Books on Katrina

I’ve often heard it said that we hear so much about the Nazi’s killing the Jews and so little about the Soviets killing their peasants because Jews write a lot of books and Russian peasants don’t.
In possibly related news, The New Republic is sad there aren’t more books on Hurricane Katrina (apparently they’ve run out of real topics to cover) given that there are so many on 9/11 (they list four(!) to prove their point). Could this be because black people don’t really write (or read) serious books at levels comparable to New Yorkers? (If my observations on the DC Metro are indicative of any broader trends, black women read lots of romance novels written by black women and Twilight books, while black men don’t read unless they’re very old, in which case they read the Bible).

Don’t hold your breath waiting for TNR to consider that possibility.

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10 Responses to Books on Katrina

  1. theobsidianfiles says:

    Foseti,
    Very interesting topic.

    There have been at least two major documentaries on Katrina by a Black Man-Spike Lee-and one by a Black Woman that I’m aware of. What that means insofar as Black folks in general, I don’t know.

    But you are correct on your general observations: Black Women do tend to read “thug lit”/romance novels, Zane, BeBe Moore Campbell, that sort of thing, while Black Men tend to read the newspaper’s sports sections. Both read the Bible, and increasingly, the Qur’an, or related religious books.

    As a general rule, one is gonna be hardpressed to find many of either group having read say, The Looming Tower, or Taliban, or Bill Clinton’s tome of an autobio.

    Now, as to why that is?-thats a very good question. Though I’m not at all convinced it’s because they simply aren’t smart enough. I think it has more to do with where their respective interests lie.

    Btw, I have taken up the matter as to why there seem to be so many more Black female bloggers than male. I’d like to get your thoughts on this, after you’ve seen my post on my blog.

    Thanks.

    O.

  2. theobsidianfiles says:

    Foseti,
    No, I wrote about it a little while back. It’s called “Where Are The Brotha Bloggers?”. Google it w/my name, it should come right up.

    O.

    PS: if I may…it seems that you have an inordinate interest in making the case that African Americans in toto are “less than” in comparison to other Americans, and in particular White ones. I want to know why you seem so hellbent on making such a case, because it seems to me to be a case of overkill. If you simply don’t care for Black folks, that is perfectly your right, Foseti. You don’t need some tortured argument (HBD, etc.) for justifying it. I recognize your right to like or dislike whomever you please.

    • Foseti says:

      Actually, I don’t really want to discuss whether some group is “more than” or “less than” another.

      I’m more interested in how obviously different the groups are.

      I grew up in a very white area of the country. I was always taught that everyone was, in fact, the same. I’m fascinated by how obviously incorrect this position is, now that I live in a “more diverse” area. I think HBD is the best (and the only) serious field of inquiry into the source of the obvious differences. If someone else has a better theory for the source of the differences, I’m all ears.

      I find the differences particularly fascinating since the doctrine of complete equality is preached by SWPLs, yet by SWPL standards, blacks do in fact seem to be “less than.” For example, my black neighbors don’t recycle – my neighbor told me that it’s too much trouble. I tend to agree and think that it’s probably also actively wasteful, but that’s another story.

      My personal frustration with the black folk around me is that they seem to embrace crime, shitty schooling, and urban decay – at least they actively work against fixing these problems. I still can’t seem to understand this mindset at all.

  3. Red says:

    Why would Katrina be a black only disaster when 40% of the dead were white?

  4. theobsidianfiles says:

    Foseti,
    Replies below:

    F: Actually, I don’t really want to discuss whether some group is “more than” or “less than” another.

    O: But actually you do; this very discussion speaks to that, does it not?

    F: I’m more interested in how obviously different the groups are.

    O: OK, I suppose…

    F: I grew up in a very white area of the country. I was always taught that everyone was, in fact, the same. I’m fascinated by how obviously incorrect this position is, now that I live in a “more diverse” area. I think HBD is the best (and the only) serious field of inquiry into the source of the obvious differences. If someone else has a better theory for the source of the differences, I’m all ears.

    O: Ah. I think I get it.

    Foseti, since no one hasn’t pulled your coat already, I suppose the job falls to me to do so: what your parents and everyone else meant by saying “everyone’s the same” was in terms of the American way of doing things-ie, we are all created equal and seen as suc under the law. This is what the HBDers either don’t make clear, or indeed kind of implicitly imply. Take for example, Racial Profiling-under the “and Justice for all” reasoning, people are given the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise; under the HBD reasoning, because Black males tend to be criminalized moreso than other groups of Men percentage wise, it is therefore correct that RP be used to protect us all from any potential Black perps, individual track records of law abidingness be damned.

