AP: African-Americans Respond to Hurricane Katrina
"NEW YORK — To African-Americans, Hurricane Katrina has become a generation-defining catastrophe — a disaster with a predominantly black toll, tinged with racism. They've rallied to the cause with an unprecedented outpouring of activism and generosity.
Blacks who have been touched by the disaster are not only donating money but gathering supplies, taking in friends and relatives, even heading south to help shoulder the burden of their people.
"You'd have to go back to slavery, or the burning of black towns, to find a comparable event that has affected black people this way," said Darnell M. Hunt, a sociologist and head of the African American studies department at UCLA.
If the rescue effort had not been so mishandled, and if those who suffered so needlessly had not been so black and so poor, perhaps Hurricane Katrina would have been just another destructive storm, alongside the likes of Charley and Andrew (search) and Hugo. (There is no Keisha or Kwame.)
But Katrina's searing images — linking nature's wrath and the nation's wrongs — have fanned the smoldering resentments of the civil rights, Reaganomics and hip-hop eras all at once.
"Something about this is making people remember their own personal injustices," said author damali ayo, whose book "How to Rent a Negro" takes a satirical look at race relations.
"You don't look at Rodney King and say, 'I remember when I got beat up.' But people remember being neglected, unimportant, overlooked, thought of as 'less than.' That's a very common experience for black people."
Some 71 percent of blacks say the disaster shows that racial inequality remains a major problem in America, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Sept. 6-7 among 1,000 Americans; 56 percent of whites feel this was not a particularly important lesson.
And while 66 percent of blacks think the government's response would have been faster if most of the victims had been white, 77 percent of whites disagreed."
In journalism school we were told there were writers and then propagandist.
This article creates another catagory - crap.
"If the rescue effort had not been so mishandled, and if those who suffered so needlessly had not been so black and so poor, perhaps Hurricane Katrina would have been just another destructive storm, alongside the likes of Charley and Andrew and Hugo. (There is no Keisha or Kwame.)"
If the rescue effort - mishandled?
How about the evacuation effort bungled, screwed up, 'mishandled' by by a black mayor and a predominately black city hall?
No matter how much anyone tries to shift the attention AWAY to anywhere but a flooded parking lot, the busses tell the story - loud and clear.
Mayor Nagin, why didn't you care for YOUR people, why didn't you get them out, how could you leave them to die?
"perhaps Hurricane Katrina would have been just another destructive storm, alongside the likes of Charley and Andrew and Hugo."
How is it when 'white' people die or are involved in disaster, it's just a "destructive storm", but when it's "black", it's a "generation-defining catastrophe"?
Not since the '60s have we seen such a "manufactured moment".
"Katrina has spurred other blacks to take crucial roles in relief efforts — and they're in a better position to help than they were even a decade ago, when rap still scared people and being paid $30 million per year to play basketball was beyond imagination.
Now billionaire Mississippi native Oprah Winfrey is bringing her top-rated show to the Katrina zone, famed attorney Willie Gary is planning to transport victims in his 737 jet, and rapper Kanye West can excoriate President Bush's response to the hurricane in front of a nationwide audience.
Tavis Smiley has devoted much of his television talk show to Katrina."
One has to ask, "Where was Ophra before Katrina? Where was Willie Gary? Kayne West, when he wasn't charging $25 or more for his CD's?
The fact is that these "African American" 'heros', who only show when to use their brothers and sisters to further their own agenda and shine. Had they really cared in the first place, perhaps "billionare" Ophra Winfrey might have donated millions to build up the impoverished areas of New Orleans that the Black Mayor and City Government so long neglected through corruption and skimming the books.
Overall, the word that comes to my mind reading this tripe, is "Hypocrisy". Everybody is a Saint when in the beginning when the emotions are tugged this way and that, and articles like this written on the backs of the dead serve a purpose only in the agenda of the writer.
The story of Katrina is one of neglect. But that neglect isn't one of "white" vs. "black", it's an example of failing to "be thy brother's and sister's" keeper, not just after the storm - when convenient, but before and during the storm as well.
"The zeal which begins with hypocrisy must conclude in treachery; at first it deceives, at last it betrays"
Another word "Exploitation".
UPDATE: As a testamony to more hypocrisy, and of exploiting the dead, the dying, the sick, the homeless, witness the new Democratic Fund Raising methods. And here, and here.
UPDATE II: A good read - quote, "that a majority of the 80 percent of the citizens of New Orleans who took personal responsibility for getting themselves out of New Orleans before the certain danger were African American. Few were rich. Many were surely poor."
UPDATE III: Check out Rick Moran of Right Wing Nuthouse and his article "Dancing on the Graves of Black People".
Filed under Katrina disaster relief new orleans emergency response FEMA Kayne West