FOX news touted the video last night from a 2007 Obama campaign speech, before a predominately black audience as divisive, saying it could sway the election. What Obama blasphemed was in comparing the indifference and pallid reaction to Katrina victims and New Orleans following the hurricane to that of 9-11 and hurricane Andrew in Florida. But here is the difference. Off the top of your head, how many people died in 9-11? Now answer the question for victims of Katrina, who were, by in large, poor and black.
Don’t cheat by googling. 2996 people EXACTLY died on September 11th. There is no official number for Katrina. There is an official ESTIMATE of 1833-ish, but no one knows for sure? That estimate is challenged by a number of sources, and my be much higher.
How is that? How is it that in a major American city in the 21st century so many people can perish, and yet there is no accurate and exact number of victims? The reality to that estimate is not in the numbers, but that it highlights the absolute disparity between poor and impoverished Americans and the wealthy. It underscores the insulation that leads to abdominal ignorance by most of the rest of the nation for those least able to fend off tragedy, or to fend for themselves.
That is the essence behind the words of Barack Obama in the 2007 speech that FOX calls divisive and shocking. Divisive is the Right not understanding the shame to this nation of the poor, and the racial divides that still rampage through the conscience of this nation. Speaking to and in deference to the poor by the President is not being divisive, it is being moral, and in keeping with true religious tenants. Divisive is using speeches of genuine caring and empathy by those on the Right as a means of engendering white fear and hate for political and economic gain.