Everyone has been affected by the news of Hurricane
Katrina and it’s victims who happen to be largely of color. The
media has made no attempt to hide its racist practices by portraying
the economically disenfranchised Black people that live there, whose
lives have been devastated and destroyed, as thugs, criminals, and
lawless rouges while the fairer “victims” of Katrina are portrayed
as helpless and defenseless survivors trapped in dehumanizing conditions.
Down in Louisiana, with its vicious racist policies that allowed
30 percent of New Orleans’ residents of color to live below an acceptable
standard of living and educational opportunity, with its governor
having her lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification,
calling her own devastated constituents hoodlums and lawbreakers,
the receding waters have revealed a frightening reality in this
so-called land of opportunity.
The commander in chief, the leader of the free world
that was elected for his supposed ability to lead this country in
times of terror, turned an intentionally blind eye to relief efforts
and arrogantly threw a pittance of aid and assistance as a appeasement
to those that might question his reaction. A few sound bites and
a few dollars absolves him of any guilt or complicity for the conditions
of all the areas devastated by Katrina in which people of color
and people with no means are involuntarily thrust into the limelight
as America’s newest reality television stars. There’s no million-dollar
prize at the end of this game of Survivor, there’s dehydration,
starvation, and death for the losers and the winners get unimaginable
nightmares that will haunt them for the rest of their natural lives.
White people (and Blacks that want to distance themselves
from the heathen behaviors of the people on the news) want to point
the finger of indignation and say, “Look at those animals, those
‘BLACKS’ down there, stealing televisions and creating chaos. Look
at them fighting and behaving like beasts and savages.” White America
can rest easy that Black people do in fact possess the inherent
criminal/inferior gene that predisposes them to acts of lawlessness
and savagery and it’s right there on the television to prove it.
The assumption is always that white people would never behave
that way under those catastrophic conditions.
They’re right. They are absolutely correct. White
people have never lived as third class citizens in the richest nation
in the world so it’s very reasonable to assume that white people
would be able to afford to pack up and leave when the threat of
impending danger was looming on the horizon. White people would
not have to wait for days for food and water and dry clothing because
there would be safe havens set up before the last rain drop fell
that would have provided cute little tote bags of toiletries and
snack foods, insurance agents to process claims and bank representatives
to provide emergency loans as they got off the evacuation buses.
White victims of a tragedy like this would have the nation rallying
around them with signs of solidarity waving from SUVs and flagpoles
all around the nation. Moreover, when white people eventually behaved
in barbaric and uncivilized ways, the way anyone would do under
such dire circumstances, there would be a psychological term slapped
on it, a telethon to cure it, and the media would cover it more
than the OJ Trial.
Newt Gingrich said, “If we can't respond faster than
this to an event we saw coming across the Gulf for days, then why
do we think we're prepared to respond to a nuclear or biological
attack?” I’ll tell why the two are vastly different. God forbid
there was planned act of terror that would occur in a US city, you’d
see the nation rally around that cause, the draft would be reinstated
with the quickness, hundreds of billions of dollars would be given
to big businesses to aid them, and we’d be at war with Iran in three
days time. Bush never intended to have a plan to respond to the
victims of the hurricane and he hasn’t lost a minute’s sleep because
of it. The plan to attack Iran has been in place since the same
illegal plan to invade Iraq was set in motion. As long as there’s
money to be made by Bush and his cronies, there’s a plan, a backup,
and a contingency all outlined.
It’s estimated that it’s going to take an estimate
$56 billion dollars to rebuild New Orleans. (That says nothing
of the other devastated towns, hamlets and villages that don’t have
TV cameras there to chronicle their devastation). Bush generously
offered $10 billion dollars to the relief effort. I guess now he’s
concerned about fiscal responsibility and pinching pennies because
of the billions he’s spending to get an oil monopoly…I mean, building
democracy in the Middle East. Why not cough up $100 billion, W?
You are making exponentially more than that by charging us $4.00
a gallon for gas. Why do we, the American public, have to dig deep
in our already strained pockets to aid in the relief of these victims?
This is the richest nation in the world. Don’t pinch pennies when
it comes to your own citizens.
Message boards all over the Internet are filled with
posts from white people that are espousing hatred and rejoicing
that Katrina caused such devastation and how they wished that it
had killed all the (racial epithet) of New Orleans. Black America
has been feeling the pain of the racist tone since the first reports
of Black people being termed “looters” while white people were miraculously
“finding” food. We are supposed to accept our lot in life and not
complain because that’s the premise of this great nation. Black
people, check your birth certificate to see if you are classified
as three-fifths of a human being. Chances are, if you are poor
and undereducated, it says you are because that’s the way the government
is treating us.
Where are the cries of God Bless America that followed
9/11? I guess people want to save their prayers and petitions for
causes all America can rally around, not just the Black people.
Where was the emergency midnight session for Congress to pass illegal
legislation like they did with one white woman who was already dead
while thousands of living people suffered without food and water?
Will America wear brown ribbons as a show of support for the flood
victims of Katrina? I think not. It is with this faith that we
as a nation will be able to hew out of the cesspool of despair a
drop of hope.
Nothing will change. In two weeks, things will go
back to normal. TV stations will go back to being focused on some
white girl missing in the Caribbean, Sin City will have dried out
and it will be old news. We’ll be tracking the next hurricane that
is set to hit Florida and airlifting everyone from The Keys to Disney
World to a safe haven. Black America will have digested yet another
bitter racist pill and swallowed it with a xenophobic chaser. Katrina
has washed away the pretense of equality in this country and we
have been left exposed and vulnerable.
Scottie Lowe is the sole owner and founder of
a company dedicated to eradicating the negative and stereotypical
depictions of Black sexuality and providing customized, personalized
erotic stories for and about people of color.
Copyright 2005 Scottie Lowe