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Is Climate Change… Racist?

Searching for evidence of racism in America? Look to the skies!

by
La Shawn Barber

Bio

August 1, 2008 - 12:05 am
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We’re left with the impression that blacks are passive agents caught up in a whirlwind of racist weather and still burdened by the ever-present “legacy of slavery.” According to the report, there’s the potential for “climate change policy that continues and extends this legacy.” That’s why the report calls on blacks to “speak truth to power” and take up the mantle of environmental justice, whatever that means. To narrow racial disparities purportedly caused by a problem whose very existence is debatable, the report contains several suggestions, including raising taxes and redistributing wealth.
Same plot, different setting.

Whether global warming is a pressing issue is beside the point. The emphasis on race is wrongheaded. Why not frame the global warming debate around poverty? Poor people of all colors are disproportionately impacted by changes in the environment. The report certainly mentions poverty, but the Joint Center knows race-neutral policies and solutions are not nearly as provocative and threaten its mission to focus “exclusively on issues of particular concern to African Americans and other people of color.”

Whatever works, right?

Accusing people of racism is a powerful weapon, and liberals know how to wield it. They constantly accuse conservatives of using race to divide, but what’s more divisive than blaming white people for and absolving black people of the “crime” of racial disparities, and proposing to tax one group and transfer the money to another based on race?

With one side wedded to race-based rhetoric instead of race-neutral government policies that would benefit and provide incentives to individuals, our society will remain divided by race. It’s inevitable, unless we rise above the fallen-human tendency to play to the lowest common denominator.

Racializing the weather? That’s pretty low. In the name of “climate justice” and all that is windy, I hope we shall overcome the storm someday.

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La Shawn Barber is a freelance writer who blogs at http://lashawnbarber.com.
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