His disclaimer notwithstanding, I think Barney Frank is unaware that “ethnic cleansing” most definitely means killing people. His frivolous, partisan use of the term demeans the memory of those who died of it. Suppose he had said, “It’s not a holocaust in terms of actually killing people.”?
Frank’s real complaint is more mundane, if no more substantial, redistricting by other means.
The interesting part is the absolute contempt Frank has for the people he’s supposedly defending. He’s given the soft bigotry of low expectations a whole new hardness. This is bigotry in a velvet glove frayed at the choke points.
Whole thing here: Katrina ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Remarks Causes Stir
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
January 09, 2007
A Democrat’s allegation that the Bush administration engaged in a calculated policy of ethnic cleansing after Hurricane Katrina to make Louisiana “whiter” has sparked outrage.
Addressing a group of bloggers at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., last week, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) renewed his criticism of the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, particularly the housing crisis that ensued after the hurricane hit.
“At this point, you’re not talking about incompetence, you’re talking about ethical values,” he said.
“In a calculated way, you refuse to do anything for well over a year after the disaster. The policy, I think, is ethnic cleansing by inaction,” Frank added…
…Frank said during the speech, “it’s not ethnic cleansing in the sense of killing people.” But, he went on to say, “What they [Republicans] recognize is they’re in this happy position for them where if the federal government does nothing, Louisiana will become whiter and richer.”
Emphasis mine. One could tweak Frank by asking if he actually favors that blacks be poor in Louisiana, or by pointing out that we’d all become richer if the federal government did nothing. But that would miss the point, no clearer racist statement has been made by an Congressperson since Senator Byrd quit the KKK. Barney Frank has just said he’s convinced that black people don’t have the what? … Intelligence? Moral values? Work ethic? Pride? Sense of community? … to survive without the Federal government. Contrariwise, the evidence all points to people getting richer, whatever their melanin content, when the federal government does nothing.
For example, Mr. Frank’s federal government did nothing for Hong Kong for decade upon decade upon decade – through typhoon after typhoon – yet all those yellow people were able to create an economic engine that was the envy of the world. Of course, that’s mostly because their own government pretty much didn’t do anything. And, of course, because the inhabitants didn’t sit around waiting for the government not to do it.