"I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family, it says, ‘They’re looting’. You see a white family, it says, ‘They’re looking for food’.”
(Rapper Kanye West)
They say action speaks louder than words and it is deeds that often expose the words of hypocrites. So, when the US government says, they love the Iraqis, yes those sand-niggers, terrorists and rag-heads, then think of Fallujah, Abu-Ghraib, carnage on the Road to Basra in 1991, economic sanctions for a decade killing 500,000 Iraqi children and in particular how their vicious racist media portrays the Arabs/Muslims in general. Likewise, when they say they are not racist, think of the centuries of slave trade, mob lynchings, Klu Klux Klan (KKK), assassination of Martin Luther King and Malcolm-X (Haji Malik Al Shabbaz), beating of Rodney King through to the handling of the victims of hurricane Katrina.
Even the staunchest ally of Bush, the British, could not fail to pick up the racist dimension of how this natural disaster was handled from the beginning. Almost every British media outlet referred to the lack of enthusiasm, from the Bush regime, in saving a predominantly poor black population. Contrast this with how quickly the US mobilised to ‘save’ the oil-rich Kuwaitis from Saddam but not the oil-less, Rwandans and Palestinians. Those black folks in Louisiana don’t have much money, and do not contribute to the Republican Party, worse is that they voted against Bush, the man appointed by ‘God’, so they must be the “evil doers” according to the Bush ‘logic’.
For those who doubt the blame should lie with the government, you need to be reminded that in 1974, within 24 hours notice, the American government sent thousands of brand new military assets, tanks, planes, rockets, artillery, with all the ammunition required, to aid Israel against Egypt. Therefore, the US does have a proven track record for mobilising major logistical programmes, even to help a nation across thousands of miles away, in the relatively less capable US, 30 years ago, but it took five days to help the poor people in Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005. The people in Louisiana and Mississippi are amongst the poorest sections of American society, and even worse for them, they are black, and comprise up to 70% of the population in that region. Naturally, the blacks of the US, like the Iraqis under American fire, do not register on the so-called evangelical radar of Bush!
This racism is almost part of their genes, inherited by the privileged whites as descendents of slave traders, such traits surface occasionally, as shown by the comments of the wife of George Bush senior, Barbra Bush, she said: “So many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."
Such a patronising attitude, such condescension, so they should be grateful for what they get and not moan about what they did not get, as its so much better than their deprived normal existence. The luxuries of shelter, food and security are only reserved for those rich and white folks it would appear. No doubt her ancestors must have argued the same as slave traders, that those blacks should have been grateful after being dragged from Africa in chains with an opportunity to experience civilisation. Is there not a parallel between those slave traders claiming to be on a benevolent mission to civilise the blacks and the capitalist war machines of today making similar claims of munificence of ‘liberating’ the oppressed Iraqis? Note, neither the Africans nor the Iraqis asked to be liberated.
A point worth highlighting is this, in the US, you can find Afro-Americans, and you can find Native Americans, but for the whites you will not find Euro-Americans, ever wonder why that is? Logically if you think about the language, by attaching a suffix ‘American’ it creates the impression of, well, maybe your not a full member of this club, but we will attach ‘American’ to your group, to make you feel better; contrast that with the only group that doesn’t need the suffix ‘American’ to their racial identity, yes you’ve guessed it the Europeans, they apparently ‘belong’ as they are the true ‘Americans’ everybody else is there through their generosity, or should that be through their Slave trading? This simple example shows that the US is founded on racism cloaked with the thin veneer of its constitution and amendments, which whilst noble, remain as elusive to the blacks, as that food aid in New Orleans.
Apart from the absence of will, capability was also sapped, as resources were tied to the Iraq war, and Bush was reluctant to release more resources which were provisionally booked for Iraq. Certainly, if it was not for the media coverage and the age of instant communication, there would have been even less effort to save those people.
