Rethinking Environmental Racism Analysis

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Laura Pulido touches on this idea, specifically the functions of white privilege, in her article “Rethinking Environmental Racism.” She argues that since whiteness is not problematized, white privilege is rarely acknowledged (Pulido 2000). This claim is certainly applicable to the Chester story since the white residents in surrounding areas, myself included, lack knowledge about the inequality that exists in the town. Here, white privilege functions as a barrier that protects white residents from the issues of minority residents, whether intentional or unintentional. This white privilege is not acknowledged because these injustices, in my experience, generally are not discussed by the white community. Additionally, Pulido argues that, “White…show more content…
The main way that we do this is through our consumption, primarily our food consumption. Both of my parents and I are vegetarians, and my younger sister is vegan. We try to be environmentally conscious through our food consumption choices by not eating meat, and, in the case of my sister, any animal products at all. Our amount of financial privilege allows us to make these choices, as we can afford alternative options. Additionally, my family does participate in the “organic food movement”: we tend to buy organic foods and shop at grocery stores that seem to be more environmentally friendly such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. This sort of consumer activism and consumer consciousness is fairly standard in my community, organic foods and eco-friendly groceries are very popular. The trend of eating locally is also popular within my community, which is often accomplished through shopping at the plethora farmer’s markets in the area. The high amount of financial privilege in my community allows the residents to make such choices as consumers, since locally grown produce tends to be more expensive. A 2011 study of the Philadelphia food system found that 53% of farmer’s markets in the general Philadelphia area are located in middle and upper income areas (Kremer and DeLiberty 2011). Therefore, the local food movement in Philadelphia appears to be mainly a movement of the wealthy. My family frequently shops in farmer’s markets, although we do not focus on purchasing only local produce. This reflects the way that our financial privilege has shaped my family’s and my community’s environmental consciousness: our avenues of environmental activism are those that are generally only available to those with financial privilege. In her book about pesticide drift, Jill Harrison discusses the organic food movement. She explains that the
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