A new video posted to the “Healthy Homes” section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website defines “environmental justice” as people having “a right” to “healthy homes” regardless of their “race, income, age, gender or nationality.”
The video hosted by Dr. LaToria Whitehead also includes “sidewalks” and “transportation” in her concept of “environmental justice.”
The video, titled “What Does Environmental Justice Mean?,” elaborates on a whole series of material comforts people have a right to attain in order to achieve a healthy life.
The CDC webpage explains the concept as “fair treatment.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines environmental justice as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”
In her video, Dr. Whitehead, who calls herself an “environmental justice specialist,” is a bit more explicit labeling these privileges rights.
“Environmental justice means that everyone has the right to live in a healthy environment regardless of race, income, age, gender or nationality,” Whitehead says.
She goes on to offer some examples of what a “healthy environment” includes.
“You can see by looking around this neighborhood that the homes aren’t healthy,” Whitehead says as she walks in a run-down neighborhood. “People don’t have access to healthy food, and some parts of the neighborhood don’t even have sidewalks.”
“The health of a community suffers when people don’t have access to healthy homes, healthy food, transportation, fresh air and safe neighborhoods.”
The characterization of sidewalks and transportation as “rights” is in keeping with a recent proclamation by President Obama, who said that health insurance is a right.