Of Poverty, Racism and Guns


While I certainly don’t think there’s any excuse for firing shots at people who are trying to rescue you, I do agree with the growing opinion that America’s poor, non-voting black population has not been a priority in the wake of Hurricane Katrina last week.

I visited The Big Easy for a corporate gig at SIGGRAPH in 1996 with fellow Second City alumnus Doug Morency; on one of our nights off we went to hear some jazz in the “black part of town”. It was a great club, out in the middle of nowhere, and we had a great time. But the evening will be forever soured by the cab ride back to our hotel. The guy who picked us up looked every bit like the prototypical Klansman, and as soon as we were underway turned ‘round to sneer at us and say “Whut y’all been doin’ in this neckuh-the-wood?”—thankfully his attention was turned to some dude crossing our path on a bicycle, who received the most hate-filled utterance of the n-word that I have ever been a witness to.

Now being a left-wing, commie peace-nick I’m all for gun control, but I can at least appreciate how some black folks might see fit to to arm themselves in this kind of environment. It makes me wonder too, if all the gunplay going on in our own backyard is evidence that Toronto isn’t the utopian cultural mosiac it’s supposed to be…


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3 responses to “Of Poverty, Racism and Guns”

  1. I certainly love how sources like CNN are making this out to be “mismanagement” and “miscalculation”. As if, oops, nobody saw that pesky hurricaine coming! Above all, however, this made me absolutely sick:

    NEW YORK — Accompanying her husband, former President George H.W.Bush, on a tour of hurricane relief centers in Houston, Barbara Bush said today, referring to the poor who had lost everything back home and evacuated, “This is working very well for them.”

    The former First Lady’s remarks were aired this evening on National Public Radio’s “Marketplace” program.

    She was part of a group in Houston today at the Astrodome that included her husband and former President Bill Clinton, who were chosen by her son, the current president, to head fundraising efforts for the recovery. Sen. Hilary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama were also present.

    In a segment at the top of the show on the surge of evacuees to the Texas city, Barbara Bush said: “Almost everyone I’ve talked to says we’re going to move to Houston.”

    Then she added: “What I’m hearing is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.”

    “And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this–this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them.”

  2. I step on my soapbox…

    So there are two types of people that don’t run from natural disasters both equally tragic both are products of a really stupid society.

    First of all we have the poor, they don’t have the money to go anywhere like a hotel out of harms way. We as a society don’t provide for these people until something bad happens then all of a sudden it’s an issue. I’ve seen homeless people disappear from the streets on cold winters never to see them again they can’t do anything about their situation and they’re left behind.

    The second group of people are the materialistic. Rich or poor our society is so in need of stuff that we risk our lives for it. I’ve seen reports of people that don’t want to leave their homes, their lives, their whatevers. It’s just stuff, get over it and get the hell out of harms way. While you’re at it leave a little more of that stuff behind and help a fellow man that’s too poor to leave.

    I now step off my soapbox.

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