- The Washington Times - Friday, April 20, 2007

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday told a Rutgers audience that radio host Don Imus’ recent comments about the university’s women’s basketball team is a “teachable moment” for the country.

“Will you be willing to speak up and say, ‘Enough is enough,’ when women or minorities or the powerless are marginalized or degraded?” Mrs. Clinton asked in issuing a challenge to the nation, according to the Associated Press. “Will you say there’s no place — if there ever was, there certainly isn’t now — for disrespect or bigotry to be seen as funny?”

Mr. Imus’ radio show and the simulcast television show were canceled after advertisers withdrew their support a week after Mr. Imus called the national championship runner-up women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos.”

The team met with Mr. Imus and accepted his apology, but his comments and the ensuing furor have become a Rorschach test for how to view racism, sexism and popular culture.

Mrs. Clinton, speaking to the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, said those who objected to Mr. Imus’ words were courageous.

“They could have said, ‘Ah, forget it. We hear those things in music, on radio, on cable. We won’t dignify it with a response,’ ” she said. “It would have been a perfectly justifiable reaction. But when do we say, ‘Enough?’ This moment is that opportunity.”

With Earth Day coming tomorrow, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign announced she will become carbon-neutral, following the lead of John Edwards, another candidate who took the step earlier this year.

“In order to address the climate crisis, we all must act — and that includes our campaign,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Mr. Edwards, a former senator and the Democrats’ 2004 vice presidential nominee, announced that both his campaign and his new home will be carbon-neutral.

Earlier this month the bloggers who run carboncoalition.org posted that they had approached the other leading Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, and asked him if he planned a carbon-neutral campaign.

The blog said he answered “rather ambiguously.”

“We’re investigating setting it up,” the blog quoted Mr. Obama as saying. “We’re the youngest campaign but that’s something we’re looking into right now.”

Businesses help those who want to achieve neutrality calculate their “carbon footprint,” which is an estimate of the amount of greenhouse gases they cause to be emitted, and then offer their services to offset those emissions.

To offset the emissions the businesses have trees planted to absorb greenhouse gases, donate energy-saving technology to developing countries, or buy credits from companies that have reduced their greenhouse gas output.

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