I’m hardly even sure how to classify this one…
First, we had former First Lady Barbara Bush saying that the devastation of New Orleans — all the flooding, dead bodies in the street, families and homes destroyed — was “working very well for them.”
“Them,” of course, were poor, underprivileged, African-Americans. No doubt Ms. Bush agreed wholeheartedly with Jon Stewart’s comment that this was “an Act of God.” But whereas Stewart, in response to the suggestion that this called for a day of prayer, jokingly suggested that a shunning was more appropriate, Barbara Bush apparently thought the destruction demonstrated the love God has for African-Americans.
Then there was the controversy over two photographs of survivors of the flooding. One showed a picture of African-Americans with food under their arms — food they had just taken from a grocery store. The caption indicated they were “looters.” A similar photograph — the only difference being that the people in it were white — suggested they were “finders.”
And while some apologists appear to believe that those people who see racism in this are wrong — “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, people” — it is still mind-boggling to think otherwise when looking at what happened in New Orleans.
And so former Republican Education Secretary William Bennett puts things in perspective for us, “When I and other Republicans talk like we think large numbers of black people are criminals, the people who get mad at us owe us an apology.” After all, when Bennett suggested that aborting all black babies in America would lower the crime rate, he was not really being racist, just realistic.
Sometimes, an Act of God is just an Act of God. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.
On the other hand, sometimes a racist is just a racist.