Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 8, 2005 / 4 Elul, 5765

Race, Poverty And Katrina

By Clarence Page


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As a political commentator, Kanye West makes a great rap artist.

During an NBC TV fund-raiser for Hurricane Katrina victims, the hip-hop star departed from his prepared script to blurt out, among other nuggets, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

I winced.

I'm hardly a member of President Bush's amen corner and I like West's music. I had just purchased West's new CD, "Late Registration," a day before his outburst. Time magazine's cover recently called him "Hip-Hop's Class Act" and I usually would not argue with that.

Nevertheless, in my humble, nonmusical opinion, West's anti-Bush remarks were not only inappropriate (one hopes that Bush voters' donations are just as welcome as everyone else's) but also shortsighted. The sluggish official response to Katrina left more than black folks in her wake. It also left plenty of officials besides President Bush who deserve to share the blame.

There's plenty of blame to spread around up and down the chains of command and across lines of race and political party, to the city's mayor, Ray Nagin, who happens to be black, and the Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who, like the mayor, happens to be a Democrat.

The real question now is, what will we, as Americans, learn from the Katrina tragedy and do about it?

Will we see scenes again like the tearful testimony of Louisiana's Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, almost a week after the storm. Officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency turned back three trailer trucks of water, he said, ordered the Coast Guard not to provide emergency diesel fuel and cut emergency power lines to his largely white, middle-class New Orleans suburb.

"They've had press conferences," he said, bursting into tears. "I'm sick of the press conferences. For G-d sakes, shut up and send us somebody!"

The sad, sad truth is that politicians as a rule do not like to invest in solutions to problems that may not occur until after they are out of office.

It's not that the politicians didn't care about black people but that they did not care ENOUGH about people in need, regardless of their race, especially the poor who, lacking the resources of the movers and shakers, get moved and shaken.

Questions of whether New Orleans storm victims would have gotten quicker help if more of them were white misses the larger point: Fewer would have been left behind in the city's evacuation plan had fewer of them been poor.

In New Orleans, where the population is 67.1 percent black and the poverty rate is about 25 percent, the faces of the moved and shaken, transmitted around the world by TV, turned out to be almost all black.

As a result, Katrina ironically put the perennial American issues of race and poverty back on the front page of America's attention, at least for a while.

After years on the nation's front burners, race and poverty received barely a mention in the 2000 or 2004 presidential campaigns. Both issues seem to have been pushed to the margins of national discussion by the late 1990s' economic boom, the big drop in urban crime and a rise in goodwill surrounding black cultural-crossover achievers as diverse as Oprah Winfrey, Colin Powell and Tiger Woods.

Katrina suddenly made America's invisible poor very visible again and, surprise, most of the televised faces were black. News media who previously had given too little attention to the black poor, in my view, almost gave them too much attention in New Orleans, which had more TV cameras per capita than any other place in the region.

By shortchanging attention to the region's many victimized whites, as well as blacks and others, as Katrina raked across the poorest region of the United States, according to Census figures, TV gave a distorted picture of poverty, homelessness and joblessness as black problems.

A further irony: The U.S. Census Bureau reported a few days after the storm that the national poverty rate climbed in 2004 for the fourth year in a row (to 12.7 percent from 12.5 percent in 2003). The increase was borne completely by non-Hispanic whites, the only ethnic group that saw its poverty rate rise.

Poverty, like hurricanes, is not a problem limited to blacks. Washington is known to be a place where everyone is responsible, but no one gets blamed. I hope, after all of the finger-pointing and blame-shifting about Katrina's devastation is done, that Washington will step up to provide the national leadership for true homeland security.

Leave no disaster victim behind.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.

Archives

© 2005, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles