Green they may be, but some environmental activist groups have not shown much sensitivity towards people of any color other than white, the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR reports.
Last week, Amos Eno, executive director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, resigned after sparking an uproar by repeating a slur he made in a previous speech about a Hispanic Bush administration official. Also recently, David Simon, a regional director of the National Parks and Conservation Association, was temporarily suspended after describing a Hispanic national parks official as “an [Equal Opportunity Employment] experiment gone haywire.”
Critics say the remarks only underscore a long-standing problem of racial exclusion among environmental groups.
“Let’s admit it, this is one part of society that is not nearly as green — and by that I mean accepting of the broad spectrum of humanity — as it portrays itself to be,” says Bill Redding, an African American who is the Midwest regional representative for the Sierra Club.
Here’s a story you might have missed a couple months back; we did. A civil-rights lawsuit being pressed by the estate of the late Earth First! activist Judi Bari and her colleague Darryl Cherney has finally been cleared for trial after almost nine years in appeals limbo. Back in 1990, the Oakland Police Department arrested Bari, who died of cancer in 1997, and Cherney on charges of terrorism after a bomb exploded under the driver’s seat of Bari’s car while she was driving and Cherney sat in the passenger seat.
The lawsuit charges the FBI and Oakland Police Department with false arrest, illegal search and seizure, and conspiracy to violate the activists’ First Amendment rights.
According to the ALBION MONITOR, an appeals court ruled that the Oakland Police Depoartment “intended to inhibit [the defendants’] First Amendment activities, and that they entered a conspiracy [with the FBI agents] to further this goal.” This included acting “in close cooperation with [FBI] conspirators’ to contribute misinformation so as to get search warrants.”