Friday, January 20, 2006
World Ends: Minorities,Women Hit Hardest.
It's getting ridiculous. I was listening to Howard Stern yesterday, and he was interviewing former NY Giant Roy Simmons about being a gay man in the NFL and about his fall into crack addiction and prostitution. At some point, Simmons mentions that he was raped as a child, and Howard immediately says something to the effect of "that explains why you turned to drugs."
Whaaaa? With one sentence, Stern wiped away any personal responsibility Roy Simmons may have for every bad act in his life. Simmons doesn't need to play the blame game, because others are clearly willing to do it for him. Did Roy miss a tackle? It's OK, he was raped as a child. Did Roy blow all his money on drugs and end up homeless? Raped as a child. Did Roy end up in NY bathhouses giving reacharounds to fat Italians? Raped/child, See. I'm not busting on Simmons -- he never made an excuse -- but Stern's absolution only shows how trained we've become to blame outside forces for our problems.
I thought I had seen it all, however, but this article takes the cake. According to the esteemed folks over at BET, global warming and continued pollution will only spawn more national disasters, which will somehow disproportionally harm blacks more than others. This link isn't really explained, but, hey, logic and actual reporting don't seem to really have a place in this bit of pre-hysteria.
The storyline is a simple one, but no less hackneyed:
Relatively, Blacks are environmental Good Samaritans. Per capita, we emitapproximately 20 percent less carbon dioxide than Whites . . . Yet Blacks are exposed to worse air pollution than Whites in every major metropolitan area.Some charge that the Bush administration has made matters worse by creating new policies, like the Clear Skies Act and the Healthy Forest Initiative, that allow utilities and industries to pollute more. President Bush enragedenvironmentalists when he opted out of the Kyoto protocol global warming treaty, saying it would harm the U.S. economy.
I particularly like the "some charge" part of the quote. Who need attributions? We can just make accusations and pretend it's news! WHEEEEEE! My personal favorite part is where the author states, "If global warming gets worse, many African-American communities will be more vulnerable to breathing ailments, insect-carried diseases and heat-related illness and death. But asking Black folks to give up gas-guzzling SUVs and other bling is a tough sell." Nothing advances your journalistic credibility like using the word "bling" randomly in an article.
So there you have it. The heavyweight champeeen of victimology. Now excuse me, but I have to do my part to keep the black man down by spraying some aerosol cans in the air.