Saturday, August 05, 2006

Environmental Racism

Whites are tired of hearing about racism and blacks are tired of experiencing it. Yet it is there and we all know it. Webster's says racism is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. It is quite the confounding variable when injected into the complex social, cultural, physical, chemical and biotic factors that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determines its form and survival. Survival of the fittest tends to leave more pollution in the weaker community.

When racism is injected into the movement to control pollution, it takes on the same dysfunctional qualites as when it follows any other area (economic, business, media, sports, ad nauseum -- pick one). It is beyond the capacity of humans, and Americans, to solve racism. Thus the environmental brand is probably intractable, just like climate change. Of course Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud of some of the progress made in race relations. Yet black-on-black murder and disproportionate environmental impacts generated by environmental racism would clearly be challenges to him today.

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