Day: February 19, 2007

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.


More terrorism in India

Homemade Bombs Kill 65 on Indian Train – New York Times

DIWANA, India, Feb. 19 — On an Indian train bound for Pakistan, two homemade bombs exploded at midnight yesterday, trapping slumbering passengers in the flames and killing at least 65 people. The office of the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, today called the attack “an act of terror” and promised to apprehend those responsible. Pakistan swiftly condemned it. The incident comes on the eve of the visit of Pakistani foreign minister, Khursheed Kasuri, to the Indian capital, and two weeks before officials from both countries are to meet for the first time to share information on terror-related activities.

Horrible. The motive is clear, to keep tensions between India and Pakistan high, but it appears that for the first time that I can remember, the Indian government is not taking the bait.

“This is an act of sabotage,” the Indian Railway Minister Laloo Prasad told reporters in the eastern city of Patna, according to wire service reports. “This is an attempt to derail the improving relationship between India and Pakistan.”

Laloo is a notorious politician, but he got this statement exactly right, I remain hopeful that the resolution of the Kashmir issue is only a matter of time.

There had been no security searches before passengers boarded the train. Nodding towards the row of police officers frisking people at the entrance to the station, opening suitcases and checking hand bags, Aslam said: “None of that was there yesterday.”

Boy, that’s not very smart, is it?