Sunday, May 15, 2016

Disposable People in the Atomic Era

US citizens exposed to atmospheric fallout want President Obama to acknowledge the effects of the Trinity bomb:

Russell Contreras (AP) (May 15, 2016) NM Nuclear Site Seeks and Obama Visit. The Arizona Republic, 18A

[Paraphrasing] Residents of Tularosa want President Obama to visit them after visiting Hiroshima because they claim that "generations of villagers have suffered from cancers and other health problems resulting from the Trinity Test, but the federal government has yet to fully acknowledge those effects."

The Trinity bomb was deployed in the desert near towns populated with Hispanic and Native American populations. These citizens have been excluded from the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, which provides a (measly) $50,000 payout as compensation for health problems.

Downwinder settlements have only been achieved for residents in areas of Nevada, Arizona and Utah who were impacted by atmospheric testing in Nevada.

Is this racism? I would say it certainly appears to be, although one can see from the policy of atmospheric testing that the federal government's nuclear apparatuses had little regard for the health and welfare of any national population.

Not much has changed.

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