In a video obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama tells an audience of black ministers, including the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, that the U.S. government shortchanged Hurricane Katrina victims because of racism.
“The people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much!” Obama shouts in the video, which was shot in June of 2007 at Hampton University in Virginia. By contrast, survivors of Sept. 11 and Hurricane Andrew received generous amounts of aid, Obama explains. The reason? Unlike residents of majority-black New Orleans, the federal government considers those victims “part of the American family.”
The racially charged and at times angry speech undermines Obama’s carefully-crafted image as a leader eager to build bridges between ethnic groups. For nearly 40 minutes, using an accent he almost never adopts in public, Obama describes a racist, zero-sum society, in which the white majority profits by exploiting black America. The mostly black audience shouts in agreement. The effect is closer to an Al Sharpton rally than a conventional campaign event.
The spine of Obama’s speech is a parable about a pregnant woman shot in the stomach during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The baby is born with a bullet in her arm, which doctors successfully remove. That bullet, Obama explains, is a metaphor for the problems facing black America, namely racism. (At a similar speech he gave in April of 2007 at the First AME Church in Los Angeles to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the riots, according to a church member who was there, Obama described the slug as, “the bullet of slavery and Jim Crow.”)
....And with that, Obama pivots to his central point: The Los Angeles riots and Hurricane Katrina have racism in common. “The federal response after Katrina was similar to the response we saw after the riots in LA,” he thunders from the podium. “People in Washington, they wake up, they’re surprised: ‘There’s poverty in our midst! Folks are frustrated! Black people angry!’ Then there’s gonna be some panels, and hearings, and there are commissions and there are reports, and then there’s some aid money, although we don’t always know where it’s going — it can’t seem to get to the people who need it — and nothin’ really changes, except the news coverage quiets down and Anderson Cooper is on to something else.”
It’s at about this point that Obama pauses, apparently agitated, and tells the crowd that he wants to give “one example because this really steams me up,” an example that he notes does not appear in his prepared remarks:
“Now here’s the thing,” Obama continues, “when 9-11 happened in New York City, they waived the Stafford Act — said, ‘This is too serious a problem. We can’t expect New York City to rebuild on its own. Forget that dollar you gotta put in. Well, here’s ten dollars.’ And that was the right thing to do. When Hurricane Andrew struck in Florida, people said, ‘Look at this devastation. We don’t expect you to come up with y’own money, here. Here’s the money to rebuild. We’re not gonna wait for you to scratch it together — because you’re part of the American family.’”
That’s not, Obama says, what is happening in majority-black New Orleans. “What’s happening down in New Orleans? Where’s your dollar? Where’s your Stafford Act money?” Obama shouts, angry now. “Makes no sense! Tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much!”
It’s a remarkable moment, and not just for its resemblance to Kayne West’s famous claim that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” but also because of its basic dishonesty. By January of 2007, six months before Obama’s Hampton speech, the federal government had sent at least $110 billion to areas damaged by Katrina. Compare this to the mere $20 billion that the Bush administration pledged to New York City after Sept. 11.
...As the speech continues, Obama makes repeated and all-but-explicit appeals to racial solidarity, referring to “our” people and “our neighborhoods,” as distinct from the white majority. At one point, he suggests that black people were excluded from rebuilding contracts after the storm: “We should have had our young people trained to rebuild the homes down in the Gulf. We don’t need Halliburton doing it. We can have the people who were displaced doing that work. Our God is big enough to do that.”
This theme — that black Americans suffer while others profit — is a national problem, Obama continues: “We need additional federal public transportation dollars flowing to the highest need communities. We don’t need to build more highways out in the suburbs,” where, the implication is, the rich white people live. Instead, Obama says, federal money should flow to “our neighborhoods”: “We should be investing in minority-owned businesses, in our neighborhoods, so people don’t have to travel from miles away.”
Here's the entire speech.
The Daily Caller also contrasted what Obama said in his "A More Perfect Union Speech" when the Rev. Wright was exposed.
Keep in mind that Obama attacked Mitt Romney over his 47 Percent comments, saying he needed to represent all the people. Well, judging from this speech, Obama shows he doesn't care about his own words.
Even more offensive, as Dan Riehl pointed out on twitter, Obama compared a terrorist attack (September 11, 2001) to a natural disaster (Hurricane Katrina).
What we see also is what I've long suspected, Obama has a racist side and a chip on his shoulder (remember him talking about his "typical white" grandmother?). He claims he wasn't sitting in the pews of his racist "church" when his Pastor was making those "G-Damn America" speeches, but I'll bet Obama was there and yelling the loudest "Amens." You can tell he would have from this speech. We see the divisiveness that the tried to bury in his lofty speeches talking about "no red states, no blue states." All a fraud, like Clint Eastwood said. This video explains everything...appointing a racist like Eric Holder who defends the New Black Panthers, attacks Voter ID and illegal immigration enforcement laws, saying the Cambridge Mass police "acted stupidly" and refusing to condemn Joe Bite Me's "They gonna put y'all in CHAINS" remark. This President is the most divisive President with a bigotry that would not be tolerated by any white politician.
MORE FROM the Daily Caller. The Democrats and their lapdogs tried to "deflate" the impact of the release of this video.
Prof. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection says the video is "A timely reminder that we still don't really know Obama"