Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Response to a Response

Anonymous posted in reponse to my earlier post on the lack of response by the federal government in wake of Katrina:

Remenber the great words of Kanye West Greg, "George Bush doesn't like black people." Is he on to something, perhaps he is, or perhaps Bush just likes white people with money more then poor black people. After all he is the first president to never go to a NAACP convention.

Of course, Bush didn't go to the NAACP convention, because Karl Rove couldn't control the message. He couldn't fill the hall with just Bush supporters nor prevent the drowning out of his candidate's speech by catcalls and boos. It is safer to trot out Black faces to the podium at the Republican Convention, which also allows for a connection to be made to the kind of person the people running the Republician party want to associate with: People with money and education no matter the color of their skin. If the neocons (I don't want to use "Republican" because not all Republicans believe the extreme Christian agenda being put forth by the people running the party and especially don't think the government's place is pushing such an agenda forward) win some of the Black vote because there are some Blacks who believe the religous, patriotic, moralistic fast talk the neocons use to win the vote of the White hillbilly (either in Appalachia or a working-class suburb), they won't be denied (except maybe in Ohio) because everh vote counts, but push comes to shove, neither White hillbilly nor poor innercity Black is someone these people really want to associate with.

In honesty, I think that saying "George W. Bush doesn't like Black people" makes the situation too simple. Using my mutant ability to take over the thoughts of others, from just his view, I believe that the only people that matter are those that have been saved and in that case, the color of their skin doesn't matter. Besides, I'm sure that the Archangel Michael or St. Peter or whichever angel is assigned the task will make sure people who have nothing in common won't have to rub elbows. Bush doesn't dislike black people as much he is incapable of empathsizing with people who don't travel in his circles or come from the world he does. As Bill Maher said, and I am paraphrasing, "This Administration just couldn't understand why the people stranded in New Orleans just didn't load up their Explorers and drive to their winter homes."

(Maybe if Bush did get an occasional blowjob under his desk, he'd be more willing to look past his provincial world and be less willing to anticipating Judgment Day, but I digress.)

However, that doesn't excuse the people who do the actual work from not leaping to help. Despite the message the Administration is trying to put out, Louisiana's governor did declare a state of emergency on August 26. On the 27th, the governor requested the president to declare a federal state of emergency, he he did that same day. (For a timeline of events, go here.) There are also two elephants in the room that people aren't discussing: (1) The National Security Agency held FEMA back from responding based on "national security fears"; and (2) Because of the war in Iraq, National Guard forces nationwide did not have the material or troops to respond adequately.

Bush has said he will head the investigation into the lack of response; right now, we should all be rattling the cages of our senators and people in the House decrying this and force it to be an independent investigation. Even if there is a report before the 2006 elections, will these issues even be addressed if Bush leads the investigation? How could anyone even think they would be addressed? Would we, even his supporters, allowed Bill Clinton to head an investigation into Whitewater? Of course not, even though the facts of Whitewater occurred before Clinton became president and, save for Vince Foster, no one related to it died. Bush doesn't deserve a pass for an investigation into an event that did occur while he was president and did kill people.

Now, I wouldn't disagree if you wanted to say, "the people in power don't like Black people" because I think that there are people in top positions in the Administration who have used Bush's lack of empathy or lack of concern with day-to-day procedure, to push forward thier own agendas be they racist, religous, or wallet-based. I also wouldn't disagree if you wanted to say "that the people in power see no profit to be made by actively trying to win Black support," especially as the Hispanic population in the United States, which historically votes Conservative, is projected to surpass the Black population by 2010. The last election, if nothing else, with the U.S. map a sea of red, gives them confidence now that they have found the message that will appeal to their constituency forever. But, hopefullty, their arrogance will be their downfall.

I offer this: There will be an election in three years; this coming January the politicking will begin. Screw Bush (and you can insert your own dirty joke here) and what he thinks regarding the Apocalypse, if the neocons actually had a grasp of the fragility of their status, they would have sent barges loaded with food and water on the Tuesday after the Hurricane and add it delivered by prominant Republicans. That could have easily won them Black votes come the mid-term elections and in 2008, it could have caused a huge swell of Black voters consistently voting Republican because the image of poor Black people being helped would have spoken to generations of Black voters who see the Republican Party as nothing more than an institution of repression. Also, though the faces predominantly seen are Black ones, let us not forget that there were White people there, too, and their description of the situation to other White people in the days to come won't necessarily assure the neocons their full support come election time.

In the end, I wish that this whole ugly affair could be blamed on George Bush hating Black people; that can be easily explained. However, as I've tried to explain, the reasons, as I see them, are more complicated and representative of this neocon administration's devaluing of all people not within their narrow world view of importance.