Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Earth Day and African Americans

Although 21st Century African Americans put a very high premium on being urbane, they are just two or three generations removed from tenant farming. Even though these sophisticated blacks act like they are lost in the woods and pretend they've never been in an outhouse, we all know there is an environmentalist in there just screaming to get out. Earth Day (April 22) usually slips by unnoticed in the black community, except for news reports of some white environmental activists visiting local rivers, possibly in the black community, to pick up some litter. But Earth Day has lost much of its luster in the white community and blacks had more pressing issues on its agendy in 1970 during the first Earth Day. Much has gotten better since then, but many things have also gotten worse.

Black-on-black murder and global warming are the two most important environmental issues in the black community today. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X would have never anticipated the carnage currently devastating black communities all over the country. Environmental justice Godfather Dick Gregory and environmental movement initiator Walter Fauntroy are also clearly challenged in addressing these twin environmental evils. We at AAEA believe that some good old fashioned family values might not get us 'back to the garden,' but sure couldn't hurt in strengthening the family unit, which would benefit the black community. Nuclear power plants and plug-in fuel cell hybrid electric vehicles would prevent smog and global warming. They could also provide new large-scale entrepreneurial opportunites. Familiar family techniques combined with old and new technologies could revitalize Earth Day. Elimination of black-on-black murder and global warming would make everyday Earth Day.

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