Stephanopolis: Obama Interview
George asks Obama about Michael Brown -- should he be fired.
"The focus now needs to be not on fixing blame but fixing the situation ..."
George plays the tape of Kanye West, calling a spade a spade --
Obama says there seemed to be a disconnect with emergency planners who didn't get the reality of the lives of the underclass citizens in New Orleans, saying "they couldn't conceive of the idea that someone couldn't load up their SUV, buy $50 of gas, put some sparkling water in their vehicle and check into a hotel with a credit card" (paraphrasing this.)
George shows Pew Research 66% of blacks say YES the response would be faster if the victims were white.
Obama says there is a problem of "passive indiffence" towards the black community which becomes nearly as bad as "active malice" towards them.
"We have situaitons in America where race continues to play a part, where class continues to play a part ... "
George asks. "How do you explain that Bush doesn't seem to get it?"
Obama says "Our govt has to be more serious, more sombre about how we address the systemic problems we have ... not just disasters."
George quotes the colleague of Karl Rove commenting about not wanting Bush on the ground in New Orleans with victims yelling at him as "if this were Rhowanda" (I'll find link later.)
Obama, "They have excellent responses when it comes to PR, they don't have a response to real problems (paraphrase) ... a terrific spin operation but not the kind of soul searching you would want to see."
George asks him what he would tell Bush.
Obama quotes the poverty stats, he needs Bush to wake up and see what's up, "we have an empathy deficit" -- Bush needs to show that he cares about our people deeply.