Violence in the Form of Policy
The violence we witnessed last week as a nation is the same violence written in the form of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denying clean, poison-free water to the American people, which overwhelmingly affects Black and BIPOC communities. With this denial, the outgoing EPA administration has created a smokescreen of untruths, choosing not to support our people in the restitution they deserve. Thus, leaving communities further in the dark on learning about and accurately addressing the disparate health impacts of this chemical poison in their bodies.
“It’s preposterous that the EPA has chosen to dilute the intent of the petition and prioritize corporate interest over the needs of the communities affected in North Carolina. This decision reflects the environment the outgoing administration created, poison over our health and profit over the people. We won’t stop here. We will continue to fight against our water being poisoned, and children left without a basic human right of access to clean water,” said La’Meshia Whittington, campaign director for the North Carolina Black Alliance.
Not only have PFAS contaminants been found in our drinking water, but they have also been discovered in firefighting foam, thereby poisoning our fearless front line leaders. Last year in North Carolina, courageous Black firefighters in Winston-Salem fought against racial discrimination in the workplace. Not only do our firefighters of color have to fight against racial violence in the workplace, now they have to fight against the impacts of potentially being poisoned on the job from PFAS. The cumulative effect of racism is a heavy toll on the people not responsible. The racial violence and intimidation witnessed this week in our Nation’s Capital and the rejection of this petition are unfortunate byproducts of the outgoing administration coupled with this country’s legacy of systematically silencing vulnerable and marginalized communities. Our communities deserve better than this from those we elect. Our communities deserve clean water and safe environments.
Finally, we hope the incoming administrators of the EPA, under President-Elect Biden’s administration, will do far more in answering the people’s cries and petitions with real equitable-policy change.
To learn more about the EPA’s rejection of the petition to require essential health and environmental effects studies, click here.