    Now, I know you feel some kind of way at what you deem to be blatant and flagrant hypocrisy on the part the SWPL class-that they say one thing about Blacks, but do something else. I get that.

    But, here’s the thing: could it be possible that those people are doing their level best to stand up for the ideals of American democracy? Even if they aren’t none too crazy for living it up to it themselves? Must that be so bad? I don’t think so. After all, they’re only human, Foseti. Just like the Founding Fathers themselves, who while talking a mean game about the rights of Man, kept human beings as slaves (Geo. Washington had slaves while the nation’s 1st POTUS, in my hometown of Philly). If we can find it in our collective hearts to give the Founding Fathers a break, why can’t you and those of your ilk who wage war on the SWPLs?

    F: I find the differences particularly fascinating since the doctrine of complete equality is preached by SWPLs, yet by SWPL standards, blacks do in fact seem to be “less than.”

    O: Please see above for my response on this point.

    F: For example, my black neighbors don’t recycle – my neighbor told me that it’s too much trouble. I tend to agree and think that it’s probably also actively wasteful, but that’s another story.

    O: LOL. I recycle all the time, and have for YEARS, in fact, DECADES. And I know many Black folk who follow suit. And no, they aren’t the Huxtables; more like the Evans’. I think you need to get out and about A LOT more often among Black folk if you’re serious about writing about them. Tell me, when’s the last time you’ve been out on Z Street down there in DC? Talked to the Brothas in the barbershops? Been to Black churches? Funerals? Weddings (yes, they still happen, two of my three sisters are married)? Family reunions? Etc, et al? I mean, exactly how much do you actually know about Black Americans, up close and personal, Foseti? The big problem I have with HBDers like you, is that you seem content with the most superficial of “evidence” and “data”-like that DC Metro story you told the other day. Obviously, you haven’t spent any time in NYC or nothern NJ’s PATH system, because I can tell you that in no way do Black folk have the lock on being rude.

    F: My personal frustration with the black folk around me is that they seem to embrace crime, shitty schooling, and urban decay – at least they actively work against fixing these problems. I still can’t seem to understand this mindset at all.

    O: Again, just how much actual experience do you have with Black folks, Foseti? Have you talked to any Black folks about this, and if so, exactly how many?

    O.

    • Foseti says:

      Obsidian,

      You say, “Take for example, Racial Profiling-under the “and Justice for all” reasoning, people are given the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise; under the HBD reasoning, because Black males tend to be criminalized moreso than other groups of Men percentage wise, it is therefore correct that RP be used to protect us all from any potential Black perps, individual track records of law abidingness be damned.”

      I don’t think profiling runs afoul of the presumption of innocence. When I was a kid, store owners would watch me more carefully than they do now because kids are more likely to steal stuff. This was annoying, but reasonable, all things considered and in hindsight.

      The presumption of innocence applies to jury trials; not real life.

      The idea that police or whomever should ignore reality is absurd. I don’t think it has anything to do with HBD. It’s common sense, nothing more. There’s a limited amount of police resources. Dividing those resources equally is simply a terrible idea.

      Finally, I’ll admit that I don’t actually socialize with blacks in the settings you mention. I’m around black people all day, but it’s hard for white people to associate with blacks as you suggest. Frankly, they don’t seem all that interested in hanging out with random white guys.

  5. theobsidianfiles says:

    Foseti,
    Well, if Black folk were talking about Whites in as a misinformed way that you are doing wrt Blacks, I would ask them the very same questions about their actual knowledge base about Whites. My point is that you really do sound ridiculous and uneducated. If you are serious about discussions and shortcomings about Black folks, it behooves yo to actually know what you are talking about.

    Wrt Racial Profiling, take it from someone who knows, being damn near shot by the cops is a long way from Mr. Wilson giving you the hairy eyeball when you’re a kid at the corner five and dime. Again: many HBDers (see Levin) have absolutely no problem with Diallo or me, being mowed down by cops because the greater good is cracking down on crime, regardless of the fact that neither I nor Diallo committed any such crimes in the first place.

    So, you’ll please pardon me if I respectfully disagree with your somewhat once removed position on this issue.

    Anyway, if you’re really serious about discussing Black folks, it would help greatly if you took the time to actually study them up close and personal. Start on Z St. You’d be surprised at the results you’ll get.

    O.

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