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Category: Rant
Thursday, September 15th, 2005 @ 10:37 am
Posted By Brent

For the past handful of years I've considered myself a pretty keen observer on the political front. I've been quick to debate others on their opinions, and I've been quick to defend my own. I've also looked for ways to view the weaker aspects of my beliefs in an effort to find an angle that makes these opinions harder to attack. This is what's known as "spinning" an issue, and it's something I've done consciously for quite some time.

When you muck yourself up in spin, you enter an unspoken pact with your opposition. Basically you silently agree to not call each other out on their spin, unless woefully egregious, and they agree the same. It's a sort of bullshit version of Mutual assured destruction. Without this protection the argument ends up being analogous to two people standing six feet apart firing machine guns full of blanks at each other (barring any Brandon Lee mishaps).

Fortunately for me, being affected so severely by the New Orleans flood, I am seeing past all the alternating blaming and back patting. I have no interest in finding a villain or a hero. I don't give a fuck whether it was the Republican President who was slow to act, or the Democratic Governor who dragged her feet. Whether the Bush Administration's appointed FEMA director was incompetent or if Mayor Nagin should have been better prepared. I don't care, I just want my goddamn city back.

Above and beyond all of this, there are two pieces of spin that I've been hearing over and over in the past two weeks and I'm just going to roll them out and point out what I see.

First and foremost there is nothing other than sensationalism linking climate change and Hurricane Katrina. Nothing. Category 4 and 5 hurricanes have been occurring on this planet before we ever even showed up on the scene, much less having been caused my some yuppie's H2 Hummer. I'd go even further and say I'm glad we have huge gas guzzling behemoths available to truck my ass out of there and supplies in. Without horribly fuel inefficient vehicles, this would have been even more catastrophic.

Now don't give me any shit about "unprecedented levels of activity" either. Are you trying to tell me that the last two years has had the most hurricane activity ever? Sure, there were quite a few, but when you live in this area your whole life and you see multiple hurricanes threatening your general area every year, you begin to view the events of the past couple years as unlucky, but in no way unprecedented or unbelievable.

Secondly, there are poor black people in New Orleans, a lot of poor black people. Jesse Jackson never gave a shit about them, Al Sharpton never gave a shit about them, and Howard Dean never gave a shit about them. They were there a week before the hurricane, they were there a year before the hurricane, they were there for every Democratic and Republican presidency since the Civil War. When Bill Clinton was president they didn't all live in mansions. Trust me, I've lived there all my life.

The law of economic relativity states that in order for you have people who are not poor, there has to be people who are poor. The majority of New Orleaneans are black, therefore a majority of New Orleans' poor people are black. Nobody's been "hiding" them there or are "sweeping them under the rug" there. They've been there, out in the open, poor as dirt for as long as I can remember. In fact, a healthy fraction of them wear their abject poverty like a badge and brag about the dilapidated parts of town they're from as if they were talking about West Hollywood or Brentwood Estates.

So there. If you've pushed one of these points, shut your goddamned mouth because you don't know what the fuck you're talking about. In closing I'd like reiterate my main points here:

  • Extreme weather has existed before global warming, people, and maybe even before oil.
  • Hurricanes, or the government's response thereof, can not go back in time and cause people to be poorer or blacker.


NAME: scott
Friday, September 16th, 2005 @ 07:32 pm

busted. the hurricane did make me retroactively poor and black.

so, while i'm in the neighborhood, y'all feel free to possibly hang out with a po' ass nigga tomorrow night?

NAME: girlygirl
Friday, September 16th, 2005 @ 10:54 am
Scott, I think that you meant august, not september. Unless you are seeing into the future.

NAME: jason b
Friday, September 16th, 2005 @ 09:52 am
updated pic of our house: taken from msnbc @

Katrina Interactive

Be warned, needs Internet Exploder to work right.

NAME: jason b
Thursday, September 15th, 2005 @ 09:30 pm
damn good post. good to hear it said, cuz it sure as hell needed to be.

NAME: scott
Thursday, September 15th, 2005 @ 01:11 pm
Hurricanes, or the government's response thereof, can not go back in time and cause people to be poorer or blacker.

amen. i may be poor and black now as a result of the hurricane, but all of my memories of life prior to september 29th are of life as a not-quite-poor white guy.