Racializing Environmentalism

A new study claims that whites disproportionately harm blacks and other minorities in regards to the pollution they emit relative to the pollution they consume. This is a pristine example of activism masquerading as science.

Every single person on the planet emits a certain amount of pollution per year. You could rank order them (assuming the data were available) from least to greatest and you’d find people of every race, ethnicity and religion at both ends of this pollution hierarchy. As the study states, the representation of the groups at the arbitrarily defined top or bottom of this hierarchy would not be equal: there would be more whites at the top, and blacks and other minorities at the bottom, at least in the US. As the researcher also states—but quickly brushes over—individual pollution emission is primarily dependent on consumption of goods and therefore wealth. It is not, however, dependent on race, but is a consequence of societal group differences. To equalize pollution distribution and consumption by race, you would have to equalize wealth and consumer goods usage by race. That would be communism with a racial element. Hierarchies, both good and bad, are natural and, unless you’re literally in the last place in the pollution hierarchy, you will always be victimizing someone else. This is an inescapable fact.

Does the skin color of the person emitting the pollution she is breathing really matter to a poor person, white or black? If I’m a poor white person living in downtown Chicago, why does it matter if people who look like me are the ones polluting my air? And, if I’m black, why does it matter that people who don’t look like me are predominately emitting the pollution? Isn’t the problem the pollution itself? The source of the pollution is important—but the author relegates the source (consumption of goods, correlated with wealth) to a footnote and chooses to mislead people into thinking this is some type of racial warfare, inadvertent or not.

This manner of analysis only matters if you’re looking for people to hate. It only matters if you want to frame one group (and it’s always the same few groups) as an oppressor victimizing another group. The article is explicit about this: “Is it fair (that) I [the study author] create more pollution and somebody else is disproportionately affected by it?” This is a perfect example of the logically vacuous conclusions often drawn from disparity studies. Just because a data set has an average, doesn’t mean that you can use that average to draw a conclusion about a single data point. In other words, just because white people as a group emit quantitatively higher levels of pollution than other races, doesn’t mean a specific white individual necessarily emits more pollution than a randomly sampled black individual. This would be comically fallacious reasoning if it weren’t so often celebrated. James Damore articulated this fundamental fact particularly well. His memo is worth reading for this point alone.

Unless you’re at the bottom of this hierarchy, you cannot possibly avoid disproportionately affecting someone else—yet the author only seems to care about minorities, despite the fact that there are presumably millions of whites in the same boat. This is a perfect example of white guilt in action.

Identity politics, which groups people based on immutable characteristics, is the foundation of pseudo-scientific racism, and used to be used almost exclusively by the right. The ways the far right and not so far left talk about groups are now nearly identical. For example, Affilia, a feminist social work journal, published a portion of Mein Kampf rewritten from a feminist perspective, as part of the recent Sokal Squared hoax. The vilest ideology in human history was indistinguishable from intersectional feminism when presented to academics. The danger identity politics poses cannot be overstated.

Professor Robert Bullard interpreted the pollution study as confirming “what most grassroots environmental justice leaders have known for decades, ‘whites are dumping their pollution on poor people and people of color.’” He took this study to mean that the white population is victimizing both poor people and people of color, simply by living their lives as any normal person (black or white) with at least a moderate amount of wealth would. If whites are dumping their pollution on these other groups, that could be considered a macro-aggression. It’s not much of a leap to conclude that macro-aggression can be met with macro-aggression. Far lesser causes than the endangerment of physical health have inspired calls for violence or actual violence in recent years. Some argue that certain words constitute violence in and of themselves. How might these same people rationalize responding to the supposed physical harm whites are dumping into black and brown communities?

So, if you’ve identified a supposed problem (disparity in the pollution hierarchy, not pollution itself), what is your solution? Should we implement a progressive white tax to incentivize whites to reduce their consumption and give that money to black and brown folks to allow them to increase their consumption, thereby leveling the playing field? At what point would you consider this problem fixed? When the exact average of black consumption of pollution divided by black emission of pollution was the same as that of whites? How many groups would you look at? There are a seemingly endless number of ways to group people. And if you don’t include all groups in your Social Justice study, aren’t you discriminating against excluded groups? Are there any areas where disproportion between groups is not emblematic of a systemic problem? Should we consider the disproportionate number of men in prison to be a systemic injustice?

