Environmental Racism at work

Could not get any clearer than this.

ScienceDaily: Study Verifies More Hazardous Waste Facilities Located In Minority Areas

The other side of that argument is that the hazardous waste facilities came first, which causes the neighborhood demographics to change. As that argument goes, the more affluent white people move out, and poorer minority people are forced to stay or move in, said Paul Mohai, a professor in the U-M School of Natural Resources and Environment. However, done in collaboration with Robin Saha, a former U-M PhD student and post-doctoral scholar, now an assistant professor at University of Montana, shows that minorities were living in the areas where hazardous waste facilities decided to locate before the facilities arrived. Their study also shows that the demographics in the neighborhoods were already changing and that white residents had already started to move out when the facility was sited. “What we discovered is that there are demographic changes after the siting but they started before the siting,” Mohai said. “Our argument is that what’s likely happening is the area is going through a demographic shift, and it lowers the social capital and political clout of the neighborhood so it becomes the path of least resistance.”

This is not just about the money. Over and above social capital and political clout, it seems that race trumps all.

Using the new method, researchers have found that racial disparities in the location of hazardous waste facilities are much greater than previous studies have shown. Furthermore, the disparities persist even when controlling for economic and sociopolitical variables, suggesting that racial targeting, housing discrimination and other factors uniquely associated with race influence the location of the nations’ hazardous waste facilities.

Depressing.

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