Follow the Katrina Money - Especially if You're a Black Preacher?
Lord have mercy.
From today's New York Times, the White House letter that makes clear why Bush is scrambling so hard to show his face in N'Awlins after he let it drown -- his party's entire "Nigra strategy" is falling apart. Well, except for that part of the strategy that involves bribing our ministers, all of whom should quake in fear at the prospect of having to answer to the Almighty for whoring out their own people in a time of crisis.
The money quote:
One of Mr. Bush's prominent African-American supporters called the White House to say he was aghast at the images from the president's first trip to the region, on Sept. 2, when Mr. Bush stood next to Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Gov. Bob Riley of Alabama, both white Republicans, and praised them for a job well done. Mr. Bush did not go into the heart of New Orleans to meet with black victims.
"I said, 'Grab some black people who look like they might be preachers,'" said the supporter, who asked not to be named because he did not want to be identified as criticizing the White House. Three days later, on Mr. Bush's next trip to the region, the president appeared in Baton Rouge at the side of T. D. Jakes, the conservative African-American television evangelist and the founder of a 30,000-member megachurch in southwest Dallas.
Notice the advice: It wasn't to "grab preachers". It was to "grab" black folks who look like they might be preachers. I wonder if I should break out my old choir robes and go stand at the pulpit next Sunday to see what happens? Since clearly Black folks are too dumb to recognize the difference between a real preacher and somebody who just looks like one?
The entire NY Times article is a load of fun: Bush's Status With Blacks Takes Hit
I wonder if the Right Reverend Jakes has read the Bible's proscriptions against temple prostitution? If not, he should. Because anyone who thinks that the good Reverend is coming to Bush's defense against the accusation of passive genocide just because he thinks Bush is a good person should think again:
Last week, the White House continued its political recovery effort among African-Americans through its network of conservative black preachers like Bishop Jakes. Many of them have received millions of dollars for their churches through Mr. Bush's initiative to support religious-based social services - a factor, Republicans say, in Mr. Bush's small increase in support among black voters, from 9 percent in 2000 to 11 percent in 2004.
I guess one could find ironic celebration in the fact that for some Black folks, the fundamental rule of politics (Follow the Money) is now just as applicable as it is for everyone else playing the game. Recognizing that white politicians are usually clueless when it comes to knowing what Black folks think and need, do Black preachers and Black conservatives really think Black people are so stupid that they will en-masse buy the complete bullshit of "Republicans care" just because it is uttered from someone claiming to be a so-called man of the cloth (as opposed to "a graduate of the Reverend Ike School of Cash Theology?") If so, they are in for a rude awakening if they actually hit the pavement in the ghettos right now. While Black folks do indeed hew to much religious teaching (including homophobic teaching, to our own shame) they can see and have seen with their own eyes what happened in Louisiana and Mississippi last week -- and, more importantly, what didn't happen until someone mentioned clearly that race was an issue in the world's conscious processing of the Katrina disaster.
I truly fear for the safety of any Black person, preacher or no, that comes into the communities right now trying to preach the gospel of Republicanism and goodness of George W. Bush, and do hope that the same anonymous "negro" that gave Bush the advice to "grab some Black people" also advised him to send in some advance undercover men/women first. Because right now the mood on the street is *FUGLY*, and no doubt Bush's anonymous friend is well aware of that. As he is well aware of the fact that except for the handful of Black people who are bought and paid for, self-deluded and completely self-hating, Bush *has* no "status with Blacks" - except as the person who we all wish would hurry up and be done being President. Especially now: I've spent a lot of time post-Katrina talking to Black *conservatives* who are none too happy. Actually "none too happy" is an understatement.
Or perhaps it's all a set up and this so-called anonymous friend is trying to send Bush into the lion's den? The world may never know.