Ultimately, identity politics leads to this type of reasoning. If you look at people based on the groups to which they belong through no fault of their own, you can’t draw conclusions without blanket judgments of an entire group. If these judgments are viewed through the lens of an oppressor/oppressed dichotomy, they will lead to a call for group-based retribution—though it is never framed as retribution, but as equity. It often comes down to Group X has this unfair advantage, it’s Group Y’s turn, rather than X policy is unfair for Y reason, let’s change it for the betterment of all. Of course, getting people to agree on why Y reason is unfair when people disagree on fundamental values (such as the merits of individualism over collectivism) is a complex issue beyond the scope of this article.

Alt-right and white nationalist types also reveal a group-based retribution mindset. Jews hold a disproportionate number of positions of power within business and media, according to the extreme right—and they use this power to victimize whites. I don’t know what percentage of Jews actually hold such positions, but it’s irrelevant—the validity or otherwise of this alt-right viewpoint doesn’t rest on the accuracy of the statistic. The problem is that they use this statistic to justify abhorrent policies with which no rational, neutral observer would agree. This group-based view of the world is increasingly becoming the mainstream leftist (but not liberal) view as well (just replace Jews with whites or whiteness). Only one side of the political spectrum takes heat for this abhorrent worldview in the mainstream media, however. Tucker Carlson, for example, derided illegal immigrants for making the country dirtier and was blasted for it. The author of this pollution study says whites make the air dirtier and his research is “praised” by “outside experts.”

Our culture is heading towards a very dangerous place. Whoever said that those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it appears to have been mistaken. The people who are most focused on historical atrocities appear to be the ones doomed to repeat them. I highly doubt we will ever see concentration camps for white people or men, but enough mainstream institutions on the left have regressed to an extraordinarily similar mindset to that of the far right extremists to warrant serious concern. Many self-professed champions of Social Justice either remain silent or applaud such ideas.

My prediction is that the continued promulgation of regressive ideologies will soon yield policy more closely resembling Jim Crow than 1940s Germany—and it looks as if that prediction is quickly becoming reality.

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  1. Your comparison to Tucker Carlson is absolutely ridiculous. The difference between him saying “Hispanics are dirtying America” and someone saying “Whites are dirtying the air” is that we can objectively say the second if we consider particulate matter as the dirt in the air. Saying that Hispanics are dirtying America requires you to operationalize “dirtying” in that context—that is a much more collectivist argument; the collective being white America that is being dirtied by illegal immigrants, is what Carlson would be saying. It’s much more likely that Hispanics would suffer the gulag or death camp if they are thought of as “dirtying” American society.

    In the comments section you call this a “study masquerading as science” because of the comments by Robert Bullard—who was NOT part of the research team! He was just someone who was interviewed about the study. In your essay and comments, your repeatedly refer to him as an author. This is misleading and intellectually dishonest. You link to an NBC article about the research study, but don’t provide a link to the study itself. Reading your essay it appears that you never actually read the study. Here’s the link to the actual study, that you think is “activism masquerading as science,” and that should have been provided: https://www.pnas.org/content/116/13/6001

    The research on the relationship between race and pollution has been going on for almost four decades. During the 1990s-2000s, several researchers began trying to determine if polluting facilities (incinerators, dumps) were being located in black and Hispanic neighborhoods because of race or low property values. Douglas Anderton was one of the top researchers making the case for low property values while Paul Mohai argued that it was race. After some time and back-and-forth research papers, Anderton conceded that the statistical evidence was pretty clear that race was a greater determining factor than property values. Not all the time and everywhere, but the majority of findings indicated that. There is an abundance of evidence on polluting facilities choosing to locate in a middle class black neighborhood instead of a poor white neighborhood.

    Here is a link to a good summation of the research on the subject. If you want to learn more, you should check out the references at the end: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/10/11/115008/meta

    You say that the differences we have on this have to do with individualism and collectivism. That’s an absurd assumption. The difference is that I at least read the actual study instead of just an NBC report on it. Your essay is really just about the one sentence someone said when they were interviewed about the study, which is fine if you made that clear. Instead you use that to condemn the scientific study, which you don’t actually talk about at all.

    If you’re going to write an essay on a scientific study, please actually read the study instead of an NBC report on it. You might not confuse someone who was interviewed about the study with the scientists who actually did the study.

