Hurricane Katrina After-Action Report
The only bright spot in last week's news was Kanye West's indictment of the government and media in their criminally negligent response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Even with a five-second delay in place, he was able to tell the east coast on live national TV how the media lied on Black people trying to stay alive, how the first effective response of the government was a military one, and how little the president cared about the deaths of thousands of Black people in an American city over the course of three days.
What was it Bush said about Saddam Hussein's WMD capabilities? "Fool me once, shame on --- shame on you. Fool me --- you can't get fooled again." Black people have indeed been fooled again if we believed for one second that this government's response would have been anything other than what it was. In Randall Robinson's new book, Quitting America, the author details the historical basis for giving up on his country's ability to do right by Black people. I can't say it any better than he does, but unlike Mr. Robinson, who has migrated to his wife's native Caribbean, I'm not going anywhere. I'm of a mind to take care of my business where I stand.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when the ones responsible for protecting the American people have utterly failed -- once again -- to recognize Black people as humans, much less citizens, I just hope we don't spend too much time trying to get them to do the right thing next time...
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