Environmental Racism: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Published 2022-05-01

All Comments (21)
  • @semievilsquirrel
    That man who talked about selling his house has more decency and ethics than the government ever will.
  • @rochelle2758
    It's also worth mentioning that we export waste overseas to the Global South too. The problem, and the racism, need to be addressed globally, not just within any one country's borders.
  • @jesssummers8238
    There’s a big culture of
    1) sweep everything under the rug
    2) oh no, it makes me uncomfy to talk about sad things
    3) oh no, if we address problems, we actually have to do hard work
    4) people who love oppressing people
    5) loving chaos and lack of progress
    6) apathy and contradictions
    7) idk somehow visceral patriotism on top of all this while also deeply hating and dehumanizing some Americans
  • @infectedgold3104
    Growing up in cancer alley the most baffling thing is whenever it got brought up in conversation there's always people who just laugh and either say it's not real or treat it like it isn't a problem. Louisiana is so full of people who would go out of their way to help their neighbor with any problem they might have, and then would take joy in being able to vote to make sure their neighbor's children starve as long as a rich asshole proposed it. Everyone there pretends to care about the environment to protect the cypress trees, but will at the same time say anyone who votes for a politician who is trying to deal with pollution in any form, including preventing erosion the thing they pretend to care about, is an evil commie who hates whites.

    I have family living in some of the worst parts of cancer alley who care more about pretending to be mad at school boards for making all the kids gay or hate whites, than they do ensuring their children's health or financial future.
  • @AgFalcon84
    As an environmental scientist, I am utterly disgusted. I feel sick. Unfortunately, it's not just environmental policy that targets people of color. Transportation and infrastructure projects often treat communities of color as expendable. It is something that professionals in these fields need to be aware of and actively fight against.
  • These companies not only knowingly pollute; they declare bankruptcy when their toxicity becomes too apparent. They move out, rename themselves (so they can pollute elsewhere), and leave the sites for taxpayers to clean up.
  • @SlightlyFizzled
    Whoever failed to notify the residents of that city for 31 years deserves a prison sentence for their dangerous, malicious incompetence.
  • @marcusmoses574
    I really appreciate this episode, but I feel that I have to add to your coverage. You see, the EPA has a group in each region called Environmental Justice. They have been taking these fights on for the last 20 years. I would know because my wife, Althea M. Moses, was the Environmental Justice Coordinator for Region 7 EPA. She dedicated her life to fighting against corporate and local government exploitation of poor, Brown, and Black communities. She not only worked in her region (Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska), she was called in as a specialist to help mitigate the water crisis in Flint, MI with an emphasis on lead poisoning in children there. I think that you need to give kudos to these public servants because most of them are not doing it for a paycheck. Environmental Justice (which is called that because the original term "Environmental Racism" made White people feel uncomfortable and hurt) Coordinators are some of the least liked people. They fight on behalf of the vulnerable and weak, which makes them a target of the powerful corporations and their elected lackeys. And, often times, the people they are fighting for are angry at them because they aren't moving fast enough to resolve the problems they find. I really want to defend my wife because she truly gave her life for her work. She was well known nationally for her efforts, but she never displayed her awards or kudos. She died on February 17, 2022 from kidney failure and complications due to Pontine (brainstem) stroke. When her daughters and I cleaned out her office, we found two boxes of medals, plaques and awards that she had just stacked behind paperwork or left in boxes on the floor. Understand, the Environmental Justice Coordinators in the EPA are doing the work of defending the weak because they are called to the fight. I miss my wife terribly every day, but I know that the communities she served and their representatives are just as hurt, because they lost a great champion of their causes. We as a society need to help EJ Coordinators and their clients by, 1. Making clean environments for PEOPLE, not just the goddamn dolphins, 2. Recognizing how our neighborhoods are zoned and participating in public meetings to create fairness, 3. SAY IT OUT LOUD! Institutional racism is the primary cause of these injustices and to let pundits off the hook on this point does a great disservice to those who are in the fight. I'd like it if you could recognize these EJ coordinators in every region so that people can appreciate their efforts. Thanks for your time. PS, Yeah, I'm with you. Screw the pandas.
  • @KiithNaabal
    18:20 "which poor family would I sell this death trap to...". This is a really good human! It's a shame that there aren't more like him.
  • @5ubbak
    I'll be honest after the "Why don't you move?" question, I half-expected another British comedian to start destroying the set and yell "Just one small problem! Sell their houses to whom? Fucking Captain Pollution?"
  • @gamepapa1211
    "His company eventually went belly up" is perhaps the closest we can ever get to a happy ending in this whole sordid affair.
  • @EricaSwitzer
    Grew up in one of those towns. Dad died of cancer, mom just beat breast cancer last year but we’re still watching and I’ve got a host of ovarian cysts. Absolutely shameful to have grown up in those conditions and I fight like hell everyday to not go back.
  • @bjratti
    Arguably more important than the impacts on lifespan are the impacts on 'healthspan'. Losing out on two years you would have otherwise lived is horrible, but if you have to spend an extra ten years in and out of care due to a build-up of health problems, all of a sudden you are looking at bills that directly and indirectly effect your family. One of the many examples of 'expensive to be poor.'
  • @SunlightHugger
    My family lived south of New Orleans for 15 years. When we all finally moved, our health improved. We thought it was just a mental thing, but let's be real... we were eating oil, drinking lead, and breathing gasoline.
  • @aaronmeyer3664
    Glad to see the statement "You can point at anything in america and ask: How is that racist? and get a comprehensive answer." still holds true.
  • @beez1598
    I lived next to a superfund site, dioxin levels were 1,000 times above average in soil. “As long as you don’t eat the dirt there’s no risk” was what was said to us with a chuckle by the city. It was insulting.
  • @TheRhetoricGamer
    This really nails down the fallacy with the "color blind" rhetoric.
    A color blind solution cannot adequately fix a problem that is NOT color blind.
  • @jeremywilson2875
    Surprised that he didn't bring up the Dakota access pipeline, where the original route to the North was rejected because it might contaminate drinking wells serving the mostly White population areas, so instead it was rerouted through tribal lands and directly under the tribal water source.
  • @maargenbx1454
    The reporter was 100% correct in asking the man “why don’t you move”? So many idiots would watch the report and think the same thing. Asking the question gives the man a chance to answer it directly, give voice to his frustration and make his quandary clear. The question wasn’t an accusation, it was an opportunity.
  • @MegaChickenfish
    With all these examples of the pollution just being moved, I'm reminded of a documentary on pollution, recycling and the like that I watched in college with one particular quote that stuck with me.

    "We throw it away, but where is "away?" "