Forget the response to the hurricane, or lack of, what the Christian fundamentalists need to answer is why could Bush not have prevented the disaster? He does claim to have a direct hotline to God Almighty. Why did God not inform His man on the ground of this coming event to save lives? It is not just Bush, but all the other predominantly foul-mouthed white preachers like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Jerry Vines all claiming to have a hotline to God Almighty. Incidentally, they are all silent on the racial question of how this hurricane was handled. These people are too busy demonising America’s enemies, as God is on their side, overlooked that it was the same God that removed their clothes and their dignity by exposing their ugly racist hearts, to the rest of humanity. Hence, we know why most of those rightwing white Christian folks were slow to react. But some of the more twisted and devout ones were perhaps seeking ways to express the ‘love’ of Jesus by “turning the other cheek” to the sufferings being endured by the people.
It is not very dignified when you claim to be the harbinger of human rights, equality and other lofty values, then you get exposed for being overtly racist and heartless, for not responding to the suffering of your own population. Similarly, while you unilaterally declare yourself a role model of civilised society, yet in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, the veneer is removed and women and even kids were raped, killed, tourists attacked. Contrast this with the ‘Third world’ nations that conducted themselves with dignity after the much larger calamity of the Tsunami on the 26th December 2005. The world does not need civilising by the US government, it is the US that needs to be civilised by the world.
Another irony of this natural disaster is that many Americans themselves have yelled that this is a punishment from God, for their crimes in Iraq. Yes, a guilty mind will sooner or later speak what is in its heart. Can you imagine what the soldiers from these two regions must be thinking in Iraq? No doubt they are stressed out thinking about the safety of their families while remembering the number of Iraqi families erased by their bullets. In line with the Iraq theme, oil was also a factor in this disaster. The hurricane shut down 92% of the Gulf oil production which accounts for 25% of the total oil production in the US. While waging a war to secure oil supplies, ironically its own oil supplies at home have been affected.
Now, the racism is not from one direction. In fact, in addition to racism, sheer stupidity has been demonstrated by the governments of the Muslim countries. Kuwait and the Gulf state have given millions, while they sent peanuts to the millions of starving Muslims in Niger, Darfur, and the Tsunami victims! Yes, no doubt endorsed by the official Wahabi ‘Islam’ but very quietly. So you will not get the usual shiny booklet given out free, explaining if it is permissible (Halal) to give aid to the US and by implication to Israel its chief ally.
Many of wealthy Arab donors that come to Europe and the US, with an inferiority complex and a racist attitude, hoping that they will be seen as equals after making such donations. Little do they realise such behaviour results in the loss of their dignity in the eyes of those whom they are trying to impress. This form of blatant racism and stupidity, none of the so-called devout Muslims with long scruffy beards, short length trousers and with an intolerable attitude towards other Muslims, want to address.
Of course nobody opposes helping those in distress but surely your own family and nation should come first. Even a poor country like Bangladesh gave the US a substantial donation. When will people realise, the US is not in need of money, it is not a poor country, nor does it lack resources and technology, she has huge resources under her obese belly and invents most of the technology. What the US ruling class lack is the hearts and minds to do real justice.
Now, where are Americas prominent republican blacks hiding? Where are the likes of Condoleeza Rice? Perhaps she is still looking into the mirror and asking herself: “mirror, mirror, on the wall who is the ‘fairest’ of them all?” For a woman who went to a racially segregated school, ought to understand the plight of the ordinary Afro-Americans, instead she is selling herself and a white imperialist war, to climb up the career ladder. She came to the defence of George Bush proclaiming that he is not racist, nor was race a factor in the slow response, this is no different to those ‘Muslim scholars’ standing next to Bush and lecturing the Muslims on his behalf, that America is not waging a war on Muslims and Islam.
Afro-Americans, Hispanics, the Muslims in America need to unify in tackling this violent racist regime, a fundamentalist regime that exhorts crusades and threatens to send the hateful and fraudulent missionaries to aid another era of colonisation, a regime that practices state terrorism, murders women and children on buses, check points and wedding parties, en masse using real mini-WMDs. Recently, even reports of torturing and raping kids as young as 10 have surfaced. Slowly but surely, the KKK hood of the US government is coming off, and all we have to do is recognise what we are seeing.