I’ll put it to you like this,
When white people ask “when is white history month?” it’s exactly like going into the ‘ethnic’ hair care product aisle at walmart and asking
"where are all the products for white people hair?"
It is literally any other aisle that sells hair care products.
Benjamin Chavis defines it as “racial discrimination in environmental policy-making and enforcement of regulations and laws, the deliberate targeting of communities of color for toxic waste facilities, the official sanctioning of the presence of life threatening poisons and pollutants for communities of color, and the history of excluding people of color from leadership of the environmental movement.”
Some very basic examples that literally do not even come close to scratching the surface include:
- People of color make up the majority of those living in neighborhoods located within 1.8 miles of the nation’s hazardous waste facilities.
- Neighborhoods with facilities clustered close together have higher percentages of people of color than those with non-clustered facilities.
- African Americans are 79 percent more likely than whites to live in neighborhoods where industrial pollution is suspected of causing the greatest health danger.
- Children of color who live in poor areas are more likely to attend schools filled with asbestos, live in homes with peeling lead paint, and play in parks that are contaminated.
- Living near toxic waste facilities and in low income housing affects almost every aspect of life including food, water, and air. Homes, schools, and workplaces are deemed unsafe because of environmental hazards in the buildings, which are dilapidated and outdated.
- These same children are nearly 9 times more likely than economically advantaged children to be exposed to lead levels so high they can cause severe learning disabilities and neurological disorders. 96 percent of African American children who live in inner cities have unsafe amounts of lead in their blood.
- Poverty-stricken Native American communities face some of the worst toxic pollution problems in the country.
- Three out of every five African American and Latinos live in areas near toxic waste sites, as well as live in areas where the levels of poverty are well above the national average.
- Climate change effects disproportionately impact people in the “global South,” whereas the causes of climate change are disproportionately brought about by the West.