BWFJ Editorial: Environmental Racism Plagues Black Communities

BWFJ logo color1In North Carolina, there are 10 million hogs held in these confined animal feeding operations known as CAFOS that are concentrated in Black Communities in the eastern part of the state. There are hundreds of open lagoons located next to these feeding operations to receive the millions of tons of hog waste yearly that is sprayed over fields and communities when the lagoons begin to overflow.

The CAFOS, lagoons and spray fields create health problems because they contaminate the drinking water of ground wells in the rural communities and the air, causing respiratory problems. The antibiotics in the hog feed alters the immune systems of people whose water is contaminated and affects their resistance to diseases like the Swine Flu.

This is clearly environmental racism and should be part of the charge of the human rights forces that call on the UN to investigate and to appeal to the US to provide protections for these communities. Here is an obvious reason why the US should have participated in the Durban Review Conference on racism recently held in Geneva. The movement against environmental racism in North Carolina needs ourstruggle to be raised to an international level and made a major demand of the US‐wide struggle against racial discrimination and oppression.

The Southern Human Rights Organizers Conference held in Durham, NC, in mid‐April took a tour in Duplin County where 2 million hogs are concentrated. We call on all to organize and demand that our international human rights be respected and enforced by the international community.

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