Saturday, April 30, 2011

The United States of Amnesia

Yes, less than 6 years after the worst natural disaster ever to hit the nation, which spread over 90,000 square miles, killed 1,836 people and left another 705 still missing, demolished 275,000 homes and left 182,000 homeless or displaced, and caused $110 billion in damages (much of which is still awaiting repair) he said it:
“I’ve never seen devastation like this,” the president said.
I don't mean to minimize the horrors and devastation the victims of the recent tornadoes have experienced, even if their states (Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas) are full of government-hating Randians who wouldn't take a penny from the feds, except, but wait, where's FEMA now?. Still, every one of their heartless governors likes to brag about how much pain he's willing to cause to the disposable people in his state because the deficit is worse than the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and every damn one of them has his fucking hand out now.

But for Obama to make such a callow statement, when many of those hit by Katrina have yet to be able to go back to their homes, is just stunning in its cluelessness. We have a still-seeping wound down in New Orleans, yet even as recently as the days of the Japanese earthquake, NPR reporter John Burnett was still making the kind of fact-empty and racially-tinged comparisons (they didn't loot like those thugs in NOLA!) that the media was spewing in 2005.

The faces of the tornadoes are overwhelmingly white, and that makes it okay to take care of them. Even if it's that uppity Muslim in the White House who's giving out the money. They'll take it, and then grind their heels into the poor and demand to know where Obama's report cards are.