The 2007 version of Barack Obama said the United States is racist because government didn't help out black folks after Hurricane Katrina to the extent it helped people in New York after 9/11.
I suppose he thought "God was big enough" (one of his favorite phrases of the speech) to sell this unflattering--and untrue--rhetorical trope to an apparently mostly black clerical crowd at Virginia's Hampton University with his own Pastor, Jeremiah Wright beaming nearby. He apparently thought so little of their political expertise that he thought they'd fall for it--especially since it was being shoveled by a sitting US Senator. See more below.
The President, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii and began his political career in Illinois, spoke with an affected Southern accent throughout the speech.
Obama engaged in race baiting discussion about how New Orleans was somehow cheated by the feds in clean up money following Hurricane Katrina. He channeled Kanye West by alluding to how the Bush Administration didn't really care about black people but cared more about New York after 9/11.
But the Daily Caller notes that:“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!”
I guess he thought such lies would ingratiate him to the black audience. It was during his candidacy that black leaders questioned Obama's 'blackness' because he hadn't been born of slave blood and therefore wasn't 'down for the struggle.'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.
Moreover, the federal government did at times waive the Stafford Act during its reconstruction efforts. On May 25, 2007, just weeks before the speech, the Bush administration sent an additional $6.9 billion to Katrina-affected areas with no strings attached.
As a sitting United States Senator, Obama must have been aware of this. And yet he spent 36 minutes at the pulpit telling a mostly black audience that the U.S. government doesn’t like them because they’re black.
But of course, Obama alludes to slavery:
But he goes off script and refers to, instead of 'thousands of years ago' says '300 years ago.'In the prepared version distributed to reporters, Obama’s speech ends this way:
“America is going to survive. We won’t forget where we came from. We won’t forget what happened 19 months ago, 15 years ago, thousands of years ago.”
As the Daily Caller points out Obama wove together Katrina and the LA Riots:
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 least 53 people were killed during the chaos in Los Angeles, many of them targeted by mobs because of their skin color. But Obama does not describe the riots as an expression of racism, but rather as the result of it.