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-The Five Spot

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

green day observation

Since today is Earth Day, I figured I have to talk about it.

With the new administration, minorities seem to be in vogue when it comes to green matters. Look no further than the EPA Administrator--Lisa P. Jackson. Prior to this appointment, she was the New Jersey Commissioner for the Department of Environmental Protection. If you care about the environment or are stoked in matters of environmental protection then you should know if you're going to stake out a career in this industry- New Jersey is the state to do it. It is refreshing to know there are black people out there that care about the environment with the credentials to match!

If you asked a black person (take Bellini for example) to sum up their take on environmental issues, one would readily claim that the advocates of this movement are well-to-do white people, traditionally from well-stocked families a la trust fund who can personally fund their cause. Access.

Let's evaluate the movement behind the crusade to stop buying bottled water. In my book, bottled water is a luxury. Trust me I know how much I spend on my 6-pack 1 bottle liter of Evian. The discard of empty bottles is overpopulating landfills and the plastic bottles are not decomposing fast enough. Is this message expected to resonate with poor, minority communities where bottled water is not the talk du jour?

However the irony in this characterization is that the effects of anti-green measures (pollution, illness, unclean water, etc.) hurts minorities the most. The plants usually get built on the poorer side of town (where minorities tend to reside) coupled with lax oversight. These communities are plagued with toxic emissions that correlate into higher incidences of asthma or respiratory difficulties among our children.

So, Ms. Jackson if your're able to modify the way all American people think about going green and coerce them to take action. Then the revolution just might be televised.

That's my green observation!




Rum Punch said...

So I went to an event a few months ago. A Black woman had written a book on Black folk who were going green in their community. And she was saying what you said, that she would call environmental non profit orgs and be like, "tell me some Black people who are about the greenness..." and they were like "huh?" And so she had to do her own research, etc. And I will get y'all the name of the book in two shakes! But it was very interesting. A nice cocktail event @ someone's house, with Black people talking about going green. It blew my mind. Not that I don't think that we think about the environment, but you know...

Intrepidblackman said...

Last month Intrepidblackwoman and I had a Salon at our house where the topic was, "What is the Green Economy and Green jobs." Twelve black folks talking about being green over brunch.

Bellini said...

@Rummy: we're waiting for the title of the book?... LOL -- you know (sorry folks i'm bout to segue to philosophy) it's like the difference between a feminist and a womanist-- need i say more?

@intrepidblackman: well i'm sure you and intrepidblackwoman were the utmost host and hostess!-- sometimes black folks need a neutral venue to come share and exchange info (and a plate of something helps also),

Rum Punch said...

LOL! Sorry, two shakes, clearly meant a day and a half. But I had to get the info from my auntie. Anyway. The book is called Blacks Living Green by Sharon Freeman. The book features Blacks from around the country (and maybe the world) who are going green or helping their community go green. Very interesting!