I was going to blog about this, but I honestly can’t add anything to the ThinkProgress post. So I’ll just steal it:

Colorado State Rep. Jim Welker (R) blasted an email to his colleagues containing "an essay written by someone else that accused ‘welfare-pampered blacks’ of waiting for the government to save them from Hurricane Katrina." A excerpt from that essay, written by the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson:

President Bush is not to blame for the rampant immorality of blacks. Had New Orleans’ black community taken action, most would have been out of harm’s way. But most were too lazy, immoral and trifling to do anything productive for themselves.

Welker forwarded the essay "without comment." Here is his defense:

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"Some of my best friends are of different skin color, like Ed Jones," said Welker, referring to Sen. Jones, a Colorado Springs Republican who is black.

According to Jones, "he and Welker are friends, but not best friends."

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Wow. Just … wow.

Greens are fond of thinking that when another Katrina happens — maybe another hurricane, maybe a flood, maybe a heatwave — people will finally "wake up" and start cutting back on consumption, lobbying lawmakers to address global warming, etc. This bespeaks a rather naive view of human nature, if you ask me. Seems to me just as likely that you see stuff like the above: An outbreak of tribalism.

I’m not sure what could swing things one way or the other, but one thing that will certainly help is to have a model of a good green life, ready at hand, so people willing to resist tribalism have something easy to fall back on.