WASHINGTON (AP) — Black members of Congress expressed anger Friday at what they said was a slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina.”It looks dysfunctional to me right now,” said Rep. Diane Watson, D-California.
She and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, along with members of the Black Leadership Forum, National Conference of State Legislators, National Urban League and the NAACP, held a news conference and charged that the response was slow because those most affected are poor.
Pay no attention to the race-related labels. It’s all about…the poor.
Many also are black, but the lawmakers held off on charging racism.
“The issue is not about race right now,” said Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio. “There will be another time to have issues about color.”
Yes, still plenty of time to play the race card.
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Illinois, said too much focus has been placed on the looting, taking away from what should be the priority: getting food, water and stability to the tens of thousands of displaced victims.
It’s OK to focus on bad news when it comes from Iraq. But newspeople have a responsibility to edit out anything that might make black- I mean poor people look bad.
Watson and others also took issue with the word “refugee” being used to describe hurricane victims.
“‘Refugee’ calls up to mind people that come from different lands and have to be taken care of. These are American citizens,” Watson said.
Added Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland: “They are not refugees. I hate that word.”
Yes, let’s frame this properly. How about “victim”? Fits perfectly with the epidemic of victimology sweeping the US today.