How do environmental justice and other social justice issues stem from white supremacy & systemic racism?

To create a society where everyone can live good lives, we must see clearly that environmental, social and economic injustice ALL COME FROM THE SAME ROOT: white supremacy and systemic racism. Let’s call it what it is! We all live within legal and economic systems that are designed to protect the lives and wealth of white people by perpetuating violence against people of color - stripping people from good health, wealth, happiness, long lives, family and friends. In order to transform our society, we all need to name and work on the root of these evils. Call it what it is! 

 

These systems - laws, informal rules, positions of power combined with the money and assets behind them - keep oppressive systems in place. Together they serve to:

  • Create redlined communities that maintain segregation and force people of color to live next to toxic places with crumbling housing and infrastructure. 

  • Allow police to murder Black people while keeping their jobs and not be held accountable in the court of law. 

  • Cause the disproportionate death of Black people from coronavirus and other ailments. 

  • Underfund school districts in communities of color and route students to 2-year college programs instead of advanced higher education degree programs.

  • Keep people of color from accessing job opportunities and advancing careers at the same rate as White people. 

  • Reproduce slavery in the form of mass incarceration of people of color (especially Black people)

  • Lay the structure for the many ways racism shapes our lives. 

 

These systems, built on a foundation of white supremacy, also hurt White people by teaching them to be needlessly afraid of people of color, preventing White people from having deep, meaningful relationships with people of color, and making White people live in a bubble that limits their understanding of the world and how to be the best version of themselves.  

 

Together, we can change this!

 

For more about the connection between EJ and racism, read:

 

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