The speech was also widely inaccurate in terms of Katrina. Of the course the media's conventional wisdom has been that President Bush put his feet up on his desk and thought to himself, hey I am gonna kill me some black people today. New Orleans is what was put on television. It certainly wasn't the whole story. The damage caused by the storm itself was much worse in Mississippi than New Orleans. New Orleans actually survived the storm quite well until the levees were breached. But New Orleans is what people saw. The media didn't totally ignore what was going on in other parishes in Louisiana, but they almost did. There was another parish that was just as devastated as NOLA was, and that one is predominately white. The help didn't get to them anymore more quickly. The government failed. Which to me isn't a surprise. I don't think the government is all that quick or efficient. Matter of fact the government was by design meant to move slowly. To me the biggest failures of Katrina in New Orleans was Mayor Nagin not doing enough to get those people out of there before the storm hit. The Governor also was far too lax in her call for federal help.
To this day many people don't realize that President Bush couldn't do anything for the first few days. That pesky little thing called the constitution got in his way. The state had to request federal troops. The governor didn't do that for days. We don't want the President of the United States to have the power on his own to put military forces on the ground in this country. It is an invitation to tyranny.
I also think it comes as quite a surprise to people like me who gave money to funds to help the victims of Katrina that I didn't care. After all I am white, they were mostly black, so hey so what. My church went to NOLA for about two years after the storm hit, cleaning up areas and helping people rebuild their lives. We raised over $100K in those efforts in just the first month. I am sure over the two years we raised a considerable greater amount. But now I am being told that I didn't care. That is news to me. Not only did my faith based community give funds, they gave their time and their sweat. But I guess I am just that average white person he talked about months later.
I also found out that my roads don't need to be fixed. Really? I pay taxes too. One of the things that I was reminded of while listening to that speech is the controversy here in D.C. surrounding the opening of the Walmart in several depressed neighborhoods. He specifically mentioned that people have to go too far to do their everyday things. That is very true in the neighborhoods that these stores are scheduled to open in. But they have been fought tooth and nail. It is mostly about Walmart not being unionized, but they won't admit that. One of the D.C. council members actually said that opening them is a bad idea because people will get arrest records when they can't resist the urge to shoplift. Yes, they really said that. That is how little they really think of the poor.
But the president had that covered too:
“We can’t expect them to have all the skills they need to work. They may need help with basic skills, how to shop, how to show up for work on time, how to wear the right clothes, how to act appropriately in an office. We have to help them get there.”I must be an idiot. It never occurred to me that being poor meant you couldn't figure out how to get to work on time or even understand why that would be important. I didn't realize that they need to be taught how to dress. Now, I can imagine that a person of limited income may need some help being able to afford nicer business attire, but not that they were unable to comprehend that they needed it. I didn't know that being poor means that your intellectual capacity is very limited and the government needs to sweep in and teach you everything that may need to know how to behave in an office setting.
Sadly, many in this country agree with him on this. This is why I can't be a liberal. I have more faith in the individual, even the poor ones. I don't think they are so stupid they don't know these things without a government program to teach them. Now, I would like someone who agrees with these statements to explain to me what makes you think if they lack the intellectual ability to grasp this without a government program why do you think they will ever get it? Obviously you think they are so stupid that the concept of being on time to work doesn't occur to them on their own.
Even this won't wake up the inner city/poor black community. Here he is, telling you that you don't have the capacity to complete simple and basic thought processes on your own. You are totally dependent on government to do that for you. Yes, he has your best interests at heart.
But, even more sadly is that, as president, he has done none of those things to help you. The unemployment rate is almost doubled that of the general population. But, hey details. What do I know? After all, I am the racist for thinking this tape says something important about the liberal mindset of minorities and the poor. Even though I have said repeatedly that being poor is more of a barrier in this country than color is. Being born white and poor is no easier than being born black/hispanic/asian/ and poor. I am still the racist.