Painting Over Racialized Power Structures: The Environmental Injustice of Lead Poisoning in the City of Baltimore
Links to Fileshttp://blogs.goucher.edu/verge/painting-over-racialized-power-structures-the-environmental-injustice-of-lead-poisoning-in-the-city-of-baltimore/
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The death of Freddie Gray, and the Baltimore Uprising that followed, generated strong and differing opinions as to the nature of the death, the intentions behind the Uprising, and the implications of these incidents in the overall societal framework. One particular article that caught my attention traced Gray’s death back to his childhood exposure to lead paint, and how that affected behavioral issues throughout his life. I found this interpretation to be problematic, especially when analyzed through the critical frame of thinking that I practiced in Professor Emily Billo’s course on Environmental Justice, the class for which I wrote this piece. I used the final research paper as an opportunity to delve deeper into this issue of lead paint in Baltimore, and found that this environmental problem was deeply connected to institutionalized discrimination and lay along racial lines. My goal through this piece was to provide a much more intersectional dialogue pertaining to lead paint in Baltimore, and shed light on the complex and intricate connections between negative environmental impacts and social issues overall. I am very thankful to have had Professor Billo’s guidance and insight throughout not only the process of writing this paper, but also the readings and discussions that opened my eyes to more intersectional ways of thinking.