Understanding Environmental Racism (Re-Post)
Understanding Environmental Racism. It’s something that was noted many years ago. As mankind embraced civilization and urbanization.
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.
- The 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 intentionally and directed to a particular minority group.
This means that, for developing countries that are not able to provide all its citizens with safe drinking water. It cannot 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 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 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 is 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 multinational 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.
We simply have to avoid any practice or policy that is not environmentally friendly. By doing so, we will have no harmful waste to dump on the incorrect places. We will manage to fight climate change and global warming, hence avoid calamities like floods.
It’s doable and if we are open to it, environmental racism will disappear from our planet. Let’s do our parts and it will be a win-win situation.