Thursday I asked the question: Looting: Is it as bad in Mississippi as it is in Louisiana? I went on to ask more:
All I’m hearing about are stories coming out of New Orleans of chaos and looting but not much out of the devastated areas of Mississippi. Is this an example of the media’s focusing too much on one area (that is historic in nature) or is there another angle that perhaps I’m missing?
Earlier this evening, I blogged about the race card now officially being put on the table by the likes of the usual suspects like the Rev. Jesse Jackson. This card is being pushed and pushed heavily by "leaders" in the black community.
The more I thought about the questions I’ve asked about the media’s primary focus on New Orleans, the more I kept coming back to one thing: white guilt. Sure enough, searching through the blogosphere I ran across this piece at the American Thinker, written by Rick Moran who blogs at the Right Wing Nuthouse. In it, Moran, discusses the "white guilt" factor that is strongly at play in all the media stories about the looting, anarchy, and chaos taking place in New Orleans, which is something that the media is blindly going along with (if you read William McGowan’s book Coloring the News you’ll see what I mean). Moran writes:
Rangel and Jackson are by no means alone in piggybacking criticism of rich white people on their overheated critique of the Bush Administration. The tragedy in New Orleans is unlike any other disaster in American history, in that not only have we witnessed the almost complete and utter destruction of a major industrialized city but also political attacks on the party in power carried out with a ferocity perhaps unprecedented in its speed and bitterness following a major cataclysm.
This tactic is largely being given a free pass by the press and the American people because by invoking the race and class cards in a situation where the race and class of the people suffering the worst of the disaster is obvious, it becomes easier to posit the notion of an “essential truth” being divined from the tragedy. In short, since poor black people are suffering, ergo they must be “targeted” by white people because of their color and, given the economic determinists worldview, by the very fact that they are poor as well.
It does no good to point out that the Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, is black himself. Not does it help to dispel this impression by saying that the city has a black Police Superintendent Edwin Compass III. And I imagine numerous questions will be put to both the Mayor and Police Superintendent at an appropriate time about their initial responses to the hurricane and its aftermath.
But the real questions are does it make any difference that those who are experiencing the worst of the devastation are poor and black and is their ordeal the result of the indifference and outright racisim of white people and, by extension, conservative white people in the Bush Administration?
To even ask the questions presupposes a monstrous evil at large in America. Do white people not care if black people live or die? Anyone who suggests that the overwhelming majority of white people – conservative or not – would have such a pernicious attitude toward human life is being disengenuous. They are not being serious. Similarly, to say that the overwhelming majority of Americans could give a fig that poor people are fighting for their lives as I write this is demonstrably false, based on the fact that more than $100 million has been raised in a little more than 72 hours for the relief of these same poor black people in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast.
Then why this over the top rhetoric? Why the wild claims by African American leaders and the anti-poverty industry that the race and class of the victims of Katrina has a direct bearing on the level of suffering being experienced by those who, through no fault of their own, were forced to stay behind in the doomed city?
Race, and to a lesser extent class, has been called the elephant in the living room in American politics and for good reason; the only people who can speak about it and not get skewered in a political sense are the self-appointed black leaders who, for better or for worse, have become the inheritors of Martin Luther King’s legacy. Over the years, the Jesse Jacksons and Charlie Rangels have developed an entirely new vocabulary replete with apocalyptic rhetoric and dark, conspiratorial imagery that feeds the frustration and anger that many blacks experience by living and working in America. What makes their critiques resonate with the black community is that there is usually just enough truth about the real and palpable racism that blacks see and experience in their everyday lives to make the more outrageous claims regarding white mischeif seem plausible.
Make sure to read the whole thing. The black "leaders" of America are pushing the white guilt angle on this issue and know they can count on their pals in the media to help them push it. Repeating a comment from another thread, blogger D.C. Thornton nailed it:
It’s more convenient to blame a white president for what went wrong than to hold a black mayor and his administration accountable for gross negligence and failing to fully carry out an established emergency preparedness plan.
To hold Ray Nagin and his administration accountable for dropping the ball amounts to letting loose the shouts and cries of “Racism!”. It’s sad, it’s wrong, but it’s standard operating procedure for the media and left-wing black leadership.
That is exactly right. The media, along with the race-baiters, pushes the white guilt angle, knowing full well and good that no one on the Republican side of the fence would dare attempt to counter the accusation in any meaningful way unless he or she was prepared to be branded a racist by the Rev. Jesse Jacksons of this country. So these so-called "leaders", who in actuality do a great disservice to their country and have probably done more in the last 40 years to perpetuate the *MYTH* that black people are "owed" so much for our country’s shameful history as it relates to slavery, get a free pass to spew their lies about how the delayed response to the devastation in New Orleans is the result of racism, and *not* the result of the poor planning of New Orleans Mayor Nagin, who happens to be black.
Rich Lowry at the National Review writes that the heated rhetoric coming out of the mouths of the black "leaders" like Jesse and company don’t bode well at all for the state of the partisan divide in this country. It’s only going to get worse. As Lowry says:
Unfortunately, the post-catastrophe debate will probably be toxic and unhealthy, just like the oily, fetid waters of New Orleans.
Hat tip: Jeff Goldstein, who said to a commenter at a lefty blog:
Turning a hurricane into a “racist” event is just what this country needs to have the conversation it’s been too afraid to have for 30 years.
Bring it on.
I’m with him. And anyone else who’s sick and tired of not only shameless, self-absorbed race-baiters like the Rev. Jesse Jackson poisoning the atmosphere of real debate with his faux righteous indignancy routine, but the media, who shamelessly goes along with it in what can only be characterized as an effort to assuage the white guilt in this country over the issue of slavery.
More: D.C. Thornton is on a roll: "Who’s Responsible for New Orleans?"
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