Environmental Justice in the eyes of Robert Bullard

Sergio Dominguez, Benjamin Beliveau, Julia Jankowski, Molly Steinberg

Bullard, Robert D. Dumping in Dixie: Race, class, and environmental quality. Westview Press, 2000

Robert Doyle Bullard is currently a professor at Texas Southern University. He is known as the ‘father of environmental justice’ and is a leader against environmental racism. Shortly after receiving his doctoral degree, Bullard served as an expert witness on the case Bean v. Southwest Waste Management, Inc. The case was Houston residents against the company planning to locate a municipal landfill next to their homes. The area was 82 percent black, so the lawsuit was based on civil rights laws. Bullard conducted research on the area which began his studies of eco racism in the United States. Bullard has an extensive history of studying relationships between environmental changes and race and has helped win many lawsuits dealing with environmental racism.

In the first section of the Bullard’s book Dumping in Dixie Environmentalism and Social Justice talks about race, class, and Environmental Quality. This section specifically discusses the environmental movement in the United States that started in the 1970s. It addresses the fact that there are distinct inequalities against other races and social classes when it comes to pollution, toxic waste, and other forms of environmental differences. Also, the main arguments that Bullard is making in the first chapter are first that studies show minority communities are more exposed to polluted air, water, and living conditions than any other group. Then second, it seems as if these struggling communities are not being acknowledged when it comes to pollution and environmental hazards.

Robert Bullard didn’t leave out much when it comes to examples. The parts of the argument that have been provided evidence with is the evidence of the protests, the people who started, and the reason for why they are protesting. However, there aren’t very many parts of the argument where there isn’t any evidence. For Example is the section called The Anti-Toxics Movement Bullard stated that communities have resisted against environmentally hazardous facilities, it was started by grassroots environmentalists around Love Canal, New York in the 1970’s. Bullard also states some details on the organization they fall under, like the fact they barely have any organization or history.

In addition, this article compares closely to other readings from the class by highlighting the attitudes and feeling of the peoples affected by environmental policy and giving a voice to the people that might not have had a chance to speak for themselves. The work in the article frames the broader topic of peoples that were treated unfairly and made to live with environmental consequences. More articles like this will continue to raise awareness as well as expand the discussion.                                                                                                                                                                            

Therefore the work done in the article grants insight to a lot of people who might not have been aware of the situations and conditions many people live in. If people do not see or understand a problem it is very difficult to fix the problem. The article and its focus on minorities and their part in environmental movements as well as the adversity they had to deal with. This work inspires new research by opening the eyes of people to environmental concerns and neglect that were not receiving the attention they needed. If articles and research were not done to discover this information the situation could have continued to get worse and nothing would have been done to fix the issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *