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Why is race such a taboo subject?

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posted on Apr, 27 2006 @ 09:23 PM
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seagull and Benevolent Heretic,

I think what you said was pretty fair in terms of the Katrina incident. I just tend to differ just a little in my interpretation of events.

Clearly, it was a governmental SNAFU on all levels. No one is saying otherwise. It's just that the underlying treatment of Katrina victims differs in terms of their regions of relocation. In Houston, just because the Katrina survivors are there, the people within the city complain that "crime has gone up". In fact, I have read comments on this board that equate the relocated Katrina survivors as being "dirt" and "trash".

In other parts of the board, people are arguing on the fact that New Orleans should not be rebuilt. I know that some of the arguments have to do with its situation on undersea levels. That is accurate. But I cannot help but feel that there is something else guiding the criticism that NO should not be rebuilt.

And as much as people say that there wasn't any racist attempt in the assessment of Katrina, I don't know if that is the true story. Okay. I may be a firestarter here. But when I sat with my family last year and watched the footage, the reporting alone made us a little frustrated and disturbed--if not the slow response.

That's why I asked the question. I may be too sensitive on this issue, but I tend to think that race is a part of the issue. However, I will think about this more to make it clear in a future post. Let's just say that I have certain misgivings about the entire affair. But, like I said, I don't know how to articulate it yet.

Does anyone else have anything else to contribute on this issue--pro or con?




posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 01:23 AM
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ceci
It has been my experience that people tend to blame race when all else fails. And lets face it a LOT failed during Katrina.
I can not imagine for the life of me why the Government would want to destroy a relatively small section of minority, based on their race. What would there be to gain? If the contention is that the Government was slow because of the majority of victims being a minority, well when was the Government ever fast at any response?
It is my humble opinion that in the aftermath of Katrina, all of the politicians were playing politics and attempting to one up the other one. I mean the Mayor could not get it together, the Governer screwed up and the president sat back and watched it all happen.
I saw a complete failure taking into account the MASSIVE resources available to us. Yet I saw no OUTWARD indications of this based on race.
My Opinion



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 01:34 AM
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police_officer339,

That is fair to say. Perhaps, in my point of view it was upsetting to see so many people (not to mention African-Americans) stranded either in the Superdome and Convention Center as well as on the tops of their houses. I also became affected when the news reports depicted African-Americans "looting" while White people were "taking what they needed". Or the fact that the newspeople referred to those within the hurricane as "refugees" as if they were in a third world country. Or the equally problematic thing when race is introduced into the topic of Katrina, it is quickly refuted.

Or perhaps, it is the way that Kanye West remarked while at a telethon, that Mr. Bush "didn't care about Black people".

Okay. I think that my feelings do fall on the side of the media and how they reported the entire disaster. Maybe my problem is that they didn't deal with the race issue adequately enough to reassure me that it wasn't part of the problem.

Perhaps, that is where my feelings lie on the manner. And this is yet another issue that I am totally conflicted about. Yes, it is a massive failure on all levels of government. I won't dispute that. I also won't dispute that perhaps that the government did not fail NO racially either.

It's just that when its all said or done, why do people blame the Katrina evacuees who have migrated to other cities for their crime--not to mention bringing down the city as a whole? Is it a class thing?



[edit on 28-4-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 01:46 AM
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I believe that that is historic. Anytime refugees move into any area (all over the world) that area will quickly begin blaming crime on them. Examples would be Palistine, Sudan, Somalia etc.
It is much easier to blame those we don't know.
As for the media, well I have very strong thoughts/feelings on the "drive by" media. They sensationalise(spell) everything and race is always a good headliner.
Just my opinion again



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 02:04 AM
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Perhaps that is where the discussion needs to be shifted again: the media and Katrina. Because when I think about it, the media did a lot to divide people on this issue as well.

When I read what you said earlier about the politicians arguing against each other on this issue, I can totally agree. I think that is also where my misgivings lie on this entire matter.

The entire coverage of Katrina was affecting, true enough. But it was the media and politics of the situation that might have had added its sting to the entire issue.

In the meantime, I will give your thoughts some time to sink in. And research this aspect a little. And then, I will probably post my opinion on the matters of Katrina. Thanks for your opinions on the matter. It has given me a lot to think about.

Of course, when the report is published, I will buy and read it because I want to know the entire investigation into the disaster.

However, in the meantime, don't forget to ask a question!



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 08:54 AM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
In fact, I have read comments on this board that equate the relocated Katrina survivors as being "dirt" and "trash".


Yes, on the board and in the public eye, I totally agree that Katrina survivors are victims of racism. Like I have said, racism exists in every sector. And ATS is no different.