    1. Erik,

      I want to clear up a couple points of confusion. First, I did not cite Robert Bullard as an author in the study. If this was your impression from my article, I share some of the blame for not making this more clear. Second, I did not base my understanding of the study based simply on two quotes. I did in fact read the study, my point was not to refute the data, but to refute: a) the purpose of such a study and the broader implications of such studies on our society and b) the value propositions put forth in this study (disparity = injustice) as objective fact. Disparities are natural and I make this very clear in the first couple paragraphs.

      I do not cite the data in the study because the data is completely irrelevant. I take the data presented as 100% factual, but it simply doesn’t matter.

      If a researcher gathered data on cranium sizes between races and used this data to push the idea that one race was more intelligent than another race, I wouldn’t start my refutation by arguing the data. This would be a fools errand. I would start by refuting the fundamental claim that cranium sizes correlate with intelligence in the first place. Further, I would argue the only reason for making such a claim would be to push a particularly abhorrent idea, that one race is morally “superior” to another race.

      I do not address the author’s data, instead I address the fundamental principals at the heart of the piece.

      This particular line from my piece makes this crystal clear, I believe:

      “I don’t know what percentage of Jews actually hold such positions, but it’s irrelevant—the validity or otherwise of this alt-right viewpoint doesn’t rest on the accuracy of the statistic.”

      Much like the disparity in Jews in positions of power is irrelevant to whether or not Jews are victimizing Whites, the same is true of the disparities presented in the study. This is a critical point.

      The quote from the author was added to show this victimization narrative really is the idea he was trying to push. The second quote I added was to show that people intelligent enough to be academics are also interpreting the study in this manner.

      I think I can better illustrate my point using some of the research you discuss. You say researchers in the 1990s and 2000s tried to determine if polluting facilities were being intentionally located in minority communities. These are studies I can fully support. If these studies do in fact show the location of such facilities are due to race, I am 100% on board that this is deeply immoral and some sort of corrective action is justified. In fact, I think the basis for such actions are among the most immoral ideas that exist in the world. If you believe in the concept of evil, this would almost certainly fall in that category.

      That being said, the author did not make such an analysis. You had to cite other research to make this point. My article was not about this other research. It was about this particular research paper as a microcosm of far larger issues in our society, namely Identity Politics.

      The author explicitly states in the study that the cause of the racial disparity is a consumption disparity and that such a disparity is an “inequity”. This is fundamentally and critically false. I cannot stress this point enough. Disparity MAY be due to inequity or racial biases, but you can only make such a claim if you control for other variables that may explain the disparity. The author does not attempt to control for such variables.

      A study of disparity is not a study of bias. If disparity did equate to bias, the gender disparity in the prison system would be a far more pressing concern given its magnitude.

      You may be tempted to bring up historical injustices here, but the author does not mention these in his study. This would be a tangent debate.

      To address the Tucker Carlson comparison you bring up, why exactly is it ridiculous? Because we can quantify the amount of dirt in the air, but Tucker failed to quantify the dirt left behind by illegal immigrants? Tucker did try and “quantify” his statement, so to speak, by saying that he was talking about literal trash left behind by illegal immigrants. If Tucker could cite the statistic to back up his assertion, would you give him a pass? If Tucker presented a statistic, we could objectively say he was correct, right? That’s the assertion you appear to make in your reply.

      The values put forth in this study, not the studies that you refer to, but specifically the one I wrote my article on, are fundamentally based in identity politics. This is where the collectivism vs individualism comes in. Identity politics are based in a collectivist framework. The values put forth in the studies you cite, assuming they are accurate in what they claim (polluting facilities being purposely located in minority communities) are fundamentally rooted in an individualist framework. Such a decision would rest on the idea that minority individuals are morally inferior to whites, which is an absolutely awful proposition.

      When you say I based my entire essay off of one or two quotes, it is crystal clear to me, and I imagine many would-be readers, that you have fundamentally misunderstood me. That’s fine, because these issues are complicated and dialog is necessary in working them out. As a friendly piece of advice, do not assume your opponent is an idiot or is being intellectually dishonest. Not to toot my own horn, but I am not an idiot, nor am I trying to be anything other than 100% intellectually honest. I very well may be wrong in my analysis, but so may you.

