Racism in LA, MS and AL? Never…

A majority of people surveyed agree we pull numbers out of our butts.

There has been a lot of talk about whether race was a factor in the FUBAR Katrina relief efforts. Dubya pulled a good sound-byte out of his butt with, “The storm didn’t discriminate, and neither will the recovery effort. When those Coast Guard choppers were pulling people off roofs, they didn’t check the color of a person’s skin. They wanted to save lives.”

Gallup polled on the topic, and found the following:

Six in 10 blacks say the fact that most hurricane victims were poor and black was one factor behind the failure of the federal government to come to their rescue quickly. Nearly nine in 10 non-Hispanic whites say those weren’t factors.

Most of my black friends do honestly believe that race was a factor. My white friends are a lot more split that the survey indicates, though.

To be clear, I have seen no clear-cut evidence of racism, so I’ll not pronounce my verdict on this situation, yet. But I’d like to ask a few questions to be pondered:

  1. (from the article) “If it had been a 17-year-old white cheerleader who was caught in the water, [would] somebody would have tried to get there faster[?]
  2. For a variety of reasons, the lowest lying areas in New Orleans were primarily inhabited by the poor and the black. Was instutional or societal racism involved?
  3. Rep. Baker of Baton Rouge was overheard telling lobbyists: “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.”
  4. Could it be that race was not an issue, but systemic problems occurred because the most serious of the victims (of all colors) were from the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder?
  5. Post 9/11 relief efforts were considerably less FUBAR. However, the typical Manhattan resident or Pentagon employee has a much greater level of political access than the victims in the SE. Because 9/11 victims tended to better connected, did the authorities place a greater emphasis after that tragedy?

Photo courtesy of DribbleGlass.com

3 Comments
  1. Agreed. I can’t find any links to the story, but everyone remember the “mysterious suitcase” left in DC that caused a major evacuation. Shit, they had ambulances and trucks just picking every man woman and child and hauled them away to safety.

    Example 2. How many times a year do we see a missing blond haired blue eyed boy or girl, either or which just happen to be photogenic, appear on the front page of cnn.com? Oh they send search teams and give us hourly updates of a missing woman in Aruba or the runaway bride. But black kids being housed in a superdome camp… hey, their used to it! Think of it like camping!

    I’m white, and I think affirmative action is mainly useless BS. I think the NAACP is detrimental to black community excelling on their own. But to say the indifference in reaction to the Katrina response was not based on race is utter nonsense.

  2. I tried to use the trackback function but for one reason or another it would not take it. I wrote on this issue also:

    http://tfsternsrantings.blogspot.com/2005/09/who-do-you-believe.html

    My own take on this would be that racism had nothing to do with it from those who were doing the rescue work and all the other related duties, however, the race card has been waved around by the news media so much that it cannot be ignored.

    From my own blog…

    “Other than being patently offensive to my sense of humanity in general, I found such statements sorely lacking in fact as I observed the countless gestures of relief bestowed on ALL the citizens of that area in abundance and without regard for the color of anyone’s skin or without looking at anyone’s voter registration card..”

  3. I agree that most rescuers (I’ve helped on such issues myself before) don’t base decisions on race. My concern is that there might be some discriminatory actions from those higher up on the chain. You are from Houston, so you know the kinds of comments upper echalon white folks (in places like Katy, for instance) can make if they think others around them might feel the same.

    I don’t know if racism occurred or not, but the spoon-fed liberal and conservative rants aren’t answering the question – so I thought I would at least try.