In other parts of the board, people are arguing on the fact that New Orleans should not be rebuilt. I know that some of the arguments have to do with its situation on undersea levels. That is accurate. But I cannot help but feel that there is something else guiding the criticism that NO should not be rebuilt.


You may have a point there, but I for one don't think NO should be rebuilt as it was before and it has absolutely nothing to do with the color of the skin of the people who made their homes there. In fact, before Katrina, I didn't even know that NO had such a large black population. I would just hate to see the city get wiped out again.

The Earth is changing. It's not safe anymore to build your home right by the sea. I think the same of the beautiful expensive homes on the bluffs of California that keep sliding down the hillside and they build them again.



That's why I asked the question. I may be too sensitive on this issue, but I tend to think that race is a part of the issue.


I think it's possible that race played a factor, I just don't know for sure. I definitely see how race played a factor in the media coverage! Absolutely! And it plays a factor in how many people see and talk about the disaster.

As regards the government's role, I suspect this administration says one thing, while doing another. For example, they make it clear that terrorism is not to be connected to Muslims, all the while speaking out of the other side of their mouth (the media) that Muslims are the problem. Another example, the government wants to be fair to the immigrants and provide work and driver's licences to illegal immigrants, yet the media (the government's mouthpiece) concentrates on all the negativity about immigrants and shows Mexican people as a threat.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that while Bush says he cares about black people, he really intends to make them out to be 'lower' or criminals or some other negative characteristic or threat.



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 03:08 PM
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My only arguement is that the media is the Governments mouth piece.

I mean come on, they hate President Bush. That's apparent every time you turn on the news.

Bush Bashing is not a localized phenom.



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 08:40 PM
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I probably think that some of you have read my on-going comments about the Minutemen in the thread "Minutemen are Gain Mainstream Appeal". And you have probably viewed my concerns about their organization and my misgivings. Although this is yet another topic for another thread, I would like to highlight the attention paid to the aspect of race.

I brought race up because in light of the lip service paid by the media about undocumented workers, the Minutemen in my mind does attribute to the "racial paranoia" that is striking across America, if not the world. The problem that I have with the group racially is the fact that I believe they are targeting South American undocumented workers. Legally, I can see their efforts. However, I do not agree with the assumption that their attempts to work with law enforcement while trying to shame the government and Border patrol entirely altruistic.

On that thread, I was attacked for "race-baiting" and "bringing race into the issue". And I asked, "Why not?". Is it not fair to have their motives examined in terms of their perception of race? I think it is. But, that, unfortunately, was not the crux of the argument.

It was when I said in my second post that the Minutemen satiate the desires of the "average American" who wants to "racially purify" America. To some, open mouth--insert foot. To others, it made sense. But, a lot of people who were supportive of the Minutemen's efforts did not see it that way. In fact, they were outraged.

But, I bring it up here solely to ask this question. Was it outrage because they know that citizens can and will join groups to deal with their anger about race and racism? Was it outrage because the Minutemen were compared to the KKK? Or, was it outrage because I was way out of line about assuming what the "average citizen" would do?

I think it is all of these things. I admit that I have certain misgivings about the Minutemen's actions on a racial basis. The frightening thing about their message is that while it all sounds good and well about their committment to all races on paper, I think that they are using their efforts to communicate another thing. I think that their efforts solely do not lie on the fact of illegal immigration. And I also think that it was no mistake that they racially targeted South American undocumented workers despite the statics (by Duzey, which said that only 6% of undocumented workers are European and that the majority are from South America) and the rhetoric "preserving our American way of life". And they are doing nothing to communicate that they are fair about nabbing undocumented workers from other races. And noting that their efforts are partially state-sanctioned, it brings me more worry.

Yet, some of the dissenters tell me that I shouldn't worry about it. I should just stop with the racial rhetoric and acknowledge that the Minutemen represent heroes.

That, I cannot do. It is fair that they criticized me on the policies of the Minutemen. But, it is not fair to label me as intolerant and racist because of my views. For what it is worth, I never said anything derogatory about White people. I just questioned the behavior of common citizens who buy into rhetoric and voyage into the slippery slope that the Minutemen might present with their efforts. And because common "decent" folk have quietly abided by the actions of extremist groups without questioning their motives and behavior in the past, I find that equally problematic.

On my part, I have made attempts to find out exactly what the Minutemen are doing. I have read articles on both sides of the issue. But, I still have my misgivings. Maybe it is because when you belong to a race that has historically been "harassed" by a group espoused by "decent citizens", the hairs of your neck stand up.