      1. I’m sorry, but it’s still hard for me to believe that you read more than the NBC report. Maybe you read the abstract of the study because you don’t acknowledge that the authors (plural), Christopher W. Tessum, Joshua S. Apte, Andrew L. Goodkind, Nicholas Z. Muller, Kimberley A. Mullins, David A. Paolella, Stephen Polasky, Nathaniel P. Springer, Sumil K. Thakrar, Julian D. Marshall, and Jason D. Hill, are using the term “inequity” as the operationalization of the disproportionality of consumption and the exposure to pollution. You are basically arguing that any mention of racial differences in research on consumption (the cause of emissions) and exposure to pollution is just “identity politics.” But for people who are trying to develop public health programs, trying to measure environmental harm, etc., these details about ethnic disparities are critically important. The devil is in the details and the devil in this case is the disproportionality. Race matters. That’s not just some PC, identity politics, dogma–it’s supported by data.

        The authors cite previous research that has uncovered these links between pollution and different ethnic groups. My point was to say that this research study is in line with four decades of research on the subject. I don’t expect everyone to be an expert on this stuff or even be aware of this admittedly very technical research. But when you write an article for Areo Magazine where you castigate research on race and pollution as just playing “identity politics” then you need to be called out since you are not actually familiar with this area of research, as you admit. You make several unsupported statements in both the article and in your comments. This was not a study on bias (they don’t use the word; you do)–it was a study of disparity. You make sweeping claims about the motivations of the authors (although you use the singular, which is why I think you just read the NBC report and thought Bullard was its author). In the article you do not actually engage with the report, which is why I question your intellectual honesty. Of course the study isn’t comprehensive. Science works by study building on previous research. The study clearly shows real-world disparities between ethnic groups, given the dataset they used (they provide the explanations for its use). They don’t make recommendations about what should be done (whereas you make it sound like this can only mean leftists will advocate for a “white tax” or something). This was a standard empirical study that found clear disparities, which you don’t dispute.

        Again, it seems to me that any mention of racial disparities in pollution would be seen by you as just someone pushing “identity politics”. It’s called precision not ideology. A real individualist would recognize that certain individuals are disproportionately affected by the consumption decisions of others. You are the one who is guilty of a collectivist argument–you would rather see research not mention so specific and individualized as racial identity. Reread the study, look at the data and methods, maybe look at some of the research they cite. You call this empirical study “activism masquerading as science.” If that’s the case, then your essay is just “activism masquerading as analysis.”

        There are MANY examples of shoddy research that actually are nothing more than SJW identity politics in action. This study certainly does not fit in that category. Your reaction (and the fact that despite what you say, I don’t think you read the actual study–why no link to it?) indicates that YOU are more obsessed with identity politics than the research team that gathered and analyzed this data.

        Here’s the link to the article again: https://www.pnas.org/content/116/13/6001
        Please point out where in the study it is “activism masquerading as science.” Otherwise, I’ll continue to think that you based your analysis on an NBC report of an empirical study.

        1. I do not know how to address your points without repeating the same arguments that have already been made, some of them more than once. I’ll try again to illustrate my position with an example.

          The alt-right claims Jews hold a disproportionate number of positions of power within media, banking, etc. compared to whites. Because of this disparity, they claim Jews are victimizing whites. Assume they conducted a methodologically sound study that proves this disparity exists. Would you defend their claim? I know why I wouldn’t, and its based on the same arguments I made in the paper and in the comments section. I don’t understand the grounds on which you would refute their claim, assuming you would. Maybe if you can explain to me your arguments using this example, I will better understand the points you’re making regarding the study.

  2. You say that the differences we have on this have to do with individualism and collectivism. That’s an absurd assumption. The difference is that I at least read the actual study instead of just an NBC report on it. Your essay is really just about the one sentence someone said when they were interviewed about the study, which is fine if you made that clear. Instead you use that to condemn the scientific study, which you don’t actually talk about at all.

    If you’re going to write an essay on a scientific study, please actually read the study instead of an NBC report on it. You might not confuse someone who was interviewed about the study with the scientists who actually did the study.

  3. Keith, please see my response to Marian’s and Erik’s replies, I believe this addresses many of your concerns with my piece.

    As for your point about wealth disparity, the author is not just trying to say the wealth disparity causes the pollution disparity; he relegates this point to not much more than a footnote. He specifically states the pollution disparity is an “inequity”, meaning it’s unjust. The data does not support this conclusion as this is a value proposition. Specifically its a left wing value proposition. Whether or not you can derive values from facts has been fiercely debated by philosophers for centuries, but he presents this injustice as an objective fact derived from the data.

    This is why I call the study activism masquerading as science.

