Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Disturbing but not all that surprising

Katrina—Welcome: 'White Couple' - Newsweek Periscope - MSNBC.com

I don't think it's necessarily fair to sue the bulletin boards that allowed postings of offers of shelter to a 'white couple' or a 'white American family'--they were providing a forum and did not necessarily control content, although at least one site director may install a filter for those sorts of posts to prevent this sort of thing, so I suppose it could be argued that they had the ability to do so and therefore should have. Still, they were formed to try to help in a disaster situation, not perpetuate bias.

On the other hand, housing areas that offered incentives for whites and politely turned away blacks or charged them extra were obviously violating fair housing laws, and should be fair game. As it was, many of the more affluent refugees (many of them white) had greater resources and were able to get out of the storm's path easier, whilst poorer residents (many of them black) with fewer resources were more likely to need emergency shelter...and it's a kick in the face to be discriminated against in a time of crisis because of your skin colour, and it's just plain wrong.

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