There's a reason that Powerball jackpots climb into the billions: millions of people adore the idea of becoming rich beyond their wildest dreams. It's fun to indulge that fantasy by tossing a couple of bucks into the kitty. But CNN saw this as just another example of "systemic racism" in this horrible nation we call America.
On Wednesday, CNN.com writer Nicquel Terry Ellis -- to be precise, her title is "Senior Writer, Race and Equality" -- and Justin Gamble lined up the lectures. The headline was:
‘Stacked against you’: Critics say the lottery system is preying on poor communities
CNN —As lottery players across the nation accept that they didn’t win the historic $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot this week, experts are pointing to the flaws of a lottery system they say unfairly targets poor Black and brown communities....
But despite the extremely low chances of anyone winning, state lotteries continue to market and sell tickets to low-income communities at higher rates leading those Americans to believe it’s a quick way to build wealth, researchers say. These communities are disproportionately made up of Black and brown people. Critics say the consequence is that marginalized people will be driven into deeper debt by a system that is transferring wealth out of their communities.
"Critics" are somehow never identified as liberals, even if CNN's quoted "critics" are routinely liberals.
Nicquel & Co. never seem to think it sounds patronizing to insist poor people who spend money on lottery tickets rather than necessities are victims and not free people making choices. They're all being scammed. CNN wouldn't dream of a headline like "Poor people are dumber people." No, blame a nefarious "system."
As usual, CNN lined up experts who unanimously agree to the Predatory Racism angle, starting here:
Les Bernal, national director for Stop Predatory Gambling, called it a form of “systemic racism” and “consumer financial fraud.”
Bernal said poor people are being scammed into believing they will someday gain wealth from a winning lottery ticket.
“They’re hoping to pay their rent at the end of the month or pay an outstanding medical bill or put their kids through college or they just lost their job and they’re just trying to find a way to make ends meet,” Bernal said. “And here you have what is a government program encouraging citizens to lose their money on rigged games.”
CNN also reported investigative journalists at the University of Maryland found that stores selling lottery tickets are "disproportionately located in poor communities of every state."
Personally, I'd rather buy $10 of anything than waste it on gambling. I've had people give me lottery tickets as a present, when I would have preferred oh, peanut butter or tube socks. But many people find it fun to take a chance.