New Orleans Went Under--A Black man's comments
By Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson
Say a hurricane is about to destroy the city you live in. Two questions:
What would you do?
What would you do if you were black?
Sadly, the two questions don't have the same answer.
To the first: Most of us would take our families out of that city
quickly to protect them from danger. Then, able-bodied men would return
to help others in need, as wives and others cared for children,
elderly, infirm and the like.
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, you'll probably wait for the government to save you.
This was not always the case. Prior to 40 years ago, such a pathetic
performance by the black community in a time of crisis would have been
inconceivable. The first response would have come from black men.
They would take care of their families, bring them to safety, and then
help the rest of the community. Then local government would come in.
No longer. 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. This, as we know, did
not turn out good results.
Enter Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan. Jackson and Farrakhan laid
blame on 'racist' President Bush. Farrakhan actually proposed the idea
that the government blew up a levee so as to kill blacks and save
whites. The two demanded massive governmental spending to rebuild New
above and beyond the federal government's proposed $60 billion. Not
only that, these two were positioning themselves as the gatekeepers to
supervise the dispersion of funds. Perfect: 'Two of the most dishonest
elite blacks in America ,' overseeing billions of dollars. I wonder
where that money will end up.
Of course, if these two were really serious about laying blame on
government, they should blame the local one. Responsibility to perform
legally and practically fell first on the mayor of New Orleans . We are
now all familiar with Mayor Ray Nagin the black who likes to yell at
President Bush for failing to do Nagin's job. The facts, unfortunately
do not support Nagin's wailing. As the Washington Times puts it,
'recent reports show [Nagin] failed to follow through on his own city's
which acknowledged that thousands of the city's poorest residents would
have no way to evacuate the city.'
One wonders how there was 'no way' for these people to evacuate the
city. We have photographic evidence telling us otherwise. You've
probably seen it by now the photo showing 2,000 parked school buses,
unused and underwater. How much planning does it require to put people
on a bus and leave town, Mayor Nagin?
Instead of doing the obvious, Mayor Nagin (with no positive
contribution from Gov. Kathleen Blanco, the other major leader vested
with responsibility to address the hurricane disaster) loaded remaining
new Orleans residents into the Superdome and the city's convention
We know how that plan turned 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
President Bush is not to blame for the rampant immorality of blacks.
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
Farrakhan, Jackson, and other race hustlers are to be repudiated
for they will only perpetuate this problem by stirring up hatred and
applauding moral corruption. New Orleans , to the extent it is to be
rebuilt, should be remade into a dependency-free, morally strong city
where corruption is opposed and success is applauded. Blacks are
obligated to help themselves and not depend on the government to care
We are all obligated to tell them so.
The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is founder and president of BOND,
the Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny, and author of 'Scam: How
the Black Leadership Exploits Black America.'