Hip Hop Caucus Statement on the Train Derailment of Toxic Chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio

Hip Hop Caucus extends love and on-the-ground support to all impacted by the train derailment and burning of toxic chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio. The profound health outcomes of this toxic chemical exposure to residents and those in surrounding areas are yet to be determined, but we know for sure that this catastrophic failure was fueled by corporate greed and disregard for our climate, our environment, and the American people. When polluting our air, land and water is an accepted cost for financial gains, we have failed ourselves and shunted our future.

There is no safe way to produce, transport, or recycle toxic chemicals in communities. Petrochemicals, like vinyl chloride, are produced mainly in low-income communities and Black and Brown communities. This incident, which could have been avoided, is a signal to the vulnerabilities we will face if petrochemical production continues its rapid growth.

It is imperative that we not only listen to and support labor workers so that their jobs and our infrastructure systems are safe, but that we let go of the false narrative that the mass production of toxic chemicals is nonpoisonous and necessary. True leadership in all places of government, companies, organizations and communities demands that we address the realities that brought us to this point – again.

About Hip Hop Caucus 

Formed in 2004, the Hip Hop Caucus (HHC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that leverages Hip Hop culture to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process. Through a collaborative leadership network, HHC addresses core issues affecting underserved communities. HHC programs and campaigns support solution-driven community organizing led by today’s young leaders.