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Study & Research Racism

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by Roger Clegg

About the author: Roger Clegg is general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity and a former deputy in the civil rights and environmental divisions of the U.S. Justice Department.

The movement for “environmental justice” and against “environmental racism” began in the 1980s. Its premise is that racial minorities, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, suffer disproportionately from pollution.

The data supporting this premise are underwhelming, as Christopher H. Foreman Jr. notes in The Promise and Peril of Environmental Justice, his new analysis of the movement. Studies often define “minority community,” for example, to include any area where the percentage of nonwhites exceeds the national average, so that a community may be labeled “minority” even though the vast majority of its residents are white. Not only...

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This section contains 1,255 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Racism Encyclopedia Article
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Racism from Greenhaven. ©2001-2006 by Greenhaven Press, Inc., an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.