Bush suggested last week that poverty in New Orleans was related to racism. He may have been literally correct, although if true it is only tangentially so.
However, Poverty is related to racism. But it isn't the racism of those who hate minorities. No, it is the racism of liberals and the liberal media. This is an extension of the "soft bigotry of low expectations", but in this case it is a hard bigotry of perceived helplessness.
The racism of liberals, who believe that black people are particularly unsuited for handling their own affairs or succeeding with their help. Thus the need for program after program aimed at ensuring their "dignity".
Liberal racism gave us the ultimate failure of war -- the war on poverty. Trillions? of dollars and we are no closer to "winning". It is one of the few wars the liberals support, but they don't want to win it either.
Liberal racism oppresses poor black people in New Orleans, and in cities around the country. It traps them in failing schools (while in some cases paying the highest salaries to the employees responsible). It holds vouchers from them, to keep them out of the schools the liberal elites send THEIR children to.
The liberal media oppresses as well, reminding blacks nightly that they can't make it in this world without help from the government. The schools reinforce the message -- if you are black, you aren't expected to acheive, but rather to survive with government handouts.
In New Orleans, liberal racism was seen in the MSM, quick to believe that black people would rape, beat, and murder each other in the Superdome if there weren't enough (white) police to keep them in line.
Liberal Media racism told us that blacks, after a couple of days without food, would eat corpses floating around. That black looters would shoot down rescue helicopters. That they would not help each other, but would instead prey on each other. The media reported story after story with the same line, about the "jungle" that New Orleans had become. The reference was all too apparent, if not stated.
Liberal racism told us that blacks were too stupid to evacuate, too stupid to save themselves, so there would be tens of thousands of dead black people. The Mayor said that he didn't even try to get buses because he assumed the black bus drivers would refuse to help their fellow citizens. He said early evacuation was useless because the blacks couldn't drive (but notice all the flooded cars in the pictures?)
We need to end liberal racism. It is the only way to make real progress in the war on poverty. But instead, the liberals want to spend billions to get the blacks back into their prison, complete with walls built higher and stronger -- New Orleans. They need the blacks to go back to their helplessness, their dependency. They fear the taste of freedom, of independence, of self-sufficiency that those in New Orleans are experiencing through this terrible ordeal.
If what Bush proposes can move us even one step closer to empowering these people, to allowing them to see their potential, to recognize the liberal oppression, to give them control over their own lives, then there will be some measure of good to come out of this tragic and terrible storm.