Why Climate Change is a Race Issue

By path2positive

The drastic changes happening to our planet are not a direct result of race issues in America, but the impact of those changes on particular segments of society is related to our construction of race. Speaking on Michigan's recent water poisoning, Blessed Tomorrow Leader and founder of Sojourners Magazine, Rev. Jim Wallis, demonstrates how a lack of resources such as clean water, disproportionately burdens people of color. Rev. Wallis explains, "This fundamental contrast between black and white experiences in Michigan...points to the structural racism that is still the primary moral contradiction of American life." 

The devastating disregard for human life in Flint illustrates how constructions of race play a major role in deciding who is impacted by issues of climate change, such as polluted water, air pollution, and food scarcity. I say 'is' and not 'when' because issues of the environment have historically appeared along lines of 'perceived race,' as Ta-Nehisi Coates poignantly expounded.

Check out this short video to see how environmental issues and constructions of race are interrelated, dating back to century old, race-based zoning policies. 


Now think about this: what do your scriptures guide you to do about it?


Race is in the Air We Breathe and the Water We Drink: The Moral Failure in Flint

Jim Wallis | Sojourners 

How would you feel if you realized your children’s water was being poisoned, and your government didn’t seem to care? That’s the story of the parents of 8,000 mostly poor and black children in Flint, Mich., (which means most all of the children in urban Flint) that has finally hit our media front pages. The evening news I am watching as I write warns the parents of Flint not to bathe their young children in city water.

But the fact that most Americans realize this would never happen in affluent white Michigan suburbs (or any other white affluent communities in our country), still doesn’t penetrate our very souls. This fundamental contrast between black and white experiences in Michigan, just north of my home town of Detroit, points to the structural racism that is still the primary moral contradiction of American life. The news about Flint is just the most recent consequence of America’s Original Sin, the title of the new book we have just launched.

Read More

 
 
 
 

Subscribe

Stay connected and get updates from Blessed Tomorrow.

Subscribe

You May Also Like

October 16, 2020

Should we keep our faith and our politics separate? Is climate change a faith issue? There’s no doubt that faith communities in America will play...

Read More

May 14, 2020

The must-attend, go-to webcast discussion for the most current and best thinking on climate change ecoAmerica is introducing Let’s Talk Climate to provide guidance and support to...

Read More

April 22, 2020

This is not a dress rehearsal. The entire world is immersed in unrelenting, multidimensional crises. These crises are not ideological. They are rooted in reality:...

Read More
logo-transparent

 

Blessed Tomorrow is a program of ecoAmerica

 

© ecoAmerica 2006 – 2020 The contents of this website may be shared and used under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 4.0 International License.