Monday, October 10, 2005

Katrina's Flights of Fancy

"The instant Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters raged down Canal Street, New Orleans' main drag, the tongues of the assorted doomsayers, fringe bloggers, fire-and-brimstone fundamentalists, unreconstructed Nazis and Klan members, leftists, black activists, loonies and even some in the mainstream media wagged furiously. All claimed that Katrina was the work of sinister forces. In one of the first e-mails I received after Katrina hit, an unnamed informant (they usually are), swore that, take your pick -- FEMA operatives, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Klan or the CIA -- dynamited the levees to, again, take your pick -- kill blacks, steal their land, save the French Quarter and the tourist traps from destruction. That, or this was a Karl Rove-engineered plot to turn Louisiana into a solid GOP red state ... If blacks could spin paranoid tales of genocide and dark plots against them, a slew of avowed white supremacist groups could do the same. Their Web sites pulsed with their own millennium race-bash warnings. One called for a 'cartridges for Katrina' program to ship ammo to whites in New Orleans and other areas to ward off the supposed hordes of black looters and criminals blazing a path of mayhem. Others called for 'whites only' tent cities for white evacuees. The more bloodthirsty supremacists, though, were content to gloat over the deaths of blacks and regret that more hadn't been killed."

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