Another consequence of the racism of 'redlining'? More air pollution
Nearly 90 years after the federal government created maps of cities that falsely labeled some neighborhoods where Black and Hispanic people lived "hazardous" or "definitely declining" to ward off lenders and prevent investment — a racist practice known as redlining that was not banned until the 1968 Fair Housing Act — these neighborhoods are still suffering from the consequences.
A new study, published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters, finds that, from Los Angeles to Macon, Ga., the neighborhoods that were redlined in the past today face unequal exposure to levels of air pollution, including NOx and soot, the most deadly pollutant in the U.S. Dr. Robert Bullard, distinguished professor of urban planning and environmental policy at Texas Southern University, tells the Washington Post, "This groundbreaking study builds on the solid empirical evidence that systemic racism is killing and making people of color sick, it’s just that simple."
Not only did redlining deny them the wealth that owning homes would have generated, he continues, it "created pollution magnets that threaten the health, well-being and quality of life of families who settle in formerly redlined neighborhoods.”
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