I heard some chap on TV last night explaining that the humanitarian crisis that followed Hurricane Katrina wasn’t about racism, because all of the people who were unable to leave were actually “the poor, the sick, and the elderly”…
That the poor and the sick just happen to be predominantly black seems to have escaped him. (It also needs to be noted that the elderly were asking for it… the smug longevity-obsessed coffin-dodgers.)
More humanity that you can see on almost every channel… those who refused to leave (some because they refused to leave the bodies of their relatives) are being used as form of human shield so the public is protected from the story of those not able to leave and those not permitted to leave (the latter situation was so shocking that even Geraldo broke ranks over it on air).
(Also, you may recall Ian Blair shielding himself from public scrutiny by burying himself under a pile of dead bodies. Something similar is happening now, with the latest spin emanating from the White House emphasising the scale of the disaster… as if that somehow excuses the conditions that existed long before it and the paralysis that followed.)
The view from the cheap seats:
CNN’s Drew Griffin in New Orleans, Louisiana: I am stunned by an interview I conducted with New Orleans Detective Lawrence Dupree. He told me they were trying to rescue people with a helicopter and the people were so poor they were afraid it would cost too much to get a ride and they had no money for a “ticket.” Dupree was shaken telling us the story. He just couldn’t believe these people were afraid they’d be charged for a rescue.
The view from the balcony:
Oh, man… and you thought Dubya’s Trent Lott remark would take some topping (WMV link here – the sharp-eyed may just notice the helicopters and rescue workers doing sweet-bugger-all while Bush uses them as a backdrop):
Editor & Publisher – Barbara Bush: Things Working Out ‘Very Well’ for Poor Evacuees from New Orleans: What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is that they all want to stay in Texas. Everybody is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this (she chuckles slightly) – this is working very well for them.
1. Originally, Editor & Publisher softened the quote to remove the words; “which is sort of scary”.
2. You can read some comments at Daily Kos, including a round-up of responses from the right-wing clubhouse that is freerepublic.com
3. Still in a state of disbelief? Listen to the MP3 here.
UPDATE – Widely repeated but yet to be confirmed: There was a striking dicrepancy between the CNN International report on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone yesterday (September 2) and reports of the same event by German TV. ZDF News reported that the president’s visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of ‘news people’ had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time. The people in the area were once again left to fend for themselves, said ZDF.
UPDATE – What ZDF actually said was…
UPDATE – Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Guess who will lead the investigation into how the Hurricane Katrina disaster was handled. Go on, have a guess.
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