Howling Into the Wind
Our hearts are heavy, our spirits are weary, and our eyes are filled to the brim with overflowing tears, tears that can no longer be held back. Another Black man, another Brown man, another Black boy, dead or abused. The videos keep coming, confronting our consciousness, confirming what many have always known, confirming what many would simply never believe. Perhaps we are in the midst of our “urban spring,” and it hurts. The anger, the rage – they are deep and profound; at times, it seems as if the world is coming undone.
For those of us who do tobacco control in the vulnerable communities that are most affected, our work has become a lot harder. At best our tobacco control issues are put on hold; at worst they take giant strides backwards. Pushed back and relegated once again to that back burner of non-pressing issues. The tobacco industry loves times such as these because they know we are howling into the wind, howling into the winds of racism, injustice, and indifference. And the tobacco industry knows that the wind usually wins.
Because at times like these, how do we continue to beat the drum for tobacco control? How do we tell our vulnerable communities that even as they continue to step over the dead, they must keep their eyes fixed on their true enemy and number one killer of their people?
But Baltimore City Council woman Helen Holton is keeping her eye on the prize. On June 1, 2015 she introduced legislation to create Buffer Zones around Baltimore public schools. These Buffer Zones will prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products including menthol. Baltimore and Beyond….