A civil rights group is accusing the earth’s weather system of racism. The Coalition for Fairness and Equal Rights says that harmful weather patterns invariably affect racial and ethnic minorities.
“In the interest of equality and justice,” says CFER president Fred Livingston, “the federal government has a responsibility to abolish discrimination in our weather.”
CFER says that the history of weather, both in this country and abroad, demonstrates systematic bias against African-Americans and other minorities. Livingston points out that some of the worst weather occurs in Africa and India, both populated by non-whites.
“You have extreme drought in Africa, monsoons and flooding in India, and relatively pleasant weather here in the United States,” he said. Livingston added that other natural disasters apart from the weather, including earthquakes, are also endemic in third world countries heavily populated by non-whites.
“The earth has consistently exhibited racial prejudice for eons,” he said.
Closer to home, Livingston connects bad weather to poverty and other social ills which disproportionately affect minorities.
As an example, he pointed out that typically impoverished inner cities experience extreme weather during the summer. The poor often go without air conditioning, making heat-related death and illness common in the inner city.
The mix of natural disasters, poverty and race has been a hot topic since Hurricane Katrina. Livingston said it was no coincidence that the hurricane hit New Orleans, which is densely populated by black people.
“This is proof of institutionalized discrimination,” says Livingston. “Intemperate weather is common in cities, the exact same place where black, Latino, and Asian members of the population commonly live.”
Echoing concern over Katrina, President Obama has said he sympathizes with CFER’s concerns.
“I will work to change the natural forces which produce these unjust systems of racial oppression,” said the president. He linked oppressive weather patterns to global warming/climate change/global climate warming change.
“We can no longer deny the impact our fossil fuel consumption has on minorities,” Obama said.
Anthony Toomey, a spokesperson for the United Nations, said the world body is considering a resolution condemning racist weather. The official agreed that global warming perpetuated by western societies is to blame for the discrimination.
“Global warming is to blame for this, just as it is to blame for all weather phenomena,” Toomey said. A special UN Commission on Human Global International Earth-wide Weather Fairness has been created to look into ways to alter the global climate.
This latest campaign against global warming marks the infusion of race into an already heated topic. Skeptics of global warming say they’re already compared to Holocaust deniers and are now being charged with racism.
“First they call you Nazis and Holocaust deniers, now they play the race card,” said Frank Smith, professor of meteorology at Dublin Fields University.
Livingston blamed conservatives for not spending enough on programs and agencies designed to make the effects of the global climate fairer. “They don’t want to try to come up with ways to alter the world’s weather system because they don’t care about the plight of racial minorities,” he said.