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Author Topic: "Racist" hurricane didn't meet media's criteria
abbubmah
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Statistics released by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals suggest that fewer than half of the victims of Hurricane Katrina were black, and that whites died at the highest rate of all races in New Orleans.

quote:
The storm also did not discriminate based on gender. Fifty percent of the victims were male and 49 percent were female, with 1 percent being undetermined.
Oh my. The storm actually killed a higher percentage of white males. That's not news, though.

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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Huh?

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Rhea
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So Katrina was a non-racist, non-sexist storm. Good to know there's liberal weather in America.

ETA: [fish]

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RangerDog
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Not that there will likely be retractions or apologies by anyone either.

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Kev
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quote:
Originally posted by hambubba, the other white meat:
Oh my. The storm actually killed a higher percentage of white males. That's not news, though.

I think you mean to say whites died at an apparent higher rate or higher proportion relative to population. Even that is not for certain. There was only about 8 percentage points difference between the death rates and population representation of both blacks and whites. We have no way of knowing if the proportion of blacks and whites is exactly the same now as it was when the census was taken. Either population could have grown or been reduced by now, making the death rates either closer to the same or more disparate.

Given the unkowns I wouldn't consider 8 percentage points statistically significant enough to make any claims about the difference in death rates (from any perspective).

Besides, none of that has any bearing on the claims of racism certain people were making. Whether or not blacks and whites died at the same or close to the same rate means nothing except that the laws of statistics are not affected by hurricanes. It doesn't change the fact that the majority of victims in New Orleans were black (because the majority of the population is black), which is the only fact the claims of racism were based on. The people making racist claims were saying, "You don't care about these people because most of them are black."

No one was claiming the hurricane was racist and was killing more blacks than whites which, had it been made, is the only claim the article in the OP might be able to disprove.

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vanilla
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I don't think the point is that the hurricane was not racist, but rather that after racism was tossed around as the reason for the lack of response before/during/after the hurricane hit, the actual death statistics do not support the racism claim.

quote:
Liberals in the aftermath of the storm were quick to allege that the Bush administration delayed its response to the catastrophe because most of the victims were black.


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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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Well, the best analysis of the slow response would be one based on class (i.e. economics) which, in Western society is part of the trifecta (race/class/gender: can't analyze one without the other also coming into play).

However, I'm not sure that death rates tell the entire story here. What about loss of property, income, health, etc?

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Kev
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quote:
Originally posted by vanilla:
I don't think the point is that the hurricane was not racist, but rather that after racism was tossed around as the reason for the lack of response before/during/after the hurricane hit, the actual death statistics do not support the racism claim.

quote:
Liberals in the aftermath of the storm were quick to allege that the Bush administration delayed its response to the catastrophe because most of the victims were black.

Most of the victims were black. 59.1% of the deceased in New Orleans. That was my whole point. The death rates have no bearing on whether or not racism had anything to do with the the response to the hurricane. All the death rates tell you is the hurricane affected all races mostly equally.

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by Ryda Wong:
Well, the best analysis of the slow response would be one based on class (i.e. economics) which, in Western society is part of the trifecta (race/class/gender: can't analyze one without the other also coming into play).

However, I'm not sure that death rates tell the entire story here. What about loss of property, income, health, etc?

It will be interesting to see where the victims are a few years from now in terms of recovery. Who will have the resources to pull themselves back up, and who won't?

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Dickie
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Why does it say, "African-Americans make up 67.25 percent of the population" and then call African-Americans a minority?
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vanilla
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Actually, the numbers are all over the place in this article.

quote:
Statistics released by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals suggest that fewer than half of the victims of Hurricane Katrina were black, and that whites died at the highest rate of all races in New Orleans.
quote:
Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals indicates that whites constitute 36.6 percent of the storm's fatalities in the city.
quote:
African-Americans make up 67.25 percent of the population and 59.1 percent of the deceased. Other minorities constitute approximately 5 percent of the population and represented 4.3 percent of the storm's fatalities.
quote:
Overall for the state, 658 bodies have been identified. Forty-seven percent were African-American and 42 percent were Caucasian. The remaining bodies were either non-black minorities or undetermined.
So which is it? Whites were the majority of deaths at 36.6% or 42%? And if whites had the highest death rate, then how do African-Americans make up 59.1% of the dead? Or is that 46%?

