Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Conventional Stupidity
With New Orleans (a city below sea level) flooded, how is it that the conventional wisdom on Katrina is that the damage exposed evidence of racism, yet when trailer parks get wiped out by twisters conventional wisdom says that poor white trash should know better than to live in tornado alley?

6 Comments:

At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I know: White trash are poor because they're stupid and lazy, but black people are poor because they're black and George Bush hates them. Right?

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Bob said...

I think some white trash may have waited on me the last time I went to Wal-Mart...does that mean my great-great-great grandchildren are going to have to pay reparations?

 
At 10:07 PM, Blogger seacoastguy said...

The elements of racism exposed (as if we as Americans can really beieve we live in a nation that has licked that dirty little issue) have less to do with the "damage" as you put it and more to do with how the entire event unfolded, start to not-yet-finished.

The sharpest example of this was the comparison of various photographs of individuals wading through hip-deep water carrying items or sacks of items with them.

If the individual was white, the captions showed us to what extent people had to rely on "stone-age" foraging or hunter / gatherer skills to survive and provide for their loved ones.

If the individual was black, the caption spoke of the looting that was begining to occur in the area.

Whites = just trying to get by.
Blacks = criminals who have taken advantage of the disaster to loot.

Bob -- the answer to your question lay in this simple question: did you string up those Wal-Mart clerks from the nearest Oak and then set them on fire while they were still alive? Assuming not, then you're in the clear.

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Granite said...

Hey Seacoast, you prove my point entirely. Your premise is another example of conventional "wisdom" unsubstantiated by facts and reality. The media gave us a terribly incorrect and exaggerated depiction of the true reality of post-Katrina New Orleans. They reported the outrageous claims given by New Orleans public officials (the Mayor and the Chief of Police) of violence, death, and savagery - claims later found to be widely false. And then in response, those with a race politics agenda to push, gave birth to the premise that you speak of - that looters were depicted differently depending on what race they happened to be. That premise is every bit as false as all the rest of the reporting that took place about events in New Orleans.

If anyone is to blame about promoting racial stereotypes the New Orleans Mayor and Chief of Police (both minorities themselves don't forget) are at the top of the list. Both held nothing back in portraying their city as being in the grip of chaos and savagery. The media picked that up and ran with it.

Again, what we had were New Orleans officials offering us a false narrative about events taking place on the ground and that story was amplified and exaggerated by the media. On top of that we had pundits of all stripes offering their own exaggerated narratives to "explain" what all that falsehood and exaggeration actually meant. Your premise about the difference in accounts on looters is but itself a false bit of conventional wisdom that was constructed to explain the conventional wisdom on post-Katrina New Orleans - a narrative of falsehoods pushed on us by the media and dominant punditry.

Moral of the story: Don't believe the hype. Conventional wisdom is rarely wise.

 
At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, but now the whole thing is being blamed on God. that the people who lived there deserved what they got because they are all a bunch of sinners. so now it's not a black vs. white issue, but good vs. evil.

 
At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Mrs. Rants said...

I know! I mean, what did the people in Pakistan do to deserve their disaster? God was PISSED!

 

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