Art Prints

About Environmental Racism and Hurricanes ….

Human Action has triggered a vast cascade of environmental problems that now threaten the continued ability of both natural and human systems to flourish. Solving the critical environmental problems of global warming,water scarcity, pollution, and biodiversity loss are perhaps the greatest challenges facing the 21st century. [Sic Brittanica Encyclopedia] The planet is dear to my heart. Let's rise together and meet them.₄ defines Environmental Racism₁ as [sic] A type of racism perpetrated by the disproportionate location of environmental hazards near economically and socially disadvantaged areas. Modern examples of this relatively unknown term include but are not limited to for example The Flint Water Crisis, the management of Hurricane Katrina, a 100-mile-long plume of toxic mining sludge flow through the Southern Ute Indian Tribe reservation in the Animas River …. and so many, many more.

Racism has always been prevalent in our lands. Whether it be here, in the United States, in Europe, in Asia …. it is there. Festering. And with the way our leaders have been dealing with it, it is time to address it front and center. Racism is much more than the inevitable bickering, arguing, fighting even about race. It encompasses all. It seeps into the lives of the people it targets. And that is precisely where environmental racism comes into play.

Targeting communities stressed financially, unable to move somewhere else. Classifying and categorizing people into general groups. Communities that are often divided by the proverbial "railroad tracks" that are living within a distance of the looming factories that burn endlessly, producing heavy industrial products or whatever else they are producing. In the end, mostly targeting communities with a median household income that barely reaches $40,000/year.

Environmental racism targets precisely those people through the enabling of policies allowing "slumlords" to not upgrade the premises where actual people live in unhealthy and hazardous conditions; It targets those people forced to breathe in polluted air, brought on by government's ability to run back EPA policies paving the way to clean air. It focuses on those people working hazardous jobs with little or no protection. We need to have this conversation about how to address this inequitable distribution of environmental hazards among the poor and minorities.

Advocates for these communities believe in environmental justice₂, which holds that all people deserve to live i