I would be less aggrieved if the Minutemen demonstrated in their efforts that they were fair in their actions and message while doling out "illegalities". But they have not. They have done things to humiliate South American undocumented workers (the Barton incident, for example). There is much more to say about this matter, but I would like to discuss the racial aspect here, if you guys don't mind.

What do you think?






[edit on 28-4-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 08:56 PM
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Originally posted by ceci2006
Or, was it outrage because I was way out of line about assuming what the "average citizen" would do?


That one. I think. You can't generalize the 'average American' any more that you can generalize the average black person, especially if you're going to accuse them of being a bigot (something negative).

I didn't read that thread, but as I was reading your post here, my mouth literally dropped open when I read the "Average American who wants to racially purify America." That's way overboard in my opinion.

The truth about the Minutemen is that there are probably some who want to keep out the darkies, but I'd wager that the vast majority are working to protect their country where they feel their government has failed. So, we can't really even generalize the Minutemen except to say that the majority want one thing or another. And I think they want to protect their country.

I don't see how it's about race, to tell you the truth. It's about people coming here illegally. Yes, they're pretty much all hispanic, but that's not the root of the problem. If they were white, blue or green and entering the country illegally, I'd have a problem with it.

The fact that a group of people is the focus of hostility and they happen to be all the same race, doesn't automatically mean the hostility is ABOUT the race.



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 09:54 PM
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I have also turned my thoughts about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in light of the report being released next week. And in the past days, I have been trying to figure out what exactly is bothering me about the entire situation. Yes, I can definitely say it is partially politics and the media that truly ruffled my feathers about the entire situation.

And also, after talking it out with others in the "real world", I feel that the government might not have overtly had racial overtones in their response, I kind of think it was there. Like I said before, I do not dispute that a massive failure existed on all levels of government. But at the same time, I truly do believe that the location and race had something to do with it.

I would like to especially present a couple of key passages from the book, Hurricane Katrina: Response and Responsibilites (2005):



Ortiz, Paul. "The Battle for New Orleans". Childs, John Brown, ed. Hurricane Katrina: Response and Responsibilities. Santa Cruz, CA.: New Pacific Press, 2005.

The presidential election of 2000 and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina demonstrate that white supremacy and Jim Crow inequalites are alive and well in the United States. The disenfranchisement of thousands of African Americans in Florida set the stage for five more years of corporate rules, war profiteering, and policies that starved cities like New Orleans to death. Only a Black-majority city would be forced to suffer the indignity of being patrolled by private security forces just returned from their misadventures in Iraq (2)

Jolivette, Andrew. "Displacement, Gentrification and the Politics of Exclusion".Childs, John Brown, ed. Hurricane Katrina: Response and Responsibilities. Santa Cruz, CA.: New Pacific Press, 2005.

As I sit and watch CNN and Fox News along with the rest of the world, I struggle personally and professionally to grapple with the response to Hurricane Katrina and with the pre-existing state of Louisiana's political and moral responsibility to the poor, elderly, and the disenfranchised populations of New Orleans. There is a long history in this country of race and class divisions. It is usually easier to continue perpetuating these divisions, or to simply pretend they do not exist, than to critically interrogate and dismantle these oppressive systems of domination. Questions like: Why was the response so slow? Should they rebuild New Orleans? Who will benefit from the rebuilding? are all fundamental to questioning key issues of inequality, race, and white supremacy in the United States. (31)


What Hurricane Katrina displayed on television and on-line was the present inequalities that continue to be part and parcel of the social fabric of America. Yes, people from all sides suffered the brunt of the storm, including Trent Lott in Mississippi. But, at the same time, I believe that in the government's response of Katrina, that certain things still exist that leave me to question their motives.

1)The use of National Guards to help hotel guests leave when poorer Katrina victims of color were treated like cattle.

2)The move to "gentrify" the city as a way to weed out the orginal occupants.

3)Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney's (not to mention the various secretaries of agencies in government) apparent lack of concern when the storm hit and the levees broke. While people were on rooftops or crammed into the Convention Center or the Superdome, they continued on their vacations as if nothing particular happened.

4)The apparent media depictions of African-Americans not only being disrespected by the systems of government, but being painted by the worst stereotypes.

I know that both passages mention "white supremacy". And, historically, you have to admit that this does have to do with virtually all the issues surrounding Hurricane Katrina. I mean no disrespect by that term. I think it is used to demonstrate why I think that the storm conveyed the apparent problems existing with the topic of race and racism, not to mention the perception of Katrina in the eyes of the public and in the "dominant" culture.

That is probably why I still question the response time and the political motives regarding Katrina. And shamefully, I do ask myself that if it were people in Key West, Fla. instead of NO, would the government have done the same thing?

