Sunday, May 4, 2008

Environmental Inequality...

Energy inequality is a term used frequently in conversations about the state of black america and the environment. Studies show that minorities bear an unproportional amount of the environmental hazard burden. Statistics can even make a case for using the term environmental racism. All minorities are more likely to live in close proximity of an hazardous toxic waste site then are their white counterparts. African American youth are 3 to 5 times more likely to have asthma, the leading cause of hospitalizations among children, then their white counterparts. Extensive studies have been done that verify that environmental inequality is based most potently on race, not class as some would argue. The EPA has even recognized this inequality and has set up a specialized task force in order to investigate the issue. In 1994 President Clinton signed in executive order to look into Environmental Inequality and the effects it has on minorities. African American children are also more likely to have high concentrations of lead in their blood, one study showed that middle class African Americans are more likely than lower class white children to be effected by lead poisoning. These and many other statistics make the case that Environmental Inequality is a concern that should be addressed by the federal government, starting with the EPA. Something has to be done so that minority communities are preyed on by big companies who need to dispose of their waste. All communities should share the burden of hazardous materials based on population and census data, anything else is racism.

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