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The Flint water crisis is a perfect example of environmental racism

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Environmental racism is often an afterthought, even for those who want to fix our race-based ills and protect black and brown lives. Now, the water crisis gripping Flint, Michigan is shining a bright light on how structural racism is found in our environmental resources and is costing people their lives across the nation.

Flint, Michigan is experiencing a well-documented crisis as a result of a contaminated water supply. A study dating back to 2011, showed the Flint River water supply needed to be treated with an anti-corrosive agent in order to be fit for human consumption, as required by federal law. This study and law was ignored when officials decided to use the river as the primary water source for the city.

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Potentially large numbers of children in Flint will have to cope with the neurological damage caused by lead poisoning for the remainder of their lives as a result.

Related: US authorities distorting tests to downplay lead content of water

Filmmaker Michael Moore, a native of the city, posited that the reason state of Michigan officials were willing to switch the water supply from Lake Huron to the notoriously polluted and foul-smelling Flint River was largely to do with race and class. He pointed out the obvious fact that Flint’s population is majority black and economically depressed.

Governor Snyder’s denial that this is environmental racism is deplorable and infuriating. Institutional and structural racism is often based upon neglect and valuing money or assets over human life and well-being. Such is the case in Flint, where not only did the officials switch the water supply to a dangerous source, but according to residents, they are still being billed for water that poisoned their children and qualifies as toxic waste according to the EPA’s own standards.

Yet Flint is not the only place where environmental racism and neglect are damaging the health and quality of life of large numbers of poor people of color. According to a Tufts University report , “hazardous sites, municipal landfills, incinerators and other hazardous facilities are disproportionally located in poor minority neighborhoods”. Black children have high rates of asthma which could very well be attributed to exposure to toxins and “pesticides during the first year of life”.

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Related: Michigan governor says environmental racism not to blame for Flint water crisis

African Americans are also more likely to live in close proximity to industrial pig farms in North Carolina, which have been linked to groundwater nitrates that lead to heart defects and hydrogen sulfate, which is said to cause “respiratory ailments”. According to the Huffington Post, oil trains emit dangerous diesel gas fumes in black and brown communities in California. Even in the cities and towns widely considered environmentally safe and clean, “ Blacks breath a poorer quality of air ”.

African Americans are also not the only communities of color that suffer from environmental racism. The Natural Resources Defense Council f ound that Latinos, particularly communities close the US/Mexico border, “lack potable water and adequate wastewater treatment”. Lead poisoning is also prevalent in Latino communities. Latino children comprised 77% of those diagnose with lead poisoning in Arizona, despite only making up 25% of the population in 2002. And pesticides continue to put Latino farmworkers at risk for miscarriages, certain cancers and birth defects.

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There are certain human needs that are so basic and fundamental that they are often not mentioned when we speak of human rights. Every man, woman and child needs clean water to drink and bathe in, air to breath and decent shelter. The white supremacy that manifests as environmental racism robs us of those inalienable human rights. If you want people of color to drink the post-racial Kool-aid, mix it with clean water.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2016

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Team Trump wants to steal another election — and there’s only one way to beat them back

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When I was growing up at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, back in the early 1960s, my mother drove down to Kansas City one morning to go shopping and have lunch with an old friend of her mother’s. Ladies going out shopping and having lunch in the upscale Country Club Plaza in Kansas City was almost a formal occasion. I remember she put on a summery suit and heels and stockings, and I’m pretty sure she wore a pair of white cotton gloves.

When she returned a few hours later, she wasn’t carrying any bags from the shops, and she was seething. The woman she’d eaten lunch with was married to a man who owned a chain of downtown hotels in major cities around the country. They lived in a big Tudor house in Mission Hills, the Beverly Hills of the Midwest. She drove a Cadillac. She was rich.

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#LetLevSpeak: Giuliani henchman’s attorney explains why his client wants to testify against Devin Nunes

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An attorney for indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas warned Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., that “Lev remembers” their phone calls — even if the Intelligence Committee’s top Republican does not.Phone records obtained from AT&T and released in the Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report revealed four phone calls between Nunes and Parnas on April 12, amid the smear campaign that ousted then-Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, including one which lasted longer than eight minutes. Parnas, who played a key role in Giuliani’s hunt for damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden, was later indicted on campaign finance charges. Prosecutors have said he is still under investigation for more crimes.However, Nunes now claims that he cannot not recall speaking with Parnas.
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Why are cops around the world using this outlandish mind-reading tool?

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The police gave Ricky Joyner a pen and a nine-page questionnaire.

Write what you did, beginning to end, on the day Sandra Hernandez disappeared, one question asked.

“Went ot work …,” Joyner wrote, transposing the letters in “to.” “Went home toke shower got dress pick Sandra up … went out to eat … went the movies … toke Sandra home … stop at [bar] for little while, then spent the night with a grilfriend.”

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