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Cancer Alley and Environmental Racism Report

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Updated: Aug 2nd, 2022

It is worth noting that it is necessary to recognize that humans cannot live without industry; the sector occupies a dominant position. However, people ignore the harm and sometimes racial discrimination behind it all. The place called “cancer alley” became the place of appearance of such a phenomenon as environmental racism. Studies of this phenomenon provide the necessary information about this problem and how to act in relation to changing the rules and preventing it from occurring.

For a better understanding of the phenomenon, several sources were investigated. Castellon states that approximately forty-six people per million in cancer alley are likely to develop cancer (15). Here, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, there are primarily African-Americans and low-income families. Such a case is called “environmental racism” because people here are forced to live in industrial zones, breathe the polluted air, drink bad water, and, thus, be deprived of their right to equality and non-discrimination (Wright 793). The leading cause of environmental pollution in this territory may be outdated operating technologies and a large concentration of enterprises within a small area.

One of the sources under study is valuable, as it examines the current situation of the coronavirus and the impact of pollution on human health. The research mentions that “Black Americans are twice as likely to be exposed to air pollution and more likely to be exposed to the most toxic pollution” (Denne). It also examines the actions of the country’s government to reduce the negative impact of enterprises. Especially within the framework of a fatal disease, the state takes such insignificant and wrong measures as rolling back controls on dirty industries and signing an executive order that would allow significant construction projects to bypass environmental protections (Denne). In particular, this is done because, during the pandemic, surrounding racism became particularly acute.

The need to improve the ecological state and eliminate racism in the valley is also mentioned in the NGO source. Thus, in response to environmental racism in the Greenpeace article, the author mentions that “climate destruction and plastic pollution are only possible in a world in which racism is tolerated” (Hocevar). The work of enterprises in the pursuit of market leadership has a negative impact on people’s health. It is possible to reduce this terrifying and dangerous harm on nature if people follow all the rules and legislation. Invest financial resources to modernize their factories, develop the processing industry and dispose of all waste with the help of modern technologies.

A research paper was chosen as the media object for this work. Such media project has an informational, educational, socio-cultural orientation, as it raises the topic of ecology, justice and equality. Cooper mentions that “environmental justice impacts and is impacted by policy-makers, businesses, and citizens” (7). The paper is intended for a broad audience, and it must be presented in an accessible language. Even though it has almost no visual content, it is of interest because it provides tables with statistical data. The research paper as a media object is also essential because it can explore the origins and modernity of such a phenomenon as environmental justice. It can be used as an example for a media project, as it might show how to correctly show someone’s views and point of view on the problem.

Thus, with the development of the industrial sector, it is impossible to avoid environmental racism against minorities. The fight and the application of measures to eliminate this phenomenon are necessary to avoid the emergence of new cancer alleys, where people’s health is at the most significant risk. In addition, it is possible to introduce media projects to highlight this problem and introduce unique environmental control bodies for enterprises.

Works Cited

Castellón, Idna G. “Cancer Alley and the Fight against Environmental Racism.” Villanova Environmental Law Journal, vol. 32, 2021, pp. 15-43

Cooper, Corey. “The Impact of Environmental Justice on Policy-Making in Louisiana”. Honors 2000, 2018, pp. 1-9.

Denne, Luke. “In ‘Cancer Alley’, a Renewed Focus on Systemic Racism is Too Late.” NBC News, Web.

Hocevar, John. “Greenpeace responds to environmental racism in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley”. Greenpeace, Web.

Wright, Willie Jamaal. “As Above, So Below: Anti‐Black Violence as Environmental Racism.” Antipode, vol. 53, no. 3, 2021, 791-809.

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