Media pushes “white guilt” angle

Posted by: ST on September 3, 2005 at 3:36 am

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?"

Don’t forget you can still contribute to the American Red Cross Hurricane 2005 Relief Fund or any one (or more!)  of a number of other great organizations out there mobilizing to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  If you do contribute, please log it here at the TTLB contribution page as he is tracking the amount of money raised from each blog.  Logging it is totally anonymous – in other words, you don’t have to give a name.  Just an amount, the charity you donated to, and the blog that encouraged you to do so.

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  • 13 Responses to “Media pushes “white guilt” angle”

    Comments

    1. crosshairs says:

      The people making this into a race event are the ones that should be ashamed. How about some personal responsibility, most people at least have two feet. It was the NO’s city government that should have been responsible for getting everyone out, than the state government, failing that, and if called by the state, it falls to the fed’s. There was ample warning to get out!!! Never the less if you’ve got a heart you donate or do what you can for people. Slavery ended 140 years ago I’m not responsible nor are you. Let’s get beyond that BS.

    2. Rob says:

      The folks claiming the response to Katrina is racial are idiots. They’re giving the government far to much credit for actually having been prepared for this catastrophy.

      Never assume malice when incompetence is the more likely explanation.

    3. Crosshairs: “Slavery ended 140 years ago I’m not responsible nor are you. Let’s get beyond that BS.”

      Amen!

      Rob: “Never assume malice when incompetence is the more likely explanation.”

      Oh if only more people would think that way!

    4. cc says:

      I am white and I do not feel one bit guilty for wondering why these people didn’t help themselves.

      I live in the Pacific Northwest. I have an evacuation plan should we have the big earthquake.

      I really admire what the 15 year old did in New Orleans. He took that school bus and saved a lot of lives. He is a hero. So is “Leo.” The man that took a bunch of baby food, formula, diapers, pedialyte, Fresh Wipes and handed them out at the Super Dome.

    5. GBA says:

      Has anyone read the emergency plan?

      Please help me find the part where they evacuate the poor and the infirmed. I keep reading it and I just can’t find that part.

      Does anyone know if the Nagin or Blanco called for the National Guard before to provide evacuation assistance before the storm hit?

      Please remember thay Katrina was 300 miles wide, so no one could evacuate on foot. Even if they started walking 4 days before it hit land.

      It seems to me that most munincipal workers that could have helped realized that this was going to be “biblical” event and thus promptly got themselves and their own families out of town. But I could be wrong.

      BTW: Crosshairs;
      Slavery ended 140 years ago. Does that mean that racial opression no longer exist in the United States?

      Because I will never forget as long as I live what happened to James Bryd Jr in 1998. Nor will I forget how many in that Texas community defended the actions of the perpetrators of such a brutal and grizzly crime.

    6. Shooter says:

      I can feel it coming! Another ‘Great Society’. If the left gains control somehow, we’re going to have our assets redistributed again. With the same results no doubt. More black poverty, lawlessness, promiscuity, single parent homes and illiteracy are what the last ‘Great Society’ socialist experiment provided.
      Slavery is not the cause of this! I never had a slave, not even one so there’s not one iota of guilt here. In fact when my father came here at age 19, unable to read or write (English nor Italian) and with $26 to his name, he was almost a slave himself! He had a job inside of a week!
      If you drive past certain places in this area (North NJ) at around 7AM you’ll see what appear to be gangs of short brown-skinned men loitering around. At 9AM they’re all gone. Hmmm, I wonder where??

      W O R K !!!

      that’s where! May only be cutting grass…

      Never see any slavery victims out there though!

      So now the Sharpton’s and the Jackson’s are setting up the white guilt hustle again just like the 60’s.

      I just hope I get kissed this time around.

    7. GBA says:

      Shooter,

      Did you know that it was slaves who built most of Washington D.C.

      NJ is second in the nation for hate crimes. BTW Shooter (McGavin) … I grew up in Northern New Jersey. My family has had a business in the Hollow of Morristown for generations. And I have no idea where you might get the idea of what you are talking about.

      Are you saying that it’s right and lawful to enlist the services of those who are illegal to work in this country?

      Are you saying that the persuit of civil rights and liberties promotes “black poverty, lawlessness, promiscuity, single parent homes and illiteracy”? The last I checked the divorce rate amongst Americans was near 60% percent. That means that nearly two thirds of those that enter into marriage, fail as families and cannot for whatever reason keep a sacred vow that they have made to God and/or eachother. So what’s wrong with single parenthood? It’s more popular amongst those who break their vows than to those who never marry.

