Republicans Who Want Black Americans To Die?
Yesterday, I was listening to Rush Limbaugh talk to a black caller who said — and he was being completely serious, this wasn’t hyperbole — that he thought George Bush wanted black people to die in New Orleans. Rush wasn’t surprised by that, but he was disappointed and so am I — because this guy wasn’t an unusual case. There are black Americans all over this country who think exactly the same way that caller did. In fact, the whole, “Republicans want New Orleans to suffer because they’re racists” line of thinking has been so prevalent since Katrina hit that it qualifies as a meme.
That really bugs me and I’m going to tell you why.
The Republican National Committee has been reaching to black Americans non-stop since the election ended. As far as I can tell, other than fund-raising, that’s been their number 1 priority. Conservatives have relentlessly criticized behavior they see as racist — look at Trent Lott losing his leadership position as one prominent example. George Bush appointed and picked Colin Powell to be the first black Secretary of State and then he appointed Condi Rice, one of his closest confidants, as the first black woman to be Secretary of State. Condi is wildly popular with the base…and that’s nothing unusual. You can reel off black conservative after black conservative after black conservative, who are very popular & respected by Republicans. There’s Condi, Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams, Larry Elder, JC Watts, & Janice Rogers Brown just to name a few.
Since this disaster has occurred, Bush has gone to the area effected– what — 3 times in a week? The Republican controlled Congress has appropriated 10.5 billion dollars and there’s more on the way. The conservative blogosphere has been flogging charities relentlessly for days. National Review is suggesting that we hold the 2008 Republican Convention in New Orleans.
And the response to that, at least in some quarters is: “You Republicans want black people to die.” How come no one is asking if Democrats want black people to die?
Of course they don’t either, but look at New Orleans, which is a city run by Democrats from top to bottom, in a state which has been run by Democrats from top to bottom to bottom, and you’ll see a picture of total incompetence emerge. We see poor black Americans, without cars, who were openly told, ““You’ll be on your own”” if there’s a storm. Then the police stood by while thugs and criminals victimized these people. 40,000 mostly black Americans were shoved into the Superdome after the hurricane and the local government in New Orleans didn’t even have food, water, cots, or medicine for them. It’s the worst performance by a local government after a natural disaster in modern memory and most of the Americans who were adversely effected by it were black.
Then somebody goes, “Republicans hate black people,” heads start nodding, and the attitude is: “Gee, we sure are lucky to have the Democrats around to look out for us.” It’s so nuts, it’s so at odds with reality and yet, it’s almost hard to blame the Democrats for trotting out this nonsense, because it has been proven to work over and over again. Undoubtedly, many black Americans who were told they were going to be on their own after the hurricane or who were left in the Superdome for days without food will vote for the Democrats responsible for that because they believe, “George Bush wants them to die” and nobody can tell them anything differently.
You know, I understand voting for a party that you think best reflects your interests and if you’re a liberal, you should be voting for the Democrats. But, you have to be impervious to reason to vote for Democrats because you believe that Republicans hate black people and want them to die. Apparently, there are a lot of black Americans who apparently feel this way and I wish there was something I could say that could change their minds. But, you can’t reason people out of a position they weren’t reasoned into.
In the end, all I can say is that the color and the political party of the people effected by Katrina is irrelevant. The thing that matters is that they’re Americans who caught the brunt of an Act of God and need help. Those of us on the right have and will continue to do our best to give that help…