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Environmental Racism

Environmental Racism? There is a political theory of justice that was created by John Rawls that states, that all rational members of society in the original position should make decisions. Rawls called this method as a veil of ignorance. This is used as an instrument to make decisions in developing local projects. In the United States there is a spectacle called NIMBYism, which stands for Not-In-My-BackYard. This is when a group of a local community members protest about developments or a certain development in their community. NIMBYism could be a good or bad spectacle, which depends on what activities are suspended because of it.

A bad view of this would be if there were no developments. Then there wouldnt be any supermarkets to do your food shopping or playgrounds for the children to play in. The good side to NIMBYism would be if they were planning to build a toxic dump near the community and the protest prohibited it. Now what would happen if all of sudden all of this toxic dumps ended up in minority communities? Well, if the community members didnt protest and just let the dump be build then thats their problem. But, if the members did protest and the development continued then that would be environmental racism.

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Just look at Garfield compared to Passaic; when Im driving through Garfield the houses are all nice and clean looking but when I cross the Passaic River to Passaic youll notice the roads full of pot-holes, all the garbage on the street, and a lot of dirty factories. Garfield is full of white, Italian, and Polish middle-class families while Passaic is full of Black, Mexican, Peruvian, and Puerto Rican low and middle-class families. Only because Passaic has this image of being a town full of drugs, crime, and immigrants, that dont know any English, that its okay to leave this once beautiful town in ruins, make more developments, or in some cases no developments at all. The population in Passaic is much higher then in Garfield, so Passaic should have more protesting members. That should be the case but its not.

It seems like the people of Passaic dont care. Why is this? Im guessing that they have been ignored and put down for so long that they dont care anymore. They all accept it as it is thinking that they cant do anything about it. So, is this environmental racism or just a case of lazy community members? I guess it all depends on which angle you look at it. Environmental Issues.


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