When I saw the looters on TV and heard about the criminals and thugs taking advantage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina I thought to myself, this is the worst of America.
I was wrong. The worst of America are the race-baiters and the Monday morning quarterbacks who have come out in the wake of the disaster response, even before the job is done.
This is not to deny there is still racism in America. Craig Deluz points out an example of the Associated Press releasing two stories, one with whites characterized as finding food, another with a black doing exactly the same thing characterized as a looter.
This is also not to deny that the response seems painfully slow. It is frustrating to watch the suffering, and tempting to look for someone to blame.
But there are those who are saying really unbelievable things:
“Jamie Mayo, mayor of Monroe, La., and president of the Louisiana chapter of the mayors conference, said he’s hearing furious talk – people convinced help would have arrived earlier if most of the people left behind were white, that the federal government acted more quickly when hurricanes hit the Florida coast and when a tsunami struck South Asia. Mayo fears the bitterness could linger as evacuees spread across the South, bringing their frustrations with them.”
Are we to believe that someone somewhere in some cigar filled back room said slow down, don’t help the victims because they are black? This is disgusting.
Here’s a quote from a moobat blog Jimintonic:
“There are criminals running the streets of New Orleans today. The only problem is that they, most of them anyway, are guilty of something that is NOT illegal. It is the opinion of this blogger that the crime they are guilty of is being BLACK. If let’s just say there were some kind of massive flood or mudslide somewhere in Oh Utah, that there would be people that the government wasn’t even aware of for a few days holed up in a convention center in Salt Lake? If we can dump supplies to refugees of the Taliban and people in Iraq, why can’t we get a few c-130′s filled with water and MRE’s to dump a few thousand pallets on Canal street and in the area of the convention center?”
Trying to compare the magnitude of this disaster to a mudslide in Utah? Looters were guilty of being Black? Is he saying that Black looters get a pass because they’re Black? If you’re foraging for food and water, or diapers, that is not looting. If your breaking into a jewelry store for some free bling, that is looting no matter what color you are.
Did you notice that the people in pictures of the aftermath of the Tsunami there were mostly Asians? Where is the story about the racism that caused most of the people living along the coast in the Tsunami area to be Asian? There aren’t any because that just happens to be the make-up of the people living where the disaster hit.
The majority of the people who are being rescued where the storm hit were Black, so you see mostly Blacks on the TV. The Mayor of New Orleans is Black. Did he intentionally leave his ”own people” behind?
“The victims left behind didn’t choose to stay in the path of the hurricane – they had no choice, said Roosevelt F. Dorn, the mayor of Inglewood and president of the National Conference of Black Mayors.
“They didn’t have cars. They didn’t have money,” said Dorn, who said buses should have been sent before the hurricane struck to evacuate them. “There was absolutely no reason for the number of people left stranded there. They’re leaving now because someone is coming to get them.”
With 4-5 days of warning, why weren’t buses provided for stranded inner city people that didn’t have a way out? It is certainly a fair question, but I can’t imagine, no I refuse to imagine the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana simply saying ”screw them, they are African American.”
It actually has been reported that Mayor Ray Nagin evacuated about 400 tourists stuck in a downtown hotel ahead of thousands of stranded local people. He put them at the head of the line on buses in front of thousands who had been waiting days. But that is not racism, that is poor judgment.
Turn on the news and you can see more than enough partisan bickering, finger pointing and now race baiting to go around.
What I see is a storm of biblical proportions that overwhelmed response due to the magnitude of it, and perhaps some incompetence. I see a disaster response that seems frustratingly slow, that needs to be judged calmly afterwards with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight so we might do better next time.
I am focused on millions of Americans of all colors donating billions to charity, volunteering their time, money and homes, and sacrificing for other Americans without regard for their racial or economic status, the best of America.
And I am disgusted by the finger-pointers and race-baiters coming out in this partisan, politically divisive era we live in, truly the worst of America.