Author: HHC Staff        Published: 4/22/2021            Hip Hop Caucus

Environmental-racism-climate-change-01

Black people have been on the front lines of the climate crisis—suffering the most from polluted air [1] to natural disasters [2] to cancer mortality [3], as the government has long designated communities of color “sacrifice zones” for environmental enforcement and zoning.

President Biden has signed an executive order creating a Council for environmental racism, and while this is a huge step forward – it’s also not enough. We need meaningful legislation which ends the practice of creating “sacrifice zones” to make sure that this practice can’t return in the next administration.

Sacrifice zones is the word we use to describe the ways in which white supremacy makes the climate crisis deadlier for Black and Brown communities than it is for anyone else. A combination of factors – from higher pollutants, to less access to clean food and air and healthcare – means that Black and Brown people are both more likely to be exposed to environmental disasters and more likely to die in them.

Congress needs to pass legislation which invests in clean housing, in public transportation, in protecting Black and Brown communities specifically from the ravages of environmental degradation. These deaths aren’t inevitable. Nor are they by accident.

A government which sacrifices Black communities to polluting corporations that build white wealth is a government which says our lives don’t matter.

We are grateful to President Biden for his actions to protect Black communities. Now we need Congress to back him up.

SIGN NOW: Congress must enact legislation to end environmental “sacrifice zones” once and for all!

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/the-trump-administration-finds-that-environmental-racism-is-real/554315/
  2. https://laist.com/projects/2020/the-big-one/tbo-wealth-gap.html
  3. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/disparities