Many of us throw our garbage away and never see it again. We buy toxic products and use up an excess of electricity and oil– yet we never see where all of these luxuries are made or refined. Out of sight, out of mind.
Unfortunately, what’s out of sight for many is very visible– and toxic– for others. These individuals are left to live next to this garbage, breathe in the toxic smoke from the factories and splash and play in waters polluted by the chemical company half a mile upstream. This is environmental racism.
We often speak about leaving a cleaner planet for our grandchildren, but in a disproportionate number of low-income communities of color this dream has already disappeared. Pollution doesn’t respect our boundaries or our timetables. In the predominantly Latino working class communities dotting the Southern Los Angeles coastline, citizens are facing overwhelming amounts of pollution from power plants, refineries, industrial waste facilities, and the intersection of five major freeways. Never mind the environmental legacy that we leave for future generations, kids can’t breathe today.
The above quote is from “The Good Fight”, an awesome web series from the Sundance Channel. The non-profit organization, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), is highlighted in the most recent series. CBE is working to improve public health and achieve environmental justice in California. The worst of the environmental racism is happening in Los Angeles. But, look around your community and state- you’ll see that this is happening everywhere.
Take some time (only 7 minutes total) to watch the “Toxic Tour” videos (find them on the left of the page). The Bill Gallegos interview is also very good.
Create a healthy week 🙂