Communities are not all created equal. Have you ever heard of or considered the concept of Environmental Racism and what role it plays in the lives of Afro-Americans? I presume your answer is no. Well then, have you ever wondered why so many housing projects, which are majority Black occupied, are located near industrial parks? I presume you havent even noticed. Well, I have. Growing up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York, I often visited my older cousin who resided in the Red Hook Housing Projects in Brooklyn. The aroma…garbage. It was like walking through a sanitation dump from the second you got off the G-train at Smith Street to the second you got back on. And how did you know you were almost there? From the sight of smoke floating from pipes on top of large square buildings. My only concern then was seeing my cousin and having fun for the weekend…not the effects of inhaling the fumes or why it smelled so awful. I figured that if my cousin lived there it must have been a good place or atleast affordable for the time. However, now that I have come of age and traveled throughout the U.S. I have realized that Red Hook is not the only housing project located smack-dab in the middle of an industrial park. Red Hook is not the only housing project occupied by majority Blacks and Hispanics. Housing projects are not the only minority communities located near industrial parks. Industrial parks are strategically positioned. What does all this mean? What does it all boil down to?…The concept of Environmental Racism and the birth of the Environmetal Justice Movement. Environmental Racism has been defined as the intentional siting of hazardous waste sites, landfills, incinerators, and polluting industries in communities inhabited mainly by Arican-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, migrant farm workers, and the working poor. Minorities are particularly vulenrables because they are perceived as weak and pasis…
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