Monday, September 05, 2005


The Financial Times has a quote in a story about the Katrina aftermath that would be funny if the situation were not so horrible.

“They opened the levees to save the whole neighbourhood to protect their investments,” declared Larry Crawford, 34, believing, as many sincerely do, that some districts were deliberately flooded to relieve the pressure on the dykes protecting others.

There is a whole issue here of the media finding certain moonbat rumors worthy of publication, and others not. The Clinton years were full of wild rumors and conspiracy theories from the Right that the mainstream media were largely correct in avoiding. Now, however, the media seem to give every absurd charge made against the Bush administration at least some coverage, as with the above.

The larger issue is the eagerness of many African-Americans to accept such fantastic stories. This is why the underclass remains the underclass: A willingness to believe the most absurd rumors, to live in a fantasy world of plots and conspiracies, rather than face their own contributions to their poverty. Truth (as for example Bill Cosby's "It’s not what they’re doing to us. It’s what we’re not doing.") is not welcome.

It's much easier to wrap ourselves in delusion, as with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's lurid CIA assassination fantasies. ("If the CIA slips me something and next week you don't see me, you'll all know what happened.")

On an international level, the Arab world has the same problem, with the same consequences.

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