Government overreach and racism in the name of health

Editorial by


Messenger Staff

The Food and Drug Administration is moving towards banning menthol tobacco cigarettes along with all flavored cigars in the name of saving Black Americans’ lives.

“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 Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement.

According to NBC News, the FDA action has the potential to impact the health of black smokers in particular, 85 percent of whom use menthol cigarettes, compared to just 30 percent of white smokers.

“Black smokers are more likely to die of tobacco-related disease than white smokers,” Mitch Zeller, director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products said during a media briefing Thursday. “And while we’ve seen declines in menthol cigarette use among non-Hispanic, white youth, we have not seen the same decline in use from communities of color.”

 “The FDA has taken a historic, lifesaving step,” Dr. Richard Besser, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote in a statement. “Banning menthol cigarettes will most assuredly save lives, eliminate great suffering, and reduce health care costs.”

One other “expert”, whose name I cannot remember and oratory I will paraphrase, explained that Black Americans smoke menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars at a higher rate than any other demographic, that black males are at greater risk of lung cancer than any other demographic, that the health care system in America is systemically racist and therefore, menthol cigarettes are racist and must be banned. It should be worth mentioning that this “expert” was a white, Democrat member of Congress.

Now on the surface, you may be saying well this all sounds good, but I beg to differ. In my humble opinion, it is the same smoke and mirrors style argument that the Democrat Party, namely the woke, white, progressive wing of the party, is notorious for making. It is the racism that they point their finger at everyone else as being guilty of that they dabble in while cleverly disguising it as compassion.

While they are virtue signaling to Black America under the guise of health and saving lives by banning menthol cigarettes, what they are actually doing is saying, “Look Black America, you all like to smoke menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, and we don’t think that’s good for you. We also do not think you are either smart enough or capable enough to make the right decisions for yourselves in this situation. So, therefore, in our infinite and far superior wisdom of what is best for you, we are going to make it illegal for you to make your own decision in this situation – menthol cigarettes, from this day forward, will forever be prohibited in the United States of America.”

It is the same racist bait and switch argument that Democrats love to make from their stumps when they claim that voter IDs are racist and restrict black voters. As a friend of mine says, “They act like they are doing us a favor. What, are we too stupid to go to the DMV to get an ID just because of the color of our skin? How the hell do they think I drive, buy cigarettes (menthol ironically) or fly to see my family?” He went on to point out that the smeller is usually the feller. In his summation, the DNC always acts like they are looking out for the black man but all they are really doing is holding him down in the name of control. Though I cannot speak for Black America, my friend makes a valid point from my viewpoint on the outside looking in.

What I will say is that the government has no right nor business meddling in any of our health regardless of skin color. Neither my nor anyone else’s health or lack thereof is a realm where any legislature has an iota of say in. If I want to sit and chain smoke cigarettes while eating cheeseburgers and gulping gallons of sugary sodas all day, that is my decision, and mine alone, to make. Not to mention, it is my God-given right if I so choose. The day any government or government agency thinks they have a right to pass laws in their infinite wisdom to improve my decision-making in regard to my health is the day democracy has died.

 We were all born to die. There is no way around that. So, if you want to spend your time here on Earth being a health fanatic and only consume kale shakes and exercise all day, that is your right. But if my black friend and I want to meet up, eat biscuits and gravy, smoke a pack of Newports and Marlboros before lunch, and possibly shave years off our lives in the process; well, that’s our decision, and ours alone, to make.

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