Friday, September 16, 2005

Race and Katrina, cont.

I noticed the posting from Sept. 6th. It's been my feeling that the failings (at least in regards to dealing with post-Katrina) were class motivated rather then race motivated. I recognize that the majoritty of the poor are black, or hispanic. (And boy did they lose out, since there were no spanish language warnings issued at all.) Still my thoughts are that it's because they are poor not because of their race that they were ignored and left to die. I'm not ignoring the fact that racism caused poverty for minorities in the south and elsewhere, I just think that poverty is the bigger problem since the expectation was, "Issue the warning and people will evacuate themselves."

I agree with your observations; I simply presume that racism has an intrinsic class dimension; after all, you can't really talk about one without implying the other.

I don't believe the motivation behind the Katrina response-failure was anything other than a concerted lack of motivation. I think that's where racism played a central role: it was a situation where the people who suffered and died were predominantly poor and non-white, while those with the authority to help them were predominantly neither. As such, the outcome should not be entirely surprising. I don't think it needs to presuppose any conscious dislike for the poor or minorities. These groups simply have no voice in the executive branch as it is currently administered; subsequently their needs--in this case their lives--do not constitute a high priority unless some compelling political reason (e.g., scandal) can justify it.

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