Jones tried to put race aside, focusing her outrage on charging "the government has not allocated the resources." But Brown went back to his Love Boat for Whites theme: "Now, look, here's the question, OK? And then we'll end this. Do you think the reason that they're not there or the food is not there or the cruise ships aren't there or all this stuff that you believe should be there, isn't this a matter of race and/or class?"
But given that Louisiana is one of the least affluent states in the nation, and two-thirds of the residents of New Orleans are black, is it any surprise that most of the people left behind were poor and black? There's a difference between citing racial and class realities and goosing black politicians to endorse the poisonous idea of a conscious conspiracy of neglect against poor minorities.
The media attitude was quickly mirrored with fervor by black celebrities and commentators. During NBC's concert for hurricane relief, rapper Kanye West abused that network's generosity by going on an unscripted verbal rampage ending with the sentence "President Bush doesn't care about black people." That, sadly, is what one expects from some elements of the entertainment community.
What was unconscionable, however, was watching CBS "Sunday Morning" commentator Nancy Giles carry the same vicious message, saying President Bush failed to come to the Superdome to show poor, black victims "that he gave a damn." Giles declared if the majority of Katrina's victims were white, "they would not have gone for days without food and water, forcing many to steal for mere survival. Their bodies would not have been left to float in putrid water. They would have been rescued and relocated a hell of a lot faster than this. Period."
Conservatives who have followed politics for a while remember having seen this before, with the race card used against its leaders personally, and in attempts to undermine its policy prescriptions. (Remember Willie Horton?) But what liberals have done in the last few days is worse. They have taken a human tragedy for Gulf Coast residents of all colors and turned it into a Caucasian-kicking sideshow.
The networks have not taught the world to sing in perfect harmony. They are Pied Piper-ing for the likes of Al Sharpton, matching stride for stride his disregard for dignity and truth.
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