National Geographic Tweets That Fourth Of July Fireworks Are Racist


National Geographic caused a stir by suggesting that Fourth of July fireworks are racist because their smoke disproportionately affects communities of color.

The publication marked Independence Day on Sunday by tweeting: ‘Scientists found that vulnerable people and communities of color are disproportionately exposed to air pollution from firework celebrations.’

The tweet included a link to an article about a study which found that communities of color and vulnerable populations with higher rates of asthma, older residents and children, are exposed to higher levels of smoke from firework displays than other groups.

The study published in May by researchers at the University of California’s Irvine campus suggests that law enforcement should crack down on illegal displays and that municipal and corporate displays should be replaced by drone light shows.

National Geographic’s tweet was met with swift criticism from Twitter users who branded it unnecessarily divisive and decried the outlet for putting a damper on the holiday.

‘It never ends with the ridiculous headlines about race. Give it a rest,’ one critic replied to National Geographic.

‘What happened to the old Nat Geo, where we talked about animals and how amazing they are?’ another added.

A third critic wrote: ‘Honestly, I am a scientist and this is beyond ridiculous.’

‘LET US ENJOY THE DAMN FIREWORKS,’ a fourth tweeted.

In the 18-page study, published on May 27 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, researchers from UC Irvine used crowdsourced data to assess how air pollution affects communities across California, which is already known to have some of the highest levels of air pollution across the country.

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The article begins, ‘It’s no secret that fireworks can cause some serious air pollution, in the United States as well as in other countries where holiday displays are common, like China and India.

‘But not everyone is equally at risk from the noxious particles that suffuse the sky during our pyrotechnic light shows. In California, for example, vulnerable populations are more exposed to fireworks pollution on the Fourth of July.’

The study used a home-air monitori… (Read more)

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