On the Dakota Access Pipeline, Alabama and environmental injustice

Photo Credit:

| October 20 2016,

11:00 am

In early September, the independent global news show, Democracy Now! released a disturbing video of security forces using excessive force on protesters resisting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

“Black Lives Matter stands with Standing Rock. As there are many diverse manifestations of Blackness, and Black people are also displaced Indigenous peoples, we are clear that there is no Black liberation without Indigenous sovereignty. Environmental racism is not limited to pipelines on Indigenous land, because we know that the chemicals used for fracking and the materials used to build pipelines are also used in water containment and sanitation plants in Black communities like Flint, Michigan. The same companies that build pipelines are the same companies that build factories that emit carcinogenic chemicals into Black communities, leading to some of the highest rates of cancer, hysterectomies, miscarriages, and asthma in the country. Our liberation is only realized when all people are free, free to access clean water, free from institutional racism, free to live whole and healthy lives not subjected to state-sanctioned violence. America has committed and is committing genocide against Native American peoples and Black people. We are in an ongoing struggle for our lives and this struggle is shaped by the shared history between Indigenous peoples and Black people in America, connecting that stolen land and stolen labor from Black and brown people built this country.”

Democracy Now!

Similar to what residents faced in Flint Michigan, citizens of Eight Mile, Alabama, a predominately black community, have faced severe health risks.

Los Angeles Times

“Across the United States, poor and minority neighborhoods bear an unequal burden from hazardous facilities and waste sites. This pattern is evident nationally as well as on the state and local level. Pollution is unequally distributed across the country; it is also distributed unequally within individual states, within counties, and within cities. Hazardous waste sites, municipal landfills, incinerators, and other hazardous facilities are disproportionately located in poor and minority neighborhoods.”

Loving Blavity's content? Sign up for our daily newsletter here.