Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina's Victims: Not Just Black and White

Watching and reading the coverage of the aftermath of Katrina, it's easy to think that there are only two colors of people affected, black and white. This certainly isn't surprising considering that in the U.S. in general race is discussed in terms of black and white only.

Latinos have been displaced by Katrina

as has a significant Vietnamese population.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What difference does it make that Latinos were also affected? It's like you are desperate to take ownership of the tragedy. Should there be a Latinos-only relief effort? You should stop looking at the world through thre prism of race. The more you point the finger at white people for all their evil, the more power you give them over your freedom.

9/06/2005 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Ms.Maegan said...

Oh Mr. or Ms. Anony-mouse. Sigh. I have no ownership to take of the tragedy as it is not mine to take. But as a Latino I do not have the privilage of not looking through things through the prism of race. Just as a woman I do not have the privilage of looking through things from a feminist prism.

9/06/2005 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger maaarco said...

L.M., race is what you make of it. Anony-mouse (Which by the way you should totally own as it's a fucking dope-ass Nick...and "la mala" is not known for her Nicks... pounce on that shit) I'm feeling you on this.

But yeah, race dehumanizes.

And it should always be about humans.

9/06/2005 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger fiercelyfab said...

Mala, I hear you on race coverage. From what we see on TV and major news papers, that's all one would interpret as the affected from the hurricane/flood/neglect and other races are not in the radar for many reasons and I speculate because the majority were the two groups, the limits of the media and second because survival is what counted. Next was coping with the aftermath and scrutiny of government, relief response, and struggles ahead of many thousands of people.

On the same token I can see why this would be taken offensively. Considering people are still stranded, homeless, jobless, devastated, have lost loved ones and have an unsure crossroads before them: and us spectators and readers mind-boggled and saddened by all of this might jump and react to the touchy subject of speaking about race not only being in black and white in defense of the other minorities affected amidst the context of a catastrophe and devastation of this kind. Especially when bodies are floating, people are being forced out of their homes as we speak, and there being dialogues of victim blaming debating on why people didn’t leave and take responsibility for their lives.

Nevertheless, you have your voice and speak through your experiences and have the right to shed light to what you're witnessing especially in your spaces and your blog: in the eye of controvery, debate, disagreement and tragedy. Having said that, I agree with you wholeheartedly that as a person of color, a woman, a citizen living in a claimed democracy given fact that I’m human first but very very second to that are the factors that make my identity and how race, sex, class, sexual orientation, and intricate connections history has on me and the way I’m treated and what struggles I have and what battles I fight. Because of that I see the world through a human lens with race, feminism, and respect for individuality in the prism.

Injustices are alive very well and many of us are hoping and trying to live in a world where our humanness comes before our race, sex, class, sexual orientation, and age aren’t used as means to discriminate against overtly or subtly, structurally and institutionally. Within this, the hybridity or races and identities shouldn’t be lost, our recognitions to our past, the lessons of history. May the aggressive battle against amnesia and division amongst people, POC especially continue, and not fear being criticial including in times of crisis. Even if is hurts to listen, because being silent about it won't make it go away.

Mala keep fighting the good fight.

9/07/2005 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger Ms.Maegan said...

Fabulosa Mujer, I can understand how in the face of the huge human, yes human tragedy , breaking things down into catagories of race could be seen as offensive. I could see it being especially ofensive if when writing about ways people can help, I only wrote about helping Latinos or any other race specifically. What I find personally more offensive is looking at things as if race is not a factor in the way things, especially in the aftermath of Katrina. This is not in any way shape or form to dismiss those who lost their lives , their homes whatever be their race. A natural phenomenon such as a hurricane doesn't know jack about race. The local, state, and Federal government however are not colorblind and those who think that they are , well they gotta give me the address of where they are living, because it ain't in my world.

9/07/2005 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger fiercelyfab said...

Understand your point. You never singled out any race, you broadened the scope of victims’ backgrounds to bring light to the fact that contrary to what we see on TV and read on papers there are other minorities like Latinos and Vietnamese that were affected and not mentioned in bigger media outlets. Point taken. We both agree than.

I concur, to have someone comment on a blog that clearly is race-conscience that race doesn’t exist only in one’s own mind is insulting. It’s more of an obnoxious statement.

White privilege is not an easy topic for a number of folks. And it’s not giving white people more power by acknowledging the truth it’s actually liberating to combat racism from all fronts even complacency the 'I don’t want to hear about your reality brown woman" type of logic.

9/08/2005 12:37:00 AM  

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