USP 515 Session 5 Notes

Session Five: The Politics of Pollution

In this session we will discuss how decisions about the location and distribution of environmental benefits and hazards are made, under what institutional conditions these decision are made, who makes these decisions, and who benefits and does not benefit from these decisions. We will address the following questions:

  1. What do Davies and Davies mean when they use the term “politics of pollution’?
    1. Silent spring generation
      1. All the invisible pollution and chemicals that are piling up in the environment
      2. Made many predictions which came true from decrease in fertility to increase in allergies, etc.
    2. The central claim of this piece is that the interdisciplinary scientific study of pollution is not based on science. The standards used to study pollution are not scientific, they’re political. The standards are arbitrary.
      1. In Flint Michigan, the government just changed the official dangerous level of lead contamination to hide the danger the community was facing.
      2. How does the decision get made about what levels of pollution are harmful?
  2. Why did Bullard write an article extending the concept of the politics of pollution to the Black community specifically?
  3. What do these articles help us understand about the relationship between income, race, and health?

Other Notes

  1. Gentrification is when privileged people come into a neighborhood and take resources like housing and food from marginalized people, leading to an increase in costs and a drop in access for marginalized people.
    1. This leads to a cultural changes through settler colonialism; displacing and exterminating populations and cultures.
      1. Alex Nieto: White dog walkers new to Burnal called the police on a person of color who grew up there and was eating a burrito. The police murdered him.
      2. White people complain about long-standing cultural aspects of neighborhoods like live music.
      3. White tech bros in the Mission demanding locking gates and reservation systems for the use of public parks.
      4. Essentially all public housing was eventually demolished. About 10% of it was replaced with nonprofit housing.
  2. Bottled water is unregulated.
    1. People in marginalized communities are more likely to drink bottled water and therefore be exposed to toxins in unregulated bottled water products

ASSIGNED READING FOR SESSION FIVE (click on session 5 on left to access reading) 

  1. The Politics of Pollution — Davies and Davies
    1. Since a lower value is placed on marginalized communities, society chooses to move harms and risks there.
    2. Wealthy and powerful white communities are given priority with pollution mitigation efforts.
    3. Industry likewise disposes of wastes where it’s easiest and cheapest, disparately impacting marginalized communities with the externalities of toxic industrial biproducts.s
  2. The Politics of Pollution: Implications for the Black Community — Bullard and Wright
    1. Historically the black community was very engaged with the civil rights movement at the time when the environmental movement was coalescing
    2. Ongoing segregation in cities plus the legacy of slavery and redlining has led to high concentrations of black populations in small areas in urban centers.
    3. Lots of evidence that marginalized urban communities are more likely to be exposed to environmental harms.
    4. Black communities have less power to make changes in cities because wealth and power are concentrated in the same white neighborhoods which consistently vote to move harms to black neighborhoods.

“Intelligence” Is A Racist Lie

Sapiophilia

IQ tests, SAT tests, GMAT tests, etc are racist. “Preferences” for people who score high on these tests are preferences for people who are a part of white culture.

Let’s look at some examples of statistical racism to illustrate exactly why this idea that “intelligence is a real thing” is so problematic. Statistical racism is a form of prediscursive construction; observing an outcome and falsely characterizing it as the cause.

Gender is an example of prediscursive construction. Because society creates gender, it exists; and yet it is falsely claimed that society believes in it because it’s a natural fact. Here are several examples of statistically racist claims which allow false arguments to be made about the relative “merit” or “ability” of people in different racial groups.

Statistical Racism: Race and IQ

Let’s start here. This is a graph of IQ scores based on race. There are a lot of problems here. As one example of how the IQ test is racist, one component scores test takers based on word association. The test giver will say a word and you say the first word you think of. The fancier your response, the smarter you must be. Another example is watching you try to make shapes out of blocks. If you haven’t had exposure to hands-on learning or had lots of toys as a child, then you won’t do as well. The list of reasons goes on and on.

The problem is that people see this graph and argue that these results reflect the natural genetic ability of people in these groups. In reality, there is more genetic diversity among people in a racial group than there is for people between racial groups. The idea that races are genetic is just not true.

Statistical Racism: SAT Scores By Race

Here is another graph of sat scores by race. This one it easy. Lots of affluent white-culture words like “regatta” appear in questions on the SAT. This privileges people who are familiar with affluent white-culture. Additionally, concepts from math and science are more available to students who go to better funded schools; that means white kids. This test measures the wealth of the neighborhood that kids grew up in, not their ability or “intelligence.”
Statistical Racism: Various Test Scores By Race
Here is another set of test scores broken out by race including gmat. As you can see, the same trend follows. There is no genetic difference between these groups. The tests are measuring the quality of education the kids have received and the relative wealth of the neighborhoods they grew up in.
In all of these cases, the results of generational poverty, racial profiling, and education underfunding are showing up in the test results of kids based on the neighborhoods they came from and the opportunities for advancement they were given. This result is then presented as evidence that these groups of kids are somehow fundamentally different, and “intelligence” is the name given to what’s different about the groups.
This claim is categorically false and categorically racist.

