Friday, September 02, 2005

An important question from Slate's Jack Shafer

Why aren't most media outlets mentioning that so many of the people stranded and dying in flooded New Orleans are black and likely poor?

And this unwillingness to mention race and class comes as CNN is reporting: "The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday those New Orleans residents who chose not to heed warnings to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina bear some responsibility for their fates."

Some people are acting like it's just a case of stubborness, when it might instead be explained thusly (by Shafer): Why not have "... a paycheck-to-paycheck victim to explain that he couldn't risk leaving because if he lost his furniture and appliances, his pots and pans, his bedding and clothes, to Katrina or looters, he'd have no way to replace them. No insurance, no stable, large extended family that could lend him cash to get back on his feet, no middle-class job to return to after the storm."

UPDATE: An article in Friday's Times finally addresses this issue.

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