This analysis directs critical environmental justice and black feminist studies perspectives towards the racialized state violence of urban austerity in Michigan, and examines the degree to which multiple and intersectional forms of ethnic, racial, and gendered environmental injustice have been undertheorized in matters concerning access to safe and affordable water. In Flint and Detroit, multiple and intersecting environmental injustices function at multiple scales: body, mind, neighborhood, city, and region. The intergenerational harm experienced in the Flint and Detroit water crises underscores the degree to which we need to rethink notions of time and place when theorizing environmental justice impact. Urban austerity and its gentrifying logics underscore the relational fact that environmental justice in the city is increasingly a white privilege, one in which people of color are not only disposable but also indispensable to this sort of white and urban bio-accumulation.
Speaker: Michael Mascarenhas, UC Berkeley
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