Askia -- What the Hell?

This is a pitting in name only, to avoid a hijack. Please explain the following statement, from this thread.

For starters, define “aid.” Tell us when the clock starts ticking on the “ten hours, tops.”

If smart people like you believe such things to be true, then the answer to Biggirl’s questions are-

No way.
Not ever.
Not gonna happen.
There is nothing to be done.

This is just the lamest pitting ever, **Contrapuntal. **

Seriously, I thought it was finally Blake.

I think I have made it abundantly plain that I don’t care for ANY Bush administration you’d care to name, or hiseponymous sire, his interfering idiot of a brother, and quite recently his mama. Since I’m not a unthreatening black millionaire orconservative hatchet-man, the feeling is most likely quite mutual. So your lament that

No way.
Not ever.
Not gonna happen.
There is nothing to be done.

Pretty much sums my feelings regarding Bush and any effort he might laughably make towards reconciling with the masses of black America, if he were so inclined (which he ain’t) and I wouldn’t put it past the masses of black America to agree with me. Bush a uniter? My divisive ass.

But to understand my utter antipathy towards Bushco is to know that he’s not alone in my shit list. With regard to Katrina and the flooding, I have nothing but contempt for much of what’s happened to a disaster management plan that failed at every level of government for the people it was designed to protect, from Mayor Nagin on up, for the past three or four generations of corrupt politicians.

BUT – the Bushes take care of their own. Fucking Haliburton got the contract bid to begin reconstruction of New Orleans.

One of the reasons for Bush’s foot-dragging is that he knows he has absolutely nothing to gain from this debacle. Politically, these aren’t his people, he doesn’t want to put in a show of leadership in front of them or talk to them personally and appear in New Orleans and tour the devestated city areas himself. He has to account for resources abroad in an increasingly unpopular war and defend appointing officials who have no experience dealing with

This would never have happened in Florida. One, because the people are used to evacuating en masse and two, his ass would have bent over backwards to take care of them.

Maybe I was being just a tad hyperbolic in the ‘Ten hours. TOPS.’ assessment, as there were damages to roadsides I logistically hadn’t considered. But there damn sure as shit should have been more done in the first 24 hours that the feds could have done, that the city and state might not have.

A true show of united leadership could have easily amounted to letting the New Orleans people know that help was on the way. I can’t remember if I said this to you guys on the SDMB or my friends over the phone, but I was flabbergasted that the President didn’t do something as dramatic or simple as a letterdrop over the city to calm fears, give the folks there a timetable (we know Bush hates timetables) and step up to the more odious shooters and looters.

Not that this particularly lackluster president has much to do with my feelings regarding the status of race relations in America in general-- there’s plenty of stereotypical behavior, bigotry, prejudice and discrimination to go around. I just wish the Bushes would make a weensy more effort to be more subtle with their sublime indifference to the plight of (poor) black America.

You had me until you threw this out. That contract was for military installations under a bid contract circa 2004. Some in Mississippi and a couple in New Orleans.


Hmmf. You got me. OK, I recant that part. When I was at the radio station today the folks (in the offices, not on air) were talking about the $550M contract as if it were something Bush cooked up this week.


Christ almighty, I hate the phrases ‘black America’ and ‘white America’. I’m trying to hear you, really I am. It’s just hard for me to get past that type of attitude. Since so many people seem to use these phrases and most of the people I hear using them are disgruntled black people, can some one who believes these to be valid phrases please explain to me what they mean to them and why I shouldn’t dismiss their usage as a self-fulfilling prophecy, for lack of a better word.

I am not so naive to think that race relations in America are just peachy keen. I recognize there’s a lot of work to be done in all camps. I’ve just had it with this sense of victimhood that seems to be so pervasive with quite a few blacks. It’s detrimental, does nothing in the way of helping and seems to keep so many people from reaching their true potential. Yes, it is different for blacks. I know that. It’s also different for me and you and him and her and them over there and those people right there, no, not there, there. Yeah, them. But it’s different for those other people, too.

Finally, I should disclose that I’m very, very tired and very, very busy tomorrow. If I do not reply to posts in a timely manner it’s because I’ve gone to bed or I’m very busy at work. Oh, and if this is too much of a hijack, feel free to start another thread about it. I’ll meet you in there.

I know you’re black, so this probably seems seriously arrogant of me to say so, but frankly, I’ve had it up to here with this whole notion that we’re not allowed to even posit the existence of racial issues. I’ve especially seen it in regards to things Askia’s said on the boards, both before and after the hurricane. You recognize the existence of racial problems, so this is not really directed at you, UrbanChic. Please excuse me if I simply use your statement as a launching point for a rant.

A hell of a lot of folks - mostly white folks, as a matter of fact - go around saying that racism is a minor problem or a thing of the past, and that what are - in my view - clear symbolically racist acts (and again, I’m talking in a general sense here, not specifically in reference to New Orleans) are imaginary. It’s bad to play the victim. It’s bad to make everything into a racial issue when it isn’t one at all. But I’ve absolutely had it with the constant intimation that it’s racist to even discuss the possibility of racism still existing.

Even if it were indeed the case that race relations in the United States were absolutely peachy-keen nowadays, it is emphatically not wrong, or racist, or anything else to discuss the issue. I’m so goddamn sick of this message that we’re not fucking allowed to talk about racism anymore. I’m sick of being told that it’s immoral to even suggest that there might be a hint of racism in something unless it’s a Klan rally. The fact is that racism still exists to some degree, and it’s become socially unacceptable in most situations, which means that racism is often hidden - “covert racism” being the term used in academic literature. And looking for it is okay. Discussing the possibility is okay. It’s absolutely inevitable that when examining a situation, people will come to different conclusions about whether racism was involved - and that’s okay too.

But it’s not okay at all to try to stop all discussion of racial issues. It’s not okay to play the “I’m sick of this racism-talk” card. If people insist on trying to silence discussions of racial issues, it can only make the problem worse. I’m really quite tired of this notion that it’s divisive even to consider the racial elements of a problem, and I’m sick of the magical thinking that’s so often coupled to it. Racism will not disappear as long as we all avoid bringing it up. It’s not the sort of problem that goes away if we ignore it, and telling folks to ignore it to try to ease racial tension perpetuates it.

People will often disagree on whether an action has racial motives. It’s just not cool, though, to try to end discussions of it by saying it’s “divisive” not to pretend it’s a thing of the past.

I feel so sick to my stomach thinking about this - but I KNOW that had the superdome and the convention center been filled with white people there is NO WAY they would have gone 6 DAYS without food and water and NO WAY they would have been trapped in there to suffer. Not allowed to walk across a bridge and access anything to save them. Murders and rapes inside, people dying and none of the guards outside helping.

Good God people, tell me a REAL reason why they were forced to suffer like that.

Logistics for food supply be damned - they could have at least been let out to seek other shelter if they weren’t going to be given help.


You KNOW it would never have been allowed for so long if they weren’t black.
Thank God for the good individual citizens of this country. The people at the top sure don’t give a shit.

Look and listen all the way through. Especially to the last of Shephard Smith.

Tell me why they weren’t let out if there was nothing there for them.

That’s all really very interesting Askia. Now how about justifying this statement, for which you were pitted.

Define “aid.”

When does the clock start ticking.?

You know, the lack of response wasn’t limited to New Orleans in general or the Superdome specifically. It was widespread and was indicative of poor planning overall and not some racial, economic, political bias. There likely were indeed “unevacuated poor (and rich) whites who voted red” throughout much of the devestated area who’s plight became serious and then deadly since the delay in aid didn’t reach them any quicker than anyone else.

You can’t single out one pocket here and make such a broad claim when it doesn’t fit what we’ve seen on the whole. The response was inadequate for the entire region, of which first New Orleans and then the Superdome were but a part.

Nothing drives me more crazy than people who grab onto something negative about someone they dislike and will immediately believe it “because they disagree with that person politically”.

It pretty much says that you’re an unthinking reactionary asshole.

I wasn’t trying to even imply that racial issues don’t exist. What I take issue with is the notion that some people truly believe there is a ‘black America’ and a ‘white America’.

Look, racism is alive and doing quite well. True, we aren’t being lynched, hosed or enslaved anymore, but that does not mean racism is a thing of the past. I also think we need to step back and look at all of the opportunities we have of which our grandparents and great-grandparents couldn’t even begin to dream. Does that make me satisfied? No, not quite. I know there’s still much to be done. I refuse, however, to buy into this notion that ‘white America’ is actively conspiring to keep us ‘in our place’. Are there some white people who feel that way? Yes. Are some of them in postions of power? Yes. I still say that does not equate to a notion of them vs. us.

It probably wouldn’t have mattered one bit who was trapped in there. The Red Cross was ready with plenty of supplies but couldn’t get in because the state department of Homeland Security wouldn’t let them.

Granted, the link doesn’t exude bipartisanship, but this is the best summary I can find so far since the story is still in it’s infancy. But, if true, it helps explain why things went so downhill so quickly.

BwanaBob. Being occassionally unthinking doesn’t mean I’m inflexible or uncritical. People who put words in my mouth I never typed or stated and laughably try use that to condemn me drive me crazy, **“Bob.” ** I was given incomplete information yesterday that implied Haliburton was awarded a contract this week, instead of last year, to clean up New Orleans. I didn’t check it out and repeated it. I found out I was wrong and I recanted. It’s a mistake. People make them. Last I checked, Haliburton wasn’t a person I could disagree with politically --it’s a Bush favored corporate entity that’s been criticized for cronyism, war-profiteering and fraud. And hell, nah, I STILL don’t like them involved in the clean up effort. But you know, thanks for focussing on the context instead of the substance.

