Racism and Social Injustice Essay

1270 Words6 Pages
In the United States and internationally, there is a multitude of indicators that the racial environment is changing. Environmental pollution and racism are connected in more ways than one. The world is unconsciously aware of environmental intolerances, yet continues to expose the poor and minorities to physical hazards. Furthermore, sociologist continue to study “whether racial disparities are largely a function of socioeconomic disparities or whether other factors associated with race are also related to the distribution of environmental hazards” (Mohai and Saha 2007: 345). Many of these factors include economic positions, health disparities, social and political affairs, as well as racial inequalities. A large number of low-income and…show more content…
Hazards and pollutants are apparent in a variety of outcomes. Possible outcomes include asthma, cancer and chemical poisoning (Gee and Payne-Sturges 2004: 1647). Furthermore, “Although debated, the main hypothesis explaining these disparities is that disadvantaged communities encounter greater exposure to environmental toxins such as air pollution, pesticides, and lead” (Gee and Payne-Sturges 2004: 1647). Therefore, disadvantaged groups, such as people of color and the poor, experience greater environmental risks. Additionally, “Blacks in particular are exposed to a disproportionate amount of pollution and suffer the highest levels of lead and pesticide poisoning and other associated health problems” (Jones and Rainey 2006: 474). People of color, essentially, compete to live healthily. For example, African-Americans and Africans alike, struggle with the negative affects of oil refineries and unresponsive governments. The same can be said for Hispanics in California and the natives of Ecuador, who are forced to cope with the pollution of the Texaco oil refineries (Bullard 2001: 4). Environmental racism not only exploits natural resources, it abuses and profits from the communities involved. Governments and polluting facilities will continue to capitalize on the economic susceptibilities of poor communities, states, nations and regions for their “unsound” and hazardous operations (Bullard 2001: 23).
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