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RE: E-M:/ Toxic waste and race



------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from RC -------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of course, low-income communities also suffer more than their fair share of environmental harm.

 

But, environmental racism is real, and has been documented in numerous studies over the past twenty years, not just in this one. Of course, the links between race and income in our society make this difficult to tease out, but several studies have shown race to be more strongly predictive in the location of hazardous waste facilities. A study conducted by Robert Bullard in Houston – the only major US city lacking zoning – showed that waste facilities there tended to be placed in African American communities, though not always low-income ones.

 

It is not surprising that Michigan had the largest disparity in the proportion of people of color living in neighborhoods hosting hazardous facilities, and that the majority of those affected were African American: Michigan is among the most segregated states in the nation. Environmental racism is simply another manifestation of the ways in which racism and discrimination continue to exist in our society and in Michigan (regardless of the outcome of Proposal 2), and impact people of color in housing, employment, transportation, education, the judicial system, and so many other areas of areas of life.

 

Indeed, environmental racism is not only evident in the siting of hazardous waste facilities (which was the focus of this study), but other studies have shown racial discrimination in other aspects of environmental decision-making, disproportionately affecting people of color –- including siting decisions, inadequate enforcement, longer times for clean-up, lack of representation in environmental organizations, regulatory agencies, commissions, and other decision-making bodies, lower fines issued against companies for violations in communities of color compared to white communities, etc.  

 

And, perhaps as someone said, green is the motivating factor behind this. But, the disproportionate impacts on people of color – whether deliberately or unconsciously targeted -- remain.  

 

When we decide that no community should have to live with hazardous waste – there will be no more “sacrifice zone.” When it stops being “not in my backyard” and becomes “not in anyone’s backyard,” then we will find new, better, cleaner ways of doing things.  

 

Environmental justice requires that we fight for the right of every community to live, work, learn and play in a safe, clean, healthy environment, regardless of income, race, ethnicity. Right now, in Michigan, and in this country, that is not the case.

 

 

Kathryn Savoie, Ph.D.

Environmental Program Director

 

Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)

6450 Maple Street

Dearborn MI 48126

(313) 216-2225

ksavoie@accesscommunity.org

 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net [mailto:owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net] On Behalf Of RC
Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 5:54 PM
To: William Tobler; enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Toxic waste and race

 

So the real question would be "Why Michigan residents (particularly those 'Chamber of Commerce' members) hate the environment so much" or "Why money ranks above your state"...

I guess when you are rich and connected you can move if it gets too polluted but the people that actually live there aren't so lucky... The bad part is that eventually these 'captains of industry (pollution)' will run out of areas to dump their junk and hopefully not because all the other areas are already polluted... We are suffering from runaway capitalism...

Michigan The Great Cesspool State?

At 05:38 PM 4/26/2007, William Tobler wrote:

I maintain that there is plenty of pollution and environmental disasters to go around, regardless of race and ethnic backround. Maybe only the very rich escape (otherwise known as the captains of industry).
 
I live in a predominately white, rural neighborhood.  Let's see:
I have a toxic waste landfill to the north.  A metro detroit garbage landfill next door.  An asphalt plant on the other side.
We have a closed landfill to the NE.  Carleton Farms with Canadian trash and human sewage to the east. To the NE, we have the "Romulus Wells", which after a more than 10 year fight, our government forced it down their throats, only to have it fail within months of operation.
 
We have a closed landfill to the west with no liner and no clay bottom with boreholes into the aquifer that was operated as a toxic waste landfill.  We have a cement kiln to the SW burning "alternative fuels".  And my favorite, a limestone quarry that drained every mid depth well in every home in a 100 square miles for 10 years.
 
Then we have a couple of close misses.  Missed only because of immense citizen action.  We missed the country's largest toxic waste facility including deep well injection, toxic incinerator and toxic landfill.  We missed a 500 acre intermodal railyard.  A few miles to the west and southwest, we have CAFOs galore and ethanol plants.
 
 

----- Original Message -----

From: Kim Hunter

To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net

Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 5:07 PM

Subject: RE: E-M:/ Toxic waste and race

 

I live in Dearborn which according to the stats has the worst air quality in the state.  I am pretty sure the neighborhoods used to be as lilly white as white can be, (hello Orville Hubbard)  and I am also sure the pollution was just as high then as it is now.  Neighborhoods are arabic, white and black, and the pollution still makes it impossible to enjoy a nice summer day.

 

Companies offer reasons for people not to fight backlow low taxes, etc)  or build in areas where low-income people  can't fight back.  ( I think that race (there really is only human race, its H s sapiens) has very little to do with it.  Color has a lot to do with it, the color is green.

 

E. Britt

 

Actually the situation is more complicated than that.  It depends on where you live and the role ethnicity/national origin played.  Delray, another place with historically bad contamination, used to be largely populated by Hungarians when Eastern Europeans were lower on the pecking order. 

 

Similarly, Italians in Dearborn faced discrimination as well.  The place in Dearborn, the south end, with the monitor for the worst is overwhelmingly Arab, mostly Yemeni immigrants.  It has been that way for a good while now.  It may have been “lily white” at one point but not in my memory and I have been in Detroit 50 years. 

 

I’d don’t know for sure, but I would be willing to bet that before the Yemeni there were Italians.  Like I said, it’s complicated.  But discrimination based on class race and ethnicity usually plays into it.  You don’t find the “captains of industry” living in the messes from which they profit.

 

Kim Hunter

 

-----Original Message-----

From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net [ mailto:owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net] On Behalf Of WovenWoman@aol.com

Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 4:17 PM

To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net

Subject: Re: E-M:/ Toxic waste and race

 

In a message dated 4/26/2007 1:43:19 PM Eastern Daylight Time, gstock@net-link.net writes:

Kathryn Savoie wrote:

> Ninety percent of states with facilities have disproportionately

> high percentages of people of color living in host neighborhoods.

> States with the 10 largest differences in people-of-color

> percentages between host neighborhoods and non-host areas include.

>

> --Michigan (66 vs. 19 percent)

I live in Dearborn which according to the stats has the worst air quality in the state.  I am pretty sure the neighborhoods used to be as lilly white as white can be, (hello Orville Hubbard)  and I am also sure the pollution was just as high then as it is now.  Neighborhoods are arabic, white and black, and the pollution still makes it impossible to enjoy a nice summer day.

 

Companies offer reasons for people not to fight backlow low taxes, etc)  or build in areas where low-income people  can't fight back.  ( I think that race (there really is only human race, its H s sapiens) has very little to do with it.  Color has a lot to do with it, the color is green.

 

E. Britt



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