Saturday, September 10, 2005

blinding flash of obvious

Colin Powell was back in the news yesterday after making a visit to victims of Katrina and making public statements about his disappointment with Iraq. Powell manages to come off pretty well by playing up his role as loyal soldier to the Bush Administration, but it doesn't fly with me. Loyalty is overrated, particularly when you know what you are doing is wrong and that people are going to die because you're unwilling to speak your mind.

Anyway, his take on the disproportionate impact of the hurricane on the black residents of New Orleans works for me. From an interview he did with Barbara Walters:

Powell doesn't think race was a factor in the slow delivery of relief to the hurricane victims as some have suggested. "I don't think it's racism, I think it's economic. When you look at those who weren't able to get out, it should have been a blinding flash of the obvious to everybody that when you order a mandatory evacuation, you can't expect everybody to evacuate on their own. These are people who don't have credit cards; only one in ten families at that economic level in New Orleans have a car. So it wasn't a racial thing -- but poverty disproportionately affects African Americans in this country. And it happened because they were poor."

No comments: