There was an article in Blackelectorate today entitled, “Whole Life Times: Eco Apartheid.” In it, author Van Jones goes through the history of the environmental movement in America across three major stages, conservation, regulation, and investment. For each stage, Jones points out the very homogeneous (almost exclusively White) make up of the environmental movement and the clear benefits of broadening that tent.
I agree with her, and I know that traditionally, the environment is not really a headliner within communities of color, Black folks in particular. However, I am happy to see that environmental justice is picking up steam and environmental justice is a part of the action items for the Covenant with Black America.
My turning point in turning “green” was when I saw the movie, “The Day After Tomorrow.” This movie is about the effects of global warming that result in three hurricane-like super storms combining into one gigantic storm. Within days of the completion of the storm, the entire northern hemisphere is plunged into an ice age. Trust me, this movie will blow you away because so many lives could have been saved if we were more concerned with saving our earth than saving jobs. But I digress.
If movies don’t do it for you, my hope is that Hurricane Katrina pushed you and communities of color into thinking more critically about the environment. For all the government’s failures leading up to Hurricane Katrina, global warming was a direct factor in making that storm so disastrous.
If you are a person of color and consider yourself “green,” what was your turning point?
When we really look at communities of color and where we live, the vast majority of us live in cities near lakes or oceans. From Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, New York, DC, we are especially at risk when it comes to the effects of global warming.
We only have one earth, let’s save it together.
Stay up fam,