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A different kind of discrimination

May 18, 2015

The Charlotte Observer

May 13, 2015

A couple of months ago in Selma, Ala., President Obama remarked that while our country has made strides in overcoming racial inequality, we still have a long way to go. That is certainly true for a very pervasive form of racial discrimination in this country, and one that often is overlooked – environmental injustice. Just ask Elsie Herring. Elsie lives in rural North Carolina near a hog factory farm where she’s endured a form of discrimination that rarely draws much attention.

It’s no secret that polluting industries and industrial waste sites are often located in low-income communities, especially communities of color that offer the least political resistance. It has long been true that money, power, and influence dictate who draws the short end of the stick. And forcing people without much political voice to bear the burden of pollution, disease and misery is most certainly a form of racism and injustice.

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