Think about that. Six of every 10 AA men are without a job in this city. They still need to eat. They still need to sleep somewhere in the cold of winter. Most of them have children they need to support. The first thing that comes to mind for most Conservatives is that they don't want to work. They're lazy. During the Katrina crisis when it was apparent to everyone that something was really wrong with the relief effort, O'Reilly went on and on for two days with these lines until an unlikely voice said something that was actually profound?
Our third commitment is this: When communities are rebuilt, they must be even better and stronger than before the storm. Within the Gulf region are some of the most beautiful and historic places in America. As all of us saw on television, there's also some deep, persistent poverty in this region, as well. That poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action. So let us restore all that we have cherished from yesterday, and let us rise above the legacy of inequality. When the streets are rebuilt, there should be many new businesses, including minority-owned businesses, along those streets. When the houses are rebuilt, more families should own, not rent, those houses. When the regional economy revives, local people should be prepared for the jobs being created.You see it wasn't the words. They are a part of my reality of the world today. It was the person who spoke them. If Dr. King, Clinton, Kennedy (any of the 3), Sharpton, Jackson, or Carter had spoken those words, Conservatives would have played the "bleeding heart card" and dismissed them as overreaction by Liberals. They do it every day. What makes those words so shocking is that they were actually spoken by George W. Bush. Someone went way off the talking points on that speech...;)
Of course the same day, he lifted the fair wage during a disaster act and since has given away millions in no-bid contracts to Halliburton, etc... Homes are not being rebuilt in the poor areas and some have hinted with Cheshire grins that if New Orleaneans don't come home, the Conservatives could pick up a few seats in Congress. Conservatives quickly dismissed the speech as too expensive and not realistic, and have managed to kill almost all of the proposals before anyone took them seriously. You really have to look for the speech on the White House website. The left side of the spectrum was so shocked by the speech, they literally had no reaction at all.
I, however, can't get those few lines out of my mind. For this man, who had the audacity to fly Cheney back from Iraq to vote to break a potential Senate tie that would have cut food stamps, school lunches, Medicare, education, and basically put a knife in the already bleeding poor and lower middle class for more tax cuts for the wealthy, to have admitted only a few months earlier that a "legacy of inequality" exists for African Americans, and that a "history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America" actually exists is stunning to me.
So why bring this up today? Months later? I was reading the Journal Sentinel today. An article about a man who was pulled out of his car and nearly beaten to death by a gang of raging teenagers brought this all to the forefront again. The story brought tears to my eyes. That again in Milwaukee we could have a raging homicidal teenage gang is horrific. The beating was brutal and merciless and the neighbors' comments were boggling.
The reporter actually wrote this:
A family member said Tuesday that McClain was in the area to visit a friend and play pool. Witnesses said the attackers jumped off cars and did flips onto McClain's head, laughed and blasted music as if they were having a "block party." Asked whether police were looking into whether McClain was in that area for another reason, Schwartz said, "We are investigating all possibilities at this point."
Would anyone would have doubted the victim's story had he not been an African American male? By even putting that in the story, they are defaming Mr. McClain with insinuation. My heart goes out to Mr. McClain. He raised 12 children and as his wife states is a good man. She had to add that because his story has been questioned even with many witnesses corroborating. You can't even be an African American male victim of a crime without being under suspicion in this city!
Milwaukee's poverty rate is lower than New Orleans pre-Katrina.
How many more people have to be harmed? How many more children do we have to lose to the brutal streets? Will anyone ever take the President's words spoken fleetingly and emptily, seriously?