Monday, December 19, 2005

George W. Bush hates white people

As more and more people dig into what happened before, during, and after Katrina in New Orleans, those things we were told are being exposed by the light of the truth. Now, I understand that in the chaos that followed the hurricane it was difficult to discern the details and nuances of every situation and fact. And reporters have to report what they are seeing; it's their jobs. But jumping to conclusions of opinion, based on pre-conceived expectations when there are no facts that support or refute your opinion is a whole other story.

We've found out that no, 5,000+ people didn't die as was expected, and seemingly wished for by those hoping to hold the federal administration responsible for something worse than that which was already so terrible (so far, it's 1,095 in Louisianna) - only to justify their own hatred.

And, now, we're finding out from a study by the LA Times.that the demographics of those who died are pretty spread out among economic and racial lines. As a matter of fact, it seems that while NOLA's (city) population is 28% white, 33% of the dead are white.

Admittedly, the sample is unreliable because of the difficulties of this job, and 19 bodies were pulled completely from the numbers because of inability to identify where they came from. So that 5% difference is probably not exactly accurate. And it could be 5% in the other direction.

The information used in The Times analysis was incomplete, due to difficulties in gathering data in the days after Katrina struck and to bureaucratic problems that followed.

The private company that was contracted to collect bodies was supposed to mark the GPS coordinates of each recovery, but state officials said they soon determined that data was "worthless." They had to reconstruct the locations where bodies were found but in some cases could provide information no more specific than "Canal Street." Although it is the most comprehensive data they have released on storm fatalities, state officials acknowledge that the information is still riddled with errors and probably will be corrected constantly in coming months.

The state data also include locations such as the interchange of I-10 and I-610 where rescuers in motorboats were directed to deposit bodies they found floating in the floodwaters. There is no way to determine where some of those 19 bodies came from, and all have been excluded from The Times analysis.

"The data you have leaves a lot to be desired," Cataldie said in an interview Friday. "I don't know if it'll ever be 100%."

Of the 1,095 people killed by Katrina in Louisiana, the state has formally identified and released demographic data on 535. Many other victims are tentatively identified, though 93 remain unidentifiable. A couple of bodies are recovered every week, and officials say other victims may have been swept into the Gulf of Mexico, never to be found.

Taking all that into account, though, it's interesting to see. A difference like this is often screamed from the rooftops as evidence of sexism or racism in other situations, using no other factors in the consideration. Women are 53% of the population, so if women don't make up 53% of any industry, it's obviously an industry rife with sexism. Same for ethnic representation. Well, if that's the case, then George W. Bush clearly hates white people.

"The affected population is more multiracial, multiethnic and multicultural than one might discern from national media reports," said Richard Campanella, a Tulane University geographer who has studied which parts of the city were hit the worst by flooding. His research showed that predominantly white districts in the city were almost as likely to flood as predominantly black ones.

And he hates the middle class and the rich just as much as he hates the poor - because, turns out, it wasn't only the poor who died because of Katrina.

The analysis contradicts what swiftly became conventional wisdom in the days after the storm hit — that it was the city's poorest African American residents who bore the brunt of the hurricane. Slightly more than half of the bodies were found in the city's poorer neighborhoods, with the remainder scattered throughout middle-class and even some richer districts.

"The fascinating thing is that it's so spread out," said Joachim Singelmann, director of the Louisiana Population Data Center at Louisiana State University. "It's not just the Lower 9th Ward or New Orleans East, which everybody has heard about. It's across the board, including some well-to-do neighborhoods."

... The state official in charge of identifying Katrina's victims, Dr. Louis Cataldie, said he was not surprised by the findings. "We went into $1-million and $2-million homes trying to retrieve people," he said.

Finally, it really makes me sad that the writer felt the need to include this sentence, "Not all white residents who died in the storm were well-to-do; not all African American victims were poor." Well, no kidding Sherlock. Don't they have rich black people in LA? I thought I'd seen a few on TV. Maybe they don't have poor white people there, and that's the confusion.

Yeah, I know I've built something of a strawman here, but my strawman can beat up Kanye's any day.

Hat tip Opinion Journal Best of the Web

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