Nickelodeon Schools Kids on the 'Environmental Racism' of Pig Farming

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Over at Nickelodeon, they’re going green — and I’m not just talking about slime.

via GIPHY

On Friday, the kids’ entertainment titan served up social consciousness via an 8-minute video delivering “the meaning of environmental racism.”

In the “Nick News” clip, host Jamie Yuccas focuses on filth faced by those who live without white privilege.

There’s plenty of pollution to go ’round — soot in Pahokee, Florida; oil refineries in Louisiana; and “air so toxic in New York’s South Bronx that 20% of children have asthma.”

Nick’s made a determination: America’s systems have racism baked in.

And to harm people solely based on their shade of skin, forces are weaponizing contamination:

“What do these cities have in common? They’re all examples of environmental racism — a form of systemic racism.”

She explains:

“Minority and low-income communities are surrounded by health hazards — because they live near sewage, mines, landfills, power stations, major roads.”

Jamie fingers a fat pig of an offender:

“[Environmental racism] has never been more devastating and harmful than in Duplin, North Carolina, where — believe it or not — the number of hogs outnumber the number of residents.”

“[M]any of the people work in the hog farms,” she reveals, “which…are dangerous to their health and to the environment.”

The video features former Duplin resident Fionia, who “moved away…as soon as she could.”

She recalls childhood:

“It’s a small town, and there’s a farm on almost every corner. … [S]ometimes, the air quality would be so bad…we would have to strictly play in the house. And that was due to the hog farms spraying feces in the fields.”

Jamie says some have sued:

“For decades, residents have complained that just breathing in the feces-infested air alone can make you sick. In 2014, more than 500 North Carolinians — most of them black — filed over two dozen federal lawsuits against the meat-producing companies. But these hog farms have continued with business as usual.”

Fionia shares about showers:

“What the hogs do is they use the bathroom, and it’s mixed in with a certain water. It is sprayed in all the fields in order to grow crops for food. It gets into our pipelines to where our water turns a different color. … Whenever you walk down the road and the wind is up high, you can feel it. It’s like a shower on your skin, and it’s full of feces.”

Therefore:

“It is environmental racism. Companies put their hog farms in areas that are mainly poor areas with black people and Hispanic people. So I would say ‘people of color.’

Nickelodeon then moves to Arizona youngster Naelyn, who’s been “fighting to protect [Apache land from mining] since she was 9 years old.”

“When she was 13, she testified before Congress on the importance of indigenous people and the preservation of the earth.”

Naelyn schools kids:

“When we’re talking about, you know, social injustice, environmental injustice, they…coincide…because there’s many different layers to environmental racism.”

We’re on a death march:

“[I]f we allow [companies] to come in and extract and take these minerals and resources, it’s gonna really end the survival of humanity.”

As for online reception, thumbs weren’t exclusively up.

A sampling, per the New York Post:

“And with this, my family will never watch Nickelodeon again. Keep your politics out of our kids shows.”

“I remember the good old days when Nickelodeon brought equality to the world by dumping green slime on anyone who professed their ignorance.”

“Remember the good ole’ days when the network just aired salute your shorts, hey dude, rugrats, the adventures of Pete and Pete, Rockos modern life… AND didn’t peddle this left-wing drivel. Sad – truly sad.”

Eventually, the Reply option was disabled.

Nick certainly offers an interesting analysis.

Concerning North Carolina, an alternate interpretation might go thusly:

People have farms where there’s farmland. Farmland is out in the country. Farms produce manure, which stinks.

Because the countryside is less populated, the cost of living is lower. Hence, it attracts people with less earning potential.

There are more hogs than people in Duplin because Americans eat a lot of pigs. And Duplin has a population of only 58,000.

Many residents work at the farms because they’re large and offer lots of jobs for people who don’t have high earning potential.

Either way, the video delivers a mighty message.

In the past, we’ve learned that racists pollute inner cities in order to take aim at nonwhites.

Now, apparently, the same is true of rural areas.

As for the assertion that major roadways are placed near melanated citizens to target them, Pete Buttigieg recently claimed the opposite.

To hear him tell it, racism’s kept main roads away from minorities.

Perhaps Nick can welcome Pete onto the network, and they can figure things out.

In the meantime, stay out of the country. And stay out of the city.

Evidently, both places are full of racism.

And both places stink.

-ALEX

 

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