Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What Katrina really exposed

Well it's the one year anniversary of the Katrina disaster, and it's all over the media. Great, as if all the attention given towards the annual anniversary of September 11th wasn't enough. Not that we shouldn't remember such events, far from it, but the manner in which people nowadays try to honour such events gets tedious and asinine at times. For one thing, did September 11th really need to become a holiday (Patriot Day of all possible names)? I don't recall December 7th being a holiday, even though that's the day when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Will Bush push forward a proposal to make today "National Disaster Rememberance Day" or something along those lines? I certainly hope not, but I guess anything is possible.

Of course Liberals will probably try to use this anniversary as another excuse to bash down on Bush and show how his incompetence help brought about this disaster. While there is some truth to that, it must be remembered that fault for the Katrina disaster goes well beyond Bush - it extends to whole segments of federal, state, and local authorities as well.

That was the argument put forth by Kara Hopkins' article "Fire and Rain", written in the October 10, 2005 issue of The American Conservative. Basically the whole welfare state system that had governed in Louisana and New Orleans not only proved to be too incompetent to organize an effective evacacuation of the city.; but for generations promoted social values that would've made such an evacuation possible to begin with. And course that's not just all, but more on that later.

Yet Hopkins also addresses one issue that was most certainly overlooked by the mainstream media and still is - the issue of race. Let's face the facts, the vast majority of looters in New Orleans were Black. Of course many will try to excuse that by claiming that Blacks have been victims of racism and poverty. Hopkins of course dismisses this as nonsense, stating:
"Lawlessness didn’t rule because the looters had spent lifetimes deprived of DVD players. They were out to get something for nothing—an ethic bred by years of guilty generosity prefaced on the assumption that the standard rules of social advancement don’t venture into the ghetto."
Not only DVDs, but also Heineken beer as well.

Nevetheless, it cannot be denied that issues of race came to the forefront in the aftermath of the Katrina disaster - if only because Blacks themselves chose to make it an issue. Many of sought to blame racism for the slow response to the disaster. As New Orleans evacuee Patricia Thompson stated: "No one is going to tell me it wasn’t a race issue...Yes, it was an issue of race. Because of one thing: when the city had pretty much been evacuated, the people that were left there mostly was black."

Not only that, a certain rap music video seeks to prove that George Bush Don't Like Black People. Then who could forget Louis Farrakhan's remarks about how Bush blew up the levies to deliberately drown the Black residents of New Orleans. Oh yeah and to top it all off, Mayor Ray Nagin's remarks about New Orleans being a "Chocolate City".

Of course some might want to dismiss these incidents as merely the extreme rantings of a random few. While these remarks might have been the extreme, they did expose the seemingly deep-seated sense of anti-white bigotry that appears to prevail within significant portions of the black community.

Michelle Malkin, for one thing, even exposed the open support Farrakhan enjoys among many prominent black celebrities and leaders, as was demonstrated by their widespread turnout to the Millions More gathering last October. And the names she lists are quoted directly from the official website for the gathering. Amazing!

Yet it takes little imagination to wonder what would happen if any prominent white leader or celebrity decided to openly endorse such overt racist bigotry. So clearly a double-standard is in place here, in more ways than one.

For one thing, it's perfectly alright for blacks and other minorities to embrace and openly proclaim their heritage. Yet for whites to do the same is denounced as racism and a bigotry. This is the common logic being promoted into maintstream society by multiculturalism.

After all, so multiculturalists will say, white European and European-descented peoples have contributed nothing of real lasting value to the world; only wars, slavery, and imperialism. Oh yeah and let's not forget that white Europeans imposed that intolerant faith of Christianity on the world along with it. Peoples of European-descent have nothing to be proud of, in fact they should be ashamed of themselves. There is only one proper response to such allegations - HUMBUG!

Well at least that's the most proper non-vulgar response to such allegations.

The truth of the matter is that white European descented peoples should not have to be ashamed of who they are. Yes, our ancestors committed some cruel and unfair things, but in fairness all cultures have engaged in such actions, so why single out Europeans?

Perhaps it should be noted that white Europeans weren't the only ones involved in the slave trade. In fact the African nation of Benin even admitted its key role in the slave trade and sought forgiveness for its actions. A. Peter Bailey of Vital Issues: A Journal of African American Speeche even had this to say: "There has been a tendency to blur over the pivotal role that some African chiefs played in the enslavement of African people." So there's plenty of blame to go around, but that's not even the point here.

To reduce the rich European derived heritage - from its origins in Greece and Rome, to the Medieval period, the Renaisance, and yes even the Enlightenment to some extent - to just slavery and imperialism is in the end nothing more than an atrocious act of bigotry in its truest form.

So yes, in the end Hurricane Katrine did indeed expose many things, and not just the incompetence of Bush and FEMA. It certainly did expose the deep seated racial bigotry that exists within certain segments of American society, although not exactly in the manner many would want us to think. In a terrible irony, the very people who claimed to have been the victims of such bigotry in the end were the ones who openly engaged in it. And worse off, this bigotry was only one piece in a larger puzzle.


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