You probably remember that Howard Dean, Kayne West, and other illustrious Democrats claimed that the death toll from Hurrican Katrina was due to racism. Howard Dean said, “We must … come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age and economics played a deadly role in who survived and who did not.” Kayne West was more blunt: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people!”
Now, for the facts:
Statistics released by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals suggest that fewer than half of the victims of Hurricane Katrina were black, and that whites died at the highest rate of all races in New Orleans.
According to the 2000 census, whites make up 28 percent of the city’s population, but the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals indicates that whites constitute 36.6 percent of the storm’s fatalities in the city.
African-Americans make up 67.25 percent of the population and 59.1 percent of the deceased. Other minorities constitute approximately 5 percent of the population and represented 4.3 percent of the storm’s fatalities.
Overall for the state, 658 bodies have been identified. Forty-seven percent were African-American and 42 percent were Caucasian. The remaining bodies were either non-black minorities or undetermined.
To put it another way, a white person was 48.7% more likely to die from the hurricane than a black person.
Of course, we should not expect Howard Dean, Kayne West, and all the others to take back their claims. In fact, I fully expect that activists will continue to make the same sort of claims — and the media will not call them on it. Because being on the left means being entitled not just to your own opinion, but to your own “facts” as well.
(Hat tip: SoCalPundit.)
UPDATE: Keith Boykin has a list of similar comments here.