Posted on September 30, 2005

Symposium: Katrina, Race and Silence

Jamie Glazov, FrontPageMagazine, September 30, 2005

In his recent article “Africa in our Midst: Lessons from Katrina,” which runs in the Oct. 2005 issue of American Renaissance, Jared Taylor gives an account of horrifying and explicit details concerning the actions of thugs and criminals in New Orleans which severely frustrated, and often completely halted, relief efforts for several days following Hurricane Katrina.

The thugs and criminals happen to be black, which is not surprising since 67% of New Orleans population is black. On the other hand 1) nobody else has reported these outrages in the comprehensive manner Taylor has and 2) many black leaders like Jesse Jackson have used the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina as an indictment of white people.

Apparently fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights acts, when the very mayor in charge of government in New Orleans is a black man elected by its people, the only acceptable discussion of race in America is one that conforms to the dramas of half a century before. Even if black people suffer at the hands of black people, whitey must be somehow to blame.

Jared Taylor is a white nationalist who has clearly rejected a multi-racial society. At the end of his report, he draws racist conclusions that we here at find repugnant. At the same time, we are appalled that no other journalist or commentator has had the courage or the integrity to describe these horrific events without which the picture of this disaster — and the way we understand our responsibility as a nation — is not and cannot be complete.

Today has assembled a distinguished panel to discuss what happened and why someone like Jared Taylor is singled out to be the messenger, and what the events themselves and the silence that surrounds them tells us. Our guests today are:

  • Debra Dickerson, the author of the prize-winning memoir An American Story and of her recent book The End of Blackness. Educated at the University of Maryland, St. Mary’s University, and Harvard Law School, Ms. Dickerson has been both a senior editor and a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report and a columnist at Beliefnet.
  • Jennifer L. Hochschild, the Henry LaBarre Jayne Professor of Government at Harvard University, with a joint appointment in Afro-American studies and lectureships at the Kennedy School of Government and the Graduate School of Education. Her interests lie in the intersection of American politics and political philosophy, particularly with regard to racial and ethnic politics and educational and social policy. Her recent research focuses on the meaning of the American dream and how it is perceived by Americans of different races and classes.
  • Carol Swain, professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of the highly acclaimed Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress. Her most recent books include The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration and Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism. She calls herself a truth speaker on the difficult issues of our day.


  • Marc Cooper, a frequent contributor to The Nation magazine and L.A. Weekly, he is the author of the recent book, The Last Honest Place in America: Paradise and Perdition in the New Las Vegas. Cooper has had published articles, essays, and interviews in numerous publications over the past 30 years. He hosts “Radio Nation” on public radio and teaches journalism at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication.