Summary: The Existence Of Environmental Racism

Words: 1695
Pages: 7

Bianka Chinchilla
EN 102
Long Argumentative Research First Draft
9 March 2017
The Existence of Environmental Racism
In the United States also known as the land of the free, many people assume that there is equality in the sense that we all have the same opportunity. It is often said that if we work hard for something, we can achieve anything just like anyone else, but the reality is that some people have more privileges and resources than others. Often times, these privileges and resources are limited to others just because of their ethnicity or racial group. Recently, we have heard a lot about police mistreating people of color and the discrimination against different races, but we don’t think about the air and water being polluted for only
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The thing about these environments are that they are normally located near chemical plants, landfills, sewage facilities, etc… The areas are just plain filthy and have so many health risks. The air and water gets polluted with harmful chemicals which leads to many health problems especially with the immune and respiratory system. Studies from the Environmental Justice Center located at Clark Atlanta University have concluded that “African-Americans are 79 percent more likely than Whites to live in neighborhoods where industrial pollution is suspected of posing the greatest health danger.” (qtd. In “New Partnership To Fight Environmental Racism”, par. 6) Because of this, African Americans have a higher risk of getting diseases, lung cancer, and even asthma. Crystal Gammon, a writer for the Scientific American noticed that many American children have been suffering from asthma and coincidentally, they all happened to come from poverty areas. She noticed it the most in East St. Louis and guessed that maybe it was either from the traffic exhaust, nearby factories, or substandard housing, but she realized it was from all of those. (Gammon, par. 8) In other words, there are very many factors in this area that has resulted in health problems among children. East St. Louis is home to chemical plants, a wastewater plant, and a hazardous …show more content…
The most recent cases we have heard of are the Flint water crisis, and the Dakota’s pipeline. Flint, Michigan is home to low-income residents who the majority are black. The city is economically depressed and their contaminated water has increased the risk of getting lead poisoning and has made many children sick. The levels of lead being consumed can harm children by affecting their intelligence, behavior, or life span. This happened after the city decided to change the primary source of water from Detroit’s Lake Huron to the polluted water from the Flint River. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the water is classified as toxic waste when compared to its own standards. (qtd. In “Environmental Racism Harms Americans in Flint – and Beyond”, par. 5) The residents believe the government won’t fix the problem because the population is not only low-income, but black. The governor Rick Synder refuses to agree that the issue is due to environmental racism, but not only did the government switch to a hazardous water source, it also charges their residents for the contaminated water they can't even consume. The residents find this very unjust and have been trying to voice their serious environmental issues, but they have only been ignored. Since majority of the town population is black, they brought race to it as well as class because no one is paying any attention to them and