The Climate Change Denial Suicide Cult

The Climate Change Denial Suicide Cult

A recent encounter on Twitter with a bunch of climate change denial types sent my memory flying back nearly 20 years to my days as a reporter and an eerily parallel run-in. Now as then, I realized, we’re face-to-face with a suicide cult. Climate change threatens us all, of course, but it’s of special concern here at The Greenlining Institute because low-income communities of color have the fewest resources to deal with its effects and often suffer most from the toxic air pollution generated by our fossil fuel economy.  In addition, these communities most urgently need the jobs and investment that the clean energy economy will bring – or at…
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Stereotypes, Snickers and Everyday Bigotry

Stereotypes, Snickers and Everyday Bigotry

Looking for a tasteless Halloween costume? A company that I prefer not to name will happily sell you a “Sexy Women’s 4 Piece Indian Chief” costume for $69.95 plus shipping. And yes, it’s as tacky, demeaning and stereotypical as you might imagine. And it’s just the tip of the commercial bigotry iceberg. Plenty of companies will happily sell you Halloween costumes based on sexist and racist stereotypes. You look at some of this stuff and think, “Really? In 2018???” Yeah, this stuff is still here. In fairness, these sorts of crude stereotypes occur in pop culture less frequently now than when I was a child in the 1960s. I vividly…
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Cancer, Cultural Competence, and Good Medicine

Cancer, Cultural Competence, and Good Medicine

A friend’s mom was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. Her experience provided a jolting dose of the reality that lies behind the rather lifeless terminology that advocates sometimes use – in this case, cultural competence — and what it means for good medicine. Cultural competence, as former Greenlining Fellow Daniel Cano pointed out, simply means “care that respects diversity and honors cultural factors central to patients’ lives, including language, communication styles, and traditions.” Particularly in a state as diverse as California, good medicine can’t happen without it. My friend and his family are immigrants, having come to the U.S. from Asia when he was a child. He picked up English…
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Tales of White Privilege – Police Edition

Tales of White Privilege – Police Edition

From time to time I’ve written here about my experiences of White privilege – sometimes to incredulous responses from White readers who steadfastly refuse to believe that White privilege exists. Well, it does, and I saw it again during a recent vacation in Utah, when a highway mishap caused me to need help from the police. Though police shootings of unarmed, young,  Black men don’t get the headlines they did a couple years ago, they keep happening – as the family of Antwon Rose knows far too well. White folks like me simply don’t live in the same world when it comes to encounters with police officers, as my recent…
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