This climate racism is an extension of environmental racism, which became possible with a technological outbreak in the contemporary world.
As the global citizenry continues facing threats from the deteriorating climate, Black Americans are at the frontline of the receiving end.
This disparity became possible due to the rising wealth gap, which discourages people of color from tackling the crisis at home as efficiently as white Americans do.
Black Americans and Climate Racism: Discrimination Crossing all the Boundaries
As per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the underdeveloped or underserved sections of society are most likely to be exposed to the impacts and disadvantages of climate change, including floods, pollution, and excessive heat.
One of the six sections of the report showed how the colored community of the United States, particularly Black Americans and Latinos, are more likely to confront severe impacts of climate change.
More than 40% of the Black population lives in less developed and inadequately resourced places, where the basic facilities are lacking, making extreme temperature deaths extremely likely.
One of the fundamental reasons behind it is the racial wealth gap, which is being broadened every year in the United States.
Colored communities are paid less than their white counterparts; they get fewer opportunities in different scenarios, though having equal educational degrees and competence.
Due to this disparity in society, the opportunities for them to create a better lifestyle and savings remain limited.
Moreso than any other communities, the Black and Latino communities are more likely to live in environmentally worsening situations, where there is a higher risk of health issues and natural disaster possibilities, according to the research of the American Public Health Association (APHA).
Insufficient representations and authority in the political and economic affairs of the country make it difficult for these communities to build better shelters or prepare to face the extreme reactions which happen due to climate change.
While authorities may claim that developing Black neighborhoods may solve this crisis, instead, they trigger gentrification.
A classic example of climate change impacting Black communities is the California wildfires which have been unequally challenging to people of color.
Need to Bring People of Color Out of Trouble is More than Ever
However, with the problem come the solutions as well. In order to decrease the impact of climate change on particular sections of society, federal machinery needs to come into action immediately.
Eradicating monetary differences is perhaps the only way to decrease this menace.
Black people’s share in highly paid jobs is also a controversial issue in the United States.
The situation worsens when the same people are being denied health facilities due to faulty algorithms.
Developing vulnerable societies without triggering gentrification is one of the solutions that can save people of color in the long run.
Not only this, but placing industrial wastes in Black neighborhoods should also be banned by law, followed by heavy fines.
The Biden administration’s role in tackling this crisis should be promoted as much as possible. Because in times when the administration is trying to curb carbon dioxide emissions, the Black communities’ issues should be given priority in this regard.
Based on data, most of the investment should come in places where the people are highly affected. This would automatically put people of color’s issues on top priority.
Such measures will be highly helpful for the poor colored communities that are exposed to the polluted air from coal mines, power plants, and factories.
Joe Biden has enclosed an order directing the top officials to evaluate the risks of climate change and its impact on the financial situation of the population living in those hazardous circumstances.
For this purpose, the White House has assigned Shalanda Baker as the first Director of Energy Justice at the Department of Energy (USDE), especially to lead the process and present the progress to Congress.
This is the right time that the progress of all these measures should be coupled exclusively with the improvement in Black people’s living standards, so they can stop inhaling dangerous gases just to find that they have limited healthcare opportunities.