academicargument_eng - 1 Silvia Lee Is This Racism? Silvia...

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Silvia Lee ENG 110 E Paul Crenshaw April 24, 2008 Is This Racism? People may assume that the majority of the US is “white.” However, “approximately 30 percent of Americans who consider themselves “white” have less than 90 percent European ancestry” (Bamshad and Olson). People may assume that the “white” race has a distinct definition. Studies prove otherwise; “Irish people, Italians, and indeed many Europeans, from the Mediterranean and Alpine areas as well as eastern parts of Europe, were considered to be not “white” in the USA.” (Quist-Adade) Many European historians have constructed a racial hierarchy that places the “white race” at the top to justify the colonization of less developed countries in the past. This kind of disguising legitimization has not stopped. Racism has changed its form into environmental and political dimensions. Government officials are justifying heavy influences of pollution on the poor. Damage in the ninth ward from Hurricane Katrina illustrates the political injustice that is rationalized by the government. In 1994, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12898, Federal Action to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-income Populations,” to ensure such populations are not subjected to a disproportionately high level of 1 Silvia Lee Is This Racism?
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environmental risk. The overall objective of this evaluation was to determine how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is integrating environmental justice into its day-to-day operations. EPA has not identified “minority” and “low-income” or identified populations addressed in the Executive Order, and has neither defined nor developed criteria for determining disproportionately impacted (Heiman). Although the Agency has been actively involved in implementing Executive Order 12898 for ten years, it has not developed a clear vision or a comprehensive strategic plan, and has not established values, goals, expectations, and performance measurements. Who is advocating for the poor? People of minorities and low-income disproportionately experience exposure to hazardous waste and pollution. As it is easier to define communities on the basis of skin color than through dominant class position, analysts may misinterpret class oppression with facility location and exposure standards, where race is used as a substantial marker. Studies conducted by Yale and MIT, as well as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, prove that particular exposures have been documented for air pollution and lead among urban African Americans, pesticide contamination for Chicano farm workers, radiation exposure among the Navajo, and waste management facilities in African American and Hispanic communities (Gerrard). Waste facilities are 2 Silvia Lee Is This Racism?
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This note was uploaded on 05/11/2008 for the course ENG 110 taught by Professor Paulcrenshaw during the Spring '08 term at Elon.

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academicargument_eng - 1 Silvia Lee Is This Racism? Silvia...

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