I’ve been so focused on this effort for Algiers that I really haven’t had much time to poke around the online community and catch up on the “chatter”. I took a few minutes this morning to run a couple of things down, and I’m good and mad about something. Forgive me, but I’m going to take a moment to vent.
Some of the background noise I’ve been filtering out has been about racism, and the strong criticism of authorities’ disaster response. Under normal circumstances, I’d have had a fair bit to say on these subjects, but I’ve been working under the assumption that the crisis is now, and the time for throwing mud and pointing fingers will come soon enough.
Having said all that, I was horrified to come across this discussion at the Democratic Underground, about "the other side of the tracks". I would have ignored it for the ignorant raving it obviously is, had they not stated that they’ve forwarded excerpts from Polimom.blogspot.com to CNN.
This is absolutely incredible. They’ve made assumptions about the racial and economic make-up of the Algiers community based on… what? I’m really not sure. I have to assume they’ve never, ever, been to Algiers. (They even used statements from people NOT on Algiers Point to support this.)
Algiers is a big place, although from the community feeling here on Polimom this week, you may not know this. Algiers is diverse, both racially and economically. Saying the Point is “affluent” reflects the trend in recent years to reclaim and remodel the cottages and shotgun houses – but it is hardly some kind of white enclave filled with vigilantes.
Since the phones finally died Wednesday night in the rest of Algiers, the vast majority of my information has been about the Point. But I grew up in that “other” part of Algiers, and I’m having trouble imagining my old neighborhood being described by anyone as a white vigilante enclave. (That’s a funny thought, actually).
Just out of curiosity – how can these people tell, from reading my blog, what race any of the individuals involved are? For that matter, they don’t know my ancestry, nor that of the looters. Maybe they are just showing us their own ignorant prejudices?
End of rant. For now.