Reading Reaction: Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™

Note: I deeply enjoyed reading “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™” and in particular I enjoyed this version read by Levar Burton who also provides some analysis of his own.

Our protagonist is a storyteller who creates elaborate virtual experiences to share “an authentic Indian experience” to tourists. This story follows a nascent relationship he forms with a customer. This pair of indigenous men struggle to connect from behind walls put up by the historical legacy of systemic injustices perpetrated against indigenous cultures (and men more broadly).

In particular, settler colonialism is a major barrier which prevents the two men from deeply connecting. They first have to get past the influence of capitalism which is placing demands on the type of relationship they may have and what value they may find in one another. At one point the protagonist says he’s not allowed to fraternize with customers and must only play his “savage brave” role in the virtual experience without engaging honestly.

The protagonist dresses up like a stereotypical “savage brave” in order to sell self-discovery experiences to tourists. These experiences fetishize the history and culture of native people in order to objectify the protagonist as a commodity to be sold to tourists so they can “find themselves.”

The second major thing our pair has to break through is the patriarchal demands on what it means to be a “real man.” Once they get past these and other barriers, they are able to deeply connect and become good friends.

Eventually, our protagonist’s newfound friend succumbs to the pressures of settler colonialism and patriarchy. He takes advantage of a weakened protagonist who is recovering from sickness and decides to betray him. He steals the protagonist’s job and friends, and in classic toxic-masculinity-form, he even steals the protagonist’s girl. What would Alison Bechdel say? (The character of the object-girl has zero dialogue that is not about men.)

A confrontation ensues and ends with friend-antagonist explaining that this whole story has actually been a virtual “Authentic  Indian Experience” which HE the friend was selling to our protagonist. We end with the protagonist coming out of virtual reality.

The “Authentic Experience” seems to me to be the fact that those natives who have not survived the extermination of a hundred-million of their ancestors by settler colonists are forced to squeeze into the rigid set of demands placed on them by the capitalist cis-hetero-patriarchy. Two spirit traditions for example are erased by mainstream culture or renamed to some already-commodified and “close enough” phrase that white culture already has. The act of squeezing into these roles the white empire has created for indigenous people creates tension and strain, just like it does for every community. That tension boils over in conflict and trauma and infighting just like it does in every community. The Authentic Indian Experience is the experience of watching a hundred million of your people be exterminated and hearing the message of assimilate-or-die and being given the imperative to destroy anyone not assimilating hard enough.

What really jumped out at me personally in this story is the way queer culture parallels many of these challenges. People have to work through trauma and layers of shame and self-loathing before they can deeply connect. In many cases, there is also the threat of violence if you’re uncertain about whether the other person is really interested in taking this journey closer together with you. I had to listen to the story twice to really connect all these ideas and It’s something I’m going to be listening to and thinking about for a long time.

USP493 Session 4 Notes

Lecture

  1. Measures of Variability
    1. Index of Qualitative Variability – used for nominal data
    2. The range – used for interval data – simply the largest value minus the lowest value
      1. The interquartile range, the difference between the cutpoint where 25 percent of the cases have a larger values, and the cutpoint where 25 percent of the cases have a lower value
      2. The boxplot shows the range, the interquartile range and the median
    3. The variance and standard deviation, a measure of the amount scores cluster at the mean or spread out from the mean. Used for interval data. The variance is the average squared deviation of scores from the mean
      1. The standard deviation is calculated from the variance. You simply take the square root of the variance.
      2. The standard deviation is calculated from the variance. You simply take the square root of the variance.
  2. The normal curve
    1. Symmetric around the middle
    2. Mean, median and mode are the same
  3. The concept of Z scores
    1. Used to find area under the normal curve
    2. Equals the number of standard deviations any score is from the mean
      1. Calculations – subtract the mean from the score and divide by the standard deviation
      2. Finding the percent of cases – the same as the percent area – between any point and the mean
      3. Using the z table
      4. Going from percents to z scores

 

Homework

Assignment, Chapter 4 Exercise 2, Chapter 5 Exercises 2,4

 

 

 

USP515 Session 4 Notes

September 14th and 16th
Session Four: Environmental Justice
This session will focus on the concept and root causes of environmental injustice. We will be guided by the following questions: 

