Lamenting Leftism

Smoking While Black: How Leftism Fuels The Race Schism in America

Photo by Rachael Henning

“Bright colored advertisements for Newport and Kool menthol cigarettes are normal sights at convenience stores and gas stations in predominantly Black neighborhoods.

Tobacco companies have faced decades of criticism for targeting the cool mint flavor of menthol products to Black people who smoke.”

— The Los Angeles Times, May 20, 2021

We all know that housing is racist. And education. The economy, drug laws, pollution — you name it, somebody’s decried it. Now they want to add cigarettes to the list, and the Biden Administration’s FDA is leading the charge.

But not all cigarettes. Just the racist ones. 

It’s the minty fags in brightly colored boxes that, like shiny lures to fish, are attractive only to certain demographics.

Banning menthols, the FDA said, is a “powerful, science-based approach” to “help save lives” in “communities of color, low-income populations, and LGBTQ+ individuals, all of whom are far more likely to use these tobacco products.”

WHY “THESE” TOBACCO PRODUCTS? 
If you’re wondering why the FDA won’t ban all cigarettes, the answer is: “black lives matter.” 

Banning all cigarettes would be like saying “all lives matter.”

Yes, banning all cigarettes would be more powerful and save more lives, not only in colorful/poor/gay communities but all communities, but that is not the point. 

If it saves white lives then it’s not a program for black people, and if you’re not helping black people you’re not helping at all. 

IS THAT LEGAL?
Banning all cigarettes would be an infringement on personal freedom. There is no constitutional amendment protecting cigarettes, per se, but smoking is one of those rights that falls under the Ninth Amendment (which says that all rights not specifically named in the Constitution belong to the people, not the government). 

Banning cigarettes would be a costly legal battle that the FDA would lose, not only on merit but on principle, because if it’s lives we’re saving, why not ban alcohol or sugar or cars or unregulated law mowers?

The answer, again, is “black lives matter.”

If the government tried to ban all cigarettes, white smokers would sue. White do-gooders know blacks won’t, and no white Libertarians will step in because not helping blacks would be…

…racist!

THE RACISM FALLACY
The “menthol cigarettes are racist” argument crumbles under the same logical fallacy as every other claim of racism in modern society, proving that while racism does exist, it persists largely within the very Leftist echo-chamber that claims to be stamping it out.

In tax law, for example, black tax lawyer Dorothy A. Brown wrote a book called The Whiteness of Wealth about the racist tax code, arguing that “the best evidence that the system is unfair to Black people is the sheer size and persistence of the racial wealth gap.”

The problem is, the existence of a wealth gap isn’t evidence of racism at all, and Brown either knows this and is lying in order to sell a book, or she’s intellectually lazy. If the tax code were racist, it would be easy to prove. She would’t have to explain how Asians are wealthier than whites or how Hispanics take advantage of the code in ways that blacks can’t. All Brown would have to do is cite the section of the code that black people can’t use. 

Not “don’t” — “can’t.” As long as blacks aren’t barred from utilizing the tax code (they aren’t), the choice not to does not mean the code itself is racist. That Brown, a black woman, not only used the tax code to build her wealth but built her entire legal career on it (before she made it an academic career) proves that it is not racist. 

This is called freedom — to choose whether or not you work full time, to choose how much money you save, to choose whether to take advantage of the tax code. It is what Americans exercise when deciding whether or not to purchase cigarettes with brightly colored advertisements. 

MINTY FRESH RACISM
As long as Big Tobacco isn’t coercing minors or the mentally incapacitated, bright advertising isn’t racist. 

What’s racist is believing that black people aren’t smart enough to make their own choices, and only by eliminating products from store shelves can you “save” them from their poor decisions. What’s racist is stepping in to limit the freedoms of black people because white do-gooders know better.

The FDA is targeting menthol cigarettes specifically not because they are being advertised to the underdeveloped minds of our youth, but because they are smoked by adults who are black. Unlike the tax code, which black people are free to take advantage of, black people won’t be free to smoke the cigarettes of their choosing.

This is the infantilization of blacks, the bigotry of low expectations.

WHY STOP THERE?
The Biden Administration should ban every product black people buy that white people think they shouldn’t.

If poverty is keeping black people down, ban black women from purchasing cosmetic jewelry and luxury cars — both of which they purchase at higher percentages than white women despite significantly less disposable income.

Black consumers chew more gum, drink more juice, and cook with more shortening than the rest of America. Black men account for a larger percentage of the toiletries market than other men, and black women account for triple their demographic (23.7%) in the female fragrance market.

If you genuinely believe that white people should save black people from themselves, this isn’t a rhetorical argument. Black consumers are a trillion-dollar market, and they throw away a larger portion of it on unhealthy and unnecessary products than any other demographic. If you think any group of people is too dumb to make good decisions, do it for them.

Hell, with the right adjustments to the tax code, you could spend their money for them! 

VIRTUOUS GOALPOSTS
Historically, race hustlers and white Liberals cried foul if corporations ignored the black demographic in their advertising. Today, advertising to black people is “predatory.” 

It’s not a Catch-22 because corporations are evil. It’s a Catch-22 because Leftists continually move the goal posts to keep the race schism alive, allowing them to project their virtue and exercise their superiority over blacks.

Trust them: Smoking while black is bad for you.

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