On A Southern Porch

Listening to President Bush during his tour of the ruins, I don’t believe the world should look to him for insight into how to deal with the problem of race and wealth.

Turn on the television, look at the pictures in the newspaper, what do you see? Helpless citizens of the United States of America who are overwhelmingly not white.

This is America’s troubled history being thrown upon the minds of all Americans, forcing them to reconsider the historic correlation between being African American and poverty. 28 percent of the population of New Orleans lived in poverty. 84 percent of those living in poverty were black. This 84 percent are those being displayed nonstop in the media.

President Bush avoided this monumental issue with humor, a humor that attempted to mask his nervousness and uncertainty with how he should comport himself as a leader in the face of such an apparent problem.

He did not mention the ties between the refugees, the escapees, the Australian couple hiding in a hotel hallway and race.

In respect to the devastation, he said that it was saddening to see the ruined state of the city he used to have fun in, “maybe too much,” he anxiously joked.

He also attempted humor when he spoke of the destruction noting that Trent Lott’s house had been washed away and promising Lott a large beautiful home once again where he “expect(s) to sit on the porch,” and relax with.

What about the homes of those destitute refugees who lost most of their possesions? Furthermore, in our attempt to understand the problematic relationship between poverty and race, we must ask, why are they not promised relaxation on a Southern Porch? Mr. President?