Dear Editor: If you’re a Madison area resident who wants to support Black Lives Matter or become a white ally, then consider boycotting the county airport — a textbook example of environmental racism. Over the decades we’ve surrounded the airport with low-income housing and families of color. Some homes are only hundreds of feet from the main runway. This racism was confirmed by the recent impact study conducted by the Air Force for its F-35 fighter jets. It concluded that low-income and families of color are those who hurt most by the noise and pollution generated by airport operations, both now and after those unwanted jets arrive. The study, as well as comments from public officials, explained how aircraft noise damages the health, education and well-being of nearby residents, especially children; ill effects we currently ignore since they are not included in the cost of your plane ticket. Also important is runoff from the airport which has contaminated area water, exposing surrounding residents to carcinogenic PFAS in their drinking water and fish caught in Starkweather Creek and Lake Monona. If you think Black Lives Matter and want to take a significant step to show support, then don’t use the county airport.
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