Barbara Bush thinks refugees have it good

“Almost everyone I’ve talked to says we’re going to move to Houston. What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this–this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them.”

The former first lady and mother to our current president said the above as she and her husband toured hurricane relief centers in Houston. This isn’t taken out of context. Listen yourself to the direct quote from her commenting upon the NOLA situation.

She is so far removed from the common man on the street, she has no feeling towards them. She thinks it’s all fine and dandy that they lost everything (homes, family, friends, maybe even a city) and now have to pull up roots and live someplace else. She thinks it’s “working well for them.” I can tell from her comments that because they are “underprivileged anyway” it’s okay.

Now, the “sort of scary” line is being bandied about like she’s a member of an all-white country club saying she’s not too sure about allowing these people (read = poor, blacks) in Houston. In her defense, after hearing her say the words, I don’t believe she was thinking that way at all and meant it as “daunting” not “unappealing.”

On the other hand, her choice of “hospitality” leaves something to be desired. Again, I don’t think she meant it poorly, but it came across as if Texans was doing all this out of the goodness of their hearts and not because these refugees were in a terrible tragedy and the state provided assistance. It is my understanding that the providing of assistance in times of crisis is the major function of the government. It’s the government’s responsibility.

If I go to the ER with half my arm chopped off and a doctor fixes me up, I don’t thank him afterwards for his gracious hospitality. I thank him for doing his job. If they refused to help, I’d sue the hospital, the ER doc and anyone else I could think of for not doing the duty they were sworn to do. Who might these refugees sue for not doing their jobs?

Lastly, she chuckles. It’s as if she’s at some photo-op/PR event. It showcases her lack of perspective. She’s the former first lady and mother of our current president and she laughs that these people who have lost everything “sure are living the high life here in Texas because, you know, they sure weren’t living too good down in N’orlens.”

It’s unforgivable.