BTW, I’m a dick. Bush is an asshole. You’re a pussy. You can’t even straight-out call me a name. Tell me what you “pretty much say” to that. Do douche first.

Contrapuntal. How about I define “aid” as presidential assurances that help was on the way and a warning to looters and any tonnage of MREs and fresh bottled water than can be shuttled in to the Superdome and “the clock starting” from any a ten hour period between dawn and nightfall MONDAY after Katrina hit instead of THURSDAY.

Excalibre. Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa. What? I’ve said – and still believe – that race doesn’t really exist in the plural. I’ve said race is a social construct and that ethnicity is more accurate description of so-called racial groups. I’ve said that defining whose black in America still holds sway to the one-drop-of-black-blood notion, advocated by white supremacists and held dear by many blacks, ironically. I’ve said actual racist beliefs are often confused with discrimination, class prejudice and bigotry, even though the latter doesn’t alwayd prove the former. I’ve said racism still is more the norm of light skinned peoples discriminating against darker skinned ones and that the only groups of bona fide black racists to my knowledge are the Nation of Islam and to some extent the Five Percent Nation. Racial issues in America still exist, but they’re confused, misidentified, exaggerated and largely debunked. I’ve encouraged thinking of race in different terms, but at no time did I try to refute the existence of racial issues existing in this country. Damn, Excalibre, that doesn’t even sound like me.

UrbanChic. There’s no monolithic and homogenous black America and white America, per se. There is a broadly defined poor African-American culture, which is categorized by persistant generational poverty and dates back to 19th century slavery. Since roughly two fifths of African -Americans in the last census are identified as working class and lower, and another 10% are even poorer than that but uncounted (U.S. Census does not include the 2 million unemployed prison population) a significant portion of African-American culture is the culture of the poor… a people Bush doesn’t have much to do with except to execute.

Is it your contention that such aid was available and deliberately withheld? Is it your contention that Bush considered rendering such aid and chose not to, or that he considered the matter beneath his notice? Because I am having a hard time swallowing the theory that what could have been delivered Monday night was delayed for four days because the victims were black. How in the world could that scenario play out?

Please excuse the inclusion of BwanaBob in the above post. Bad coding.

Askia, we’ve already discussed to death your idiotic notions that blacks (except for the NOI, of course) can’t be racist. What really bothers me about this and other posts is the pervasive notion I see in this country that just because something happens to someone who happens to be black that it happened because they were black. It just ain’t so, sorry if that punches a hole in your need to feel persecuted.

Contrapuntal. I’ve said it’s because they were black, poor, urban Democrats and this group has no political cache with Bush that prompted him to be a leader and at least reassure the people personally more aid was coming. Guy can travel to a warzone in Bagdad to spend Thanksgiving with troops in 2003 but can’t go see black folks in Nawrleans in 2005? It’s not their race but ethnicity, including class, that played into that. I absolutely believe that.

I have a hard time believing it happened, too, but hey. MONDAY. THURSDAY.

Weirddave. Racism is a belief in racial superiority. Now I’m the first to admit EVERYBODY can be hateful, prejudiced, discriminatory, bigoted and insular, but actually racist? A codified belief system of skin color and facial features as proof of one’s inferiority and subhumanity? That’s a delusion of white folks and yellow folks, generally. White supremacy and Japanese xenophobia. And yes, on a smaller blacker scale, the Nation of Islam’s bizarre Theories of Dr. Yacub. I didn’t say blacks can’t be racist, just that you can’t (generally) call the hatred of an oppressor “racism” too. You don’t agree? I can live with it. I just wish you’d respect our differences of opinions. I never called any of your opinions idiotic. (I’ve mocked a few of your facts and assertions, tho.)

That’s because Occam’s Razor works in social sciences, too. But… it’s generally more accurate to talk about ethnicity being the cause and not just race. If New Orleans was a bunch of poor/working class black Republicans (!!) Bush would’ve been there with aid and assurances in a heartbeat, too.


To sum up, we’ve gone from “if they were white they would have received aid in ten hours, not four days,” to “if they had been white they would have gotten a personal reassurance.” Correct? Because the first assertion is assentially a charge of murder, if not genocide.

That’s an incorrect summary. I recanted the 10 hours thing as hyperbolic but aid wouldn’t have taken an extra four days. I also said if they were black Republicans they would have gotten aid and personal assuranaces. There probably would have been a faster effort to bring in supplies sooner and no instances like the Red Cross trucks and volunteers boat rescues that were turned away,

Personal assurances are undoubtedly a form of aid. Advance security would have come in to secure the area in advance of the President’s visit, which would have helped calm the fears driving the rioting and might have put an end to a lot of the stupid looting, too.