    1. You seem to portray the notion of justice as solely based on that which is deliberate. So is there no injustice caused by inaction? Negligence? Willful ignorance? Is intent a prerequisite for a wrong? Seems like an argument to avoid responsibility for actions. You might as well say, It’s not my fault that my car hit the pedestrian, because I didn’t intend for it to. Likewise it is not my fault that I overconsume and do so with choices that generate negative effects on other people, because I don’t mean for it to. And even though it is possible I could choose differently, such as choose not to overconsume, or choose not to run red lights, there is not a moral obligation for me to make those choices, since their negative impacts are not deliberate, and thus not my fault.

      Solipsism — what you call individualism, as half of a false dichotomy whose only alternative is collectivism — is a fantasy.

      1. Keith, I am saying their is no injustice here. Maybe I am wrong. Can you explain to me:

        1. What is the injustice?

        2. Why is it an injustice?

        Also, in another comment you wrote:

        “As for our friend Tucker Carlson and unfounded assertions, there’s a principle known as ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.’ It is not the primary job of the disbeliever to present negative evidence, but of the asserter to provide positive evidence. Only once the asserter does so, does the onus fall on the opposition to present refuting evidence.”

        Does this mean if Tucker Carlson provided irrefutable data showing Illegal Immigrants create statistically higher levels of garbage on a per capita basis than white people, that you would accept his proposition that these immigrants are making the country dirtier?

  4. “the validity or otherwise of this alt-right viewpoint doesn’t rest on the accuracy of the statistic.”

    Erik, I repeatedly draw connections between what I call the “leftist” view point and the alt-right view point. Sub out alt-right in my quote and replace with leftist and this perfectly addresses your critique.

    Please answer me this, why is it wrong for Tucker Carlson to say illegal immigrants are making the country dirtier, but not wrong to say whites are making the air dirtier. Is it simply because Tucker doesn’t cite any data?

    Assume that he did have the data to back up his assertion. Or even assume he had the data to back up his (hypothetical) assertion that Mexicans in general are making the country dirtier. Worse, say he had the data to back up his (again hypothetical) assertion that Mexicans are not only making the country dirtier, but the bulk of this “filth” is disproportionately being “dumped” into White communities. Further assume in this hypothetical example, he just truly cared about the impact of this “filth” on white communities and that he wasn’t trying to degrade an entire race of people or inflame racial tensions. In other words, assume he’s coming from a place of compassion and not a place of resentment in his heart.

    Would you defend Tucker like you defend this author? If not, please explain why, because the WHY is of fundamental importance. I do assume the author believes he is coming from a place of compassion. This doesn’t change the immorality of his analysis. It may be impactful to a discussion about the morality of the author’s character, and this could be a fruitful side discussion, but I am not trying to denigrate the author.

    I don’t address the data the author has collected because it is irrelevant to my point, in the same way that data would be irrelevant to Tucker Carlson’s point, or the point raised in my hypothetical scenario.

    Ultimately, the differences in our views comes down to individualism versus collectivism, at least that’s how I see it. I look at people as individuals and the primacy of the individual was one of the fundamental founding principals of our great nation, even if we didn’t live up to that ideal for well over a hundred years. I believe the individualist view point is the moral view point, and the collectivist view point is the immoral one.

    I am happy to discuss why I may be wrong.

    1. Individualism versus collectivism is not a fatalist dichotomy. It’s not an either-or proposition. I’m reminded of an adage attributed to Franklin: ‘we must all hang together, or surely we will all hang separately.’ Even fierce individualists often find cause to band together for common benefit. You paint being concerned with a greater good beyond oneself as being akin to Stalinism. It’s not only a gaping fallacy, it’s also tired and hackneyed.

      You seem to be trying to catch Erik in an ideological trap of exposing him as rigidly partisan. But even if Erik is rigidly partisan, the end result is the pot calling the kettle black, not a defense of your argument.

      As for our friend Tucker Carlson and unfounded assertions, there’s a principle known as ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.’ It is not the primary job of the disbeliever to present negative evidence, but of the asserter to provide positive evidence. Only once the asserter does so, does the onus fall on the opposition to present
      refuting evidence. I’ll grant you this — hardly anyone seems to do this anymore. But in this case, they did, and you haven’t presented any evidence in opposition — you don’t even seem to refute it — you’re just not happy with the implications of the logical conclusion after factoring in additional attributes to the data points.

