Environmental Racism?

Essay by kashmiraUniversity, Master'sA-, April 2004

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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 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 wouldn't 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 didn't protest and just let the dump be build then that's their problem. But, if the members did protest and the development continued then that would be environmental racism. Just look at Garfield compared to Passaic; when I'm driving through Garfield the houses are all nice and clean looking but when I cross the Passaic River to Passaic you'll 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 don't...