Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Black Environmentalist: What Is That? And Why?

There is a black community in virtually every city in the U.S. There are unique environmental conditions in many of these communities. For instance, many of these sections of town have been easy locations for major thoroughfares and facilties that generate pollution. White flight also helped create black communites as blacks moved into areas such as Washington, DC and Prince George's County Maryland. Environmentalists from mainstream green groups rarely work on specific issues that are important to these communities because they are not familiar with and rarely visit these communities. They have virtually no friends or relatives there and black staff are receptionists and administrative staff that do not address policy issues. Some of the policy positions that these mainstream groups promote are contrary to the best interests of the black community.

Thus the need for the services of a black environmentalist: To say that appropriate environmentally friendly development is okay - - and we want a big piece of it. To say that high energy prices to stimulate conservation are bad for all communities. To say that a big beautiful house in the outer suburbs with a Navigator in the driveway is okay. To say that the Federal government does not need to hold too much public land but should privatize discreet portions to promote economic health. To say that a 'no growth' policy is crazy and having a BANANA NIMBY mentality is nuts (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything, Not In My Backyard). To say that Deep Ecology that says that animals are equal to humans is kooky. To say that blacks should move out of toxic zones instead of waiting to get cancer. To say that America is a two party democracy and we should work both parties. To say that black-on-black murder and abortion are important environmental issues. We could go on but you get the idea.

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