Environmental Justice and Environmental Racism
Environmental justice involves the meaningful and fair treatment of all individuals irrespective of their national origin, race, or income but concerns implementation, regulations, enforcement of environmental laws, policies, and development (Greenaction, 2018). Environmental racism, on the other hand, entails the disproportionate effects of environmental hazards on minority groups or people of color, including garbage dumps and toxic wastes that promote pollution and risk human life.
Similarities and Differences
Both environmental racism and justice seek to promote morality in the society by ensuring that norms, values, regulations, rules, behaviors, and proper decisions are made to improve the sustainability of life. Moreover, they provide that every member of society must play a critical role in fostering environmental equality to all people regardless of their class (EPA, 2018). The government, for example, is tasked with the responsibility of developing policies to guide the protection of ecology and ensuring that the minority groups are protected from unnecessary exploitation. However, while environmental justice concentrates on universal preservation of the environment from events such as nuclear testing, production of toxins, and disposal of poisonous materials, environmental racism aims to protect a section of the society that is at risk of ill treatment and exposure to hazardous wastes.
Can Environmental Justice Overcome Environmental Racism?
The principles of environmental justice demand different aspects, namely, the sacredness of the earth, justice to all groups or individuals against bias or discrimination, universal protection against wastes, safe ecology, as well as equality for all human races. Individuals are obligated to use proper waste disposal techniques, local and municipal administration are required to dump toxic materials appropriately and adequately, and the government is responsible for formulating laws that can help in ensuring protection. Therefore, the efforts of environmental justice may in the long run overcome those of environmental racism as they aim to lay a proper foundation on ecological stability and not just its effect on a particular group in the community.
EPA. (2018). Environmental justice. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice
Greenaction. (2018). Environmental justice & environmental racism. Retrieved December 12, 2018, from http://greenaction.org/?page_id=420