Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Response and Closing

Point well taken "Me Again." Everything is NOT about racism. You are absolutely correct in that respect

Sometimes it just sucks to be poor. In some cases, being poor is worse than being of another heritage. In this world, it is DANGEROUS to be poor. Lack of access to adequate healthcare, preventative medicine, education, safe housing... the list goes on. So if you want to let the race issue go, that's fine with me. But there is no denying the fact that most of the people in the affected areas are not as affluent as other people in this country. The South in general is disproportionately poor compared with the rest of the country. Not just the people... the state governments have far smaller budgets than some northern and midwest states of comparable population size. In fact, its widely known that Mississippi has the unfortunate honor of being per capita, the poorest state in the Union.

There are so many factors that play into this that its hard to isolate and issue and point a finger of blame at someone or a particular group. However, its a little difficult to ignore the fact that these people overall contribute less to the national budget than other states. In fact, I remember last summer when Florida was pummeled by 4 hurricanes that people in the North were up in arms that FEMA disproportionately benefits the South, which overall contributes less to the fund.

All I can say is that it takes a catastrophe like this to place a magnifying glass on the issues and problems that we all know exist, but have been swept under the rug and forgotten. For instance, people in Philadelphia, my home town are OUTRAGED that Mayor John Street is offering temporary to permanent housing, health and economic relief for 1000 displaced families from New Orleans. The reason? They claim that he has ignored the issue of homeless people in Philly for his entire administration, but is willing to extend services to people who aren't Philadelphians.

That is a prime example of what I'm talking about. No one really seemed to want to put a spotlight on that until Philly decided to accept survivors from New Orleans. No one wants to talk about how majority of the people who were victims of the governments slow relief response were in fact poor blacks, asians, latinos and whites. No on wants to talk about how New Orleans was set up for disaster by blocking legislation and not issuing evacuation orders early enough to get the people out who could not do so for themselves.

But I'm going to stop talking about the negative. While the government failed, the American people succeeded. The moving response has been amazing and it gives me hope by reminding me that above all the issues, people really are good at heart. And that's what matters the most.

I'm now closing the dialogue in terms of responding to comments on the recent posts. If you want to continue posting comments, I will continue to read them.


Anonymous said...

Great blog entry, very succintly put. defines racism independantly of who wields the power, as follows: "The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others."
Merriam Webster says: "A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race."

If so, it follows that anyone, regardless of how much power they wield, can think of race as the factor that determines capacities and behaviors. That's the definition of racism. So African American's can be racist according to both dictionary definitions.

But I get the point of what you're saying being important. I liked that you defined the difference between prejudice and racism. Your blog and writing was refreshing compared to half the blogs I read.

Anonymous said...

I do agree with you one..and I love reading your blog. ~me again~