Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Racism, fringe and mainstream

David Neiwert has been following the way the far right is processing the New Orleans disaster: The New Orleans race vampires Orcinus blog 09/03/05.

If this were restricted to the fringe, it would be ugly but not so influential.  But today's Republican Party is the reincarnation of the Southern Democratic Party of the 1950s, and they are all too quick to "mainstream" notions like the ones Neiwert discusses:

Like something that came crawling out of the flooded cellars, the ugly side of right-wing extremism has surfaced in the wake of the disaster in New Orleans -- and, as usual, it's beginning to seep into the discourse from mainstream conservatism too.

Unsurprisingly, leading the charge is David Duke,
a longtime New Orleans resident, who himself lost his home in the flood while he was away, stirring up racial hatred in Scandinavia. (That particular loss might be calculated as one of the few positives from the flood.) ...

This probably won't be the end of it. As it becomes increasingly clear that the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress played a significant role in this disaster -- particularly for their failures to adequately fund levee upgrades and federal disaster relief, and to provide National Guard equipment and manpower that have instead been deployed to the wasteful war in Iraq -- look for them to respond as they always have whenever their mal- and misfeasance is pointed out: Blame the victims.

And the easiest way to do that, of course, is to suggest that their race (we'll hear a lot of talk about "black culture") is the real cause of the violence and the looting -- instead of the desperation and chaos brought about by the Bush administration's incompetence.

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