The fight to save our planet should be about ensuring a long and sustainable future — for everyone.
However, as the coronavirus has spread across America, it has laid bare the harsh inequities in American society.
The inequities have surfaced in obvious ways, including early data released by states showing that the virus is killing African Americans at disproportionately high rates, a disturbing trend that illustrates the substandard availability of health care in black America.
The inequities have also surfaced in subtle ways, including policy decisions that fail to reflect the needs and day-to-day realities of low-income communities and communities of color. The irony is that many of these policies are well-meaning. But in some cases, they also have had troubling unintended consequences.
Consider the area of environmental policy. Protecting the environment should be about protecting people, regardless of the color of their skin, ethnicity or race, where they live, or how much money they make.
Yet there are many in the mainstream environmental movement who continuously overlook the needs and realities faced by some of our most underserved and vulnerable communities. That includes the push by the mainstream environmental advocacy community to enforce plastic bags bans in favor of reusables, despite the fact that cardboard paper and other reusables pose a clear public health risk — especially for workers on the front lines of the pandemic response.
Read the full article about environmental racism by Mitch Nauffts at Philanthropy News Digest.
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