Tuesday, September 13, 2005

William Jefferson, Part II

The Boston Herald's Star Parker asks, "How, when black politicians themselves played a prominent role in what happened, can we be talking about racism?"

Excellent question! Other opinions inline with this article can be found here.
"The first line of authority in emergency management, all agree, is local. It appears that Ray Nagin, New Orleans' black mayor, was grossly negligent. Buses that could have evacuated 12,000 citizens per run were not used and left on low ground and flooded. Where was black Congressman William Jefferson, who has represented New Orleans for eight terms? It had been known for years that the 17th Street Canal levee was not capable of withstanding a Category 5 storm. Upgrading it would have required federal funds, and therefore it was in Jefferson's area of responsibility."

In an interview on "Hannity and Colmes," Jefferson indicated he had been involved in failed efforts over the years to get these funds. However, given the risks to which his constituents were exposed, one would think that the congressman would have been making a lot of noise about this.

But Jefferson is a busy man. He's been the target of an FBI sting operation investigating possible public corruption.

Sean Hannity asked Jefferson, given his knowledge of the condition of the levee, when "we knew the storm was coming, why didn't we get the people out?"

Jefferson's reply: "Well, I'm not sure I know the answers to all those questions."

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