Star Parker

"The charges of racism-inspired foot-dragging isn't just nonsense. It's pernicious nonsense."

This is how the New York Daily News called it regarding charges, from the usual circle of black leaders, that the rescue efforts in New Orleans were slow because the victims were black. The Daily News is right. Except it's even worse than the paper appreciates.

What we are witnessing is a well-honed black political public-relations operation geared to obfuscation, stoking hatred and fear, and nurturing helplessness and dependence among black citizens. Such efforts keep black politicians powerful, diversity businesses prosperous and blacks poor.

The fact that the handling of the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina was a massive botch job at all levels of government is beyond the doubt of any sober observer. Such operations demand precise cooperation and coordination among local, state and federal authorities. It appears evident that the performance at and between each of these levels of government was abysmal.

However, government incompetence isn't news. And, unfortunately, it's also not news when black politicians call it racism when the unfortunate victims of this incompetence, because they are poor and unprepared, are largely black.

It is inconceivable that there could have been some all-knowing racist guiding hand orchestrating the chaos and disorganization that characterized what occurred. Furthermore, how, when black politicians themselves played a prominent role in what happened, can we be talking about racism?

The first line of authority in emergency management, all agree, is local. It appears that Ray Nagin, New Orleans black mayor, was grossly negligent. Existing and detailed written evacuation plans for New Orleans were ignored while the mayor made sporadic decision after decision as if there were no such plans. A fleet of school and transit buses that could have evacuated 12,000 citizens per run was not used and left on low ground and flooded.

Where was black congressman William Jefferson, who has represented New Orleans for eight terms in the U.S. House of Representatives?

Floodwaters poured into New Orleans when the 17th Street Canal levee burst. It had been known and publicized for years that New Orleans was at risk because this levee was not capable of withstanding a Category 5 storm. Making the necessary investment to upgrade this levee required federal funds, and therefore in Jefferson's area of responsibility.

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.