  1. How would you define the concept of “environmental injustice”?
    • Disparate impact
    • Social movement in relation to environmental movement with social justice component
    • Poorer nations bear the burden of externalities for rich nations
    • Complex concept made up of multiple intersecting dimensions
      • Impact of institutional racism on land based policies
      • Dynamics of power: where, how, who makes decision related to who is protected from harm
      • Race, class, and equity inequalities
      • Distributional dimensions: disparate impact
    • Factors come together to protect some people more/better from harm than others
    • Film
      • “Reimagining the system”
      • Demographic factors mentioned
        • Race
        • Wealth
        •  Language
          • Associates you closer or further from the dominant culture
      • Land use policies help explain why some groups and locations are better protected from harm than others.
        • Legacy of slavery is a factor in determining land use policies
        • City of San Francisco owns lots of land around the state which are used to deliver services and utilities to the city
          • This makes those lands vassals which serve the needs of San Francisco, suffering harms from dumping and other problems for the benefit of people living in San Francisco
  2. What factors explain the root causes of environmental injustice?
    • Capitalism frames the economy
    • The constitution frames the laws
    • Systemic inequality/ oppression
      • Legacy of slavery
      • Redlining
      • Chinese exclusion act
      • Concentration camps
      • Immigration laws
      • Prison industrial complex
  3. Why are zip codes meaningful factors to understand when trying to understand environmental injustice?
    • They tell you where people live
    • They have histories of redlining
    • Associated with property, infrastructure, services, etc.
    • Political representation
    • Policy implementation
  4. What did you learn from the radio broadcast on Flint, Michigan?
    • balance of power shifted away from flint and to the state
      • laws changed
      • idea of receivership enacted
    • laws applied inequitably and along racial lines
      • many cities insolvent
      • these receivership laws applied only black cities
    • all the public and private commercial offices were informed about the contaminated water and switched to filtration and bottled sources
      • residents were not informed and continued to drink the contaminated water
      • vital information was withheld from marginalized communities
    • governor appoints unelected leaders and decision makers whose interests do not represent the community, and whose demographics do not represent the community
    • put policies into practice which harm the people
    • they denied the harm
    • community members started to notice problems
      • pediatricians noticed heavy metal poisoning symptoms
    • contamination confirmed through testing by virginia tech
    • whistle blew
    • state denied the problem by changing the standards so that the toxic levels no longer qualified as toxic.
  5. Give an example of an environmental injustice that you see happening today and explain the root causes of this environmental injustice?
    • The 580 freight ban
      • Rich white people in the Oakland hills ban freight traffic through their neighborhoods in order to protect themselves from harm
      • Harm is shifted to poor black neighborhoods
      • Those neighborhoods have a 14 year average difference in life expectancy and thirty times higher incidence of respiratory disorders

Other Notes

  • WW2 and wealth redistribution
    • War veterans were supposed to get many benefits
      • Mortgages including free down payment
      • Education
      • Access to veteran healthcare
      • Hiring incentives for employers
      • This mostly only for white people and only for men
      • Black people could get debt, where white people got free money for these things.
    • This gave trillions of dollars to white people and funded the creation of the suburbs
  • Talked about red lining and segregation
    • Green book
    • Hegemonic food culture
  • Small group discussion about “Which came first, people or pollution
    • It’s complicated
    • Siting versus post-siting effects for hazardous waste facilities and why they are sited in certain places
    • I live in West Oakland because it’s cheap
      • It’s cheap because it’s polluted.
        • It became polluted because it was mostly black.
    • In this case, the hazardous waste sites were placed in certain kinds of marginalized neighborhoods. The people came before the pollution.
    • LULU: Locally unwanted land uses
      • Zoning and permitting
        • Institutional discrimination can decide where hazardous things are permitted.
      • land values are more affordable
      • political process – access to information, representation
      • commingled factors – transportation, workers, air quality, utilities, space — large buildings
    • people came second: demographic changes after siting have led to increasing concentration of minorities and the poor around these sites
      • employment opportunities
      • cost of housing less expensive
      • social networks
      • culture
      • law, politics, housing covenants, laws, redlining

 ASSIGNED READING FOR SESSION FOUR

  1. Which came first, people or pollution? — Mohai and Saha
  2. Making the Case for Linking Community Development and Health

USP514 Session 4 Notes

September 14th and 16th
Session Four: Sustainable Development in Historical Context
This session will focus on the origins of the concept of sustainable development and how it is connected to the concept of development. Our discussion will be guided by the following questions:

  1. What is meant by the term “development”?
    • To improve the accessibility or availability of resources
    • Policies or technologies that are supposed to improve society
    • United Nations defines development as improving quality of life
  2. What principles undergird the concept of development?
    • Land use planning
    • Reducing waste
    • Limiting externalities
    • Expansion/ growth
  3. What organizations are principally responsible for development efforts?
    • Private equity
    • Public institutions
  4. How is the concept of sustainable development connected to the concept of development?
    • Sustainable development is a reaction to the concept of development
    • Post WW2
      • Many countries involved
      • Huge shifts in industrial production and widespread devastation to existing industrial infrastructure everywhere except the United States
      • United States came out of the war with a major advantage in industrial production capacity
      • This advantage was leveraged to create many new global institutions to reinforce that power and leverage it against any nation which did not comply with our foreign policies
      • Cold war divisions created
        • Economic and political structures created to divide the world into two factions and pit them against each other
        • Financing
          • Aid was given out with conditions which allowed the US to politically transform much of the world, leading to a politically compliant international system where no one had the power to challenge the US’ supremacy.
          • Most of the third world was given debt instead of aid, which they were required to pay back.
          • “Structural adjustment” transferred public institutions and property to private companies along with saddling the nations with debt.
          • Funded extraction of wealth from the developing world
        • Military support
        • Trade agreements
        • Borders
          • Lots of new nations invented out of thin air and pitted against each other
          • Triangular Diplomacy: Kissinger’s doctrine for dividing and conquering China and the USSR
        • Institutions
          • A way of implementing shared ideological frameworks across different nations and cultures
          • International banking systems created
            • World Bank
            • International Monetary Fund
            • Two other now-defunct international banks
          • United Nations
            • Funded by signatories
            • Creates institutions, banking systems
            • Serves as a forum for negotiating international treaties and other issues
          • NATO
        • Political agreements
  5. How is the concept of sustainable development different from the concept of development?
    • The goal of conventional development is typically to make as much money as possible.
      • Neoliberalism and trickle-down economics
      • Chicago school of economics/ neoclassical economics
      • Trickle down and development theory are not an accurate view of the world. They relied on massive government intervention and widespread high wages which now don’t exist. There was a time during the early neoliberal era when wages were high because of the post-war jump in development. This led to a false sense that this was a natural fact rather than a temporary and artificially created situation. This situation no longer exists, and the devotion to this flawed ideology is now contributing to harm rather than good.
    • The UN defines the goal of sustainable development as improving quality of life.
      • Doughnut economics and sustainable/ regenerative design
    • Brundtland Commission
      • Represented the UN and Central Banks to develop an official institutional perspective of sustainable development.
      • Internal definition: Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future.
      • How do we measure these needs?
      • Whose needs do we measure?
    • Pinderhughes definition: The term sustainable development is used differently by different groups and organizations. In this clzss we will use the term to encompass urban planning and policy approaches that can be used to minimize a city’s negative impact on the environment while providing urban residents with the infrastructure and services they need to sustain a high quality of urban life.
  6. What does the concept “anthropocena era” refer to and why is this an important concept?
  7. What is mean by the concept “triple bottom line” and how does it related to the concept of sustainable development?
  8. Are the terms “sustainable development” and “green cities” the same?

Second part

  1. How do different groups and organizations define the term “sustainable development”?
    1.  Bruntland/ Early UN Definition: Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future.
    2. Widespread group of thinkers worked on defining those needs
      1. Three Es
        1. Economy
        2. Environment
        3. Equity
      2. Three Ps
        1. Profit
        2. Planet
        3. People
    3. Next generation of UN research comes up with the 17 SDGs
  2. What do we mean when we use the term “sustainable cities”?
    1. The sustainable development concept is being used in an urban context
  3. What do we mean when we use the term “ecological cities”?
  4. What can we learn from case studies of ecological cities?
  1.  Find one song that focuses on issues of equity.
  2. Bring the
    1. name (Retribution by Tanya Tagaq)
    2. lyrics
    3. tape of the song (on your phone or through a link) to class to share with others.
  3. Be prepared to talk about why you chose this song in relation to our discussion of equity.
    1. It’s a commentary on the exploitation of the tar sands on Inuk lands which benefits white settler colonists while leaving enormous destruction for native people to endure.

 

