To his credit, NBC’s Brian Williams on Meet the Press asked Wendell Pierce if racism and classicism played a role in the slow governmental response to the post-Katrina flooding, and pointed out that NBC was able to get supplies to him and the NBC crew covering the aftermath. Pierce answered tactfully but pointedly—less interested in the pathologies than holding someone responsible so that it doesn’t happen again—then Williams asked Doug Brinkley why no national conversation on racism and classicism materialized. Brinkley answered—accurately, I think—that the country’s attention moved on when the national media moved on.
I’d add that parts of the country also are invested in not having that conversation. The Tea Party Movement and specifically the Birthers and the anti-immigrant wings illustrate the degree to which these issues are still at play, and those running for office are benefiting from a continued lack of enlightenment in these areas.