Massive Pet Peeve
So this one topic REALLY bugs me. Please let me start by saying that I have no racial issues or bias. I believe all people are equal in value and importance. But this issue really bugs me.
I heard T.D. Jakes being interviewed after the election and they were discussing the effect that Katrina had on voters. Ok. This is where I see the election as having some racial factors. The whole implication that George Bush “does not care about black people” is absurd. (thank you for giving everyone that phrase Kanye, it is a gem that we will all remember). So yes, I think that people who have that presupposition stuck in their minds think that their interests would be better served with an African-American president. I find it very offensive to think that there is actually a racial bias in the White House. Should race really have anything to do with your vote? Or should the person best qualified for the job be in office?
So how does this shape the voters choice?
Oh yeah, because of the response of government. Ok. Well that can be played a few different ways.
The State and City Governments should have MOST of the blame placed on them. They are the first line of response and they failed. They failed to enact their own evacuation plan. The Governor and Mayor are not blamed nationwide for their part in the breakdown. If you ask anyone who was responsible for the failures of Katrina the first answer will be Bush. There is no doubt that there was a breakdown in the FEMA response but it was very much hindered by poor response and preparation by the Louisiana state government.
Where I find this most interesting is Louisiana has a Democrat Mayor and Governor. They shoulder as much responsibility for the failures yet the Republican party takes the brunt of the blame for the failures. That just confuses me to no end. AND Ray Nagin stays in office? Has he been absolved of all the responsibility that he had? Blanco did not seek reelection and is out of the picture.
Blame for lack of preparedness has been leveled at all levels of government. Kathleen Blanco was also criticized for not deploying the Louisiana National Guard sooner, although she did in fact deploy them before the hurricane hit and requested reinforcements from other states. President George W. Bush and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff were also criticized for failures on the federal level as well as with his leadership role. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been criticized for not following the city’s evacuation plan which called for the use of school buses to transport disadvantaged and elderly citizens out of the city. Louisiana Governor.
Nagin accused the governor of delaying federal rescue efforts, “I was ready to move today. The governor said she needed 24 hours to make a decision. A FEMA official has claimed that Gov. Blanco failed to submit a request for help in a timely manner, saying that she did send President Bush a request asking for shelter and provisions, but didn’t specifically ask for help with evacuations. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has concluded, that Blanco did submit requests for shelter, counseling and provisions in a timely manner, but there is no mention that she requested assistance with evacuation. One aide to the governor said that Blanco thought city officials were taking care of the evacuation in accord with the city’s emergency plan.
There were reports that Governor Blanco was reluctant to issue a mandatory evacuation order until President Bush called to personally ask that she give the order. However, the mandatory evacuation order was issued by Mayor Nagin, and it is unlikely the Bush call was decisive in the making of the order.
- “The Select Committee identified failures at all levels of government that significantly undermined and detracted from the heroic efforts of ﬁrst responders, private individuals and organizations, faith-based groups, and others.”
- “The Select Committee believes Katrina was primarily a failure of initiative.”
- “The failure of local, state, and federal governments to respond more effectively to Katrina — which had been predicted in theory for many years, and forecast with startling accuracy for ﬁve days — demonstrates that whatever improvements have been made to our capacity to respond to natural or man-made disasters, four and half years after 9/11, we are still not fully prepared. Local ﬁrst responders were largely overwhelmed and unable to perform their duties, and the National Response Plan did not adequately provide a way for federal assets to quickly supplement or, if necessary, supplant ﬁrst responders.”
Make sure and remember that local government is the first line of action. And they failed miserably.
“the way that emergency operations act under the law is, the responsibility and the power, the authority, to order an evacuation rests with state and local officials. The federal government comes in and supports those officials.
I do not think the actions or lack there of to this disaster had anything to do with race or anything similar. This was a disaster that tested all government – state, local, federal. It is obvious that there are some failures but the blame starts with the local officials.