In a new low, the Associated Press has dealt another race card from the bottom of the deck. In a slanted piece called, “Katrina, Aftermath Galvanize Black America,” author Jesse Washington includes quotes from the inane:
"I've seen black folk come together around any number of issues. It's usually either a head or a heart issue," [PBS host] Tavis Smiley said. "For example, we came together after the election of 2000, when Bush essentially stole the election. That was a head issue. People were mad. Other issues hit our hearts; O.J. Simpson comes to mind."
To the insane:
"You'd have to go back to slavery, or the burning of black towns, to find a comparable event that has affected black people this way," said Darnell M. Hunt, a sociologist and head of the African American studies department at UCLA.
But perhaps the most racist words of all are from the pen of Mr. Washington:
If the rescue effort had not been so mishandled, and if those who suffered so needlessly had not been so black and so poor, perhaps Hurricane Katrina would have been just another destructive storm, alongside the likes of Charley and Andrew and Hugo. (There is no Keisha or Kwame.)
The arrogance of Mr. Washington in minimizing Hurricanes Charley, Andrew and Hugo because their victims were not black is breathtaking. Also insulting is the insinuation that no blacks share those names.
There is no mention in his piece that more money has already been raised in the Katrina effort than for 9/11 or the 2004 Asian tsunami or that the press coverage has been wall-to-wall and round-the-clock.
Washington then quotes a poll:
Some 71 percent of blacks say the disaster shows that racial inequality remains a major problem in America, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Sept. 6-7 among 1,000 Americans; 56 percent of whites feel this was not a particularly important lesson.
And while 66 percent of blacks think the government's response would have been faster if most of the victims had been white, 77 percent of whites disagreed.
But, as is standard in AP reporting, he leaves out this critical information which says the poll contained:
…an oversample of African Americans, during the period September 6-7, 2005. The oversample of African Americans is designed to allow a sufficient number of interviews for reporting results of this demographic group.