  5. Thanks for your comment.

    I don’t know anything about the DAPL pipeline, but from your comment it doesn’t appear you quite understood the point of the article.

    I’ll take your comment and your proposition as true, for the sake of argument, that the DAPL pipeline is being purposely routed through Native American lands to spare “white lands”. In other words the routing of the pipeline is based on racist intent (white identity politics) if we take your argument at face value.

    If this is the case, and there is not some confounding variable that reasonably explains the routing of the pipeline, then the conclusion based on the available evidence is sound.

    But that’s not what we have in the environmentalism study I discuss in the article. The source of the pollution disparity or pollution “inequity”, is due to the disproportionate consumption of goods. White people, on average, are not consuming goods at statistically higher levels than their minority counter parts because they are trying to somehow disadvantage those minorities, but rather they are simply living their lives as anyone in a similar position would. This, in and of itself, is not unfair or unjust as the author of the study claims.

    Even if a pollution disparity were unjust (its not), its not unjust for the reason the author suggests. It would be unjust because individuals are “harming” other individuals below them in what I called the pollution hierarchy. It is not unjust because one group is disproportionately “harming” another group from a purely statistical standpoint. That’s where the identity politics comes into play.

    If you take the identity politics view of things, then you’re left with two possible options as to WHY the disparity is unjust.

    1. It’s unjust because the majority group is “harming” the minority group. This would imply the reverse is (i.e minority harming majority) not unjust. This is ethically dubious.

    2. It’s unjust because any group disproportionally “harming” any other group is by definition unjust. This certainly seems like a more reasonable explanation than the first reason, but in practice it’s just as dubious. This is a collectivist Utopian view of the world and over 100 million people have died in pursuit of this monstrous dream. You could write an entire series of books explaining all the reasons why this view is wrong, so I’ll leave it at that.

  6. The fact that the groups at each end are not homogenous is not some sort of refutation of the statistical analysis. I’m not aware of any statistical theory that says that if a given segment of the results is not homogenous that no statistical conclusion can be derived from it. It’s disingenuous to say “well, there’s rich black people, so, it’s not a white thing.” That’s just not how statistics or proportions or trends work.

    I think it’s reactionary to paint an impact study that finds racial disparity in environmental impact (on both cause and effect vectors) as a vehicle of white hate. The nugget of truth here is that it’s not *really* race that determines pollution output, but wealth. So what? The question that you avoid there is — *why is that?* You pooh-pooh the notion of adjusting things such that non-whites would make up a proportional amount of the high polluting slash high wealth segment, so, the status quo — of white people generally being more polluting than non-white people, whether that’s because white people are polluters, or because wealthy people are polluters and white people are more likely to be wealthy — will persist.

    At the end of the day, there is still racial disparity in wealth — or, if you prefer, wealth disparity in race. The study illustrates that this has more than just economic impacts, but environmental impacts as well. To you, this is a no brainer — people with more money cause more pollution and everyone knows it. But I’m not sure everyone does.

  7. Great essay, clear and compelling writing style.

    I would say the left are the major Jew haters today. Ironically they are seen as ultra-white, their high incomes evidence of extreme privilege. Genociding the 6 million Jews in Israel is increasingly becoming a mainstream left opinion, so I wouldn’t be sure concentration camps or gulags aren’t on the horizon. Recall the left interned the Japanese just a few decades ago.

    1. Yup, it’s getting confusing who are the official Jew haters. To the SJWs they are the whitest of the white because they are the most successful Identity Group of all. To the hard right they are commie-liberal intellectuals but likely to own banks. Speaking as a centrist I admire the Jews tho I oppose the policies of Israel.

  8. An example of racializing environmental politics which does show prejudice is the routing of the DAPL pipeline away from white-majority Bismark, ND onto the lands of the Native American lands in the Dakotas. The Bismark route would have been more cost-effective, so what other reason could there have been for the decision to re-route the pipeline?

    1. NIMBYism is omnipresent. That pipeline ended up going through that particular area because the Sioux living there didn’t show up to any of the consultation or planning meetings. They could have exerted their own NIMBYism like neighbouring tribes had if they had bothered to.

  9. Good essay. When we’ve racialized everything, we’ve lost all that the Civil Rights movement fought for. If we are to salvage the gains in consciousness made since the 1960s, we need a new progressive movement to beat back today’s faux progressives, who are sadly doing most of the damage.


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