I’m stuck. If I say what I think about the Bush regime, I’ll evoke defend-at-any-costs apologists, and perhaps convey the impression that I think Democrats can’t be corrupted and don’t make mistakes (even though I’m all the more furious about Bill Clinton’s adultery and mendacity, since it now provides a functional (if bogus) “equivalence” that obscures the scale of the Bush regime’s deception and failures).
Here: there’s no excuse for the negligence that cost the lives of thousands of New Orleanians — particularly, African-American New Orleanians who already endured poverty, exploitative labor conditions, threadbare educational conditions, and the short ends of numerous other sticks — and that cost the material well-being of plenty of working-their-way middle-class New Orleanians. There’s no excuse for suppressing journalists’ access to the catastrophe. There’s no excuse for resisting an independent investigation of these failures.
Jon Stewart (as quoted by Joey) is correct: “Those who complain about the blame game? They’re usually to blame.”
The charge of “racism” comes in various types, in varying degrees of subtlety and deliberation. I doubt that more than a handful of vile hatemongers have taken any satisfaction in the gross disproportion of Black casualties and evacuees — but the shrugs, the self-justifying “who could foresee?” disclaimers, the delays, the evasiveness, the crass manipulation of emergency resources, all testify to an insensitivity that amounts to a great deal more than mere cluelessness. Read through Jeneane’s posts, and then let’s talk about what it adds up to.
[Later: as I check Google News at 12:41 PM Central Time, there are no stories reporting on the conditions in Louisiana and Mississippi (and I have the page set to show five “National” headlines). Google News highlights one story about how the government is handling the catastrophe, as though the political fallout is the real story, and one on conditions among evacuees in Houston — but in order to learn about people living and dying, coping with disaster, I have to resort to Boing Boing and the Times-Picayune. Does this show the success of the government’s suppression of news coverage of the disaster zone, or has the media’s attention-span just flickered?]