A Completely Racist Diatribe

A friend forwarded the following diatribe to me. She sent me another one earlier in the week that was equally bad and which originated with the KKK. This is apparently the kind of crap that’s getting passed around by right-wing nut jobs though e-mail.

I know I keep saying this, but it needs to be repeated: thousands of people just DIED. An entire American city is GONE. There has never been a disaster like this in the history of our country. Blaming the victims because they’re black is the most hideous behavior imaginable. And it’s not surprising that the true colors of the Republican party are showing.

If you want to really understand how the welfare system works in America after the welfare reform that happened in the 1990s, read this book:

American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation’s Drive to End Welfare by Jason DeParle

Update: This forwarded racist diatribe was written by Robert Tracinski

It has taken four long days for state and federal officials to figure out how to deal with the disaster in New Orleans. I can’t blame them, because it has also taken me four long days to figure out what is going on there. The reason is that the events there make no sense if you think that we are confronting a natural disaster.

If this is just a natural disaster, the response for public officials is obvious: you bring in food, water, and doctors; you send transportation to evacuate refugees to temporary shelters; you send engineers to stop the flooding and rebuild the city’s infrastructure. For journalists, natural disasters also have a familiar pattern: the heroism of ordinary people pulling together to survive; the hard work and dedication of doctors, nurses, and rescue workers; the steps being taken to clean up and rebuild.

Public officials did not expect that the first thing they would have to do is to send thousands of armed troops in armored vehicle, as if they are suppressing an enemy insurgency. And journalists–myself included–did not expect that the story would not be about rain, wind, and flooding, but about rape, murder, and looting.

But this is not a natural disaster. It is a man-made disaster.

The man-made disaster is not an inadequate or incompetent response by federal relief agencies, and it was not directly caused by Hurricane Katrina. This is where just about every newspaper and television channel has gotten the story wrong.

The man-made disaster we are now witnessing in New Orleans did not happen over the past four days. It happened over the past four decades. Hurricane Katrina merely exposed it to public view.

The man-made disaster is the welfare state.

For the past few days, I have found the news from New Orleans to be confusing. People were not behaving as you would expect them to behave in an emergency–indeed, they were not behaving as they have behaved in other emergencies. That is what has shocked so many people: they have been saying that this is not what we expect from America. In fact, it is not even what we expect from a Third World country.
When confronted with a disaster, people usually rise to the occasion. They work together to rescue people in danger, and they spontaneously organize to keep order and solve problems. This is especially true in America. We are an enterprising people, used to relying on our own initiative rather than waiting around for the government to take care of us. I have seen this a hundred times, in small examples (a small town whose main traffic light had gone out, causing ordinary citizens to get out of their cars and serve as impromptu traffic cops, directing cars through the intersection) and large ones (the spontaneous response of New Yorkers to September 11).

So what explains the chaos in New Orleans?

To give you an idea of the magnitude of what is going on, here is a description from a Washington Times story:
“Storm victims are raped and beaten; fights erupt with flying fists, knives and guns; fires are breaking out; corpses litter the streets; and police and rescue helicopters are repeatedly fired on.

“The plea from Mayor C. Ray Nagin came even as National Guardsmen poured in to restore order and stop the looting, carjackings and gunfire….

“Last night, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said 300 Iraq-hardened Arkansas National Guard members were inside New Orleans with shoot-to-kill orders.

” ‘These troops are…under my orders to restore order in the streets,’ she said. ‘They have M-16s, and they are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and they are more than willing to do so if necessary and I expect they will.’ ”

The reference to Iraq is eerie. The photo that accompanies this article shows National Guard troops, with rifles and armored vests, riding on an armored vehicle through trash-strewn streets lined by a rabble of squalid, listless people, one of whom appears to be yelling at them. It looks exactly like a scene from Sadr City in Baghdad.

What explains bands of thugs using a natural disaster as an excuse for an orgy of looting, armed robbery, and rape? What causes unruly mobs to storm the very buses that have arrived to evacuate them, causing the drivers to drive away, frightened for their lives? What causes people to attack the doctors trying to treat patients at the Super Dome?

Why are people responding to natural destruction by causing further destruction? Why are they attacking the people who are trying to help them?

My wife, Sherri, figured it out first, and she figured it out on a sense-of-life level. While watching the coverage last night on Fox News Channel, she told me that she was getting a familiar feeling. She studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Chicago, which is located in the South Side of Chicago just blocks away from the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the largest high-rise public housing projects in America. “The projects,” as they were known, were infamous for uncontrollable crime and irremediable squalor. (They have since, mercifully, been demolished.)

What Sherri was getting from last night’s television coverage was a whiff of the sense of life of “the projects.” Then the “crawl”–the informational phrases flashed at the bottom of the screen on most news channels–gave some vital statistics to confirm this sense: 75% of the residents of New Orleans had already evacuated before the hurricane, and of the 300,000 or so who remained, a large number were from the city’s public housing projects. Jack Wakeland then gave me an additional, crucial fact: early reports from CNN and Fox indicated that the city had no plan for evacuating all of the prisoners in the city’s jails–so they just let many of them loose. There is no doubt a significant overlap between these two populations–that is, a large number of people in the jails used to live in the housing projects, and vice versa.

