Environmental Racism

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Three examples of racial hegemony include the geographic, political, and cultural injustices subjected to minorities and low income individuals and communities. For example, the siting of toxic waste facilities in low income communities demonstrates geographic hegemony of racial injustice. These communities are frequently targets of environmental racism because they are often times smaller, less accessible and poorer than those in more affluent or white neighborhoods. Because of this, large corporations and [white] politicians find it easy to place facilities in these neighborhoods with little to no resistance. This also demonstrates that political hegemony also influence environmental racism. Most of the top councilmen and politician in government are white and/or Anglo. Because of this, most of the policies and regulations imposed on communities cater to their objective. This is demonstrated in the Granado struggle for grazing. They fought the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) who cater to a singular public - the rich and wealthy who are interested in large game/elk hunting and prohibiting grazing. It illustrates cultural hegemony because it ignores the social and cultural differences between Anglos and Hispanos and dismisses the existence of inequality and hinders the development of the Granado’s economic and cultural development.

The racial, social, and economic positionality of these groups and communities was a struggle for each of these groups but despite these factors, these groups were able to confront environmental racism. For example, the CRCQL used their positionality to collaborated and organized meetings to resists the proposal to put a hazardous waste facility in their neighborhood. Similarly, UFW used their labor status to boycott the use of pesticides in order to draw public attention to the hazards of DDT. These groups were considered inferior and subordinate to city/state counsels and large corporations but despite...
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