After I wrote Looting: Black Days in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I was invited to appear via phone on CNN with Carol Costello….
I guess at this point, many people heard my response on CNN about the perception being given by the media that black people were “looters” while white people were just “finding what they needed.”
Dear Mr. Parks:
Having just listened to your so-called “debate” on CNN Daybreak I feel sorry for you. Why is it that blacks such as yourself who have fled the grips of poverty are so quick to judge those less fortunate? You should be ashamed of yourself for the comments that you made on national tv just moments ago about blacks in New Orleans who are undoubtedly going through some form of post traumatic stress. You are no more of an expert on the behaviors of blacks than Jesse or Al and I find your comments just as damaging if not more damaging than their lopsided liberal views.
Since when have blacks had any control over what is broadcast about us be it positive or negative? While I am sure that there was criminal activity taking place during the aftermath of Katrina I cannot even begin to imagine what you or I would have done under the same circumstances. Oh, sorry I forgot you are a law abiding black citizen but the women with children and babies who needed diapers; milk, a change of clothing, etc are the real criminals. You were not there, I was not there, Carolyn Costello was not there so how is it possible that any of our interpretations of the televised “looting” should become the reality for all to consider when in fact it is just your perception? The simple truth is your perception will always be tainted by your experience or lack thereof for any given situation and since you are speaking out in an effort to separate yourself from the bad elements of black society why not just say that? Shame on you, Mr. Parks and others like you (regardless of the color of their skin) who feel such disdain and disgust for those who do not live according to your values.
I do not work for the media. As some emailers are alleging, I do not earn six figures as a media pundit. I’m an opinion columnist who just writes for websites and over the years of writing have yet to receive a penny.
The media has always played racist games.
The best example is during the O.J. Trial and verdict coverage. I’m sure many of you remember certain media outlets (and I won’t name names) who split the screen down the middle. On one side there was an all-white sidewalk cafe in Encino. On the other was the student lounge at an all black college.
The beauty of this set up for news directors was that regardless of the verdict, the responses would be polar. When the verdict was read, one side was depressed while the other jubilant. The news anchor appeared visibly shocked at what he was witnessing, while I contend it was a setup all along.
The topic then shifted, by the media as a whole, to the “racial divide” in America.
As I’ve written many times, it’s the job of the news media to report the news; not incite it.
I was listening to you on CNN this morning. I find your comments to be quite sad and more inflammatory than J. Jackson! You have been massaged by the system and have clearly lost touch with reality. Have you listened to a Kanye West record before?? Be careful in attacking rappers as the messages in his music are quite different from “gangsta rap”. Ever heard “Jesus Walks?” I do not think any of his lyrics (encouraging sistas to step up and smarten up) would encourage rapping black women.
Your opinions are dangerous and lack insight, history and compassion. If Jesse Jackson and other Black leaders should not rush to judgement, than neither should you.
I do believe that incompetence played the biggest part of this disaster, but it’s sad that you played the race card this morning while placing blame on others! Wake up my friend! you, yourself are a political machine
By the way, have you been to New Orleans? If you decide to go, pick up a Kanye West album and get back in touch with your culture. The pain, the pride the reality!
Know that you are not helping the situation by making the comments you are making, you are doing exactly what works against us to divide us even further.
I will be sure to mention to KANYE to reach out, sounds like you have what some rappers would call “general hatership” us educated folks call that opportunistic ignorance.
Now I will admit in regards to my comments about Kanye West, as I find the rap music industry and subject matter vile in it’s destructive depictions of black males degradation of black women, I lumped Mr. West and his music together. If his music is as uplifting as I’m told it is, then I was wrong.
However, his comments that George Bush doesn’t care about black people equally wrong.
What’s equally disturbing, and I admit to being caught up in it, is the politicization of this tragedy. While CNN’s Wolf Blitzer spent all afternoon Monday repeating the line that the federal response was slow, he conveniently left out those on the ground who knew New Orleans and it’s disaster plan best. It was a constant barrage of “It’s not time to lay blame, but….”
Bob, you are a sad sad man. You sit the confort of you home and office and write such hateful things about people who have lost everything. God is watching you Bob and I’m sure he doesn’t like what he sees. You obvious hate you own race and are using this to your advantage like Justice Clarence Thomas. You are not different that Jessie Jackson,
you’re just he opposite side of the same coin. He uses race to further himself and so do you. You speak to a white reader who wants to find things wrong with Blacks. Jessie speaks to Blacks who want to find things wrong with Whites. For a Black man in America to come out and attack his own race at a time like this is unexcusable. You should be asshamed to call yourself black or even and American. No American should be trying to find blame with them people who suffered for days after the storm for no good reason. Yes, there was some looting, but some of it was justified. If Mr. Bush had and the government had responded in a timely manner maybe they would be taking food and water or clothing.
If the people who are repeating the uniform sentiments that I was painting all black people with the same broad brush, I again respond by noting that I never said “all.” I was commenting on the fact that the arrival of aid workers was delayed by the lawlessness performed by a few, however that few was magnified by the media at large, which again was not of my doing.
The media is presently circling the wagons to protect itself of their depictions of blacks as criminals and whites as victims. I was invited on CNN to provide my take on media coverage as being racist and maybe I should have been wary of the fact that what I was going to say might hurt feelings.
You are one dum ass black man. You are straight sale-out. Have you visited the grounds of New Orleans, have you even lived in a poverty situation. How did the Republican party pay you for those commits. You did not make any sense in your columns or on CNN. Mr. West had a right to make that commit. and for you to say that Mr. West and his peers are responsible the raps and all the other crap; you ought to educated to enough to realize that those folks were adult and they should held responsible for there responsibility. Since you made an excuse for blk folks that were rapping, what the hell were George Bush and folks excuse for inaccurately responded to folks in that region. You damn, right, it was a socioeconomic issue, in the USA, when you’re black and poor, it is always a color thing, you stupid ass nigga.
