Thursday, September 08, 2005

Katrina and its isms

There's been a lot of things about Katrina and it's aftermath that have been upsetting, but the one things that's been really sticking in my craw is the accusations of racism. There are certainly aspects of governmental behavior, at every level, that can be questioned in this affair but to say the primary reason for the problems are racial just seems for lack of a better phrase, racist. First off the US government is composed of people of all races and second there's and old but true saying: don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence.

Moving past the initial response, I think this event has exposed our societies inherent classism. We are a classist society. We use classism in our society to drive people to work hard and make a better life for themselves. That's not to say the middle and upper class don't have compassion for the lower class (just look at the donations and ongoing relief efforts) but there is an ingrained mentality of expecting others to be able to take care of themselves. For better or worse, that's the American way.

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