No child left behind... unless they were among the poor and/or black of New Orleans. Am I being too harsh? Due to a muddle of prejudice, incompetence and systemic disregard for the underclass, the response of our government is shameful. In its urgent charitable work and political response, the Jewish community ought not overlook the injustice(s) at work.
"Hurricane Katrina pulled back the curtain, exposing the things many knew existed and even more wished not to acknowledge: race, class, privilege, cavernous health and income disparities; poverty amidst opulence..." (Effect Measure)
The Commons: "60 percent of New Orleans residents are black, but it has been little noted that a third of those black families do not own a car -- nor do 15 percent of white families. It is these people who were left behind when those with cars evacuated."
"We all have seen over the years images depicting the horrors faced by refugees in third world countries. But the images of people in our own country, rich as it is in so many ways, without any food or water for days, using the floor as toilets, sitting among rotting cadavers, or women with infants (in one report I read) being given two diapers and told to scrape them off and reuse them, are hard to accept.
[... This] not only raises questions about how we treat the poor among us, but forces us to confront some difficult issues about race in this country. Ann Althouse asks over on her blog, "Were the provisions for flood prevention and for evacuation and shelter so inadequate because mostly black people were affected? Would the rescues have come more quickly if the victims were white? Would viewers and reporters express more utrage at the pace of relief if we were seeing white victims?" Good questions." From Susan Stabile at Mirror of Justice (Catholic legal theory blog)Kaspit
Previous posts on Katrina: where to donate (and global warming), social justice, looting for food under Jewish law, toxic pollution, Mark Schleifstein, and BusinessWeek noted.