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Sunday, September 04, 2005

It Has Nothing To Do With Race

Is anyone else absolutely sick and tired of everything being about race? Our country is witnessing one of the most horrific natural disasters in its history. Images of people stranded in makeshift shelters or on bridges, highways, and rooftops have dominated our television screens. That disaster has been made much worse by despicable thugs looting and destroying property, and raping and murdering those who were already victims.

The fact is that nearly all the people involved, both the innocent victims and the lowlife criminals, are black. So what?

The government is being widely criticized for being slow in rescuing victims, and the accusation has been made that the reason the government has been slow is that the victims are mostly black.

During "A Concert for Hurricane Relief," aired Friday night on NBC, rapper Kanye West exclaimed, "George Bush doesn't care about black people," and said America is set up "to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible."

Jessie Jackson , whom we can always count on to play the race card, has questioned why blacks have not been named to top federal response positions. "How can blacks be locked out of the leadership, and trapped in the suffering? It is that lack of sensitivity and compassion that represents a kind of incompetence." Jessie must not consider the head of the military task force overseeing operations in the region as a leadership position since U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, who is black, holds that position.

Randall Robinson, entitlement activist and author of The Debt – What America Owes to Blacks wrote Friday, "I am hopeless. I am sad. I am angry against my country for doing nothing when it mattered. This is what we have come to. This defining watershed moment in America’s racial history."

Michael Moore, who would blame George W. Bush for the mistreatment of the Native Americans, for slavery, for The Great Depression, and for the Nazi Holocaust if he could find a way to do it, on Friday penned "an open letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush" on his website. In the letter, referring to Katrina victims, Moore writes, "C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days?"

Maybe everyone else missed this, or maybe I was just dreaming, but I seem to recall seeing men in helicopters risking their lives to rescue victims off the roofs of their homes the very day the levees broke. These were black victims. I don't recall these helicopters flying around, leaving black families on rooftops in search of white families to rescue.

So the government didn't get everyone out of New Orleans right away? They didn't get food and water to every individual right away? No kidding. The place was flooded. Roads were under water. Bridges were collapsed. The immediate concern was to get people to places of temporary safety - out of homes, off rooftops, pulled out of the water - and into places like the Superdome and the convention center. So people were gathered into these places by the thousands. Without power, without running water, conditions in these places became appalling, but it was better than sitting on the roof or drowning in the street.

While rescue efforts continued, some of the victims made conditions for everyone even worse and rescue efforts even more difficult than they already were. Thugs began to rape, murder, and fire gunshots at rescue workers. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that when you shoot a gun at the people trying to rescue you, it tends to slow down the rescue.

By Saturday morning, five days after Katrina came ashore, rescue efforts continued. Thousands of victims remained in the city - mostly black. Thousands more had been evacuated out of the city - also mostly black. It takes time. It cannot happen overnight.

If anyone - politicians, athletes, entertainers, civic leaders, anyone - had pointed out that most of the looting and violence was being perpetrated by blacks, they would have immediately and harshly been denounced as racists, and rightly so. It's a very small percentage of the thousands of blacks trapped in New Orleans who are committing these criminal acts. If thousands of white people were in the same situation, a small percentage of those white people would probably also prey on others. It’s the worst in human nature manifesting itself in a small percentage of people. It has nothing to do with race.

Likewise, rescues efforts have nothing to do with race. However, people like Kanye West, Jessie Jackson, Randall Robinson, and Michael Moore will play the race card. It's that playing of the race card that is the most racist thing about this human tragedy.


Blogger Gunny said...

Great post. NO is one of the most crime-ridden cities in the nation, so naturally a disaster is going to bring out the criminal element, white or black.

BTW, to stop spam comments, go to the Blogger home page and turn on "Word Verification".

5:06 AM  
Blogger Bryan Alexander said...

Marcus,thanks for the comment - also for the info on word verification.

8:05 AM  

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