Coke, Pepsi, and Jim Crow

By the late 1940s, black sales representatives worked the Southern Black Belt and Northern black urban areas, black fashion models appeared in Pepsi ads in black publications, and special point-of-purchase displays appeared in stores patronized by African-Americans. The company hired Duke Ellington as a spokesman. Some employees even circulated racist public statements by Robert W. Woodruff, Coke’s president. 

The campaign was so successful that many Americans began using a racial epithet to describe Pepsi. By 1950, fearing a backlash by white consumers, Pepsi had killed the program, but the image of Coke and Pepsi as “white” and “black” drinks lingered. 


The Republican attack on black voting rights continues

Virginia wants to count Obama voters as 3/5 of a person

"If you can’t win by playing fair, cheat. 

"That seems to be the plan of Republican lawmakers in several battleground states that stubbornly keep going for Democrats during presidential elections. Thanks in part to gerrymandering, many states already have — and will continue to have in the near future — Republican-controlled legislatures.

. . . 

"Republican lawmakers in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin are considering whether to abandon the winner-take-all approach to awarding Electoral College votes and replace it with a proportional allocation. 

. . .

"Paul Bibeau, who writes “a blog of dark humor” from Virginia, points out a numerical oddity about the effects of the Virginia law that turns out, upon reflection, to be more stinging than funny: 'This bill counts an Obama voter as 3/5 of a person.'" 

--Charles Blow, "Rig the Vote," New York Times


Republicans in Virginia, other states seeking electoral college changes

“They can’t appeal to a majority of voters, whether it’s here in Wisconsin or Michigan or in the rest of the Midwest, so they are undermining a majority of voters,” said Mike Tate, chairman of the Democratic Party in Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker (R) has expressed interest in changing the state’s system. “The Republicans realize that where they are today, they can’t win a presidential election. It’s an audacious attempt to rig the system.” 

 --Nia-Malika Henderson and Errin Haines, Washington Post


Segregation and Lung Cancer Deaths Linked

"African-Americans who live in highly segregated counties are considerably more likely to die from lung cancer than those in counties that are less segregated, a new study has found."

"“If you want to learn about someone’s health, follow him home,” said Dr. Awori J. Hayanga, a heart and lung surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who was the lead author of the study."

"“We don’t need drugs or genetic explanations to fix a lot of the health care problems we have,” he said."
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