Black fury at Bush over rescue delay *LINK*
Posted By: Ayinde In Response To: 'George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People.' *LINK* (Ayinde)
Date: Sunday, 4 September 2005, at 5:05 p.m.
In Response To: 'George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People.' *LINK* (Ayinde)
Black fury at Bush over rescue delay
Richard Luscombe in Miami
Civil rights leaders, church officials and rap stars have united in ferocious criticism of President George Bush's attitude towards the tens of thousands of black people still trying to escape the hell of New Orleans.
An overwhelming majority of the refugees are African-Americans, who make up 67 per cent of the city's half-million population, and some are questioning whether the government's response would have been quicker had the catastrophe struck a white community. The Reverend Calvin Butts, president of New York City's Council of Churches, writes in today's Observer: 'If this hurricane had struck a white middle-class neighbourhood in the north-east or the south-west, his response would have been a lot stronger.'
In an extraordinary outburst during a live television fundraising concert broadcast on America's NBC network, the rapper Kanye West said: 'Bush doesn't care about black people. It's been five days [waiting for help] because most of the people are black. America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off, as slow as possible. We already realised a lot of the people that could help are at war right now.'
The episode was further proof of growing anger within the black community and a belief that race was a factor in the days of delay before troops and emergency supplies began to arrive.
Jesse Jackson, the civil rights leader, said he saw 'a historical indifference to the pain of poor people and black people' in the US and said it was poignant that blacks were suffering in New Orleans, for many years the south's biggest slave-trade port.
'Today I saw 5,000 African-Americans on Highway 10, desperate, perishing, dehydrating, babies crying - it looked like the hold of a slave ship. It's so ugly and obvious. The issue of race as a factor will not go away.'
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