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                                       politics + culture

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Leonce Gaiter

From the blog, Leonce Gaiter, an essay entitled Katrina's Deck Full of Race Cards:

"...if you’re willing to let someone rot and die quietly in poverty because of your ideological creed—die early from poor nutrition, poor and non-existent health care, then you’re willing to let them die in a flood. If poor people are dispensable under sunny skies, they’re dispensable in a storm.

The right’s sudden concern over these peoples’ plight has nothing to do with their current living conditions. It has everything to do with conservative image management. A government controlled by white southerners oversaw a television spectacle that looked like an update from a slave ship. Their lies were exposed. Their attempt to quietly kill all mention of their society’s history of viciousness and race hatred and their part in it has failed. Overt peons to segregation are no longer in vogue (except at select awards dinners for die-hards like Strom Thurman and Jesse Helms) but in promoting their creed of “hands off” government, conservatives deny history. They deny their willingness see the poor suffer and die under clear skies or cloudy. They deny racial history—their own racist history. And they do this because history smears dung on their vision of themselves, and America. But they’re learning the hard way that if we refuse to acknowledge the poisons in ourselves, in the culture, and address or “engineer” them, they fester. Soon there’s a riot, or a Superdome full of black people living amongst their own excrement with the whole world watching.

And that’s what gets them now. It’s not the fact of the people suffering. They were perfectly happy to let poor black New Orleanians suffer in their ghettoed silence. It’s the fact of the world watching them suffer and tarnishing the image of the Last Empire."

(link via Steve Gilliard's blog.)


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