Sunday, December 18, 2005

President Bush Doesn't Care About White People

Hear now, some of the sounds of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:

"Yes it was an issue of race. Because of one thing: When the city had pretty much been evacuated, the people that were left there were mostly black." -Patricia Thompson, New Orleans Evacuee.

"And I came because the 'ism' that's really bothering me the most is 'racism'". -Dyan French Cole, New Orleans community activist speaking to congresscritters at Katrina hearings on Capitol Hill.

"I heard from a very reliable source who saw a 25 foot deep crater under the levee breech. It may have been blown up to destroy the black part of town and keep the white part dry." -Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader.

"George Bush doesn't care about black people." -Egotistical rapper Kanye West, speaking during a live NBC Katrina fund-raising program.

So, I'm sure that you all know the common wisdom about what happened in New Orleans as a result of Hurrican Katrina: All of the whites evacuated, and the city was left to the poor blacks who couldn't afford to leave, and subsequently drowned as a result. And of course the reason this occurred is because New Orleans was full of black people, and as we all know, we live in a racist country where the white population, right up to our president, "doesn't care about black people."

Well, here come the statistics to burst that carefully constructed bubble. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has been keeping record of the race of all the dead hurricane victims that they processed, and they recently released the results that they have so far compiled. The first thing you have to keep in mind is that prior to the hurricane, New Orleans, like many large cities in the south, was a city with a heavily majority black population - to the tune of 67% of the population of New Orleans. Whites only made up 28% of the population. So did more blacks than whites die in New Orleans? In raw numbers, yes. But that only makes sense seeing as how blacks make up over 2/3 of the population and whites make up less than 1/3. But raw numbers do not tell the whole story. The bottom line is that while blacks made up over 67% of the population, they only accounted for 59% of the deaths. Whites on the other hand, who made up only 28% of the population, accounted for 36.6% of the deaths. So in the New Orleans death tally, blacks were underrepresented, and whites were overrepresented.
Bush doesn't care about black people? One could make the argument that it is white people he more likely didn't care about, but only if you make the argument that it was George Bush's responsibility to take care of New Orleans in the first place.

Good Day to You, Sir

1 comment:

George said...

As you know I have posted much about Katrina, during the crisis, and a bit afterward.

How tiresome has grown the rant "Bush is to blame". The Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson at BOND said it accurately. Read this: