portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary global

anti-racism

Poor and Black = Welfare?

Even for the well-intentioned, sometimes racism runs deep
I HOPE I don't have to hear any more white progressives say that one reason so many Katrina survivors were unable to evacuate was that it was the "end of the month and so they were broke and didn't have enough money to catch a train out." What the fuck is that? Besides racist stereotyping at its pernicious worst. Being poor and black does NOT equal being on Welfare.
No Shit 06.Sep.2005 12:01

Antinomias Vermont

We should be real up-front about this. The reason that the people couldn't get out of New Orleans is
that 20% of the population don't have cars and that absolutely no provisions were made either for them,
or for the many tourists that were in town. The bus lines quit running out of town on the Saturday previous
to the hurricane, and I'm not sure about the train, but I am sure that Amtrak doesn't have the ability to evacuate
more than 100,000 people in 3-4 days.

The real reasons for this outrage are classism, racism, and, perhaps most importantly, incompetence. I would
further say that the blame for this should be shared by all involved, from the city of New Orleans staff and
elected officials, to the White House. The politicians involved should all be ashamed of themselves for the
disgusting lack of leadership and initiative they displayed during this national emergency.

Many residents themselves made this statement 06.Sep.2005 15:40

*

No one made this up - and to me it only makes more apparent how nearly criminally unprepared officials were for this catastrophe. Obviously, it's no secret that NO holds a large number of poor citizens, why wasn't this acknowledged before? Of *course* they would need public transportation to evacuate them, as well as others who simply didn't have cars - tourists, college students, residents, etc...

I'm also pissed off they had no plan for people with pets - many stayed with their pets rather than abandon them to a horrible fate all alone.

microeconomics is for balancing your checkbook 07.Sep.2005 11:25

not for running a nation-state

Both at the bottom and the top of society the same "free market" error in thinking is made -- that if 100,000 people show up at the train station with the right amount of money in each of their hands, the Invisible Hand of the Marketplace will magically whisk them all away to safety. It didn't matter how much money everybody had. If they didn't have their own cars, they were screwed. God Bless America.