This isn’t strictly environmental, but no discussion of poverty in America makes sense outside of the context of race. Also, I think this op-ed deserves the widest possible exposure. It’s easy, if you live in a cosmopolitan area, to think we’re past stuff like this.

Think again: I give you "Why do blacks continue to support Democrats?" [*see update] by conservative Washington state columnist Adele Fergusen:

One of these days before I die, I hope to see a shift in the attitudes of so many of my black brothers and sisters in this great country we share, from perpetual victimhood, to pride in their achievements on the road from slave to American citizen.

Remember Ronald Reagan’s story about the kid who had to shovel a huge pile of manure? He went about it with such joy he was asked why and said, "With all that manure, there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere."

The pony hidden in slavery is the fact that it was the ticket to America for black people. I have long urged blacks to consider their presence here as the work of God, who wanted to bring them to this raw, new country and used slavery to achieve it. A harsh life, to be sure, but many immigrants suffered hardships and indignations as indentured servants. Their descendants rose above it. You don’t hear them bemoaning their forebears’ life the way some blacks can’t rise above the fact theirs were slaves.

Click on over and get a gander at Adele.

(via TP)

Update [2006-3-15 19:30:2 by David Roberts]: The Kitsap Business Journal, in a fit of what is either prudence or cowardice, seems to have taken down the column. I looked around for a cached version but couldn’t find one. So you’ll just have to trust me.