Understanding Environmental Racism

Understanding Environmental Racism

Understanding Environmental Racism. It’s something that was noted many years ago. As mankind embraced civilization and urbanization.

Environmental Racism

It refers to any environment injustice happening or directed to the minority groups. That is, whether practiced or applied in policies.

How can you identify an environmental racism act?

  • When you notice exposure of harmful waste to particulars areas.
  • Vulnerability of a community to problems such as the floods.
  • Discriminatory waste management
  • Inaccessibility of safe to drink water.

The above qualify to be a case of environmental racism , if they are done intential and directed to a particular minor group.

This to mean that, for developing countries that are not able to provide all its citizens with safe to drink water. Can not be said to practice environmental racism. But when the rich and able decide to expose the poor with their harmful waste. Then this qualifies as an environmental racism.

It simply implies directing negative outcomes as a result of human impact on other humans who have nothing to do with it. Sadly, the receiver of the bad news. Suffering consequences of actions by the abled ones.

But why would someone do that to the other humans?

Environmental racism is as a result of environmental injustices. What do we do to ensure we observe and practice environmental justice.

I came across some principles that may help us understand how to be fair to the environment and the minor groups.

Principles of Environmental Justice adopted by Delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit held on October 24-27, 1991, in Washington DC.

Environmental justice :

  • Affirms the sacredness of Mother Earth, ecological unity and the interdependence of all species, and the right to be free from ecological destruction.
  • Demands that public policy be based on mutual respect and justice for all peoples, free from any form of discrimination or bias.
  • Mandates the right to ethical, balanced and responsible uses of land and renewable resources in the interest of a sustainable planet for humans and other living things.
  • Calls for universal protection from nuclear testing, extraction, production, and disposal of toxic/hazardous wastes and poisons and nuclear testing that threaten the fundamental right to clean air, land, water, and food.
  • Affirms the fundamental right to political, economic, cultural and environmental self-determination of all peoples.
  • Demands the cessation of the production of all toxins, hazardous wastes, and radioactive materials, and that all past and current producers be held strictly accountable to the people for detoxification and the containment at the point of production.
  • Demands the right to participate as equal partners at every level of decision-making, including needs assessment, planning, implementation, enforcement and evaluation.
  • Affirms the right of all workers to a safe and healthy work environment without being forced to choose between an unsafe livelihood and unemployment. It also affirms the right of those who work at home to be free from environmental hazards.
  • Protects the right of victims of environmental injustice to receive full compensation and reparations for damages as well as quality health care.
  • Considers governmental acts of environmental injustice a violation of international law, the Universal Declaration On Human Rights, and the United Nations Convention on Genocide.
  • Must recognize a special legal and natural relationship of Native Peoples to the U.S. government through treaties, agreements, compacts, and covenants affirming sovereignty and self-determination.
  • Affirms the need for urban and rural ecological policies to clean up and rebuild our cities and rural areas in balance with nature, honoring the cultural integrity of all our communities, and provided fair access for all to the full range of resources.
  • Calls for the strict enforcement of principles of informed consent, and a halt to the testing of experimental reproductive and medical procedures and vaccinations on people of color.
  • Opposes the destructive operations of multi-national corporations.
  • Opposes military occupation, repression and exploitation of lands, peoples and cultures, and other life forms.
  • Calls for the education of present and future generations which emphasizes social and environmental issues, based on our experience and an appreciation of our diverse cultural perspectives.
  • Requires that we, as individuals, make personal and consumer choices to consume as little of Mother Earth’s resources and to produce as little waste as possible; and make the conscious decision to challenge and reprioritize our lifestyles to ensure the health of the natural world for present and future generations.

Read the full article here.

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6 thoughts on “Understanding Environmental Racism

  1. While I started buying organic food because of concerns about how chemicals impact my body & the environment, I now buy them because of the people who have to work around those chemicals. I live in an area with a lot of agriculture. I see the field workers in their HazMat suits in the heat of summer, working around dangerous chemicals. I’m able to have a bounty of foods because of the work they do. It’s not just the hazard of applying the chemicals: they’re around them constantly. They’re carrying them home on their bodies, potentially exposing their children to small but consistent amounts of those chemicals.

    The irony is that the people who grow my food generally cannot afford to purchase organic food themselves. Every time I buy organic, I’m hopeful that’s one less field worker exposed to dangerous chemicals, meaning fewer children are exposed, as well.

    Where I live, almost all of the agricultural workers are people of color, primarily Mexican & Central American or a descendant of an immigrant from those countries. A few of them own the land, but most of them toil in the fields and bear the greatest environmental risk. My sacrifice of spending a little more for organic food is insignificant, but I hope it makes a difference in their lives.

    Here in the US, people of color bear the greatest burden of the excesses of the dominant culture. They drink water from sources tainted by pollution. Their homes are downwind of industrial pollution, and in many cases those homes are built on toxic soil. We’ve used First Nations reservation land as dumping grounds for our poisons for decades. There will always be poor whites caught in this toxic miasma, but people of color bear it the most.

    Liked by 1 person

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