Seven years ago, America was hit by a real bitch of a hurricane named Katrina. She drenched New Orleans and flooded the homes of many folks. You might be thinking, “Great! They can spend the next seven years making insurance claims.” But here’s the catch: They were BLACK.
Lives were torn by this tragic weather. People were drowning in the streets where they had previously only gotten shot. FEMA, a government flood-relief program, rushed to the scene with hopes of helping, only to find that the people floating in the giant puddles were not White. “This is a catastrophe,” a statement issued by FEMA read, “and we wish that we could do something to help the situation. Unfortunately, the people in the water are African-American, and fetching them out might imply that they cannot swim. Our hands are tied.”
A handful of celebrities with projects to promote began raising awareness of the travesty in New Orleans. Mike Myers, star of Austin Powers 3: Out of Ideas, appeared on TV alongside young Christian rapper Kanye West to beg ordinary middle-to-lower-class people for monetary donations. Kanye West, previously a staunch Bush supporter, shocked the world with his “George Bush hates niggas” comment. Mike Myers, shocked to hear a Black guy blame anyone White for anything, was speechless. Chris Tucker then chimed in, “I have no movies to promote right now, so we’ll be back after these messages,” before the TV program cut to a commercial for flood insurance.
Flash-forward to today. The Katrina victims are all safe and dry in their government trailers, Kanye is now Muslim, and droves of White people over the age of 50 are in Florida for the Republican National Convention. It’s a wonderful place and time for some decent, well-dressed rich guys to congregate, drink some ginger ale, and nod at one another in mutual “We’re White” comradery. And then, like a van full of chess club dorks, Hurricane Isaac shows up to piss on the Party.
Well-prepared and attentive to weather forecasts, the GOP canceled the first day of their Convention. This means that the long-awaited first day of convening was postponed from Monday, the 27th, to Tuesday, the 28th. As if they haven’t suffered enough, the hurricane now forces the Repubs to spend the next 24 hours locked in their Five Star hotels, sipping coffee and paying attention to the ever-low stock market, instead of enjoying the Florida sun and nude beaches.
Where’s the outcry? Does the world not feel the pain of these hurricane victims as they had so mercifully rushed to take pity on the displaced Katrina-hit residents? Why hasn’t Hollywood held a marathon to help these folks? Where’s Kanye West with a powerful “Barack Obama doesn’t care about crackers” remark? Has this country lost the compassion that it seemed to have just seven short years ago?
Please pray for Florida. Pray and reflect on the hypocrisy of the public’s selective activism when it comes to hurricane relief. I, for one, will be relieved to learn Hurricane Isaac has moved on to a poorer, less significant area of the country, leaving Florida to baste in the influx of White Republican men and their trophy wives. May Tuesday bring better weather for the victims of Isaac. Amen.