It’s the Obama speech on race you probably haven’t heard.
In June 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama told a mostly black audience of ministers that the country’s leaders “don’t care about” New Orleans residents, suggesting the city was neglected in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina because of institutional racism, according to an unedited video reported on by The Daily Caller.
In the address, delivered during the upswing of the Democratic presidential primary season, candidate Obama specifically criticizes in outspoken terms the decision not to waive a federal law known as the Stafford Act that requires communities hit by disasters to match 10 percent of federal aid.
“When 9/11 happened in New York City, they waived the Stafford Act. … And that was the right thing to do,” he tells the crowd at Hampton University in Virginia. “When Hurricane Andrew struck in Florida, people said, ‘Look at this devastation. We don’t expect you to come up with your own money. Here, here’s the money to rebuild. We’re not going wait for you to scratch it together, because you’re part of the American family.’ ”
Obama, echoing rapper Kanye West’s infamous anti-Bush remarks a couple years earlier, then argues that New Orleans was treated differently, suggesting the reason was that the city is mostly black.
“What’s happening down in New Orleans? Where’s your dollar? Where’s your Stafford Act money?” Obama says. “Makes no sense. … Tells me that somehow the people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much.”
The Obama campaign, in response to the resurfacing of the video, noted that the speech was covered in 2007 and claimed the fresh attention was an attempt to change the subject away from Mitt Romney’s own controversial comments about the “47 percent” of Americans who don’t pay taxes.