrade the environment in their communities, the movement itself continues to struggle with racialised problems.
Two years ago—on 24 April, 2014—the city of Flint, Michigan, made a calculated decision, switching from nearby Detroit’s water system to the Flint River as the primary water source for its residents. The choice was motivated purely by cost. Almost immediately, residents began complaining that the water was discoloured, malodorous, and unpleasant to drink. Flint’s […]
A fascinating recent study on environmental racism in the United States reveals the stark nature of the interaction between race, pollution, and health: even high income people of colour experience more exposure to pollutants than their white counterparts. While one might expect an interaction between race, class, and environmental exposures, the study indicates that race […]
Activists and advocates concerned with race and environmental justice issues have developed the term “environmental racism” to describe the specific and pernicious social phenomenon of placing communities of colour in danger from pollution. Studies illustrate a strong colocational relationship between low-income communities of colour and polluting industries, developments on polluted land, dumps, and other facilities […]
Western culture has a way of extending itself over the rest of the world in a constant reminder that colonialism is never truly dead. Our attitudes and practices spread to other regions, and may even become fashionable, desirable, or prized as signs of cultural or political sophistication. Thus it is that imperialism in pop culture, […]
I’ve been following the story of Kettleman City for a long time. The Southern California town has flickered in and out of the news as a result of a wave of congenital disabilities residents believe are associated with a nearby waste management facility, and they’ve fought to have the issue recognised, and to get action […]
One fact becomes inescapable when looking at health statistics in the United States; low-income people, particularly people of colour and nonwhite people, tend to be less healthy overall. There are a lot of reasons for this, many of which can be seen illustrated in the statistics themselves, and one particularly pressing issue is the extremely […]
The news in 2009 and into 2010 was heavily occupied with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf; it made headlines in the US and around the world for months, and scores of people tuned in for live feeds of the ocean floor while engineers struggled to cap the gushing well. All of these […]
There’s a phenomenon I regularly see playing out in small, wealthy communities across the United States. It usually goes something like this: Company Xyz announces plans to commence operations somewhere near that community. Citizens promptly start holding a series of meetings to oppose it on the grounds that the company’s activities may be environmentally harmful, […]