Barack and Lebron better invest in respirators. Systematically racist pollution is targeting minorities whether they live in Martha’s Vineyard or Beverly Hills.
A new study of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data alleges that POCs, or People of Color (the trendiest nomenclature for anyone who isn’t Caucasian) are on average exposed to higher levels of fine particle pollution than whites.
“It doesn’t matter how poor, it doesn’t matter how wealthy, the racial disparities exist for all African-Americans and other people of color,” said Professor Paul Mohai, a researcher of the topic (though not involved in this study) who founded the “Environmental Justice” program at the University of Michigan.
“According to Scientific American, “The air pollution impact on each racial or ethnic minority group — Black, Hispanic and Asian people — persisted even when the researchers controlled for the state in which people resided or for whether they lived in an urban or rural region. And the disproportionate pollution impact held among people of color as a group regardless of household income.”
Science doesn’t tell us why, only what, and disparities in the data weren’t even examined. According to lead author Christopher Tessum, the study didn’t investigate why Asians, for example, are “less exposed to particulate matter than average in urban areas in California such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose.”
It doesn’t take a team of academic researchers to know that ZIP codes are better forecasters of success or peril in America than any other factor. Regardless of how many social programs and scholarships are handed out, where you come determines where you end up. According to “science,” pollution’s gonna getcha no matter where you live.
Rapper Birdman knew this back in 2005:
“You can take the (man) out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of (the man).”Fast Money, 2005
Since “science” seems to be wielded as a political weapon to reinforce the narrative of cultural oppression, perhaps the U.S. government could fund a study looking into how much systematic racism exists where individuals
1.) finish high school,
2.) work full time, and
3.) marry before having kids — the old Democratic Party’s three-step solution for escaping poverty*.
*UPDATE: Apparently this “success sequence,” as its called, has already been extensively studied and throws water in the face of systematic racism from pollution to police shootings.
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