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Wednesday, December 07, 2005 

Katrina Victims Seem Misguided on Capital Hill

Racism is a commonly overused term that is paraded around as an explanation for any number of injustices we see in America. It is not with out good reason however; America has a documented tradition of extremist groups that could not tolerate the integration of a peoples they were once allowed to treat as inferior beings. Images like the KKK, neo-Nazis, slave traders, and others conjure up phantoms of an age past where people were treated like animals, or worse.

Ignoring the fact that America did not invent or flourish (solely based) on slavery, America was the only nation that truly took it’s entire generation of slaves and integrated quickly as full fledged members of their society. This has led us to where the weight of responsibility and offense still lingers with the people today, only a century or so removed from the heinous actions.

With that being said, I think it gives some perspective on the “why” and “who” of the following article:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Black survivors of Hurricane Katrina said Tuesday that racism contributed to the slow disaster response, at times likening themselves in emotional congressional testimony to victims of genocide and the Holocaust.

Now I am not trying to minimize the impact and weight of the terrible ordeal these people went through. And I will not, like so many have, try to place the “blame” at their feet. I understand that many of these people, by station in life, did not have the means to evacuate, regardless of how serious they took the warnings. But I will present two statistics that I believe are being ignored in an effort to sensationalize this for political and financial gain.

First, let us remember that Hurricane Andrew, which as powerful and devastating as it was, was less damaging and powerful than Katrina, left south Florida for four days without a single federal agency on site. Four days of no water, no food, no power, no communications, no transportation, and no federal support. Looting and hopelessness prevailed until they finally showed up.

The Holocaust, probably one of recent history’s most vial and evil performance has low estimates of killing 4,194,200 and 4,851,200 Jews (this number is accepted by Kinder, The Anchor Atlas of World History (1978)).

I think these people, along with many others are severely misinformed and misguided in their attempts to liken their ordeal with those of the Holocaust. I think they also seem to forget all those people that have come before them, and endured what they endured.

Racism was not the problem. Bureaucracy in government was.