I am confuzzled. Anyone able to sort it out for me?

ETA: I get it, I comparing state to city statistics. Nevermind.

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by Dickie:
Why does it say, "African-Americans make up 67.25 percent of the population" and then call African-Americans a minority?

African-Americans were 67.25 percent of the New Orleans population, and the article never said African-Americans were a minority in New Orleans.

African-Americans are minority in the United States and in Louisiana. See US Census data here, and US Census data for Louisiana here.

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Dickie
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You're right. It's just that I live in Baton Rouge and have trouble viewing blacks as a minority.
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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by RangerDog:
Not that there will likely be retractions or apologies by anyone either.

Apologies by whom? To whom? For what?

Pogue

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snopes
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quote:
Apologies by whom? To whom? For what?
Apologies by liberals to the President for saying he didn't care about blacks. Obviously they were wrong: he doesn't care about anybody.

- snopes

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RangerDog
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Thats actually pretty funny, snopes!

Pogue, do you actually believe that federal help was slow in coming to (the gulf coast) New Orleans because President Bush "hates blacks"?

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by RangerDog:
Thats actually pretty funny, snopes!

Pogue, do you actually believe that federal help was slow in coming to (the gulf coast) New Orleans because President Bush "hates blacks"?

I never said I did.

Pogue

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Methuselah
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Maybe I'm just not getting it, but what do statistics have to do with racism. Obviously, racism isn't based on facts. It's based on emotions (and ignorance).

The racism claims made about the response were based on the common perception that New Orleans, particularly the areas most affected by Katrina, is comprised of people of color...specifically low-income African-Americans whose neighborhoods feature high crrime rates. That was and is the basic perception upon which judgments were made.

That perception of New Orleans is the basis for the claims of racism. It wouldn't matter if the data came back and showed zero black people died and 15,000 white people died.

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Oualawouzou
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quote:
Originally posted by Methuselah:

That perception of New Orleans is the basis for the claims of racism. It wouldn't matter if the data came back and showed zero black people died and 15,000 white people died.

Actually, data is very important.

You can be under the impression that *so-and-so* for a variety of reasons. It could be because it's true! So, you can be under the impression that help was slow to come for Katrina victims because they're mostly Blacks. And it could be true! Now the data says otherwise. Therefore, you have grounds on which to counter the claim that aid was slow to come because victims were Blacks.

Stupid example (just an example, I'm not saying you believe the following): because of your personnal life, you may be under the impression that Black people are somewhat stupid. This may be because you have met a disproportionnate number of stupid Black people, or it can be because Blacks really are stupid. Then, you come across data that shows that Blacks aren't stupider than Caucasian people (assuming you're Caucasian for this example). Now you know there must be other things that caused you to experience meeting lots of stupid Black people. Sheer bad luck? Socio-economical factors that contribute to keeping Blacks poor and uneducated? Maybe you're letting the trees hide the forest? Is your own perception the problem? etc...

Data is vital in righting wrongful perceptions. Without data, you're left with a battle of baseless opinions.

(edited for clarity)

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Methuselah
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quote:
Originally posted by Oualawouzou:
quote:
Originally posted by Methuselah:

That perception of New Orleans is the basis for the claims of racism. It wouldn't matter if the data came back and showed zero black people died and 15,000 white people died.

Actually, data is very important.

You can be under the impression that *so-and-so* for a variety of reasons. It could be because it's true! So, you can be under the impression that help was slow to come for Katrina victims because they're mostly Blacks. And it could be true! Now the data says otherwise. Therefore, you have grounds on which to counter the claim that aid was slow to come because victims were Blacks.

