The Gulf oil spill that has been capturing the news cycle in the United States for the last few months finally appears to be under control, and now we’re faced with a common problem: We have a whole lot of waste from the spill and associated cleanup, and it needs to go somewhere. This includes crude oil, equipment used by cleanup crews, soiled booms, and all kinds of other spill-associated detritus.
According to a story published at Colorlines last week, nine landfills in the Gulf region have been selected as sites for disposing of waste. Waste management authorities claim the material isn’t toxic, which means that regular municipal landfills, rather than landfills specifically designed to handle hazardous waste, are being used. Of the nine landfills chosen, five are located in low income communities of colour.
Continue reading “Crude Violations: BP Is Dumping Toxic Waste In Low Income Communities of Colour” »
Reproductive justice includes the right to control the timing and spacing of children, if one wants to have them at all, but the issue of starting families and the right to have children is often overlooked, particularly among mainstream organisations. For some groups of marginalised people (such as the LGBQT community and communities of colour), this right is critically threatened and in need of protection just as much as the right to access contraception and abortion services is; among disabled people, for example, there is a very real risk that the right to have and keep children without interference will be restricted thanks to attitudes about disability and parenting.
There’s a common belief that disabled people are not capable of parenting, particularly if they have cognitive, intellectual, or developmental impairments, or if they have physical impairments. An estimated 30% of disabled people, in contrast with 40% of nondisabled people, are parents struggling in a world where the right to parent is not protected if you don’t have a normative body or brain. When your child can be taken from you because of who you are, you live in a constant state of tension; simply wheeling down the street with your child can become a balancing act. Continue reading “Disability and Reproductive Justice” »