Uhm, Katrina anyone?

When last we saw Melissa Harris-Lacewell she was administering a critical beatdown to Gloria Steinem. I actually couldn't watch at one point. It was like watching Holmes v Ali or Marciano v Louis. Steinem was a warrior in her day, but damn, it just felt like Melissa was there to just remind her how time had passed her by. Frankly I prefer to remember Gloria Steinem, in the words of the immortal W. Paul Coates, thusly

Note how I turn any presumably substantive discussion into a Stephen Colbert reference. Seriously though, Harris-Lacewell makes a good point noting that mo-fos have basically just forgotten Katrina and N-O. The Essence:

Katrina captured everything the Democrats are supposed to be good at: environmental degradation, racial injustice, urban poverty and Southern exceptionalism. But Dems have done little more than exploit the political opening that Katrina provided.

Okay, I agree with this and the basic thrust of the post. I think though, as in so many cases with black folks, there are just limits to what we can achieve through electoral politics. Putting the incompotent Ray Nagin back in power doesn't help. That's not an excuse for federal inaction, I'm just sayin dog! Anyway, my larger point is that black folks are, and will be for the near future, a somewhat despised minority in this country. Throw in the basic American belief in self-reliance, and you start to see that the chances of the Feds--even the Barack led Feds--doing the right thing are simply not that good. This is the Bill Cosby in me, but I think it's true. We have to start thinking of other resources we can leverage to change shit.