Even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was promising two weeks ago that Democrats would “reach beyond partisanship” as the new congressional majority, her fellow Democratic Rep. Barney Frank was accusing the Bush administration of “ethniccleansing”againstblackpeople in New Orleans.
InaCapitolHillbriefingcaptured on video by liberal blogger Matt Stoller, Mr. Frank suggested the administration was trying to make Louisiana more Republican by failing to alleviate housing problems for poor blacks displaced by Hurricane Katrina in late August 2005.
“In the year-plus since then [. . .] they have done nothing to rebuild affordable housing” in New Orleans, Mr. Frank said on the video. “And, what I believe is, at this point you’re not talking about incompetence, but [. . .] what you’re talking about is whenyousimply,inacalculatedway, refuse to do anything for well over a year[...]thepolicyIthinkhereisethnic cleansing by inaction.
“It’s not ethnic cleansing in the sense that they’re killing people, [. . .] but what we need to recognize here is that, they’re in this happy position for them, where if the federal governmentdoesnothing,Louisianawill become whiter and richer. [. . .] They letthehurricanedotheethniccleansing, and their hands are clean.”
Mr. Frank, whose Massachusetts 4th Congressional District is 89 percent white, said the administration was “happy” with the destruction of housinginNewOrleansbecause“as aresult[...]Louisianawouldbecome more widely Republican” by losing “100,000 black voters.”