On Thursday night, Iowa Rep. Steve King suggested that victims of Hurricane Katrina were only interested in government assistance after the storm devastated New Orleans and the surrounding area.
“Here’s what FEMA tells me. We go to a place like New Orleans, and everybody’s looking around saying, ‘Who’s going to help me? Who’s going to help me?'” King said. He also claimed that he made four trips to New Orleans following the hurricane. King’s narrative is that while people in New Orleans, had their hands out, victims of the flooding in Iowa were focused on helping each other. It’s a common racial stereotype repeated by a man known for his incendiary comments related to race.
Today, Mayor LaToya Cantrell had an answer for him.
“The people of New Orleans know who we are. We know what we did for each other in the weeks after the storm, and on every day after. I don’t know where Rep. King was when I was standing shoulder to shoulder with my neighbors fighting to bring our community back— but I know who was there helping, and we all know who wasn’t.”
The mayor went on to direct her next comments to the people of Iowa, particularly those who have been affected by the devastating flooding there.
“My heart and New Orleans’ love goes out to our fellow Americans struggling with floods across the Midwest. We know what you’re going through, and we know you need and deserve a better quality of person representing you in your time of need. New Orleans is here for you, like we were here for each other. We know King doesn’t speak for you, and he doesn’t speak the truth.”
After an especially wet winter, much of the midwest is experiencing flooding, particularly in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. According to a report issued yesterday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, that flooding is only expected to spread and get worse.
Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.