Why ‘I can’t breathe’ is resonating with environmental justice activists

Jun 10, 2020 | In the News, State Press Clips

Published on June 10, 2020 by Denise Chow, NBC News

The death of George Floyd in police custody sparked a movement that has focused national attention on institutional racism that permeates nearly every aspect of society. And that includes climate change.

Now, climate activists and scientists say a similar reckoning needs to happen in the environmental movement, which experts say has had a long, uneasy relationship with racial politics.

“There’s a level of racism in the movement itself, where some folks think that talking about these issues is a distraction,” said Jacqueline Patterson, director of the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program. “Nobody is donning a white hood, but the racism and implicit bias is evident.”…

…”When America has a cold, black folks have the flu,” said the Rev. Michael Malcom, executive director of Alabama Interfaith Power and Light, a religious organization based in Birmingham that aims to mobilize congregations throughout Alabama to address climate change. Read more here

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