I saw this interesting article


Turbo Monkey
May 25, 2005
I saw this article, and thought it was interesting. Personally, I don't think these allegations are true. I think it's kind of a low blow to put race into this tragedy. I have been impressed with the amount of relief efforts I have seen. One local organization raised $500,000 here in Los Angeles--in one day. To me it looks like Americans helping out other Americans...

"Black Lawmakers Angry Over Relief Response"

WASHINGTON - Black members of Congress expressed anger Friday at what they said was a slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

"It looks dysfunctional to me right now," said Rep. Diane Watson (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif.

Watson and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, along with members of the Black Leadership Forum, National Urban League and the NAACP, held a news conference and charged that the response was slow because those most affected are poor.

Many also are black, but the lawmakers held off on charging racism.

"The issue is not about race right now," said Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (news, bio, voting record), D-Ohio. "There will be another time to have issues about color."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, at a State Department news conference, dismissed the criticism.

"I think everybody is very emotional," Rice said. "It's so hard to watch pictures of any Americans going through this."

Rice agreed that the black community has been heavily affected. But, she said, "nobody wants to see Americans suffer, and I think everybody understand that."

Rice, who is black, plans to go to Alabama, her native state, on Sunday to inspect some of the damage. She said she had spoken to some members of the black caucus and to officials of the NAACP and the Urban League.

"That Americans would somehow, in a color-affected way, decide who to help and who not to help, I just don't believe it," she said. "Americans are generous to each other."

President Bush, who visited storm-damaged areas Friday, acknowledged that the initial federal response was unacceptable and pledged to do more.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., said too much focus has been placed on the looting, taking away from what should be the priority: getting food, water and stability to the tens of thousands of displaced victims.

Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., noted that the city of Detroit has offered housing, food and clothing for 500 families displaced by Katrina. She urged other cities to do the same.

Watson and others also took issue with the word "refugee" being used to describe hurricane victims.

"'Refugee' calls up to mind people that come from different lands and have to be taken care of. These are American citizens," Watson said.

Added Rep. Elijah Cummings (news, bio, voting record), D-Md.: "They are not refugees. I hate that word."

Cummings called for citizens and governments to come together "with a force equal to that of Hurricane Katrina" to meet the needs of the hurricane victims.


Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
Chandler, AZ, USA
I don't think it's racial, but some people will. Most of the people left in New Orleans were poor without the means to escape the city, they didn't have cars or didn't have enough money for the gas and hotel rooms it would require. Most of the poor trapped in N.O. are black, and some people will draw the conclussion that it's racially related, especially if they will gain politically from it.

According the information I'm seeing, The real issue is the gutting of FEMA the Bush Administration started as in January 2001. Many FEMA functions have been transfered Department of Homeland Security, who is concerned with terrorist attacks, not natural disasters. Much of the ability to respond to natural disasters has been stripped from FEMA.

I've also read The Army Corps of Engineers actually asked for money to repair tehn levees last year but was turned down....By the Bush administration.


Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
behind the viewfinder
the disgrace is the lack of immediate, coordinated effort to get food/water to the right places, and the military force required to ensure that the crackheads wouldn't go off.


Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
Chandler, AZ, USA
Here's more on why FEMA can't respond, it's been gutted by DHS.

From CNN.com:

Also Sunday, the top Democrat on the House Department of Homeland Security Committee blasted the federal government for its response.

"It was too little, too late," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat. "We missed the mark."

Thompson said the blame can be traced to the merger of the Federal Emergency Management Agency with the Homeland Security Department, when domestic preparedness "took a back seat" to preparing for terrorist attacks.
More recovery assets should have been stationed in a region where they could have been moved in to the affected area as soon as the storm had passed, he said.

"At the end of the day, somebody has to be held accountable," Thompson said.

Rep. John D. Dingell said he will introduce legislation Tuesday that would remove FEMA from the Department of Homeland Security and make it, instead, an independent agency headed by a Cabinet-level executive reporting directly to the president.

"While listening to the wounded, broken souls who have emerged from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, I can clearly see that FEMA has lost its way," the Democrat from Michigan said in a written statement.

The mayor of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, said major problems still existed there.

Though 50 trucks carrying water and ice are stationed in Mississippi's Camp Shelby, FEMA has refused to release them, Mayor Johnny DuPree said.

"They're sitting down there right now because one person from FEMA won't make the call to say, 'Release those trucks,' " he said.

Two-thirds of residents of the southern Mississippi city have no power, and that figure was 100 percent for three-and-a-half days, he added.

He said FEMA representatives did not arrive in Hattiesburg -- 95 miles from New Orleans -- until Saturday.

"People from all over America have come in to help us," he said. "But the people who get paid to do this haven't done what I think they should have done."

"It could have been done a lot better," said Rep. William Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat.

He said firefighters who had traveled to New Orleans to help relieve over-stretched counterparts had not been put to use. Authorities still "can't find ways to integrate firefighters offering help from other states," he said.

Rep. Bobby Jindal, a Louisiana Republican, added, "I think there's plenty of blame to go around at the state and federal levels."
Aug 2, 2005
The Island
Bravo Reactor! :thumb:
Too many people out there want to portray this as something it isn't. You hit the nail on the head. The blame lies in Bush's revamping of government agencies. In his attempts to streamline the government he created a mess that resulted in the death of thousands...