“I Can’t Breath,” an enviro justice double entendre?

BlackLivesMatterListen to this WGBH news story, exploring the overlap between the civil rights and environmental justice movements.  It leads off with:

Environmental activists may not seem like the most likely allies for police brutality protestors who, in recent months, have been participating in riots, protests, die-ins, and social media campaigns in response to recent killings of unarmed black men by white police officers. But, on the contrary, a long history of ties exists between the civil rights movement and some fraction of the environmental movement.

Slogans of recent movements against police brutality — including “I Can’t Breath” and “Black Lives Matter” — are a testament to the parallels between themes in the movement against policy brutality and those in environmental movements. 

“I can’t breath has a double meaning; it’s not only about the increased repression that is being expressed in communities of color. It’s also about the deepening ecological crisis that literally — because of the concentration of polluting facilities — people can’t breathe; black, Latino and Asian Americans breathe different air than white Americans,” says environmental researcher at Northeastern University, Dr. Daniel Faber.

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