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A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind -Book
A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind -Book
Contribution: $50.00

Product Code: OB08345-SU19

From injuries caused by lead poisoning to the devastating effects of atmospheric
pollution, infectious disease, and industrial waste, Americans of color are
harmed by environmental hazards in staggeringly disproportionate numbers. This
systemic onslaught of toxic exposure and institutional negligence causes
irreparable physical harm to millions of people across the country-cutting lives
tragically short and needlessly burdening our health care system. But these
deadly environments create another insidious and often overlooked consequence:
robbing communities of color, and America as a whole, of intellectual power.
The 1994 publication of The Bell Curve and its controversial thesis catapulted
the topic of genetic racial differences in IQ to the forefront of a renewed and
heated debate. Now, in A Terrible Thing to Waste, award-winning science writer
Harriet A. Washington adds her incisive analysis to the fray, arguing that IQ is
a biased and flawed metric, but that it is useful for tracking cognitive damage.
She takes apart the spurious notion of intelligence as an inherited trait, using
copious data that instead point to a different cause of the reported African
American-white IQ gap: environmental racism - a confluence of racism and other
institutional factors that relegate marginalized communities to living and
working near sites of toxic waste, pollution, and insufficient sanitation
services. She investigates heavy metals, neurotoxins, deficient prenatal care,
bad nutrition, and even pathogens as chief agents influencing intelligence to
explain why communities of color are disproportionately affected -- and what can
be done to remedy this devastating problem.

Featuring extensive scientific research and Washington's sharp, lively
reporting, A Terrible Thing to Waste is sure to outrage, transform the
conversation, and inspire debate.

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