HAMPTON, Va. (AP) – Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Tuesday that the Bush administration has done nothing to defuse a “quiet riot” among blacks that threatens to erupt just as riots in Los Angeles did 15 years ago.
The first-term Illinois senator said that with black people from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast still displaced 20 months after Hurricane Katrina, frustration and resentments are building explosively as they did before the 1992 riots.
“This administration was colorblind in its incompetence,” Obama said at a conference of black clergy, “but the poverty and the hopelessness was there long before the hurricane.
“All the hurricane did was to pull the curtain back for all the world to see,” he said.
It’s George Bush’s fault for not forcing the state of Louisiana or the city of New Orleans to allocate funds to upgrade their levy system. It’s also, apparently, George Bush’s fault that incompetent leaders like Ray Nagin are re-elected after handling Katrina abysmally. Ray Nagin is even continuing to express support for indicted congressman William Jefferson (you know, $90k in the freezer).
Obama’s criticism of Bush prompted ovation after ovation from the nearly 8,000 people gathered in Hampton University’s Convocation Center, particularly when he denounced the Iraq war and noted that he had opposed it from the outset.
Repeatedly, he referred to the riots that erupted in Los Angeles after a jury acquitted four police officers of assault charges in the 1991 beating of Rodney King, a black motorist, after a high speed chase. Fifty-five people died and 2,000 were injured in several days of riots in the city’s black neighborhoods.
“Those ‘quiet riots’ that take place every day are born from the same place as the fires and the destruction and the police decked out in riot gear and the deaths,” Obama said. “They happen when a sense of disconnect settles in and hope dissipates. Despair takes hold and young people all across this country look at the way the world is and believe that things are never going to get any better.”
So Obama is essentially approving race riots if George Bush doesn’t fix the incompetent state and local leadership in Louisiana.
Here’s my question for residents of New Orleans who are still in despair over how things were handled: Why did you put the incompetent Ray Nagin back in office after he proved that he’s not qualified for the position through his terrible handling of Katrina?
I know this is hard to believe, but, George Bush isn’t responsible for the incompetence of Louisiana’s elected officials.