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This is messed up...


"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."
-- Barbara Bush, visiting the Houston Astrodome

I'm... trying to think of a context in which that is not appalling...

(ETA: the full text of her remarks may merely mean the propinquity between the refugees being relocated to Houston, and it being so welcoming that they are taking the immediate opportunity to settle there. But it's still an extraordinarily bad sound-bite.)



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 5th, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC)


Sep. 5th, 2005 06:44 pm (UTC)

Jesus, they're not even TRYING anymore, are they?
Sep. 5th, 2005 07:41 pm (UTC)
You've no idea how big my eyes just got. Good Lord, let's see the fallout from that. What an absolute train-wreck this whole episode has been.
Sep. 5th, 2005 08:22 pm (UTC)
i actually find myself unable to believe that that is true.
Sep. 5th, 2005 08:52 pm (UTC)
Me too, me too. I admit I haven't been able to verify it yet from any other source. And yet... this source doesn't look all that fly-by-night, and *they* are reporting getting it from NPR (on which the remarks were broadcast, not merely reported, if I read that correctly). I find it hard to believe, but I've yet to confirm that the source is unreliable. Still looking, though.
Sep. 5th, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC)
Well... I just actually listened to her say it on the webcast of the program, from the NPR site. And, yup, those were her exact words.

As I said in my added note: the context is her talking about how everybody she speaks to says they're planning to settle right there in Texas, Houston has been so nice and friendly. You could spin her words to figure that she meant, "it's working out well that they were sent to a place that they find so congenial, and that is willing and able to welcome at least some of them as permanent residents -- it's a great opportunity for people who were living in poverty in New Orleans to better their lives in Texas; and, it's great that they do have that opportunity here". That it is better than, for example, their having been given refuge in camps located on the border of the devasted area, where there may have been no immediate opportunties (for work or settlement) for any of them. There are now reports on CNN of some of the Astrodome residents looking for and finding work in the Houston area. (Wal-Mart has made efforts to re-employ its people from the evacuated areas in new locations.)

What one does not necessarily get the sense that she meant was what the words actually *sound* like -- which is, "these are underpriveleged people who lived in poverty in New Orleans, so this refugee camp in the Astrodome is ever so much better than the lives/homes they left; this is actually doing them a favor".

But if that sound-bite gets played widely, I think the latter is the sense that many people will take from it.
Sep. 5th, 2005 08:35 pm (UTC)
Wow. I hadn't realized W got his fucked-up sense of "humor" from his mother. How anyone *anywhere* can joke about the situation, let alone the first family, is just beyond me. They both need a slap upside the head.
Sep. 6th, 2005 06:18 am (UTC)
Am I the only one reminded of "Let them eat cake!"
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )