An advocacy for 'small farms' naturalizes Whiteness by valorizing a group of largely white farmers and whitewashes immigrant and minority exploitation - our alternative is to begin with FOOD JUSTICE.
Patricia Allen. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 2010
Yet a prevalent viewpoint within local food movements is that a sustainable and equitable agrifood economy can and should be based upon a family-farm agrarian structure (Allen and Hinrichs, 2007; Guthman et al., 2006). Nearly all local food campaigns and many of those involved in direct marketing prioritize supporting farmers, although to date there has been little discussion of other food-system workers. This is in keeping with American agrarianism, which upholds a belief in the moral and economic primacy of farming over other occupations and ways of producing (Fink, 1992). The greater emphasis on farmers than on food-system workers in the local food movement inadvertently gives less attention to ethnic minori- ties simply because few farms are owned by non- whites. Taken together, Latinos and African- Americans own only 3% of farms in the USA and only 1.5% of farmland (US Department of Agricul- ture, 2009). In contrast, most hired farm labourers, not currently prioritized in most food-system local- ization efforts, are ethnic minorities. Workers and owners in the food system have interests that are not necessarily consonant. In the local food movement there is a sense that, because people live together in a locality and en- counter each other, they will make better, more equitable decisions that prioritize the common good. While this is a beautiful vision, localities contain within them wide demographic ranges and social relationships of power and privilege embed- ded within the place itself. At both global and local scales, those who benefit—and those who do not—are arranged along already familiar lines of class, ethnicity and gender. Given the disparate ma- terial and cultural conditions within localities, local food actors must be wary of the assumption that people within a community will necessarily have the same understandings or interests by dint of the fact that they share the same geographic place or are involved in the food system (Allen, 2004). Working toward social equity in local food systems requires questioning an assumption of shared interests among all members of the community when there are often substantially different material interests and power allocations. In some cases, highlighting social justice issues can alienate others in the food system working on different priorities. For example, local food policy councils are illustrative of deliberate efforts to prac- tice food democracy at a local level. However, these efforts have had challenges in addressing the di- verse interests of their members, at times due to social justice issues. In an early study of local food policy councils, for instance, Dahlberg (1994) found that the formation of food policy councils failed where there was more emphasis on hunger than on other food system issues. We can learn from the efforts in Toronto, Canada, where strong leader- ship and commitment to justice have led to the creation of a food policy for the city that prioritizes food justice, establishing the right of all residents to adequate, nutritious food and promoting food production and distribution systems that are grounded in equity (Toronto Food Policy, 2010). Toronto is also an example of a community in which people from many regions and cultures share a particular place and are developing socially in- clusive ‘creative food economies’ (Donald and Blay-Palmer, 2006). Anderson (2008) differentiates local- and community-based food systems. For her, community-based refers to residents having control over and making decisions about their food system, while local means physical geographic dimensions.
The plan represents a small nonstructural change to the racial hierarchies which make warming possible—only by questioning white privilege can we ever solve for warming
Mandell Dir of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity Fair Housing Project ,’08 Bekah-A.B., Vassar College, J.D., Boston College Law School, Father Rober Drinan Family Fund Public Interest Fellow; Racial Reification and Global Warming: A Truly Inconvenient Truth; BOSTON COLLEGE THIRD WORLD LAW JOURNAL, Spring, 28 B.C. Third World L.J. 289
[*297] Fear of eroding the hierarchies that define race explains why politicians and other elites have consistently championed ineffectual "market-based approaches" to global warming. n36 By focusing public and private energy on relatively insignificant individual behavior changes, the Bush administration and other privileged elites are able to maintain the racial hierarchy that consolidates their economic and social power. n37 Politicians know that "[w]ithout white-over-black the state withers away." n38 Therefore, they have a profound incentive to maintain the racial hierarchy. Unsurprisingly, "because th[ese elites] accrue social and economic benefits by maintaining the status quo, they inevitably do." n39 This white consensus to maintain the spatial and mobility hierarchies that reify race is possible because, "[w]hite privilege thrives in highly racialized societies that espouse racial equality, but in which whites will not tolerate being either inconvenienced in order to achieve racial equality . . . or being denied the full benefits of their whiteness . . . ." n40 With so much white privilege to lose, it becomes clear why even most passionate environmental advocates are far more willing to call for, and make all non-structural changes in their behavior to ameliorate [*298] global warming, but are unwilling to embrace significant or meaningful actions to address the crisis. n41 Even as global warming is starting to become the subject of increasing media coverage and as more environmental groups call for action to halt the crisis, most activism is limited to changes that maintain the existing spatial, social, economic and legal framework that defines American society. n42 Despite knowing for decades that we have been living unsustainable lifestyles, and "hav[ing] had some intuition that it was a binge and the earth couldn't support it, . . . aside from the easy things (biodegradable detergent, slightly smaller cars) we didn't do much. We didn't turn our lives around to prevent it." n43 