strong words

Moral poverty cost blacks in New Orleans.” That’s a headline guaranteed to raise eyebrows and ruffle feathers. I can imagine even more indignation once the article is read.

For better or worse, Hurricane Katrina has told us the answer to the second question. If you’re black and a hurricane is about to destroy your city, then you’ll probably wait for the government to save you…When 75 percent of New Orleans residents had left the city, it was primarily immoral, welfare-pampered blacks that stayed behind and waited for the government to bail them out.

About five years ago, in a debate before the National Association of Black Journalists, I stated that if whites were to just leave the United States and let blacks run the country, they would turn America into a ghetto within 10 years. The audience, shall we say, disagreed with me strongly. Now I have to disagree with me. I gave blacks too much credit. It took a mere three days for blacks to turn the Superdome and the convention center into ghettos, rampant with theft, rape and murder.

Had New Orleans’ black community taken action, most would have been out of harm’s way. But most were too lazy, immoral and trifling to do anything productive for themselves.

All Americans must tell blacks this truth. It was blacks’ moral poverty – not their material poverty – that cost them dearly in New Orleans.

If I were to stand up and make any of the above statements, I would be denounced as a racist, a white supremacist, an oppressor of people. I mean, that whole article repeatedly refers to African-Americans as “blacks.” Last time I checked, I wasn’t allowed to say that.
But that article was written by a black man.
Sounds to me like he’s just asking for personal responsibilty.
This attitude is in direct contrast to an earlier post about being poor. The first link on that post took the position that poverty is difficult, nigh unto impossible, to escape. And I feel the pain of the poor. At least, I want to. I hate it when people look down on the poor, scorning them as weak and worthless. I’ve been there, I know what it’s like, to some degree.
I’ve walked through filthy houses where I couldn’t breathe because it smelled that bad. I’ve picked up little kids and dressed them, because their parents were passed out on the couch, surrounded by empty beer cans, the food money for the week spent on alcohol. I’ve carried those kids out to the church bus and handed them muffins, knowing that’s probably all they’ll eat that day.
I’ve never lived in that filth.
I’ve played with other kids, 6 of them, all from the same mom who just kept having babies and giving them to her mother to raise. The grandmother was in poor health, but she cared for those kids as best she could, feeding them mac-n-cheese and trying to make sure they stayed in school.
I couldn’t understand why the grandmother never told her daughter to either keep her legs together or start raising her own kids.
By the way–in the above examples, one family was white, one not. I’m not saying which.
Now I don’t know what to think. I’ve seen both sides, I’ve walked in both worlds, and while it would be nice to think that povery is circumstancial, I can’t. Maybe part of it is, but part of it’s an attitude, like Porkchop said. Part of it is…something else, but I’m not sure what.
(Thanks to tehauntie for the article)
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~ by wildeyedwonder on October 4, 2005.

3 Responses to “strong words”

  1. GREAT article. So true. So sad. But like it or not, this is the world we live in. I like to think of myself as a completely unbiased individual. But I am biased. Not against blacks, or hispanics, or any other of the many races that populate our country, but against Americans who refuse to take responsibility for themselves. If the majority of these people happen to be black and hispanic, I’m sorry to say that they have brought this attitude about their race upon themselves. It is unfortunate that those of these minority races that ARE responsible and know how to work hard and make the most out of what they have are given a bad rap because of those who can’t do anything for themselves.

  2. I have to agree with Anonymous. I think poverty would be 90% overcome if people would just take personal responsibility for themselves and their circumstances. And quit being so darn lazy.

    It really starts with character, and that’s the scary thing–they aren’t teaching that anymore.

  3. Being born into poverty is circumstantial. There is nothing you can do about the way things are when you are born. It is up to you however to overcome these shackles and rise to your potential. If history teaches us anything it’s that of overcoming. If a man can be born in a dirt floor shack, teach himself and become the President of the United States, we can do whatever we put our minds too.

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