President Obama has been uncharacteristically silent about the massive flooding in Louisiana this week (as he was during the deadly flooding in West Virginia in June), but he has been doing his part behind the scenes…to help local officials avoid engaging in racial discrimination as they offer assistance to the victims of the flood.
In a 16-page guidance issued Tuesday, the Obama administration, led by the Justice Department, warned Louisiana recipients of federal disaster assistance against engaging in “unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency).”
The guidance’s frameworks “highlight the importance of complying with nondiscrimination requirements of civil rights statutes, addressing the needs of the whole community, and ensuring equal opportunity to access recovery efforts.”
Needless to say, some Louisiana residents were offended, including the American Conservative’s Rod Dreher, who took umbrage at receiving an anti-discrimination lecture from Washington, D.C., as locals struggle to rescue, house and feed their neighbors.
“[E]verywhere you look you can find black folks and white folks loving on each other, helping each other through this crisis,” Mr. Dreher said in a Thursday post.
He referred to the guidance as a “long bureaucratic memo” issued by the “Department of Justice and many other agencies of the executive branch overseen by He Who Cannot Be Troubled to Leave Martha’s Vineyard.”
The administration guidance cited instances of discrimination in Gulf Coast states after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005, such as “numerous media reports [that] showed images of African Americans stranded on roofs in New Orleans.”
“These images exposed significant inequalities in access to emergency response and recovery efforts,” said the guidance.
Donald Trump spent the day on the ground in Baton Rouge, unloading toys and supplies off a truck, meeting with first responders, and speaking with volunteers at a church that was helping residents with cleanup.
Barack Obama spent the week in Martha’s Vineyard, warning officials in Louisiana that he was watching them to make sure they weren’t being racists—and of course, golfing. And there was speculation today that the Obamas would attend former President Clinton’s big 70th birthday bash, which is being held in Martha’s Vineyard tonight.
Following widespread criticism and Trump’s trip, the White House announced Friday that the president will visit Louisiana to survey the flood damage…next week—after his vacation wraps up.