Greenhouse emissions reduction challenges have cropped up on websites across the country, encouraging Americans to change their light bulbs, inflate their tires to the proper tire pressure to ensure optimal gas mileage, switch to hybrid cars, run dishwashers only when full, telecommute, or buy more efficient washers and dryers. n44 However, popular emissions challenge web sites are not suggesting that Americans give up their cars, move into smaller homes in more densely populated urban neighborhoods near public transportation, or take other substantive actions to mitigate the global climate crisis. n45 Even Al Gore, [*299] the most famous voice in the climate change movement, reminds his fellow Americans that "[l]ittle things matter . . . buy a hybrid if you can, buy a flex-fuel car if you can. Get a higher mileage car that's comfortable for your needs." n46 "[M]any yuppie progressive 'greens' are the [*300] ones who drove their SUVs to environmental rallies and, even worse, made their homes at the far exurban fringe, requiring massive car dependence in their daily lives," taking residential segregation and racial and spacial hierarchies to previously unimagined dimensions. n47 This focus on maintaining one's privileged lifestyle while making minimal changes reflects the power of the underlying structural impediments blocking a comprehensive response to global climate change in the United States. n48 It is not just political inaction that prevents a meaningful response. Millions of Americans do not demand a change in environmental policy because, just as with political elites, it is against the interests of those enjoying white privilege to take genuine steps to combat climate change. n49 Real climate action would ultimately require relinquishing the spatial, social, and economic markers that have created and protected whiteness and the privilege it confers. n50 Although "we too often fail to appreciate how important race remains as a system for amassing and defending wealth and privilege," the painfully slow reaction of the American public to the growing dangers of global warming highlights just how important racial privilege remains and how reluctant its beneficiaries are to give it up. n51 Elite reformists make meaningful change even more remote as they push for behaviors to tweak, but not to change the existing social, economic, and legal hierarchy in the face of [*301] "problems, [like global warming] that arise to threaten the predominance of the traditionalist, capitalist ruling class." n52
Legalization causes regulations that disproportionately harm poor people and minorities – causes net more persecution
Gulite 2014 - graduated cum laude from The George Washington University’s Honors Program with degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice. During her time at school, she served as the GW Liberty Society’s president and worked closely with the DC Forum for Freedom in addition to Students for Liberty (Kelli, “3 Ways Marijuana Legalization Can Screw Poor Minorities” http://thoughtsonliberty.com/3-ways-marijuana-legalization-can-screw-poor-minorities)
Luckily, the nationwide decriminalization of marijuana is almost here. In October, Maryland will be the seventeenth state to decriminalize the possession of marijuana. It’s not unreasonable to believe that the nationwide legalization, commercial production, and regulation of marijuana will soon follow. A majority of Americans support legalization, the New York Times recently came out in full support of federal legalization, and the two states that have already legalized marijuana, Colorado and Washington, have only reported positive results. With the dawn of the commercial production of legal pot, it is important to keep in mind those who the drug war has affected most, poor minorities. Yes, marijuana legalization would generate millions in tax revenue and could provide a substantial boost to the economy. However, we should be wary of regulations surrounding the legalized commercial production of weed that protect big business or state interests to the detriment of poor minorities. Here are three potentially harmful regulations: 1. Criminal Background Checks and Occupational Licensing In Colorado and Washington, marijuana businesses have been subject to fairly strict licensing laws. The Colorado Department of Revenue has an entire Marijuana Enforcement Division to review marijuana business and professional license applications. To obtain an occupational license in Colorado, owners must undergo a full criminal background check as licensees may not have any Controlled Substance Felony Convictions that have not been fully discharged for five years prior to applying. Given the well-documented disproportionate enforcement of drug policy on minorities, such licensing requirements could easily and unfairly skew the new legal marijuana market in favor of whites. 2. The Overbearing Costs of Marijuana Retail Licenses and Taxation Legalization proponents have consistently argued that states should legalize in order to tax marijuana businesses and collect revenue from licensing fees. The states that have legalized marijuana have taken this mantra to heart. Colorado made nearly $6 million in revenue from marijuana dispensaries just this past month. One Colorado marijuana business owner reported that permit and licensing fees cost him $20,000 just in one year. While poor minorities were able to participate in the illegal marijuana economy, they will not be able to participate in the legal drug economy if the state continues to charge such enormous fees and taxes. 3. Zealously Persecuting Black Market Distribution As it stands now, marijuana legalization has created a perfect storm to continue to imprison poor minorities for nonviolent weed offenses. Poor minorities, who are more likely to have felony drug charges, are largely unable to participate in the legal marijuana market. If they do have a clean criminal history, they are still priced out of the market by bigger businesses who can afford outrageously high state taxes and fees upfront. While dispensaries are charging high premiums to cover their overhead, a black market for cheap marijuana will emerge in poor communities. But now, laws intended to protect legal marijuana business interests will be used to persecute those participating in the black market, as decriminalization doesn’t yet protect distributors or dealers.
