"We were ready from literally the time the storm blew threw," American Red Cross president Marty Evans told Fox News Channel's Major Garrett last Thursday. "We were ready to go. We just were not given permission to go in."
"The state Homeland Security Department had requested — and continues to request — that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane," a statement on the Red Cross' website explains. "Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city."
"Acess [sic] to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders," the statement also notes.
Salvation Army Major George Hood told FNC's Garrett that his group was ready to help, too. "We were prepared," Hood said. "The intent and the will was definitely there."
The Red Cross's Evans added: "We understood that the thinking was that, if we were to come in, that, one, it would impede the evacuation. They were trying to get everybody out. And, secondly, that it could possibly suggest that it was going to be OK to stay."
So, while the Red Cross and Salvation Army were able and eager to deliver water, food, medicine, and other relief supplies to those suffering at the Superdome and convention center, Louisiana officials rebuffed them, for fear that hydrating and feeding these individuals would chill an already glacial evacuation while encouraging others to get cozy and settle in for the long haul. In short, Louisiana officials starved their citizens out of town.
Murdock's best arguments though concern how the usual suspects are shamelessly exploiting race:
This fact unravels the corrosive narrative that the American Left has woven furiously since the moment Katrina exited Orleans Parish for points north. From their perspective, this whole mess is Bush's fault, and his misdeeds were fueled by anti-black bigotry.
Consider just a few of these:
"George Bush doesn't care about black people," rapper Kanye West declared September 2 on an NBC concert and telethon for hurricane relief.
Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean told the National Baptist Convention in Miami on September 7, "We have to come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age, and economics played a significant role in who survived and who did not." He added, "The question, 40 and 50 years after Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, is: How could this still be happening in America?" Dean spoke as if New Orleans succumbed to Hurricane Jim Crow.
Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights alluded to Plessy v. Ferguson, the notorious 1896 U.S. Supreme Court case that established the "separate-but-equal" rationale for Southern segregation. Said Ratner, "The legacy of that thought is what we saw at the Superdome."
"There's a historical indifference to the pain of poor people and black people," the Rev. Jesse Jackson fumed as the Big Easy sank beneath the waves. He visited the New Orleans Convention Center and announced: "This looks like the hull of a slave ship." One wonders, had Katrina smashed into Boston, forcing thousands of white evacuees into Faneuil Hall, would Jackson have sauntered in and said: "This looks like the Irish Potato Famine?" [emphasis added.]
Thousands of Americans have toiled and even died to heal this country's racial wounds. Turning Katrina from an epic story of widespread government ineptness into an indictment of anti-black genocide perpetrated by the president of the United States is beyond pernicious. [emphasis added.]
The wild-eyed theory that Bush hates blacks so deeply that he would engineer their wholesale starvation, dehydration, and asphyxiation pries the scabs off these still-healing wounds and grinds fresh pepper into them. Either such explosive nonsense is a warm pile of lies, or Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, FEMA's departed Michael Brown, Democratic Governor Blanco, and Democratic Mayor Nagin (who is black) share Bush's anti-black animus and helped him harm and kill black Americans on live, international television.
This is best-described scatalogically. But to keep it polite, the race hustlers who are exploiting this tragedy are beyond contempt. They are polluting the public square with nitroglycerine. Their twisted view of a bigoted America is belied by the 18,000 mainly black New Orleanians rescued by the Coast Guard, the $762 million in Katrina-related donations Americans of all colors have offered so far to our disadvantaged countrymen, along with free housing, schooling, and more. Thousands of volunteers, many with white faces, raced into the south to comfort the tempest-tossed, many with blacks faces.
"When those Coast Guard choppers, many of who were first on the scene, were pulling people off roofs, they didn't check the color of a person's skin," President Bush told reporters Monday after surveying flood-damaged neighborhoods in New Orleans. "They wanted to save lives." Bush added: "The storm didn't discriminate, and neither did the recovery effort...The rescue efforts were comprehensive, and the recovery will be comprehensive." Some 71,000 federal personnel are now on the ground returning the Gulf Coast to normal.
Let us concur that many public officials from the New Orleans city hall to the Oval Office, overwhelmed by America's biggest natural disaster ever, performed far below expectations, but without malice. Let us marginalize the wretched racial arsonists before they burn anything else to the ground. And let us magnify the heroism and generosity that already are helping Hurricane Katrina's survivors reassemble their shattered lives. [emphasis added.]