Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Getting to the bottom of the problem

I think everyone in America can agree that the government was ill-prepared to respond to the devastation that Katrina left in her wake. It was the greatest natural disaster of our generation, and the government was not ready for it at all.

Who's fault was it? Some people point out the fact that local government failed to maintain the levy and pump system in a city that actually sits below sea level. Smart. Some say the people that remained behind are to blame. However, most are quick to point a finger at the federal government for their slow response. Some go even further and say that the government's slow response was due to racist ideologies (See Kanye West on NBC, among others).

Unfortunately, this last group of people, well not exactly right, are very close. Hurricane Katrina itself is to blame, and she is one racist mother. First, the name Katrina itself embodies white, Eastern European culture, so we know that this hurricane is a white woman. On the other hand, if this was Hurricane Trina, we could point to the rapper by the same name, and absolve the hurricane of any liability. However, no such luck.

Furthermore, Katrina started in the Atlantic Ocean and moved into the Gulf of Mexico. Did it move into the Gulf of Duluth, Minnesota? No, it moved into the Gulf of Mexico. This should have been our first warning sign, as Katrina obviously hates Mexicans.

Most hurricanes reap their havoc on the Florida panhandle, bastion of white retirees. They do this because they are not racist, and do not discriminate. However Katrina, quickly becoming the black sheep of the hurricane family (you can't understand how much this title eats her up inside), chose to land in the Louisiana Bayou. Why? Katrina could not be reached for comment, but I'm assuming that it had something to do with minorities, that racist biatch.

Katrina wasn't just satisfied with choosing a geography, she went even further. She specifically targeted her rage against minorities. Not ONE Caucasian was even injured in her wrath. Furthermore, while Katrina destroyed or damaged most of the property in the region, every single Subway (the store) and Gap escaped unscathed. Amazing how powerful hate can be.

I'd like to point out that this wasn't the first time a natural disaster has acted in a racist manner. Starting with Mt. Vesuvius (a charter member of the ARL (anti-Roman league), a predecessor to the modern KKK) and going all the way up to the San Francisco earthquake in the late 80s (he was a huge homophobe), natural disasters have displayed a higher tolerance for racism than that of the general population. I'm not excusing Katrina's behavior, I'm just trying to put it in context.

OK, I'm having a hard time writing about Katrina. However, I'd have a hard time NOT writing about it, as it's on everyone's mind right now. It's not a joking matter, so I'm stopping right now. I think everyone has realized that every single citizen needs to do their part. Hopefully, if I know you and you're reading this, you've done something. Even if it's just think about the victims, pray, and hope.

However, there is a part of this that is a laughing matter. The black community turning this into a race issue. Jesse Jackson went so far as to liken New Orleans to the "hull of a slave ship." He then pledged to get "6 or 7 buses in there to help people out." Good work Jesse, maybe if you fired the camera crew you hired full time to follow you around New Orleans, you could afford 3 or 4 more buses. Maybe each person you glad-handed for a photo opp could have received a bottle of water if you didn't have to pay the guy that was carrying the boom mic around.

A law school colleague explained it to me best, as I made the folly earlier this year. Just because race is involved, doesn't mean that an action is racist.

We've just been through the greatest natural disaster America has probably ever seen in terms of loss of life, injury, and property damage. It took 4 days for the disaster relief trucks to get to the area. It seems that everyone underestimated the scope of the damage of this hurricane, not just the government. Why did the Red Cross wait to start taking donations until after the Hurricane? A disaster of unprecedented magnitude cannot be accurately planned for, period.

This is a time when Americans should be calling on each other to help, forming stronger bonds and breaching racial tensions. Instead, we instantly play the race card. I'm not sure, but most people don't work faster when you call them a racist. Along those lines, many rappers are starting charities that ensure the aide will go directly to the minority inner-city families. I'm sorry, but fighting racism with more racism is not the answer. How do you think the public would respond if Harry Connick, Jr. started a "Help the White People in New Orleans" campaign. Exactly.

But it's the aide workers that are racist, really, not the people who continually make race an issue and devote their aide efforts solely to one ethnic group. No doubt.


Dirty Martini said...

You just scored yourself another internet fan. Well done...(-;

Dubs said...

Dear Frontline, this is Mr. Ed

Anonymous said...

well done sir. well done. I have been inspired to not donate to 50 cent's campaign. thanks, Tre! !


Luke Thomas said...

"On the other hand, if this was Hurricane Trina, we could point to the rapper by the same name, and absolve the hurricane of any liability. However, no such luck."

Does that mean if the hurricane had been named Trina, the devastation would've been an act of black on black crime?

Tre! said...

I think so, and then we could have heard lectures about that. It's not just a hurricane anymore, it's politics.

Nice picture, beautiful.

Me said...

That was a brilliant post.

ShellBug526 said...

This is a really good post, and while I totally agree this isn't a race issue, I do think it is a class issue. If these people were rich, I think they would have been out of there much quicker no matter what race they were, and if these were poor white people, I think they would still be there wandering what the hell was going on...

Dogroe said...

Well done! I have seen so much ill will, and continue to see so much finger pointing from all sides, I am sickened by the actions of our government at all levels.

I think this should be about people doing what they can, when they are able. Somehow, the 2 major parties in this country have forgotten that and the rest of the country suffers for it.

I am proud to be an Independant and share many of each party's partisian idealogies. So it is impossible for me to jump on either side of the fence.

Again, thanks for a great blog!

FYI - This was my third attempt to post with my contact, but the verification thing seems troublesome...

Dirty Martini said...

Tre - another conspiracy theory. I think you'll laugh your ass off at this one. Such lunacy....check out link below....