Speaking of Racism

Update: I found the photos; and, as you can see the photos are from different news agencies. None-the-less, given the fact that folks who were unable to leave were desperate for food and water I think AP still deserves condemnation for its photo caption. Click on image to view a larger version.

The Associated Press ran two photos of folks who had broken into grocery stores to obtain food and drink. The caption of the picture of an African-American gentleman carrying a half rack of Pepsi and a garbage bag apparently full of other supplies indicated the man had looted the grocery store. The photo of a Caucasian man and woman indicated that they had found supplies in a grocery store.

I think that one of the good things to come out of the Katrina rendered disaster is that we have again been reminded that overt racial bigotry remains. From the fact that the city, state, and federal governments left behind in New Orleans 100,000 poor, mostly African -American, citizens who for one reason or another who could not flee the coming storm; to the cracker suburban New Orleans police chief who prevented folks from evactuating the City via one of the few remaining evacuation routes; to an Assoicated Press editor.

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One response to “Speaking of Racism

  1. Anonymous

    Chris, I agree with you about all of those cases. At least the widely beloved Barbara Bush got outed as a racist pig (and dumb, too–she said it into an open microphone). Rep. Baker’s remarks about the public housing projects also came from his heart, I guess; the Wall Street Journal reporter.

    I heard a radio interview with the California paramedic couple who blew the whistle on the Gretna LA sheriff’s deputy’s. The blood chilling thing about that case is that it took the firefighter’s union in California to get them and their 120 friends out.

    The racial structure of American society is sickening. It still shows the damage from slavery and Jim Crow, and will for the foreseeable future. WEB DuBois said race will be the problem of the 20th century. Apparently it will of the 21st century too.

    Racism is a default setting in human brains–sort of built in. It takes consistent education to wipe it out. American education, as we know, is generally pretty spotty. In Louisiana it will take generations. The notoriety of Katrina’s racially segregated impacts may help. But don’t get your hopes up.

    The irony is that, at another level, New Orleans amazing cultural wealth (as the birthplace of the blues and jazz and gospel, and Mardi Gras etc.) is largely a product of the social evils of racism and poverty and ignorance. The genius of the music, which makes it universal, is in its commentary on society. It’s always been a poor and violent and racially unjust society.

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