12 September 2005

some black people who look like they might be preachers

If you haven't yet donated money for Katrina, these organizations may be better choices than e.g. the Salvation Army. At first, the clearly political framing of these groups made me uncomfortable, but I'm now pretty convinced that aid is necessarily and inevitably politicized already. Of course another problem is that they might not have the capacity to handle a lot of donations if this page gets too popular. Plus they're not so verifiable, etc...

Also, I wanted to save a quote from a NYT article titled "Gulf Coast Isn't the Only Thing Left in Tatters; Bush's Status With Blacks Takes Hit." (sadly no permalink)

One of Mr. Bush's prominent African-American supporters called the White House to say he was aghast at the images from the president's first trip to the region, on Sept. 2, when Mr. Bush stood next to Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Gov. Bob Riley of Alabama, both white Republicans, and praised them for a job well done. Mr. Bush did not go into the heart of New Orleans to meet with black victims.

"I said, 'Grab some black people who look like they might be preachers,' " said the supporter, who asked not to be named because he did not want to be identified as criticizing the White House.Three days later, on Mr. Bush's next trip to the region, the president appeared in Baton Rouge at the side of T. D. Jakes, the conservative African-American television evangelist and the founder of a 30,000-member megachurch in southwest Dallas.

It's good to see the president is finally taking charge of this dangerous PR crisis.


dannyt said...

hey brit,

first, pictures of bush with T.D. Jakes are probably better than ones with a large-mouth bass (http://z.about.com/d/urbanlegends/1/0/9/C/gone_fishing_sm.jpg), fake or not.

more importantly, I've been surprised at the speed at which we as a society have begun to place blame on the federal & state gov'ts, elected officals at every level, etc.

this new age of rapid news & information has truly allowed us to allocate "all" the necessary efforts toward relief and still have plenty left over to allocate to analyzing the situation (that's what? less than 20% into the projected 4-month or more period of primary effects?) and find who's at fault. spending time now pointing the finger of blame takes away from our opportunity to properly blame people with objective hindsight later on.

aram harrow said...

don't worry, my next post will attack the British gov't.

i think your "allocat[ing] ... necessary efforts" line is misleading - hurricane relief resources are different from pundit/blogger resources, and using one doesn't trade-off with the other. similarly, talking about it now doesn't prevent us from also talking about it in the future.

more importantly, i think it's worthwhile to figure out today where is best to give money to. if the elites in the country are planning to rebuild new orleans the way they're rebuilding iraq, then we should use our private aid money to counter that.

dannyt said...

now I'm in a touchy spot - I could claim my line was attacking you, which it was not...or I could claim that I was referring to other facets being used to show our dissatisfaction (protests, rallies, investigative journalism) and then admit that I was perhaps unrelated to your point. I was attempting the latter, and I do recognize the importance if organizing our relief efforts before & during those efforts - but I still don't see the need for spending time blaming Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco or Bush or Mayor Nagin, etc. FIRST, before we spend time investigating the situation - which information is more important for the people?

But then again I suppose it's possible that people don't have time to see the entire news stories and thus are limited in their ability to draw their own conclusions...or even more tragically that our attention span is short enough that we need both the story and the analyzation of the involved characters all at once or we'll forget what was deserving of blame when we try to look back.

aram harrow said...

but what if objective investigation leads naturally to blame? or what sounds like blame? we can't help it if shining the spotlight on e.g. michael brown turns up some ugly things.

personally, i don't think it's possible to talk about this (or many other things) w/o interjecting analysis and opinion. and i think it's disingenuous when bush and his supporters say we shouldn't "point fingers" or "play politics" with the tragedy.

1. because bush is already playing politics - e.g. staging photo-ops that are not only dishonest, but disrupt actual relief.

2. because aid is necessarily politicized, as argued by the naomi klein article i linked in the original post. i have a post planned that will give more examples of this for international aid, based on this book.

aram harrow said...

re #1 above:

i am too quick to believe things that i want to hear