In September 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast and flooded 80 percent of New Orleans, conservative radio talk show host Glenn Beck derided as “scumbags” the victims of the disaster who were forced to huddle for days in the Louisiana Superdome to escape the floodwaters. Apparently, what enraged Beck about these individuals, most of whom were black New Orleanians, was that they did not leave the city in time to avoid the disaster.
Of course, the majority of these people were poor. Many were elderly. Others were disabled, mentally or physically or both. Few owned cars or had money for public transportation. (Unfortunately, for the people of New Orleans, free emergency evacuation via school buses and other city vehicles was non-existent during the tragedy.) On top of everything else, most of the people in the Superdome had nowhere to go, or money to house and take care of themselves when they got to wherever Beck wanted them to flee.