Monday, September 05, 2005

The Simple Life

Douglas Adams revealed the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life the Universe and Everything in his Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series. (If you think Adams made up the answer you're wrong; you can check for yourself using the Google calculator.) Black leaders including Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and Atlanta area Congressmen David Scott, John Lewis, and Cynthia McKinney have one-upped Adams and simplified life considerably by discovering the answer to every question: Racism. From the Sept. 2 Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"I have been outraged and horrified at the level of response to this national disaster," Franklin said. "I'm not really sure what we're waiting for. Are we waiting for everyone to die?" The mayor and three Democratic members of Congress at Atlanta City Hall placed the blame for the mounting death toll on Bush's shoulders and suggested that the response might have been swifter in New Orleans if the suffering faces on the TV news were not black. "Many people in the African-American community are saying the reason that the federal government did not respond as quickly as it should is because those are black people in New Orleans," U.S. Rep. David Scott said. "Prove me wrong." Scott and Reps. John Lewis and Cynthia McKinney, their rage unconcealed, accused Bush of failing to prepare before the hurricane despite warnings of widespread flooding and said he had squandered the nation's resources on the war in Iraq instead of preparedness at home.

James Taranto points out that of the five Louisiana parishes hit hardest by Katrina, four are predominantly white. The rescuers should be very careful or they might accidentally save a black person. Part of the problem, it seems, is the media--or at least Mayor Frankin's reliance on television for her information:

In Atlanta, Franklin urged Bush to "get on board and lead us" and said he shouldn't need to fly over the Gulf Coast to comprehend the tragedy. "If you want to see what's going on, turn on the television," she said.

Certainly, if you watched television coverage of post-hurricane rescue efforts you saw mostly black faces. This was due to the media's focus on the dramatic flooding of downtown New Orleans--which is predominantly black. But Katrina's devastation cut across huge areas of two states, flooding out people of all colors, leaving them homeless and in need of rescue. Mayor Franklin's perspective might be more accurate and less prone to self-embarrassment if she had toured the hardest hit areas herself before lashing out. A bigger problem is the media's own poor judgement in reporting the press-conferences of these race-hustlers: What they have to say isn't news anymore. Black Americans would be better off if they stopped electing and, especially, stopped listening to such leaders.

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