      Illiteracy is far more prevalent in the South than in the north. Our local high school here in my Southern state just spent $5,000,000.00 on a football stadium. They froze the teachers salaries. Cut the music and drama programs. They have no AP courses at all. The swim team is #1 in the state and they don’t even have a pool. The percentage of students here that make it to a tier one (top 120) university is 2%. And this is regarded as the best public school system in our state.

      The last time I checked the federal deficit was increasing at more than triple the pace that history has ever seen since 2001.

      The number of Americans (not illegal immigrants) living in poverty has nearly doubled since 2001.

      The “No Child Left Behind Act” is severely underfunded. More money is issued each year to private churches by the federal government than is issued to all schools combined. And churches get that money by an executive order because congress would not pass legistlation for “Faith Bases Initiatives”. And to this day NO Hindu, Buddhist,Taoist, Unitarian, B’ahai, Islamic or Jewish group has been issued any money. But ironically these faith groups may engage in practices of discrimination otherwise prohibited by anyone else who recieves Federal funding or Federal contracts.

      What do you know about lawlessness? NJ has some of the hardest screws in the country. The Stateys’ are famous for racial profiling against African Americans. Almost every police force in Northern New Jersey is overfunded. This is due to the incredible property tax. My Father pays $60,000 dollars a year in just property taxes.

      Promescuity? Are you saying there should be moratorium on fornication? Perhaps a federal oversight committee on the ethics of intercourse? People used to think that morality was a virtue that was learned through responsible guidance by the family. There are all different kinds of families. But according to your idea the government needs to step in?

      What will be the next evil on your agenda? XBOX? Playstation? Rap Music? Rodeo?

      We as people need to put our own lives and families in check before we can even think about infringing on others.

    8. gene willis says:

      boot straps,once in a while,even minorities like the far removed nonminority must do is…pick you,rself up by you,r laces and carry on,and for get the jesse and sharpton blame game,it huets us and they do all minorities an injustice.

    9. matt says:

      I’m fed up with liberal blacks holding us accountable for their problems and wanting us to feel guilty. If you want me to feel guilty for you when I have my own problems, you can kiss my you-know-what.

    10. kelly says:

      As someone who lives in lower Louisiana, it just kills me to still see the racial card being played. You don’t see all of the predominantly white destroyed areas on the TV. Many of my friends lived in Chalmette, Violet, Plaquemines-places that weren’t just tragically flooded-BUT COMPLETELY WIPED OUT! I have been to some of the neighborhoods where there is only one building left standing and debris everywhere. One town had so many dead animals and people with debris, it looked like a bomb went off.
      Where is their publicity? Many of us evacuated within the four day period of warnings. I am poor, but I grabbed my sister, our three children, two dogs, and a cat and got out. I sat in 10 hours of traffic, while my police officer husband had to stay behind. How dare people say that they didn’t know to leave and it’s not fair. There were fire trucks going up and down the neighborhoods saying “YOU HAVE TO LEAVE. THE HURRICANE IS COMING. YOU WILL NOT SURVIVE IF YOU STAY.” Nagin and Blanco both knew. Nagin knows his constituents and shouldn’t have been off in Dallas buying a house but getting people out.
      AAAHHH! I can’t rant anymore. People will believe what they want to, while those of us who have been through it are stuck in Chocolate City with a Mayor who has lost his ever-loving mind.
      Please donate if you can to Red Cross. Nagin is now wanting to make them pay taxes on their properties in New Orleans. If they don’t get the donations, they will have to choose between paying the bills and assisting those that need it. Please help.

    11. Baklava says:

      Please try to visit here in the future Kelly. Your voice needs to be heard.

      I’ve donated and I hope government doesn’t add to the problem anymore than it has.

      Remember that conservatives care no matter how much liberals claim otherwise.

    12. Phil says:

      One thing I haven’t seen talked about much, but which I heard with my own ears, is that Governor Blanco got on TV and clearly said: “If you decide to stay, write your social security number on your arm so we can ID you.” I saw a clown on one of the national shows the other night say that he wishes the real severity of the storm had been communicated by the government. This guy obviously was of means to leave and was young and healthy. Why do people say things that indicate that the omnipresent government did its job, then complain that they are helpless and need even more coddling from the government? What a downer it must be to tell yourself, and not be embarrassed to tell the whole world, that you are a helpless ward of the state.