George Floyd protest

Much of America has the wrong "complexion for protection"

Eight years ago Dr. Robert Bullard, known as the father of environmental justice, wrote an essay that ran with our investigative series "Pollution, Poverty, People of Color" that remains all too relevant today.

Editor's note: Environmental insults and police violence aimed at communities of color are interconnected issues. As the nation grieves over the killing of George Floyd, we are revisiting stories from our newsroom over the past years that examine environmental racism in Black communities.


In June 2012, Environmental Health News launched a multi-week series, examining environmental justice issues across the U.S..

For this series, Pollution, Poverty, People of Color, EHN dispatched reporters to seven communities to report on their struggles to cope with an array of environmental threats.

Years later their stories still resonate with all of us, as many of these communities still face disproportionate impacts from pollution.

As part of the series, Dr. Robert Bullard, known as the father of environmental justice, wrote an essay that is as true today as it was eight years ago.

"No community, rich or poor, black, white, yellow, red or brown, should be forced to become a throw away community."

Read the full essay below.

Bullard: Much of America has wrong complexion for protection

Robert Bullard

Banner photo: George Floyd protest in D.C., May 30, 2020 (Credit: Vitoria Pickering/flickr)

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