Friday, March 18, 2005

Black-on-Black Murder as an Environmental Issue

Do you believe intraracial homicide among Blacks is an environmental issue?

AAEA is currently compiling the 2004 murder statistics for major American cities. We have the 2003 listings on our page. There are thousands of murders each year and most of these are African Americans killing each other. Environmental justice is the fair treatment of all people respecting environmental issues. We have four questions regarding this issue:

How should environmental justice address

Is it an environmental justice issue?

Does injustice have to cross racial lines to qualify as an environmental injustice?

If it is an environmental or environmental justice issue, how should we address the problem to reduce or eliminate the murders?

Hip Hop is to 21st Century youth culture what Rock & Roll was the the 20th Century Woodstock Nation. Its advocates call themselves the 'CNN' of urban and suburban America. This generation has a responsibility to do more than report the news. They have to reduce the bad news by working on solutions to black murder.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

While, I for one think that while black on black murder trends stem in part from environmental factors, I do not think we should confuse the discussion about natural resource conservation with the broad legacies of slavery, educational failure, lack of economic empowerment and other issues that plague people of color. Influencing who gets to control of natural resources is necessarily a different enterprise from the separate efforts to conserve those same resources. Attempts to shift the ongoing and mainstream conservation dialogue toward a black empowerment one will be largely misunderstood by most people who already work inside the so called environmental movement. We need to be about the imperatives of preserving the biosphere so that all people will have clean air, clean water and a wholesome environment. That was there will be something left to distribute to all people. We also need to raise awareness about the connection between civil justice and environmental justice in our culture. The presumption that white people want to save resources and black people want to get a fair share expends valuable capital with little sum gain. Our aims should be about winning support for our ideas on these subjects and in getting people of all races involved in discussing real strategies and solutions we can all support. Also, we should be preaching African American stewardship for the environment as a means of taking greater initiative and control over the scarce natural resources.

Genuinely I think we would get a lot done if we started educating the white dominated environmental movement about the plight and disparities in environmental quality experienced by minorities and by proposing solutions to these problems that serve people of all races. In my experience this is a welcome contribution in an environmental movement that is already painfully aware that minority stakeholders have not been included. In what way can members of the AAEA reach out to mainstream environmental groups to build practical and productive alliances? If we fail to do this, I sense we will just talking among ourselves(preaching to the choir?) and perhaps failing to take our issues to folks who might readily become allies if we wanted...

Fred Tutman
The Patuxent Riverkeeper