I just read a post of someone daring to suggest that being a smoker these days would be enough to give one a good insight into being a black person in the 50s.
I had to read it twice to believe what the poster had written. It's not appropriate to bring any attention to it on that particular thread, but I'm struggling to believe anyone could seriously believe there's a valid comparison here. Or even that it was appropriate as a light-hearted joke.
I absolutely believe in any person's right to smoke if they want to, as long as they also respect my right to breathe clean air (something which some seem to think is unreasonable). I have many friends who do or who have smoked, and I don't think it's some mark of a flawed character or something. However, I do sometimes wonder about the martyr attitude some people have about being allowed to get their fix, and about the (largely very reasonable) restrictions placed around their habit. This is one of those times.
Seriously, Mr Smoker? You're going to go there?
You're going to compare a choice to pump yourself full of noisome and noxious chemicals with being born with the 'wrong' colour skin?
You're going to compare having to stand outside to have your quick fag break with only being allowed to live in certain areas, ride on certain buses, go to certain schools, take certain jobs?
You're going to compare a habit that many manage to break, for which much help is available, to indelible skin pigment that cannot be changed or disguised?
You're going to compare polluting the air around you with smoke that makes your neighbour's eyes water and his throat sore with being of a race that those around you believe only worthy to be servants?
I'm giving the benefit of the doubt and assuming the comment was meant as tongue in cheek... but even so. Come on. *shakes head*