Thursday, September 08, 2005

Utah, Katrina, and Racism

I am happy to report that my summer clerk friend and Tulane Law student Ethan will be in two classes with me as a visiting student at the law school here. It is good to hear that he is alright and will only be 3 weeks behind the rest of us.

Other evacuees in Utah are not stationed in as nice a place as their parents' house in Sugarhouse. A few hundred or dozen folks have been placed at Camp Williams, a desolate camp near point of the mountain. That's right, near the Utah state prison. Another fun fact is that as far as I can tell, they are all African-Americans. Is it a coincidence, I doubt it. If something like this hit Orange County, I fee the response would be totally different

For many, it was the first time seeing mountains and it will be the first time seeing snow if they are stuck here that long. Some will stay here, either because they are LDS and see it as a sign, or because they have nothing left and no where to go. I am sure they are greatful to be out of the flood waters and not stranded on a freeway overpass, or trapped in the Superdome or Astrodome or Convention Center. However, if I read one more feel good piece about how they all love it here in Utah, I am going to tear up the newspaper. Many don't know where their family members are. It seems officials have done a good job of late of finding hospitals and other places to take care of all these overwhelmingly poor, overwhelming Black survivors of Katrina, but they have done a piss-poor job of writing down WHERE they are sending WHOM.

People's family's will be separated for far too long because of incompetance. In this day and age of the Internet, how can it be that people can't find out where their grandmother is?

Of course, the media coverage has taken a turn for the worse, because now they just paste in whatever a "unnamed senior white house official" told them, regardless of facts and they can't even get into the city under Presidential order. This is pure damage control, shifting the blame onto state and local officials who were overwhelmed by the disaster from Federal officials who shouldn't have been.

The Bush White House is good at one thing and one thing only: campaigning. Everything else they do is squeezed into their campaign mindset. Every piece of legislation is a campaign platform, promise or spin. Every time the president speaks, every where he goes, it is a staged photo-op. Who cares that the national guardsmen are needed to save lives, the firemen to put out burning homes and businesses, the president has to look like he is in charge.

There is no accountibilty for these people except for elections, and in case you forgot, they won in 2004 and can't run again. So there is no incentive to do anything but cover their own butts with sham investigations and blame shifting. This is the second time in 4 years that people died because of their campaigning instead of governing. And this one had much, much more warning.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

a photoshoped picture says a thousand words

via boing boing