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Inner City's Toxic Air

August 03, 1992

Re "Toxic Air Is Inner City's Menace" by Mitchell Bernard and Carolyn Green (Commentary, July 20):

How can authors with such noble affiliations, while discussing the fact that poor people live in less attractive neighborhoods, fill in one column ranting about: economic and social crisis, debilitating discrimination, vast economic and social divide, societal distrust and indifference, economic and environmental injustice, poor disempowered communities, economic neglect, etc., without ever acknowledging the obvious economic relationship that exists between income and neighborhood? The actual circumstances suffered by all those so championed by Bernard and Green is simply that poorer people do not live in the most desirable districts.

Your authors say "a disproportionate number of California's polluting facilities are in lower-income communities of color in urban Los Angeles." Methinks the authors have it backward. How about the "lower-income communities of color in urban Los Angeles" are near California's polluting facilities? The reason the lower-income community is located where it is, is because of the presence of the polluting facility. The facilities were not dropped into the middle of a heretofore high-income community!

The air in east Pasadena and San Marino isn't all that clear either.

T. BRUCE GRAHAM, Port Hueneme

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