Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Shoe

Ok, I've been trying to avoid this topic ever since I was the catalyst of a maelstrom at another blog that shall remain nameless. So I'm on this trip, and because of only having 1 hour of sleep in the previous 40 hours and the fact that we had to be on the road back to Dallas before 11 am, church was not an option. Therefore, I find myself in bed at approximately 9 o'clock flipping channels.

I come upon a black woman standing in front of a black background ranting. I soon realize this is CBS's "esteemed" news show "Sunday Morning". The offensiveness of what she was saying dissolved my grogginess. It was essentially a more articulate version of Kanye West's nuanced analysis of the Commander and Chief. It's entitled "What if They Were White". Here are some of my favorites lines from her "essay". Oh, I should mention that the whole thing was spoken in a very overly dramatic soliloquy delivering voice, a googling of the "performer" explained that.
When I saw pictures of black people taking things from stores, my first thought was: "How are those Air Jordans necessary for your survival?"
Then it hit me: People needed shoes and clothing. Some escaped the floods with just the clothing on their backs

Yes, they need 20 pairs of $140 shoes in sizes 7-13 because they "escaped" with what was on they're backs. Question, if you're still in the flood zone, have you escaped? Are you even trying to escape? When you actually do "escape" what will you do with all those shoes?

And if you were confused about whether she was trying to make a political statement or not...
The real war is not in Iraq, but right here in America. It's the War on Poverty, and it's a war that's been ignored and lost. An estimated 37 million Americans are living in poverty. New Orleans is one of the poorest cities in the country, with 40 percent of its children living in poverty. Mississippi has the highest poverty rate of any state. We've repeatedly given tax cuts to the wealthiest, and left our most vulnerable American citizens to basically fend for themselves.

I'm not even gonna get started on this one...but apparently hurricanes are attracted to poor people. As if being poor didn't suck already.

The whole world is watching. And once again, a day late and a dollar short, words of wisdom from our president: "This is a huge task that we're dealing with." "These are tough times." "Give cash."
Once again, he finds the photo op: Some black folks to hug, some white men in Mississippi to bond with. He flies over the messy parts of New Orleans, waves and leaves.
The president has put himself at risk by visiting the troops in Iraq, but didn't venture anywhere near the Superdome or the Convention Center, where thousands of victims, mostly black and poor, needed to see that he gave a damn.

I'm still trying to figure out what the point of all that is. So, if Bush does show up with victims it's a photo-op, if he doesn't show up he doesn't "give a damn."

It appears that Mark Davis has some reasonable thoughts on reactions to Katrina. Read it. Oh, and in response to Ms. Giles question: if they were white the reaction by FEMA would still be slower than we want, because they're FEMA, that's what they do. The ineptitude of state and local authorities would be the same, because well, it's Louisiana and that's what they do. And the President would still not be deciding what type of buses should be used in the evacuation, because that's not what he does.

In the end, my calm demeanor prevailed and the shoe stayed on the ground, far from the middle of the TV screen. But for anyone using this, the hurricane, to make a political point, can just stick it.

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