‘Eth­nic cleans­ing’

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

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.”

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