Thinking with Flint: Structural Racism in Planning, Pipes, and Policy

2:30 pm on Wednesday, February 22, 2017
3:30 pm on Wednesday, February 22, 2017
CAS 132
Seminar Series on Race, Justice, and Environment // Malini Ranganathan, American University // The lead poisoning of Flint, Michigan is often framed as a case of environmental injustice given that the city's population is majority black and poor. While I am sympathetic to environmental justice struggles and legislation, in this talk, I problematize liberal notions of racism based on intent and race as an explanatory variable. Instead, I trace the history of structural racism at the core of liberal urban planning and infrastructure governance in post-industrial America. I use the Flint case and the concepts of racial liberalism and racial capitalism to redefine (and return to) the notion of environmental racism that was abandoned in favor of "environmental justice" in the 1990s. // Sponsored by the Department of Earth & Environment