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View Diary: Fighting for green: People of color and environmental justice (132 comments)

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  •  One Factor I Didn't See Mentioned (4+ / 0-)

    So I will mention it here, since it has had an adverse environmental impact on lower income, communities of color here in California for quite a long time:

    NIMBY.

    I have actually met environmentalists who will gladly occupy a beach to avoid exploitation of wildlife who go to the mat whenever the idea of equitable distribution of the less-healthy aspects of modern living (i.e. everything from cell phone towers to power stations) comes up; you never see them crowing about the environment when communities of color are trying to beat back having a refinery or a waste disposal company or auto wrecking business put in their neighborhoods instead of wealthier (almost all white) ones.  It's all about "property values" and quality of life, then.

    Sorry but it had to be said.  NIMBY has been directly responsible for more environmental injustice in California than you can imagine.  None of us should have to live with some property uses but definitely if we have to live with it, at least it should be fairly shared across all communities.

    Thanks for this diary.

    •  Thanks Sis - and yes NIMBY (5+ / 0-)

      (Not in my back yard) is a key player.  So dumps and prisons and bus train depots are put in areas who don't have the political clout to keep them out.

      This:

      None of us should have to live with some property uses but definitely if we have to live with it, at least it should be fairly shared across all communities.
      is key.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:43:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you mentioning NIMBYism (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Denise Oliver Velez

      I guess I'd say I'm unsure whether it is more race- or class-related.  Certainly both are large and intertwining factors.  Is the polluter siting due to race or poverty?  

      I recall from the 1984 Bhopal India disaster that the Union Carbide plant was originally built well-away from any residents and that the poor eventually built around it, with heartbreaking results when the poisonous gases leaked.

      It seems possible to me that the plant drove down property values in the immediate area, such that it became the only place poor folks could afford to buy land and try to live.  An indecent chunk of NOLA/Katrina struck me the same way--my understanding is that the further below sea level a place was, the more likely it was to be poor, poorly protected, and/or inhabited by people of color.

      Not to put too fine a point on it, most of the solution seems to me to be the need to fight poverty (and the racism that exacerbates it); to raise incomes, such that folks in those communities can reasonably afford less-marginal living places and designate those marginal places 'off limits' for habitation.

      It's gonna be a long, hard slog.  ("So," the optimist in me says, "we'd better get started!")

      "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

      by bartcopfan on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:05:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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