It is quite odd that the Biden administration, which sees racism in everything from policing to military service to highway construction, refuses to see its own paternalistic-style racism.
In the latest bout of ludicrous “anti-racist” ideology promoted by President Joe Biden, the Food and Drug Administration announced last week that it would ban menthol-flavored cigarettes.
“With these actions, the FDA will help significantly reduce youth initiation, increase the chances of smoking cessation among current smokers, and address health disparities experienced by communities of color, low-income populations, and LGBTQ+ individuals, all of whom are far more likely to use these tobacco products,” acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said a prepared statement.
Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, added in a statement, “For far too long, certain populations, including African Americans, have been targeted, and disproportionately impacted by tobacco use. Despite the tremendous progress we’ve made in getting people to stop smoking over the past 55 years, that progress hasn’t been experienced by everyone equally.”
According to the FDA, 19.5 million Americans smoke menthol cigarettes and 86 percent of black smokers opt for menthol products.
So once again, as with the whole “systemic racism” narrative, liberals tell us that black Americans have no control over their own personal decisions, that they have no right to partake of a perfectly legal product, and that the government needs to police their behavior for their own good.
But some liberal groups, led by the ACLU, are rejecting the idea and arguing that Biden will get more black Americans killed by trying to save them from menthol smokes.
In a letter condemning the menthol ban, the groups maintained that criminalizing the sale and distribution of menthol cigarettes under federal law – ironically at a time when Congress is debating whether to decriminalize marijuana – would produce a massive black market for menthol cigarettes, leading to “unconstitutional policing and other negative interactions with local law enforcement.”
The ban would “create yet another reason for armed police to engage citizens on the street based on pretext or conduct that does not pose a threat to public safety,” the letter said.
“A menthol cigarette ban would disproportionately impact communities of color, result in the criminalization of the market, and exacerbate mass incarceration,” the groups argued.
“In the end, tobacco policy will no longer be the responsibility of regulators regulating, but police policing. Our experience with alcohol, opioid, and cannabis prohibition teaches us that that is a policy disaster waiting to happen, with Black and other communities of color bearing the brunt.”
In fact, the groups note that traditional powers of persuasion – through education, cessation and “well-funded” health care initiatives – have wrought great success in reducing smoking among minorities over the past few decades.
But why opt for that when, as Democrats are likely to do, put people under the boot of big government?
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