"Oh No You Di-int!" Quote of the Day: Racist Flood Coverage?

From yesterday’s STrib opinion Letter of the Day, in which Jeffrey Seyfert from Farmington tries to compare the recent midwest flooding to Hurricane Katrina.

The suffering that is being endured by our fellow Midwesterners is no less than the suffering of those in Louisiana. The difference is our fellow Midwesterners are picking themselves off the ground, brushing themselves off, and getting to work. Their first instinct is not to blame government; their first instinct is to help each other out and try to put their lives back together.

To which I say “PUH-LEAZE,” “Pfffft,” and “How much did you do to help, Jeffrey Seyfert?”

Bob Collins takes on the perceived bias at MPR’s News Cut blog, mentioning that this is not a unique opinion in the Midwest. Interesting stuff in the comments, including a really good response from a native Iowa Citian explaining how the two situations are not comparable at all except for the fact that they both involved flooding.

(And even though I disagree with some of the comments, the level of discourse is waaaaay above any comments I’ve read today at the STrib.)

4 Comments so far

  1. Art (artallen) on June 23rd, 2008 @ 2:31 pm

    Man, I know. Black people get all the breaks. When is it going to be the white man’s turn?


  2. Erica M (ericam) on June 23rd, 2008 @ 2:36 pm

    I’m trying not to get all knee jerk het up about it.

    As one News Cut commenter said, the difference in magnitude of the two disaster events automatically makes them uncomparable. That’s just a fact, before you even throw race in the mix.


  3. Art (artallen) on June 23rd, 2008 @ 2:47 pm

    Well, magnitude aside, my impression of the racial problems in New Orleans was that the white people were being helped and the black people were being neglected. Is there any evidence of anything being decided along racial boundaries in Iowa? Or, barring that, along class boundaries?

    Maybe the citizens of New Orleans should have picked themselves of those roofs.


  4. David (jacc) on June 23rd, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

    I don’t think that it’s accurate to say the two events are ‘uncomparable’ as there are many comparisons, but I also think that upon comparison it doesn’t take much to realize Katrina was worse on many levels.

    The first thing that seems obvious to me is people were able to leave their Iowan homes, but in New Orleans people were actually trapped and then denied help.

    The STrib is now trying to make ‘heckuva job’ a feel good catch phrase. Sickening.



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