What are some other opinions about this? And keep on asking questions!

For my part, I will continue to think about this more and continue my comments in future posts.

[edit on 28-4-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 10:04 PM
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Originally quoted by Benevolent Heretic
The truth about the Minutemen is that there are probably some who want to keep out the darkies, but I'd wager that the vast majority are working to protect their country where they feel their government has failed. So, we can't really even generalize the Minutemen except to say that the majority want one thing or another. And I think they want to protect their country.

I don't see how it's about race, to tell you the truth. It's about people coming here illegally. Yes, they're pretty much all hispanic, but that's not the root of the problem. If they were white, blue or green and entering the country illegally, I'd have a problem with it.

The fact that a group of people is the focus of hostility and they happen to be all the same race, doesn't automatically mean the hostility is ABOUT the race.


That is fair. I know that it doesn't automatically mean that their motives are guided by race. And, I am sorry that I had to generalize like that. Some of the reasons when I wrote the post was that I was tired. And when you're tired.....

But in the same way, I agree with you about the primary motives of the Minutemen. Essentially they are trying to alert the system about undocumented workers. And to my defense, I did say that they had a right to be there.

And as I read back what I wrote in that thread, I am sorry that I brought it up in a way. No one likes to be accused of being a bigot. It is the same way that I don't like to be accused of being intolerant and racist. Perhaps, I should have put a little more thought into what I wrote.

But, historically, I cannot but help to wonder how these groups can rear their ugly head. That's all. And I should have just left it at that.

At the same time, I still think it is fair to question the motives of the Minutemen. I also think it is fair to ask for people to examine exactly what they are doing. And if preventing illegal immigration is all they are doing and if they are fair, then okay. But, if anything unusually particuliar happens, then the hair will stand up on the back of my neck again.

That's all. I'll have more thoughts on this later. But I wanted to clarify myself.




[edit on 28-4-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 11:18 PM
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ceci
I have supported your views in many ways.
My only problem with your last posting is that....I don't think it is "fair" at all to examine everything from a racial point of view.

It is a psycological standard that if you look for something long and hard enough, you will find it. Does not mean it is there, but your mind will find some connection to support the values you have placed on the action you are examining.

Not everything has a racial slant or motivation. Sometimes people do things for really good reasons. If you look at the pictures on the minuteman site, their organization is composed of blacks, whites and latinos, that I can see. I have looked long and indepth tonight and see no racial motivations at all in what they do.



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 11:25 PM
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police_officer339,

I thank you at first for your understanding of the situation. I think in hindsight, that I may have stepped over the line with the Minutemen. I think what you said is true.

I have also looked over the site of the Minutemen today and yesterday, wondering if I could have been wrong in my assessment. And I think that perhaps I should have worded my concerns a bit better. And that, I should have given their side a lot more thought.

For that, I am sorry if I insulted everyone on this thread and the other thread for my comments.

For myself, I will work on understanding the Minutemen's motives. But I still ask that others do the same.

I have already apologized at the end of my last thread for my comments in the second post.



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 11:33 PM
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No need to appologize
Your views are welcome and well actually looked forward to. At least by this humble poster



posted on Apr, 28 2006 @ 11:50 PM
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That's a very nice thing to say. I appreciate it. I know by this thread I've learned a lot and each post, it seems to me I've learned a little bit more about my attitudes as well as the attitudes of other people. And I especially realized that I have to see a topic on different levels and remain true to my open-mindedness on all accounts.

I thank you for your insight and participation.

Now don't forget to ask those questions!



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 02:35 AM
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Bad news sells. We all know this, correct? When you have people hauling grocery carts full of shoes out of a busted sliding door of a Wal-mart, that isn't racism, that is an idiot. The same with some one taking a t.v. that has been submerged in water. Now if they were taking food, medical supplies and what-not that is a different story. The media likes to show either bad stuff or idiots.
The problem with illegal immigration is a problem that has to be taken care of. We already have a horrendous deficit. Influx of illegals = more $$ spent on social programs.
People need to get over simple words. I have been called a lot of things in my life and most of them in the context that they were spoken were a hell of a lot worse than "ni@@er". Any word can be made to be hurtful. If your skin isn't thick enough to take a word then you have no place in a revolution.
Jack Johnson was, in my opinion, a better boxer than Ali. He also boxed in a day and age when there was no possible way a black man could beat a white man. He was just plain mean when he was in the ring.
Joe Louis lost the first fight against Schmeling(12 rounds, k.o.) and won the second(first round, k.o.), 1936 and 1938 respectively.



