Doing Environmental Studies During Times of Racialized Violence

environmental justice and radicalized violence

13 Responses

  1. Jason says:

    This is a timely, and much needed, post. It would be great to see more research about the intersection of these issues – there is a dearth of discussion concerning the connection between environmental and social violence, prejudice, and hegemony.

  2. Brandon Lott says:

    “Now more than ever, as claims of a post-racial society assert the decreasing importance of race in American life, it is imperative to recognize environmental racism and its history of structural violence. By the same token, a sustained response to the instances of anti-black state violence in Ferguson, New York City, and across the country must speak to the multifaceted condition of being black in America: in short, the response must be at once economic, social, political, and environmental.”

    Indeed. Plus, the more we scratch and sniff into this reality, we learn how all these seemingly separate disciplines come together under one net. I also like the concept of slow violence – incremental, sustained and deadly – to human beings and the planet. When we look at ecological processes, as far as habitat sustainability, and all beings living inter-connectedly to thrive within those habitats – racism, violence, sexism, etc. become deep ecological concerns that threaten communal (habitat) livelihood.

    Important discussion here.

  3. Joe says:

    Wow, nice connections drawn here with a novel application of environmental humanities framework. I’ve been searching for new ways to historicize racism in light of these recent police murders, and refracting this through risk and exposure, and “slow violence”, looks like a promising direction in this regard. While the environmental conditions of urban poverty (i.e. higher asthma rates due to relegation of poor black people to unhealthy living environments) are undoubtedly connected, it would be really interesting to push this for example, by examining how the unhealthy environment of urban poor, which originated from racist zoning policies, further fuels racism when police, politicians, and gentrifiers discriminate against people BECAUSE OF their living conditions, creating a dialectical relationship between racism and geography. In other words, more, please!

  4. Terry says:

    I want to echo Joe — more, please — and offer this comment: when has there not been a time of racialized violence in the U.S.? It’s never been gone and so far has never gone away.

  5. Zoe says:

    Thank you for this thoughtful and articulate piece.

    I integrated discussions of how imbalanced policing has not been well presented in context by most, into my political ecology class last term. I’ll integrate this piece and others into my upcoming environmental justice class.

    Thank you!

  6. Just to keep this conversation going: A new story in the Washington Post reveals Freddie Gray had elevated blood lead as a child and was part of a subsequent lead lawsuit.

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