Spencer Weiss
Assignment 3

1943100104965500The comic I found displays the portrayal of environmental racism. As you see in the comic, the rich are displayed at the top of the hill with a nice house and the poor are displayed at the bottom of the hill with bad living conditions. The rich are able to live in places that are not exposed to environmental problems while the poor get a disproportionate share of all the environmental problems. Some of the problems that are portrayed in this comic are toxic waste dumps, factories emitting CO2, and oil wells. All of these are very dangerous, and living within a close proximity gives the lower income a higher chance to be exposed to dirty air, dirty water and a lack of natural resources. In lecture we have discussed that minority populations are disproportionally exposed to environmental issues. For example, some toxicity's are inevitable; some living conditions are exposed to this toxicity's' all the time leading to illnesses (Lecture 2/14). I found this comic on Google but a comic with this intention could be displayed on any social media site. This comic could be intended towards anyone because it is representing the relationship towards high-income and low-income communities. The people who are involved in the income gap are represented in this comic.
The satire portrayed in this comic can be viewed as representative of the situation occurring in Turkey Creek, Mississippi. The big house on top of the hill symbolizes the city of Gulfport and the small houses at the bottom of the hill represent the community of Turkey Creek. Gulfport is a city located just south of Turkey Creek and has wealthy white developers whose goal were to develop commercial buildings on Turkey Creek for economic development. The environmental justice issue is that these developers are more concerned with their potential economic gains than the environmental by-products of their actions on the local community (which is largely comprised of low income and minority groups). They are aware that they will only benefit in positive ways, whereas their impacts may be felt negatively by the community members. Already, Gulfport has an airport, factories, and highways located in close proximity to Turkey Creek as well as toxic sites. Turkey Creek soon becomes the "middle" of Gulfport, and where the low-income minority community that has to deal with the by products of all Gulfport's actions. The main problem that the community of Turkey Creek runs into is the flooding that could occur causing houses and land to be destroyed. Flooding is not the only issue here; the creek will soon become intoxicated because of the toxic waste run off.
Along with the comic relating to Turkey Creek, there are also multiple readings that connect to the various environmental justice issues brought up in it. As I stated above, the comic portrays the income disparity between the rich, who are predominately white, and the poor, who are predominately minority groups. Decisions of whites were not necessarily driven by racial animus, but often were simply a desire to create the best opportunities for themselves and their families, which, in a highly racialized society, reproduced racial inequality" (Pulido 2015 pg. 810). This statement can be related to the comic because in both, the wealthy are not necessarily aware of the impacts their actions are having on the poor. They are doing what is in the best interest for their families and themselves while simultaneously creating life-threatening environmental hazards to the surrounding low-income communities.
Exide, a battery recycling facility located in Vernon, which is a heavily industrial city adjacent to Los Angeles (Pulido 2015 pg. 812) can be related to the comic as well. The company has had serious pollution and contamination issues, which harms the nearby low-income communities of Bell, Maywood, and Huntington Park. Unfortunately, Exide is completely aware of the negative impacts their actions are having but since they are benefiting they are opposed to changing their ways. "It is entirely possible for a white person, group, or institution, such as Exide, to act deliberately to enhance the well-being of white at the expense of people of color without wishing them harm" (Pulido 2015 pg. 813). Exide is not necessarily trying