Legalization devastates minority communities
[2011, Thomas Moran is a Juris Doctor, Washington and Lee University School of Law, “Just a Little Bit of History Repeating: The California Model of Marijuana Legalization and How it Might Affect Racial and Ethnic Minorities” 17 Wash. & Lee J. Civil Rts. & Soc. Just. 557]
Much is made by the proponents of marijuana legalization concerning marijuana's potential to become the next "cash crop" creating billions of dollars in both sales and tax revenue. n135 Particularly in the face of decriminalization proposals, which do nothing to divert money from the hands of drug dealers, legalization makes sense. The argument goes something like this: as history has shown, marijuana use will not stop; therefore, we might as well sell the drug legally, putting the money from drug dealers' wallets into those of the people. n136 Although this is generally a sound and sensible argument, for minority groups it might truthfully represent another tool of economic oppression bogging down their communities. In the illegal market, high-quality marijuana costs, on average, over $ 4,000 per pound, while lower level marijuana nears $ 1,000 per pound. n137 As noted earlier, marijuana sales in the United States, top $ 100 billion [*582] annually. n138 As also noted, the highest concentration of drug dealers is found in lower income, urban environments prone to minority dwelling. n139 These figures tend to reflect that billions, and at the very least hundreds of millions, of dollars are funneled into such lower income communities each year. With the legalization of marijuana, money expended by consumers will be the same or higher, but minorities must ask where that money will drain. Meaning, will the billions or hundreds of millions of dollars continue their current flow into lower income communities, or will forces divert the money elsewhere?The California initiative created licensing regulations for both the growing n140 and the selling n141 of marijuana. To the detriment of minorities, these licensing requirements required both money and a certain amount of business prowess: cultivating or growing marijuana would require 1) a maximum license fee of $ 5,000 paid by all applicants to "reasonably cover the costs of assuring compliance with the regulations to be issued"; n142 2) all license applicants to submit to a criminal history background check; n143 3) appropriate security and security plans with "satisfactory proof of the financial ability of the licensee to provide for that security"; n144 and 4) compliance with other employment, n145 inspection, n146 and recordkeeping n147 measures. These business and licensing regulations provided no assistance to entrepreneurs with little or no start-up capital.Therefore, marijuana, if legalized in the California fashion, while becoming the nation's next cash crop and a tre-mendous source of wealth, could potentially be so for mainly non-minorities, ones who have the [*583] financial means and business savvy to initiate such production. Worsening this dilemma, most of the money flowing into the minority communities from the illegal sale of marijuana would be diverted into the bank accounts of the new class of "marijuana businessman." n148 Minority community leaders should be mindful of this potential money drain, and wary of its wide range of effects on their communities. n149
Agricultural sustainability is so ideologically charged that it tends to trade off with other social priorities like racism
Allen 93 – associate director center agroecology uc santa cruz Food for the future, page 1-2
Athough the goal of agriculture is first and ultimately sustaining human life, agricultural sustainability has been constructed almost exclusively in the discourse and domain of nature and the natural sciences. The effort toward a sustainable reconstruction of agriculture has privileged environmental priorities and natural science approaches while ignoring social priorities and approaches, despite the fact that social and ecological problems are inseparably connected in food and agriculture systems. Unless we closely examine people’s relations with each other, in addition to those between people and nature, we foreclose our ability to bring about the deep structural changes on which sustainable agriculture ultimately depends. This book concentrates on the need to integrate the "social" with the "natural" in sustainable agriculture. Critics of conventional agriculture in the United States have developed alternative ideas and practices known collectively as "sustainable agriculture." Sustainability proponents have called attention to agricultural resource issues, placed agricultural sustainability on public research and policy agendas, increased demand for pesticide-free food, and developed conservation-oriented agricultural techniques. Yet, while the sustainable agriculture movement has effectively demonstrated conventional agriculture's problematic treatment of the environment, too often this has been at the expense of attending to equally pressing social problems. As Carolyn Sachs and I discuss in Part II of this volume, these approaches do not question inequities such as hunger, poverty, racial oppression, or gender subordination that many experience in current agrarian structures (e.g., family farms, rural communities, wage labor). In the past decade "sustainability" has become a central agricultural symbol, moving from a fringe concern to one that is becoming institutionalized (Buttel and Gillespie, 1988). New organizations have emerged to advocate sustainability platforms and established institutions have adopted the mantle of sustainable agriculture. The concept has attracted farmers, consumers, environmentalists, and agricultural experts alike.1 Since agricultural sustainability is increasingly embraced as a goal in agriculture (see Youngberg et at., this volume), yet has accomplished relatively tittle of major significance (Buttel, this volume), it is critical that we widen our definition and practice of this concept, for it has great potential as a transformational toot. A reformulation of its theory and practice is essential to prevent sustainable agriculture from reproducing the ecological and social problems of current food and agriculture systems, since agricultural sustainability is a socially constructed, ideologically based discourse that has as its root a social concept and problem. The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate the social basis of sustainable agriculture and why social approaches are required for achieving sustainability.
