The Corner

Katrina Taught Us…Not So Much

I understand that the reflexive anti-conservative race and class talking points have gathered a lot of dust over the last few years so liberals are getting it out of their system, but I’m growing increasingly fed-up with the current media fixation that Katrina provides us with stunning new insights into the plight of the poor. If I were the sole conservative on a panel with a bunch of liberal advocates for the poor and I pointed out that a hurricane hitting a major center of urban poverty would exacerbate many of their problems, everyone would say “Well, duh. Of course.”

To read some columnists, such as Nick Kristof you’d think there has been no discussion of black poverty over the last half century and that he simply discovered this new problem. Kristof makes it sound as if social spending is the obvious answer and if only Bush realized that, everything would be fine. He makes it sound like the only reason poor kids aren’t getting vaccinated is that they’re poor. This is nonsense. Talk about deja vu all over again.

I’ve got no problem with having a “conversation” about race and class, but the outbreak of seemingly deliberate know-nothingism is infuriating. This sort of one-hand-clapping commentary can only continue for so long — I hope — until someone brings up the Moynihan report, the war on poverty, etc, etc, and we discover that the issue just a bit more complicated.

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