Tuesday, September 06, 2005

For shame, George

To the residents of Mobile, Alabama, Bush had this to say:

We've got a lot of rebuilding to do. First, we're going to save lives and stabilize the situation. And then we're going to help these communities rebuild. The good news is -- and it's hard for some to see it now -- that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house -- there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch. (Laughter.)

The jokes people make can say a lot about them. And I, for one, cannot imagine a worse time to crack a joke than after a natural disaster, made worse by human incompetence and indifference, has made a whole city homeless and been responsible for the death of thousands. Bush presumably wanted to lighten the atmosphere somehow, and give an example of the 'fantastic' rebuilding that would take place.

Trent Lott is, of course, the rich senator from Mississippi who infamously celebrated the segregationist Strom Thurmond. He is alive. He was rescued from his home. He has the money to do some 'fantastic' rebuilding. Many more people did not make it out alive, and many more survivors do not have the resources they need to begin their 'fantastic' task so easily and eagerly. As Bush made this joke, people were dying in New Orleans because they did not have the privaleges that come with being George or Trent. They are going to make New Orleans like it was before- with the rich white men sitting on their 'fantastic' porches, and poor African-Americans struggling to make ends meet.

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