Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 33, Issue 2, 2023

Environmental Philosophy as World Philosophy

Earnest N. Bracey
Pages 185-206

Politics, Racism, and Environmental (In)justice in the United States

Fairness has long been denied for African-Americans and other people of color when it comes to environmental injustices, or crimes committed by state governments and polluting industries/corporations. Unfortunately, polluting companies often go unpunished for their environmental misdeeds, particularly if what they do is in minority or marginalized communities. Furthermore, environmental biases in American courts, unfortunately, are still prevalent in our society today—that is, when it comes to vulnerable groups, who continue to seek environmental justice, but cannot fight back. Environmental injustice, therefore, should be considered unjust acts when it comes to polluting communities of color. Also, environmental issues are always problematic, especially in regard to climate change. In a certain sense, there is an urgent need to protect these disadvantaged communities of color from polluting corporations. Indeed, can we end this environmental cruelty? More importantly, how can we stop polluters from burying hazardous material in landfills on lands owned by Indigenous people or Native Americans? Polluting industries must also be put on notice, and we must question anyone in the energy business who is deceptive about their nasty pollution. It should be obvious that nothing will change anytime soon regarding the environmental injustice issue if we do not get involved and fight the polluters head-on, and without reservation.