I had composed a post about how overturning American apartheid had created a sense of entitlement among those who were finally granted their full rights as citizens. The thought was that many of the charges of racist following hurricane Katrina are now the inevitable response to any perceived failure of the national government if any number of blacks meet misfortune. The point was that when the Civil Rights acts of the 1960s and later were passed, there was an idea among many blacks that the changes in law would solve all their problems in life. When they failed to do so, everything became the fault of racism, from poverty and bad schools to the fact that the levees next to black neighborhood broke. Legal equality does not translate into other kinds of equality or economic advances without effort. Those with ambition and a sense for politics found ways to capitalize on the new consciousness of civil rights. Others took advantage of the new opportunities and obtained educations and achieved middle class status, but the connection seemed to elude far too many.
Alas, when I tried to publish it, Blogger burped and lost the post. Maybe it was a warning not so put such thoughts forth in public.
Nobody I know of thought of New Orleans in terms of poor blacks or thought they didn't deserve to be rescued or helped. But the anger, complaints and charges of racism really disgusted most people I know. That is a natural reaction, and such bitterness may ultimately may become self-fulfilling as people who originally felt compassion begin to wonder what can be done for people with such an attitude. Certainly, the guilt heaped on the nation by the press, will no doubt reap a following flood of cash to be squandered along with largesse of the past. How could the home of one of the biggest ports in the world fail to turn trade into prosperity?
There will be a lot of discussion of these issues. I only hope we can arrive at different understandings.