Japan vs New Orleans

Strange blog title, I know. But I was driven to write a quickie in response to a moronic tweet from @talkradiohost, who says his name is Eddie Burke and he’s a former Talk Radio host from Alaska.

Hi Eddie, you’re live on Radio Moron Watch. What would you like to say?

Well, Eddie tweeted the following: #katrina was bad- #japan worse. y R jpn ppl respectful 2 1another &ppl of kat rioted & killed, stole beat ea other? Then blam it on Gov.

OK, I think I know where you’re going with this… most of those trapped in New Orleans were of a darker complexion than the Japanese. Am I right? Let’s look at some of the OTHER differences between these situations.

  1. The Japanese united as a nation to help each other. But nobody came to help the (mostly black) people stranded in New Orleans. Instead, troops were sent in to maintain “order”. That’s right, people without food or water were treated as a “security issue”. Would Japan treat its own internal refugees like criminals? No. Would most countries? No.
  2. The US media quickly started reporting an epidemic of rape and murder in New Orleans. This turned out to be false – but it fed America’s racial stereotypes and ensured that the victims were treated like criminals, not refugees.
  3. The Japanese response to the earthquake/tsunami has been praised as excellent. Bush’s response on the other hand was so appalling it made headline news worldwide.
  4. People fleeing coastal zones in Japan were helped, taken to shelter and fed. People fleeing New Orleans were shot dead.
  5. Japan had well-built earthquake and tsunami defences, though none had predicted an event on this scale. The US Government had underfunded coastal defences, which had become unfit for purpose.
  6. Prediction: Japan’s rebuilding will be fast and fair to the residents. Bush’s rebuilding turned into a money-grabbing free-for-all by developers.

I’m sure people could add plenty more to this. Bottom line: Japan is more egalitarian, less segregated and less afraid of its own people. There’s a lesson here for you Eddie, if you wanted to think about it.

Perhaps you should educate yourself: watch Spike Lee’s jaw-dropping documentary When The Levees Broke.