Home > Uncategorized > Why Race Matters After Sandy

Why Race Matters After Sandy

Manissa M. Maharawal

 by Manissa McCleave Maharawal and Isabelle Nastasia | Originally Published on Waging Nonviolence, December 11, 2012

During the fall of 1962, residents of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn saw the trash accumulating on their sidewalks and realized that the city didn’t care about them the way it did about others. Their children had to play in stinky garbage while other neighborhoods had trees and parks. They complained to elected officials and the Sanitation Department, but the problem never got better. So, in response, they began organizing weekly garbage clean-ups across Bed-Stuy — a temporary solution — while also working toward a holistic solution to the abundance of garbage and the scarcity of city resources devoted to the area through on-the-ground organizing. For two years residents and members of the Brooklyn chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organized tirelessly for increased garbage collection, asserting over and over again…

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  1. February 5, 2013 at 4:13 am

    This article seemed to cover the need for both distributive and procedural justice. Even though the author mentions the need for a procedural type of justice, they only mention it in a brief and vague way. The author talks about building community-led structures to clean up the city but only mentions it after talking about the need for distributive justice. I think this contradicts what we talked about in class, in how we said that justice usually comes in the order of recognition, procedural then distributive. From the article’s persepective, it looks as if the people need the resources first (distributive justice) in-order to clean up, then they can focus on taking care of their environment (procedural justice). One thing that did bother me was the need for distributive justice via “bottom up”. The author only pertained that theory to a certain race and if we were to only help the poorest first, then all races need to be accounted for or that action could be considered environmental racism itself.

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