Questioning the facts and reasoning behind the lefty rhetoric of UC Irvine historian Mike Davis (author of City of Quartz and The Ecology of Fear is a recurring Los Angeles pastime. The latest inning begins with an essay Davis sent to Joshuah Bearman for publishing on his LA Weekly blog. It argues racist neglect in the hurricane preparations in New Orleans and the plans here to close the trauma center at the failing Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center. Davis includes swipes at John Kerry. In turn, Pandagon.net blogger Ezra Klein, a Davis fan, writes that "it pains me to say that I not only think he's wrong on this, but completely unfair."
As I said at the beginning and mean sincerely, Davis is a remarkable and brilliant thinker. But his overarching accusation of racism -- stretching as it does from negligence towards blacks in Louisiana to Los Angeles's attempt to save a failing hospital to the decidedly un-racist DLC to the similarly un-racist Kerry campaign -- only makes sense within the constructs of his rhetoric, it doesn't make sense in the context of the facts.