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View Diary: Obama's Team Has Been On the Job Since Day One Mr. Fineman (379 comments)

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  •  Deeper than that (11+ / 0-)

    It's about race because it was about class - those with the resources to evacuate did.  Those with the resources to rebuild did.  Those who didn't have those resources drowned or broke through the roof or went in desperation to the Convention Center and Superdome.

    •  Katrina laid "small government" ideology bare (4+ / 0-)
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      TiaRachel, RenaRF, Exquisite, MaikeH

      It demonstrated the clear need for an effective, proactive  and responsive government.  It was the "at long last have you no decency" moment we'd all been waiting for.

      And beyond all of that, it laid Bush's priorities bare as virtually the entire National Guard was already in the middle east, thus all of us at home were left defenseless to any act of nature or man.  Hard to maintain the argument that he was the guy protecting us when he left all of us that vulnerable.

      Race played a part, no doubt.  But it was never the main point.  

      Imagine if we focused all this energy on beating the GOP.

      by snout on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 10:29:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kind of a general observation (2+ / 0-)
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        snout, chigh

        that your reply made me ponder.  People are sensitive about the subject of race and whether a thing is labeled as racist or not.  I understand that.  And I do believe that race was a central issue in Katrina and continues to be so for the simple fact that so many of New Orleans' working class are poor and black.  

        I think if you were to go to New Orleans today you'd still see that race and class are front-and-center issues with respect to Katrina.  Much of the city - downtown, the French Quarter, etc. - is functioning at such a level that if you'd never heard of Katrina, you wouldn't know anything devastating had ever happened.  Yet driving into the lower 9th ward you see a wasteland - mouldering houses still litter the "streets" (which are overgrown and don't appear to have been maintained) and where row on row of shotgun houses once stood, now you see empty lots.  There's been no discernable effort - outside of what Habitat and Brad Pitt and few others are doing - to rebuild squat in the lower 9th.  They've hauled off much of the loose debris and flooded cars and bodies, but not much else.  

        And while I can't prove it, common sense and an appreciation of history would tell me that rebuilding after Katrina was all focused around the money (duh) and not remotely focused around culture and around allowing New Orleans' working class an affordable, safe, livable place to return to.

        It's a class thing.  And in too many cases, if it's a class thing, it's a race thing.

        I do agree that your point is another major point - but one alongside class and race.

        •  I suppose it is a subjective thing. (1+ / 0-)
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          At the end of the day Katrina (and just about everything else) is about whatever each individual believes it is about.

          I certainly think class was and is a huge issue.  And your point is well taken that race and class are intertwined.  But that said, I must admit that I always found the Kanye West "George Bush doesn't like black people" line of response incredibly counter productive.  To much of America it smacked of blaming Bush for the weather and the shoddy disaster planning that New Orleans had in place.  

          Is it possible that New Orleans had less federal funding for disaster prep than a less diverse and richer city might have had?  Absolutely.  But how much of that could be laid on the Bush admin's door I am not sure.  Did the Clinton admin do better?  I wonder.

          I still maintain that the argument that remains impossible for the right to bat away is that the Bush admin had left ALL Americans vulnerable by sending all of our National Guard to Iraq.  Perhaps I am guilty of arguing what the point ought to have been rather than what it was for many.  But I also cannot help but suspect that Katrina would not have been as large a turning point as it was if it was viewed as only an affront on the poor and the black.  The cynic in me cannot help but point out that all too often Americans have been okay with that in the past.  

          Imagine if we focused all this energy on beating the GOP.

          by snout on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:12:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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