Stupid example (just an example, I'm not saying you believe the following): because of your personnal life, you may be under the impression that Black people are somewhat stupid. This may be because you have met a disproportionnate number of stupid Black people, or it can be because Blacks really are stupid. Then, you come across data that shows that Blacks aren't stupider than Caucasian people (assuming you're Caucasian for this example). Now you know there must be other things that caused you to experience meeting lots of stupid Black people. Sheer bad luck? Socio-economical factors that contribute to keeping Blacks poor and uneducated? Maybe you're letting the trees hide the forest? Is your own perception the problem? etc...

Data is vital in righting wrongful perceptions. Without data, you're left with a battle of baseless opinions.

(edited for clarity)

I think we're discussing two different things here. People in this thread have suggested that certian people need to apologize for claiming that the slow response to the hurricane was racist because the "facts" show a higher percentage of whites died.

If the belief was that New Orleans was a "black community" and the response was slow because of that. That's racism. It doesn't matter if the racism is based on false data.

Analogy: Let's assume that John Doe hates black people and wants them to die. He finds out his new neighbor, who moves in that night, is named Kwame Johnson. John Doe decides that all blacks should die, and climbs up on his roof to shoot Mr. Johnson.

Mr. Johnson pulls into the drive of his new home, is shot by John Doe and dies. It turns out that Kwame Johnson was actually white. Do you believe that John Doe didn't actually commit a hate crime or isn't a racist because his victim was white? Or does that fact not affect the prior actions even if they were based on false perceptions?

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Little Pink Pill
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quote:
Originally posted by Methuselah:
Analogy: Let's assume that John Doe hates black people and wants them to die.

Are you suggesting that Bush "hates black people and wants them to die"? Do you have some evidence of this, or are you "assuming" about him, too?

ETA-And no, I didn't vote for him. [Wink]

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snopes
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quote:
If the belief was that New Orleans was a "black community" and the response was slow because of that. That's racism. It doesn't matter if the racism is based on false data.
And besides, the fact that more whites died or were victims (if that is indeed a fact) doesn't necessarily prove there was no intent to harm blacks -- it might just mean too many white folks got in the way.

- snopes

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Methuselah
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quote:
Originally posted by Little Pink Pill:
quote:
Originally posted by Methuselah:
Analogy: Let's assume that John Doe hates black people and wants them to die.

Are you suggesting that Bush "hates black people and wants them to die"? Do you have some evidence of this, or are you "assuming" about him, too?
Huh? [Confused]

I think you've actually put forth the biggest assumption here.

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abbubmah
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
And besides, the fact that more whites died or were victims (if that is indeed a fact) doesn't necessarily prove there was no intent to harm blacks -- it might just mean too many white folks got in the way.

But that requires even worse planning; if the intent was to harm blacks, and not whites, the plan went even further awry.

ham "incompetence at every level" bubba

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Little Pink Pill
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Hmm, must have misunderstood. Generally when someone makes an analogy, they are comparing two things for the purpose of clarification. Since you were talking about racism and Bushs' response to the hurricane when you made the analogy about John Doe's murderous hatred of blacks, I thought you meant to draw a parallel.

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Methuselah
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quote:
Originally posted by Little Pink Pill:
Hmm, must have misunderstood. Generally when someone makes an analogy, they are comparing two things for the purpose of clarification. Since you were talking about racism and Bushs' response to the hurricane when you made the analogy about John Doe's murderous hatred of blacks, I thought you meant to draw a parallel.

Nope, my analogy was to illustrate that racist intent is completely separate from factual data...particularly factual data learned after all incidents have occured.

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Little Pink Pill
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Ok, so you're arguing racist intent just as a theory then, and not in application to the NO situation?

ETA-What I'm trying to ask is, are you arguing that these statistics won't change anyone's mind, or are you arguing that these statistics won't change your mind?

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NUPHOENIX
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I'm not even going to comment on Katrina. This racist thing is getting out of control. In my industry (aerospace)a black man was fired. He was fired by a black co worker and a black supervisor. (they are both my friends) and I am white. He's suing now for discrimination. He screwed up 3 times in a month costing the company over 25,000 dollars each time. These people that were in New Orleans that suffered the most were on government handouts and now want more. I do not feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for the people that were paying the taxes and and didn't get any help. Sorry, just my opinion.
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Steve
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quote:
Originally posted by NUPHOENIX:
I do not feel sorry for them... Sorry, just my opinion.