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 04:08 AM
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sammael, thanks for clearing up the Joe Louis matches. I have corrected the information on the original thread. But I cannot deny that Louis' victory as well as Robinson's breaking of the color barrier were moments that brought pride and promise to African-Americans. For my father, Robinson became a hero and always will be. I do agree with you about Jack Johnson. His story is quite fascinating.

Beside his boxing prowess, Muhammed Ali's refusal to fight in the Vietnam War was seminal because he put himself on the line for his anti-war stance; I also believe that the Black Power salute by the three track athletes during the Olympics was also important because it signified the struggle of civil rights--despite the controversy it produced during that time.

I just wanted to bring up these issues.

As for your other comments, I will answer you with my thoughts later on.





[edit on 29-4-2006 by ceci2006]



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 09:16 AM
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Just a quick note to say to ceci - Absolutely no reason to apologize!


I think sharing our thoughts here, even if they might not be 100% PC, is what this thread is all about. I want to see behind the exterior. I want to hear what you might say to your close friends, to get an idea of the details that surround racism. I think we're all being pretty 'open' and I think that's vital to this discussion, even if it isn't always 'pretty'.



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 09:50 AM
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Ceci. I think everyone of us has said or written something we regret. I agree with your self assessment that you might have gone abit overboard. Since I do that on a fairly regular basis, I certainly know it when I see it
. Your grace in admitting your mistake surely makes up for it, IMHO. Not everyone is as capable of doing that as you've shown yourself to be. So...go forth and sin no more. Anyone who has read any of your posts prior certainly knows that was a momentary aberation, nothing more.

The minutemen phenomenon is merely a sign of the growing realization that our government has lost sight of the fact that it is our interests that they should be protecting, not their own. I am beginning to suspect that the coming elections in November are going to be something of a revelation to alot of folks...(knocking on wood).

Back to the topic of Katrina racism, I think that most of what was percieved as racism was infact, either incompetence on every level, or coincedence, and would have happened regardless of race. But as I have said on a couple of occaisions, it is hard for me to say from where I sit, clear across the country.



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 03:30 PM
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Thank you all very much for understanding what I did. Yes, I can be hot-headed. But, mostly, I do take the time to sit down and think about the weight of my arguments before I post. That's why sometimes it takes me longer when there are heavier issues to respond.

And last night, I researched the entire aspect of the Minutemen. I ended up posting sources on that thread so that people can make up their own mind how to perceive the organization. As I said over there, I will try to retain an open mind. However, I believe when there are problematic issues to consider, one has to see both sides of the story before making a decision on a position.

And I agree with Benevolent Heretic, I would much rather people say what's on their mind than have false sentimentalities. I also want to know people's attitudes regarding racial issues. It makes the debate more relevant instead of pussyfooting around the issue. I've never liked subtlety, even though I am very considerate of other people. So, I take great pains not to be blunt. But, as you can see, when I do go "half-cocked", sometimes, I go too far. And that, I regret.

And Seagull, I will "go forth and sin no more"
! However, that does not negate the passion and spirited nature of debate. In conversations, imho, one must have candor but also regard manners as a form of civility. I admit my wrongdoing because I believe that no one is perfect and in the true spirit of discourse, people can say horrible things when they are not thinking. And I do care about people's feelings. That too is part and parcel of accepting the opinons of other people.

BTW, thank you very much for describing me as one of the clearer thinkers on the board. I appreciate it very much.

About the Katrina subject, I believe the main issues connected to governmental failure are agreeable that there weren't aspects of racism. But, there are the small indications under the surface which bring out the underlying issues that exist in the South.

What I am referring to are the historical and social components revealed by the televising of the flood. I think the flooding of NO is indicative of how "red-lining" and politics contributed to the fate of what incurred in the aftermath. By what I mean, is that the more expensive areas (excluding the coast of Mississippi), were fine because they were built on higher ground. As true as other cities in the Gulf Coast region (Beaumont, Port Arthur, Houston, New Orleans and vicinity), African-Americans mostly live in the most danger prone of the areas. So, it was no mistake that the majority of Black people were affected. Their houses were erected on the worst land under sea levels. It is a shame that the cemeteries built in NO are on higher ground than most of the people.

Furthermore, it highlights the segregation by "racial communities" that often occur in the South as well. This was especially depicted in the news by their coverage. When you look at it in its entire context, yes it is easy to admit that the racist intent was not there. However, in the aftermath, seething tensions poured out--some of which have been there before the era of Civil Rights as well as problems attributed by illegal immigration.

All I can say if Mr. Nagin wins again (if Mr. Landrieu does not present formidable competition.), he's got his hands full trying to defuse the powder keg.



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