03 September 2005

Incompetence is color blind


I'm as skeptical as anybody about the federal government, but I am more than just a bit dismayed at the accusations that race played a part in the snail-like response to the flooding in New Orleans.

My first thought?  Let's not give the assorted bureaucrats involved with this cluster**** (Man, I love that word) any excuses for their incompetence.  The ridiculous amount of time it took to get help to N.O. is not because a majority of the people in need are black; the reason is plain and simple-an unbelievably poor and complete lack of planning by people who been reassuring us for the last five years that they were "ready."

Of course, I'm white, so by expressing this opinion I put myself at risk of being labeled along the lines of "how could you possibly know?"  Truth is, I don't. 

I've watched the video of Kanye West having a melt down on national television last night.  Perhaps he has been upset so much by the images we have all seen coming out of Louisiana and Mississippi that he felt that he was the proper person to speak up for the African-Americans of this country.  He certainly seemed very upset as he was attempting to speak.  Certainly, we all have said things that we later regret when we have the opportunity to look back on it.

Besides, he was wrong.  George W. Bush cares about black people like Kanye West, because black people like Kanye West have money.  It's not about black or white when it comes to W.  He is all about the green.

The only reason West was even on television last night is that he has made a successful career as a rapper, singer, performer, whatever you want to call it.  I've heard some of his work, and he does have talent.  But he falls into the same trap as so many others that have made millions of money in the hip-hop music industry; he resorts to offensive stereotypes at times in his songs, though he's not as prolific with the "thug" lyrics as most other hip-hop performers.

I am probably not the person to be making these points, but I can't help it.  I despise the lyrics present in a lot of rap music, lyrics that glorify violence, drug use, and the exploitation of women.  I don't understand why it is so popular.  It has a great effect on the young minds that listen to a majority of this music.

I'd bet that a lot of Kanye West CDs were washed away from homes in the floodwaters of New Orleans.  Yet what does West know about that life?  He's a millionaire.  And if you read his biography, you'll see that he was fortunate to avoid growing up in poverty.  Though his parents were divorced when he was young, both were a presence in his life.

If West had to go off last night, I would have been much more impressed if he had just said something like "everyone needs help, but the minorities need it most."  Would that have been over the top?  Certainly, but it also would have been true.

That goes for the politicians taking the opportunity to inject race into this.  Get some perspective and realize that this is not about "you."  People are upset and angry, and rightly so.  But it should not be about race; it should be about incompetence.  To assume that this administration could "delay" their response solely because they were not concerned about helping black people gives WAY to much credit to the administration.

They weren't prepared.  Whether the people in need of help were black, white, red, orange or purple, the federal and state agencies were not prepared.


2 comments:

anactivist9 said...

Kanye spoke the truth and challenged a lying president and doing so with class and calmness, he spoke what is in his heart, to stop and injustice….many of us including myself have called out bush by swearing, bush a bitch and a liar, but not KW, called BUSH out on the TRUTH!!! Hallelujah there’re is hope for the world.

Yes realize the white privilege structure and all the inequality in the world, esp. in America, then demand change by ADVOCATING for the change you want to see in the world [a play on a quote by Gandhi jii); be JUST & FAIR ---- rock on, we can build a better world community, if we work for it and believe it and of course spread the hope and determination to others.

There is both classism and racism, don’t kid yourself if you think racism is over, it is as prevalent as classicism, that is how the lower class just took it up the A** with all of the conservative BUSH policies that have been passed over the last 4 years and some of the more resent bills like the energy bill and the bankruptcy bill

If only congress would smarten up and demand a 10 percent fuel efficiency hike for next year’s car fleet and progressive increases for the foreseeable future like 2-5 whatever is attainable,.  That would reduce fuel costs and save the environment too.  Let’s look for proactive solutions instead of more drilling and other supply side arguments, conservative don’t always have good ideas that are sound in their mechanisms.

-PS if you like Kanye then you will like Immortal Technique
-PS if you hate Kanye then you will love to hate Immortal Technique more.


---a_jinni

ber144 said...

anactivist:  I think West could have selected a better venue to express himself.  He wasn't there to give a speech.  He was there to implore people to help everyone in need.  

I don't think racism is over.  That day is far away, unfortuantely.  I think race does play a role in a lot of political decisions.  I just don't think it applies to the slow as hell response in New Orleans.  Like I said, assuming that Bush and Co. would have sent help in sooner if it were mostly whites in need of help gives way to much credit to the competence of this administration.

And if you read just about anything else I've posted here, you'll see that I abhor just about every policy that has been pushed through this country since 2001.  I hope people don't forget this past week in 2008.

I've never heard of Immortal Technique, but I'll check them out.  Thanks for the tip.