I'm all for making idiotic statements while guarded by the anonymity of the internet. But to qualify such statements with a "just my opinion"--now that just seems cowardly.
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James G.
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quote:
Originally posted by NUPHOENIX:
I'm not even going to comment on Katrina. This racist thing is getting out of control. In my industry (aerospace)a black man was fired. He was fired by a black co worker and a black supervisor. (they are both my friends) and I am white. He's suing now for discrimination. He screwed up 3 times in a month costing the company over 25,000 dollars each time. These people that were in New Orleans that suffered the most were on government handouts and now want more. I do not feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for the people that were paying the taxes and and didn't get any help. Sorry, just my opinion.

So its okay if the poor, unemployed and homeless suffer because hey they don't have enough money to pay taxes? Rich people however who have money however deserver your sypathy because they've paid taxes?

Yeah, damn those disadvantaged people who may in some cases be lacking a decent education!

Now I know I'm more liberal than most, but assuming that I haven't misunderstood you (And please correct me if I have, I have no desire to construct strawmen, makes me sneeze) then this attitude seems a bit devoid of empathy.

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Strawberries 'n Sugar
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quote:
Originally posted by NUPHOENIX:
I'm not even going to comment on Katrina. :snip: Sorry, just my opinion.

I thought that you said you weren't going to comment on it?

Seriously, you don't feel sorry for people whose homes were destroyed and are asking for help in rebuilding? And why do you make the assumption that all of them aren't paying taxes?

Strawberries 'n Sugar

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abbubmah
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The referenced LA H&H report.

Interestingly enough, the numbers don't match the OP, and it's just the demographic of the identified bodies; 688 so far (or 690 - even this report has discrepancies).

quote:

Demographic Information for the 688 Victims Identified (see first four “Status” categories above) :

Gender:
Gender # %
Unknown 8 1%
Male 349 51%
Female 333 49%
TOTAL 690

Race:
Race # %
Unknown 46 7%
African American 333 48%
Asian Pacific 2 >1%
Caucasian 288 42%
Hispanic 15 2%
Native American 3 >1%
Other 3 >1%
TOTAL 690


ham "I don't need facts, I have STATISTICS!" bubba

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Kev
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quote:
Originally posted by hambubba, the other white meat:
The referenced LA H&H report.

Interestingly enough, the numbers don't match the OP, and it's just the demographic of the identified bodies; 688 so far (or 690 - even this report has discrepancies).

Those appear to be the overall stats for the state and, if so, they match up. The article said 47% african-american and 42% white based on 658 bodies. Apparently more have been identified since the article was written.

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Kev
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quote:
Originally posted by Oualawouzou:
Now the data says otherwise.

For the third time: NO it does not. Please read my previous posts regarding the fallacy of the claim the article tries to make with its confusing mess of statistics.

The fact is that blacks make up a majority of the population of New Orleans and a majority of the victims of the hurricane (living and dead). That whites may have died at a higher rate (which itself is not exactly clear) means nothing in terms of whether racist claims had a basis or not. The writer of the article, not having any meaningful statistics to back up his claim, has taken this one and presented it in a confusing and misleading way to try to invent a basis to criticize "liberals*"


*Yes, indeed. Apparently Farrakhan, Kanye West, and some guy with some organization you may have never heard of are the official spokespersons of the "liberals." I hope you attened the secret meeting where they were appointed.

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Posts: 1126 | From: Austin, TX | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
abbubmah
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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The point the author was trying to make, indirectly, is that the perception was that racism was involved in the decision making due to the initial reports of multitudes of black residents ignored by the government.

The new numbers don't discount that racism was involved; however, the basis for the original claim comes into question.

There is no question that the majority of those left behind were black. The population and economic demographic of the area give some reasons for the people being where they were. The question has become, "did the government specifically ignore the requests because the needy were black?"

And, I think that the question has been answered elsewhere; ineptitude knows no racial preference.

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Fundamentally Unfundie since 1975

Posts: 7942 | From: Louisiana | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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