I have long called into question the motives of people like Jesse Jackson. There are many issues that are waiting for the suggestions of “so-called” black leaders. However, people like Jackson only choose those that will garner him headlines and soundbites, real black leaders whose names no one knows, are doing God’s work in the neighborhoods.
Yet, I’m at fault for point out that his comments are off limits while he throws around blame.
I just heard the sound bite of your interview with the CNN news anchor this morning, and cannot believe what i just heard.
YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF !
While i cannot appreciate each and every opportunity for OUR people to play the “race card” so-to-speak. I can not and, will not stand by and listen to your mindless dribble downing OUR people.
You are the prime “white on the inside, black on the outside” kind of nigger.
PEOPLE ARE DEAD because of the lawlessness that occurred by some on the streets and some in the dome. Security was woefully inadequate and that was not my doing. Blaming me for commenting about some will not change the fact that crime was an issue in New Orleans long before the arrival of Katrina. Those who know the area best should have planned accordingly and provided those who could not get out on their own the assistance the state rules required.
Louisiana disaster plan, pg 13, para 5 , dated 01/00
The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating.
And it would seem that some people think that FEMA personnel would have been spared by Katrina on her arrival while everyone else was in jeopardy….
I don’t know if race and anything to do with the lack of response, but I can’t seem to come up with other reason. I heard FEMA say they had staged emergency supplies outside the effected areas before the storm hit.
If FEMA personnel got wiped out too, then people would be asking why they didn’t wait until the storm left before entering the affected area.
I understand some people are reacting to the CNN interview and didn’t take the time to read what I’ve written on the subject. It always seems to come down to that. I don’t know how many times I get email from people and when they read what I actually wrote, they seem to calm down.
The finger of blame points to the adminisration and Mr Brown of Fema, the Govenor and local government. I am a former US Army soldier and I was trained to help people in time of crisis, not blame them. Maybe the Navy and your mother taught you something different, and you know right from wrong. You can’t sit there and try to justify your comments at all. Bob don’t point at Mr West, Jessie Jackson or anyone else until you take a long look in the mirror first. Go home and look at you children and tell me you would let them go hungry or thirty under the same conditions. Tell me you would sit on a hot roof and tell them, “Wait another six days baby, Mr. Bush is sending help next week”, “It’s ok he loves us and that will feed you and guench your thirst”. If you could tell your children that you are not only a fool, but a damd fool. Bob I wish you would go to a KKK rally real soon and they would welcome you as the guest of honor, right before they hang you. Go on google and type in “KKK” and read for yourself fool, they will tell you what they think of you and your stupid ideas.
But as the days and weeks of this catastrophe unfold, we will continue to hear about this being an issue of class.
Regarding your interview on CNN, if you believe that white racism is a result of the images of Blacks portrayed by the media and the stereotypes that have been acted out in New Orleans, you are either in denial or merely an idiot. Racism is not a result of white perceptions of black behavior–white people don’t like us simply because we’re black. Whites who are bigots or racists equally dislike the black doctor who lives with his nuclear family in an upscale neighborhood and the black welfare recipient who abandoned his family and lives in a ghetto. That’s what racism is. Assumptions about blacks are based on ill-conceived notions rather than actual facts. Bigots see no difference, Bob, between a fine upstanding gentleman such as yourself and a gang-banger. As for your sarcastic comments regarding Kanye West, if white politicians such as David Duke can run campaign platforms grounded in racist rhetoric and have their rights protected, why can’t West make whatever statements he pleases? What happened to the First Amendment? I’m willing to bet West’s comments were based on his experiences as a Black American to a greater extent than are any racist’s comments or even yours, since you seem to have forgotten what you are. Thanks so much for adding your divisive voice to the discourse. You have done more to reassure and justify white America than any unfortunate victim of Katrina. But, hey, good thing the hurricane came along — otherwise you might have been perceived by whites as just another nigger.
I and many others have long called for a redirection of education in this country; a redirection that many who resist reply we should “mend it, not end it.” When the majority of blacks in Los Angeles wanted vouchers in a L.A. Times poll, their elected leaders told them no. Sometimes the cynic in me says that some elected leaders want blacks to remain poor as a means to keep their personal soapboxes erect.
I listend to you on CNN on tuesday morning and coluld not believe that i was hearing a black man speak…. thats right, you are a black man and don’t forget it because there are people in this country that will remind you. yes there were people (bone heads) as you put it doing bad things. but there were many thousands of brothers and sisters that wer (NOT) you seem to not mention that in your uncle tom comments on cnn. WAKE UP!!!! before the people you seem to be trying to please wakes you up.
So while all the emails from the benevolent left continue to come it calling me an “Uncle Tom” and “Nigger” asking me what have I done to help the people of New Orleans, I ask the same of them.
Should you wish, take a few minutes to read what I wrote, not just remember the parts of my interview on CNN that pissed you off. If I didn’t give a damn about black people as those of your write, then I’d be off doing something else and not giving a damn.
I’ve been accused of being black supremacist. That only comes from my constant assertion that we as a people can do better, but we need to rely on ourselves, not the government. Bureaucracy lets you down every time. Self independence is just that.
NOTE: I’ll be appearing on “McIntyre In The Morning” on KABC Talk Radio, Los Angeles, Wednesday morning 10am EST.