Other Notes

  • When Haiti overthrew the French slavers, it was required by the international community to reimburse France for the cost of establishing slavery, the cost of the freed slaves, and the future revenue France expected to earn from slavery in Haiti.
    • This has never happened except for Haiti
  • Equitable development is an approach for meeting the needs of underserved communities through policies and programs that reduce disparities while fostering places that are healthy and vibrant. It is increasingly considered a strong place-based action for creating strong and livable communities.
    • Driven by priorities and values as well as clear expectations that the outcomes from development need to be responsive to underserved populations and vulnerable groups, in addition to using innovative design strategies and sustainable policies, acknowledging and understanding both is necessary for sustaining environmental justice.
    • Locally-based approach
    • Shock Doctrine: The opportunity to start an equitable development approach may arise from a catalytic event – such as undertaking a large infrastructure project or a broad civic campaign
      • Unexpected stressors and crises may serve as a catalyst for fundamental social change and the move towards equitable development.
        • Move to worker-owned cooperatives
        • Move to better fire-resistant construction materials
        • Longshoremen union fighting the development of luxury condos at the Port Of Oakland
    • US and international corporate hotel interests pressured Bali through structural adjustment and other means to abandon damaged fishing communities rather than repair them.
      • Military was brought in to force residents out of ancestral homes and demolish them
      • International hotel industry bought the abandoned land and replaced it with hotels
      • If it was unsafe for farmers to live on their ancestral land then how is it safe for hotel industry?
        • Is that really the question we should be asking?
    • Oakland moms saga
      • Unhoused moms move into abandoned property, clean it up and make it livable.
      • Landowners who had abandoned the land demand it back.
      • City offers to buy the home for the moms at market rate
      • Land owner refuses
      • Enormous social pressure and widespread protests
      • Land owner caves
  • Triple Bottom Line
    • as opposed to bottom line = trickle down
    • double bottom line
      • profit + environmental benefits
    • triple bottom line
      • profit + environmental benefits + social equity
  • Many firms which claim to be triple bottom line are not actually
  • Equitable development includes community outreach which drives a set of measurable goals for projects based on needs expressed by the community
  • Equitable development requires accurate and relevant data from the first to the last — what gest measured gets done!
  • To find funding for equitable development, the project needs to leverage equitable community relationships
  • One organization with capacity should lead and coordinate

 

  • Economic vs Ecological cities
    • Economic cities
      • Build as many enormous homes as possible and sell them for as much as possible
      • Create unsustainable transportation networks to allow people to commute enormous distances to work every day
      • Make it cheaper to drive to work versus using transit
      • Pricing transit by distance means people are unlikely to use it when it would be most impactful
      • No bike lanes
      • Pricing water very low for home monoculture
      • Allowing corporations to break the law and emit toxic levels with trivial fines which are tax deductible
    • Ecological cities
      • Make it hard and expensive to own a car
      • Make public transit cheaper than driving
      • Parking fees and restrictions everywhere

REQUIRED READINGS

  1. The Anthropocena Epoch 
  2. Sustainable Development Goals
  3. Growing Cities, Just Cities? Urban Planning and the Contradictions of Sustainable Development, Scott Campbell, Journal of the American Planning Association, Summer, 1996.

USP515 Session 3 Notes

September 9th
Session Three: Central Theories

This session will focus on the concept and root causes of environmental injustice. We will be guided by the following questions:

  1. What are the main issues discussed in Feagin and Eckberg article? (These are all quotes)
    1. Most of the germane social science literature contains some variation
      of the assumption that prejudice causes discrimination

      1. Thus in his pathbreaking study An American Dilemma, Myrdal saw racial prejudice as a complex of beliefs that “are behind discriminatory behavior on the part of the majority group” and that contradict the egalitarian American Creed.
      2. Only a few dozen prejudice-discrimination studies exist among the
        many attitude-behavior studies in the empirical literature
      3. Attitude-behavior research, published primarily in a few social psychology journals, emphasizes individualistic explanations; it seldom considers variables outside an experimental subject’s personality or immediate reference group.
      4. Few studies of prejudice and discrimination, i looking at causal explanations, have focused on economic and political context
      5. In addition to this variegated research literature, more general and
        theoretical discussions in the social sciences continue to accent a prejudice-causes-discrimination
      6. Because of their focus on prejudice and its relation to discrimination,
        social scientists have tended toward optimism about the eradication of discrimination
    2. Social scientists have also sought to delineate the statistical and psychological effects of discrimination
    3. Institutional Discrimination: a shift in emphasis
      1. Beginning in earnest in the 1960s, some social scientists departed from the prejudice-causes-discrimination model and focused on other types of motivation and other dimensions of discrimination
      2. Interest theory suggests that discrimination can be shaped by desire for social, economic, or political gain
      3. Institutional Racism: In Black Power, the activist Carmichael
        and the scholar Hamilton first used the concept of institutional racism in an extended sociological analysis. Looking beyond individual white bigots, they try to discern community-wide patterns of discrimination, but racial prejudice remains for them the fundamental motivation for institutional patterns of discrimination
      4. The internal colonialism perspective asserts that privilege was created when colonizing Europeans wrested resources such as labor and land away from native peoples
    4. A typology of discrimination
      1. The traditional emphasis on prejudice and its effects has left undefined the major types of discriminatory mechanisms and the range of motivations behind them
      2. Two features of institutionalized discrimination are important for
        analytical purposes: (a) its organizational embeddedness and (b) its
        motivation

