katrina, the race card and the welfare stateneed a summary of this article, what do think about the way the author presented this argument? thank you

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator


If the above address is the article to which you refer, Larry Elder, whose picture indicates that he is African-American, states cogently,

Maybe someday one of the news anchors will ask one of the so-called civil-rights leaders the following question: Doesn't the demand for race-based preferences, set-asides, private-sector anti-discrimination laws, social-welfare programs, and social "safety net" programs all conspire to say one thing – "You are not responsible"?

Elder points to the fact that Nagan, the mayor, was warned by city engineers that the levies would not hold; nevertheless, he and others on his staff ignored these warnings.  There were also buses that could have been used to evacuate people from the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, but they were not utilised.  Indeed, the city officials failed in their responsibility.  Instead, Nagan and others like him chose the blame game known to the welfare state.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This article, while incoherent in places, is a pretty neat summary of an age-old position- that poverty is the fault of the poor. You'd have thought more than a century of sociology would have taught us otherwise, but there you go. I don't think many people would deny that Nagen was incompetent in the face of crisis, or that New Orleans has long experienced problems with corruption. Obviously city officials failed in their responsibility, as the above post says, but to blame these failures on the "welfare state" is absurd and all too predictable and basically a non sequitor. The city didn't do its job. Neither did the federal government. And the people who suffered the most as a result of these failures were overwhelmingly poor and black. And this author would have you believe that this was their fault, or the fault of those who think government should play some role in dealing with the social problems created by poverty and racial inequality.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I disagree. I do not think that people should be handed things, as welfare seems to indicate. However, I also know that people who are not born into poverty have advantages that those born into it will never know. If you are not born poor, you can never understand how the deck is stacked against them.