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Hannah Kyer
Env. Science

It is certainly not a coincidence that the owners of ecologically hazardous facilities look to buy land in predominantly African American communities. However, it is not because the facility owners are committing environmental racism and selective victimization.
According to Daniel Faber, a professor at Northeastern University, environmental racism is “the process by which communities of color are intentionally and systematically targeted for the citing of ecologically hazardous industrial facilities, toxic waste sites, incinerators and other types of facilities that cause harm to the health of its local residents, as well as the surrounding environment.”  It cannot be denied that, unfortunately, large industries do often build their facilities in communities of color.  This would be considered selective victimization (the process by which communities of color are intentionally targeted) if the industries built their facilities in African-American communities primarily because they want to bring harm to African Americans.  However, this is not true.  The facilities are being built in these communities because the communities are very poor and therefore the land is inexpensive, not because the majority of the population is colored.  Professor Faber also stated that the communities that are intentionally and selectively victimized are those that have fewer resources, less political and economic power, and citizens with less time and energy to learn about and understand the issues and take action against the ecologically hazardous facilities.  
Camden, New Jersey and other urban minority communities are being targeted for the citing of ecologically hazardous facilities, toxic waste sites and incinerators but they are not being targeted for the motives of selective victimization.  Camden is not being targeted because the citizens of the city are African American.  Rather, the city is being targeted because the land is inexpensive and the residents have very little power against the building and running of the ecologically hazardous facilities in their communities because the majority of the citizens are not educated enough (only 5.4% of Camden citizens are college graduates) and do not have enough political and economic power to learn about and understand the issues and take action.

This essay meets the requirement of respect for individual differences because through writing this paper on environmental racism, I learned about the issues that many people who are very poor and/or are minorities are faced with.