        1. Embeddedness refers to the organizational environment, to
          the size and complexity of the relevant social unit. Size and complexity can vary from actions of a single individual to the routine practices of many individuals in a large organization
        2. In analyzing discriminatory actions, we distinguish two basic types intentional and unintentional. Intentional motivation includes (a) prejudice-motivated discrimination, (b) conformity-motivated discrimination and (c) gain-motivated discrimination
    5. The larger context
      1. Interaction and overlay
        1. Discriminatory actions within one institutional area are frequently linked to discrimination in other institutional settings
      2. The cultural background
        1. Several recent authors have reemphasized the cultural context of institutionalized discrimination
      3. Class and racial discrimination
        1. Class analysis in the orthodox Marxist tradition has generally played down the importance of racism analysis, seeing class oppression as the core characteristic in this society and racist ideologies as class weapons. Exploitation theories of discrimination date back at least to Marx & Engels’ discussion (Marx & Engels 1971) of the stereotype of the poor Irish fostered by British capitalists to divide the working class
          1. Since a form of racial subordination (e.g. slavery) often predates the emergence of well developed prejudice or ideology, it is plausible to view much prejudice as rationalization
        2. In contrast, a few social scientists have begun to see both class and race oppression as core characteristics of US society.
          1. In their path-breaking book Unorthodox Marxism (1978:181), Albert & Hahnel have developed the view that both class and race discrimination ad stratification have “a determining impact upon the life situation of a particular oppressed group and a defining effect upon everyone else as well.”
        3. Some who argue in the Marxist tradition (broadly construed) see an eventual decline in the importance of race discrimination. I his controversial book The Declining Significance of Race, Wilson (1978:150) demonstrates that in the last decade an affluent class of blacks has surfaced whose economic condition differs significantly from the black majority “underclass.” Thus racial oppression, while still important, is now secondary to class “in determining black life-chances in the modern industrial period.
    6. Racial discrimination remains a bedrock feature of this society; only research documenting the dimensions of discrimination seems to be on the decline.
  2. What do we learn from the diagram that Feagin and Eckberg use in their article?
    1. It shows the dimensionality of intention and pervasiveness in institutional discrimination. The authors discuss each possible combination and later argue for trends in interaction and movement between the groups.
    2. The combinations are clustered into four main groups which are both possible and likely.
  3. What can we learn about institutionalized racism from the Feagin and Eckberg analysis and diagram?
    1. The implication from the overall message of the article with regard to this chart is that each type of institutional racism works in a fundamentally different way and should have its own research and solutions.
  4. What are the main issues discussed in Bullard’s article?
    1. Confronting environmental racism
    2. Over 1.3 billion people worldwide live in unsafe and unhealthy conditions
    3. The pervasive presence of settler colonialism leads directly to the displacement and extermination of native populations everywhere.
    4. Costly externalities have disparate impact  for different kinds of communities
      1. “Unequal power arrangements have allowed poisons of the rich to be offered as short-term remedies for poverty of the poor.”
    5. “The environmental justice movement has begun to build a global network of grassroots groups, community-based organizations, university-based resource centers, researchers, scientists, educators and youth group”
  5. What are the main issues discussed in Mohai and Bryant article?
    1. The disadvantaged face greater risks
    2. Many examples where being poor and/or non-white led to marginalized people being exposed to environmental harms in order to protect rich and/or white people.

 

ASSIGNED READING FOR SESSION THREE (click on session 3 on left to access reading) 

 

  1. Discrimination: Motivation, Action, Effects, and Context – Feagin and Eckberg
  2. Confronting Environmental Racism in the 21st Century -Bullard
  3. Race, Poverty, and the Environment -Mohai and Bryant
  4. Green 2.0: Leaking Talent 
  5. Green 2.0: The Green Insiders Club

 

 HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT Due September 14th and 16th

  1. Listen to this radio broadcast on Democracy Now.
  2. Summarize everything  you learned from the video.
    • An unelected “emergency manager” in Flint Michigan switched its water supply from the Detroit system to the flint river in order to save money.
      • The public was not involved in this decision
    • This river was full of toxic corrosive chemicals which led to discolored water and health problems for citizens.
      • Companies like general motors had dumped toxic chemicals into the river for years
    • There were bacterial outbreaks in the new dirty water which led to sickness for citizens.
    • The city dumped chlorine into the water which reacted with the materials to create extremely dangerous byproducts in the water.
    • The corrosive chemicals in the river and added by the city led to corrosion of the pipes and leached toxic heavy metals into the water, poisoning countless people in the city.
    • Officials ignored and covered up complaints by the citizens.
      • Widespread protests and citizen testing projects were needed to prove the problems existed.
    • Years later, the problems are the same.
    • People are forced to buy gallons of water from the store in order to have water to drink, and yet legally they are still required to pay for the toxic, poisoned city water supply.
    • Activists are calling for citizens to be made whole
      • Clean water to homes
      • Replace contaminated appliances and in-home pipes
    • A nearby nestle plant extracts hundreds of gallons of water per minute to sell to residents.
      • Nestle pays nothing for this water.
  3. Be prepared to discuss in class.