Home appliances are more dangerous than pesticides- prefer studies to overblown risk perceptions
Jerry Cooper and Hans Dobson- Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich- March 19, 2007, The benefits of pesticides to mankind and the environment, Science Direct, http://www.croplifefoundation.org/Documents/Research%20Briefs/PesticideBenefitsResearchPaper.pdf
Weighing the risks against the benefits of pesticide use is not only hampered by the paucity of information on benefits, but also by the fact that most people are poor judges of the relative hazard that pesticides represent. Based on earlier US data by Upton (1982), Hibbitt (1990) ranked 30 hazards on the criterion of number of deaths per year, with number 1 being the largest number of deaths and number 30 being the smallest. Pesticides were ranked very low at number 28 behind food preservatives (ranked 27), home appliances (ranked 15), swimming (ranked 7) and smoking and alcohol (ranked 1 and 2, respectively). But public perceptions were very different. Women voters thought that pesticides ranked number 9 in the list, and college students put them at number 4. Both groups performed poorly at estimating the relative risks posed by a list of hazards, perhaps due to the predominantly negative publicity that pesticides receive. Moreover, food safety and health concerns in the general public have increased in Europe following serious incidents such as Salmonella poisoning, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), Foot and Mouth and Escherichia coli infections. Pesticide residues in food, detected at ever-lower levels due to increasingly sensitive laboratory equipment, are perceived to be associated with these issues and are lumped together with them as another of the evils of agricultural intensification. However, the evidence does not support the popular view that pesticide residues represent a significant health risk in Europe and the US.
No impact to monoculture
Barun, Editor, with Andrew Apel and Gregory Conko, March, AgBioWorld, “31 Critical Questions in Agricultural Biotechnology”, http://www.agbioworld.org/biotech-info/articles/agbio-articles/critical.html; Jacob)
Q 22: Won’t GE crops accelerate the trend towards fewer varieties of crops? Will not such a loss of crop diversity make agriculture more vulnerable?
The narrowing of the genetic base of crops has already occurred through conventional breeding, which farmers have carried on for thousands of years. It is more likely that genetic engineering will help reverse this trend. The current evolution of agriculture in the US and other industrialized countries, including the move toward genetic engineering, has generated a select few highly specialized crops. If it is possible to move a gene into a land race or other locally adapted variety and make it more productive or better able to resist disease, this will preserve its use, and therefore help preserve diversity as well. With conventional breeding a particular trait of interest has to be melded with other desired traits, to the exclusion of unwanted traits over many generations of selective breeding. With genetic engineering a single desired trait can be added to any already optimized breed in a much more directed and quicker manner. This will make it easier to diversify crops. As GM crop development begins to introduce targeted production traits, such as resistance to certain pests in certain regions, the technology can actually improve crop diversity. Of course, it is enormously expensive to introduce a gene trait; so many producers will be interested in introducing traits for which consumers will pay a premium. Variety will be further increased as GM seed manufacturers introduce new consumer-focused traits, such as added nutritional components or improved longevity. Genetic engineering may also expand the variety of crops by "domesticating" currently unused plants. Some plants are used for food in only limited geographical regions due to problems with naturally occurring toxins or other problems. Cassava, for example, is often used as a food source in sub-Saharan Africa. But cassava naturally contains high levels of cyanide that can only be removed with very careful preparation. Reduced toxicity and increased palatability would increase the number of species that could be used for food. Finally, seed banks and DNA banks around the world preserve a multitude of natural varieties, for future resurrection if it should be desirable.