On May 27, 2010, Babs Warren spoke before the Austin City Council during the citizens communication portion.  Although Babs has a long history of activism, this was her first appearance on behalf of Fluoride Free Austin, and she did herself – and us – proud.  Her 3-minute talk was greeted with resounding applause from the gallery and displeasure from Mayor Lee Leffingwell. 

What made the response particularly sweet is the fact that – contrary to what might be expected – the room was not stacked with Fluoride Free Austin supporters.  The audience that cheered so wholeheartedly was, in fact, largely composed of members of the black community who had gathered in chambers to support two speakers on a very different subject:  the outrageous, unprovoked slaying of an unarmed young black man by by an Austin police officer.  Amidst the immediacy of their own situation, they listened to our own speaker, and they supported us.  Their warm reception is deeply appreciated. 

It is also profoundly encouraging.  It’s  an open secret that – for a combination of economic and biological reasons – the damaging health consequences of fluoride ingestion fall disproportionately on blacks and other minorities.  These are the very people in whose name fluoridation is implemented under the guise of a “health benefit” and “social equity.”  But the minority and low-income communities are waking up to this cruel irony.  With their engagement, the untenable practice of water fluoridation can be brought to an end once and for all.