Ariela Tubert
University of Puget Sound
This paper develops a philosophical account of environmental racism and explains why having such an account is worthwhile. After reviewing some data points and common uses of the term linking environmental racism to the distribution of environmental burdens by race, I argue that environmental racism should be understood as referring to an unequal distribution caused by a history of racism. Environmental racism is thus analyzed in terms of two conditions: first, that environmental burdens and benefits be distributed according to race, and second, that this distribution be partly caused by a history of racism, where this causal claim is understood counterfactually. The account entails that environmental racism is a derivative form of racism – it depends on other kinds of racism to exist – while being compatible with a variety of views about the more basic forms of racism. Given the proposed framework, I consider the kind of evidence needed to establish whether a given case is one of environmental racism and make the case for environmental racism being a concept worth focusing on as it can highlight a type of injustice that may otherwise go unnoticed.
Keywords environmental justice, racism, structural explanations, counterfactual, causation
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DOI 10.1111/josp.12407
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References found in this work BETA

Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Causation as Influence.David K. Lewis - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
What is a (Social) Structural Explanation?Sally Haslanger - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):113-130.

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