There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the deluge hit–but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two groups: criminals–and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The welfare wards were a mass of sheep–on whom the incompetent administration of New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves.

All of this is related, incidentally, to the apparent incompetence of the city government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of the city, despite the knowledge that this might be necessary. But in a city corrupted by the welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters–not to ensure a lawful, orderly evacuation in case of emergency.

No one has really reported this story, as far as I can tell. In fact, some are already actively distorting it, blaming President Bush, for example, for failing to personally ensure that the Mayor of New Orleans had drafted an adequate evacuation plan. The worst example is an execrable piece from the Toronto Globe and Mail, by a supercilious Canadian who blames the chaos on American “individualism.” But the truth is precisely the opposite: the chaos was caused by a system that was the exact opposite of individualism.

What Hurricane Katrina exposed was the psychological consequences of the welfare state. What we consider “normal” behavior in an emergency is behavior that is normal for people who have values and take the responsibility to pursue and protect them. People with values respond to a disaster by fighting against it and doing whatever it takes to overcome the difficulties they face. They don’t sit around and complain that the government hasn’t taken care of them. They don’t use the chaos of a disaster as an opportunity to prey on their fellow men.

But what about criminals and welfare parasites? Do they worry about saving their houses and property? They don’t, because they don’t own anything. Do they worry about what is going to happen to their businesses or how they are going to make a living? They never worried about those things before. Do they worry about crime and looting? But living off of stolen wealth is a way of life for them.

The welfare state–and the brutish, uncivilized mentality it sustains and encourages–is the man-made disaster that explains the moral ugliness that has swamped New Orleans. And that is the story that no one is reporting.

Why do I say this is racist?

Because it’s blaming the victims of the tragedy.

It ignores the fact that there’s no evidence whatsoever that any of the people you saw on your TV news are on welfare at all. They’re assuming because the people they saw were black, that they’re automatically on welfare.

The totally lie about criminals being let out of jails, and the implication that those black people you saw on your TV were criminals and convicts — utter untruths. Criminals were moved out and locked down before the storm hit; there have been numerous stories about this — I saw it on CNN of course, where people get real news, not fake spin from the White House.

It ignores the fact that thousands of ordinary (black) people DID work hard to save lives, to help their fellow man, to get everyone to safety. It cites totally unsubstantiated rumors of violence and chaos. It ignores the fact that many people were told by police “it’s every man for himself.”

And it’s COMPLETELY, IGNORANTLY WRONG about how welfare works in America. There’s no such thing as a fucking “welfare state” except in the deluded minds of racist people. People don’t get rich from welfare. People don’t “live off stolen wealth” at all. The people who are on welfare (who are overwhelmingly white, BTW) are struggling to survive, not kicking back eating feasts on your dime.

The taxes that you’re paying are going to Iraq, and into the pockets of Halliburton executives through corrupt corporate contracts, not to poor black people.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. ratboy75

    Wow…that is really scary that people actually might believe this crap! Hello, people were looting because when they were told to go to the Superdome and Conv. Center, there was no aid there, no food, no water, no medicine for those who were on heart meds and/or diabetic. I probably would have looted the store for food and drink and medicine as well!

  2. Steph Mineart

    I absolutely would have, because how they hell can you pay for the merchandise even if you wanted to? There’s no power, cash registers don’t work… There are some reports that people left IOUs with their information and what they had taken, because they needed the stuff and felt guilty about just getting it.

    And it was PERISHABLE stuff – things that wouldn’t be good in a week anyway. How crazy is it that store owners were guarding stuff that would spoil by the end of the week?

  3. paula

    The sooner that people realize that the government is NOT responsible for taking care of their sorry asses without them having to help themselves, the better off our country will be.

    Walk a mile in their shoes my friend. We aren’t that far removed from seperate but equal – some on both sides still hate each other. I suspect most blacks must feel terribly abandonded by society. Where are their breaks that can pull them out of their condition? Surely you aren’t suggesting we just go with survival of the fittest?

    For a country “founded on christian” principles we sure forget what Jesus had to say about “the least of these”.

    For my part – I believe there is more of a reverse welfare state – government lining the pockets of the halliburton’s of the world. The money spent there offends me more than most other recipients. The corporate community no longer serves america – they serve their bottom line and stockholders – neither of which neccessarily care about the good of america.

    Maybe all these “soccer moms” who are reaching out a hand will realize that the “welfare mom” is just like them – human. And maybe the “welfare moms” who take that hand will realize that there are “soccer moms” that can be trusted. That is my prayer that the people of this country will walk in each others shoes and open their minds along with their hearts.

  4. stAllio!

    someone posted this article on imn, and they included the author name (Robert Tracinski) and source (TIA daily).

    i looked up TIA daily and found this, which is all you really need to know:

    The Intellectual Activist is especially dedicated to understanding and promoting the revolutionary ideas of the 20th-century novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand — the great champion of the power of reason, the supreme value of the individual, and the unfettered liberty of a capitalist society. TIA serves as a forum for those who are working to gain a deeper understanding of Ayn Rand’s fiction and philosophy and applying her ideas to gain new insights in every field of human knowledge.

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