Thirsty for Democracy: The Poisoning of an American City”: Special Report on Flint’s Water Crisis — KPFA https://kpfa.org/episode/democracy-now-february-17-2016/ starts at 6.58 minutes in

USP493 Session 3 Notes

  1. Graphic presentation of data
    1. For nominal and ordinal data you can do a pie chart or a bar chart
    2. For grouped interval data you can construct a histogram
    3. For grouped or ungrouped interval data you can construct line graphs
  2. Measures of Central Tendency
    1. Mode – can be used for nominal, ordinal and interval data the most often selected value (Note the mode is the value of the variable not the frequency) can have a bimodal distribution when more than two modes
    2. Median – can be used for ordinal and interval data the “middle” value – half the sample is higher and half lower
      1. line up all the cases from the smallest to the largest
      2. find the middle position (N+1)/2
        1. if odd number of cases, it will be the value of that case
        2. if even number of cases, it will be the average of the values of the cases on either side of it. For ordinal data, simply state it is between the two values.
        3. Locating a median if you have a cumulative frequency distribution
    3. The mean – can be used for interval data
      1. calculating a mean from a frequency distribution
        1. multiple the number of cases which take on each value by the value, then add together and divide by the number of cases as usual
    4. Relationship between mode, median and mean
    5. Which one should you use?
    6. The shape of a distribution
      1. Symmetrical – mean median and more are the same
      2. Positive skew – there are some extreme high values
      3. Negative skew – there are some extreme low values
  3. Measures of Variability
    1. Index of Qualitative Variability – used for nominal data
    2. The range – used for interval data – simply the largest value minus the lowest value. The interquartile range, the difference between the cutpoint where 25 percent of the cases have a larger values, and the cutpoint where 25 percent of the cases have a lower value. The boxplot shows the range, the interquartile range and the median
    3. The variance and standard deviation, a measure of the amount scores cluster at the mean or spread out from the mean. Used for interval data. The variance is the average squared deviation of scores from the mean. The standard deviation is calculated from the variance. You simply take the square root of the variance.

The Core Strength of Community-Centered Activism Built on Radical Queer Anarcho-Communism

One of the huge advantages of anarcho-communist radical queer organizations comes as a deliberate result of the way they were constructed. Early gay leaders like Harry Hay started nonprofits like Mattachine Society in order to advocate for gay rights from within the structures of the political establishment.
 
At the time, COINTELPRO was an FBI program designed to dismantle these kinds of organizations through infiltration and even assassinations. This happened to many civil rights organizations from black liberation to gay liberation. Harry Hay’s Mattachine Society was dismantled by FBI infiltrators who got elected to the board and fired him, closing the organization.
 
At the time, Harry Hay was a member of the American Communist Party and a member of multiple Antifa groups. This led him and others to articulate a new kind of activist organization which would be constructed to be impossible to dismantle.
 
Activist nonprofits are focused on reacting to a status quo by critiquing it hierarchically and calling for incremental change.
 
In the new era architected by Hay and others, an ancom radical queer organization should be focused first on queering; on the active verb sense of the word, rather than the adjective form. Instead of arguing for legal progress, we should be having queer orgies. Instead of being against our oppressors we should be for ourselves, being the thing we would be without them. Activism becomes secondary.
 
The key advantage with this new model is the fact that it is fundamentally impossible to infiltrate or dismantle an organization like this. Any hierarchical power in the hands of boards or executives is designed and intended to be weak. Anyone can and should speak out against the decisions of people in power on the basis of the principles upon which these organizations are built. Committee life is horrible, and it’s supposed to be that way because if it’s possible to have Caesars, then the organization will be dismantled. This is the fundamental argument behind this type of organizational structure.
Space Force Narc
 I took this photo of myself at Burning Man with a person wearing a law-enforcement issued respirator who introduced himself by describing clearly fake sexual predilections and then asking where he could get drugs. I believe his exact words were, “I like balls. Who knows where I can get mushrooms?”
Buy-bust is a common law-enforcement tactic; they show up and ask for drugs and then arrest anyone who gives any indication that they know anything about drugs. At Burning Man, the police can use this strategy as the basis for probable cause to conduct searches of entire blocks with hundreds of people based on the argument that these people are associated with the same organization.
 
Needless to say, this person was immediately ejected by an entire community who knew why he was there and which was carefully designed to thwart exactly this kind of intrusion. This is the strength of having a community-centered approach to activism. If the community notices an outsider who is clearly not a part of the community, then the community can act to insulate and expel threats.

USP514 Session 3 Notes

Session Three

Urban Design Principles 
In this session students will work in small groups to discuss the Urban Design Principles outlined in the required reading below; please read carefully and make notes as you read. 

 REQUIRED READING FOR SESSION THREE (click on Session 3 on left side to access reading)

  1. Ten Urban Design Principles Every Humanitarian Should Know

Meta Questions

    1. Who wrote this article and what was their training?
      • 2015 – Samer Saliba is the urban learning manager at the International Rescue Committee
    2. How does the article focus on environmental injustice/justice?
    3. What geographic and/or social context/space does the article focus on?
      • Cities: Urban planning
    4. What are the five (5) main points of the article?
      • See below
    5. What methods did the authors use to collect information discussed in the article?
    6. What did you learn from reading the article?

Content Analysis

  1. Engage the community, they know best what they need
    • Outreach leads to smarter, more efficient strategies
    • Closes knowledge gaps
  2. Data helps, too
    • Quantitative
    • Imperical
  3. Opportunities come from overlap
    • Collaboration is critical to identify innovative solutions
      • NGOs
      • Public institutions
      • Private institutions
  4. Place matters
    • Place determines challenges and opportunities related to quality of life
  5. Because place matters, design matters
    • Reducing commute time adds value for people in cities
  6. Politics persist
    • work with political partners in order to achieve feasible solutions with greater reach
  7. Civil society has a heightened role
    • decisions or actions supported by political power are subject to pressure from civil society
      • churches
      • community organizations
      • protest groups
  8. Be inclusive
    • Ensuring the most vulnerable access the services they need in a way that improves those systems for all
  9. Be visionary
    • seek to enact durable solutions
    • offer more opportunities to realize them
    • demand innovative and long-term solutions that are not only effective, but improve upon the original, pre-crisis condition
  10. Have a long-term plan
    • address immediate needs while striving to achieve a city’s unique vision of the future
    • long-term visions are rarely achieved through an uncoordinated application of projects

Class Notes

  • Urban design is the entire set of processes that go into creating an urban space.
  • What ideas inform the dominant urban design paradigm?
    • Automobile is dominant
    • Market driven perspective
    • Government is responsible for infrastructure working with private sector
    • Zoning regulations extremely critical to land use planning
    • Attracting business is a top priority
    • Support local economic development by sector/industry
    • Ordinary people do not have a voice
    • Social inequalities are supported by urban design processes
  • Breakout groups
    • How are these similar and different from the other ten principles
      1. Engage the community, they know best what they need
        • Outreach leads to smarter, more efficient strategies
        • Closes knowledge gaps
        • Sort of the opposite of the two prevailing paradigms
          • Ordinary people do not have a voice
          • Social inequalities are supported by urban design processes
          • Also fights gentrification and displacement
      2. Data helps, too
        • Quantitative
        • Imperical
        • Surveying to tie in with the first about engaging with the community
        • Helps determine resource allocation
        • Contrasts;
          • People like cars but they are objectively harmful
      3. Opportunities come from overlap
        • Collaboration is critical to identify innovative solutions
          • NGOs
          • Public institutions
          • Private institutions
          • Contrast
            • Neoliberalism is bad because it places the power with the rich and takes collective power away from the people
      4. Place matters
        • Place determines challenges and opportunities related to quality of life
        • Contrast
          • Social inequalities are supported by design processes
            • Who is allowed to live where?
            • Segregation
      5. Because place matters, design matters
        • Reducing commute time adds value for people in cities
        • Contrast
          • Market driven perspective
      6. Politics persist
        • work with political partners in order to achieve feasible solutions with greater reach
        • Contrast
          • Ordinary people do not have a voice
            • Forced to compromise and capitulate to the dominant paradigms without actually solving problems
      7. Civil society has a heightened role
        • decisions or actions supported by political power are subject to pressure from civil society
          • churches
          • community organizations
          • protest groups
      8. Be inclusive
        • Ensuring the most vulnerable access the services they need in a way that improves those systems for all
      9. Be visionary
        • seek to enact durable solutions
        • offer more opportunities to realize them
        • demand innovative and long-term solutions that are not only effective, but improve upon the original, pre-crisis condition
      10. Have a long-term plan
        • address immediate needs while striving to achieve a city’s unique vision of the future
        • long-term visions are rarely achieved through an uncoordinated application of projects
  • NIMBY/Banana: build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything
  • The doughnut economics paradigm is intended as an alternative to the dominant neoliberal economic paradigm.
    • A different way of thinking about the world
      • Natural resources
      • The way people relate to one another

 

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT FOR SESSION THREE CONTINUED

DUE SEPT 9TH 

Watch the video below and be prepared to talk about it in class. This is a complex set of ideas so you may need to watch the video twice to understand the details. Take notes on the concepts and be prepared to talk about them in class. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQCuBGTHwFo
Donut Economics – How economic theories, models, and policies undermine sustainable development

September 9th
Session Three continued: Distributive and Regenerative Design Principles 

This session will focus on how economic theories, models, and policies undermine sustainable development based pm our having already watched the video below.

  • Classical and especially neoclassical/neoliberal economic theory was prediscursively constructed in order to establish itself as a hard science when really it is a social science and its precepts are based on culture, not absolute facts about the world or “economies.”