‘Black’ hurricane names brew swirl of dissent
Aug. 3, 2003: Do devastating hurricanes need help from affirmative action?
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, apparently thought so and demanded the storms be given names that sound “black” and not so “lily white.”
“All racial groups should be represented,” Lee said, according to congressional newspaper the Hill. She hoped federal weather officials “would try to be inclusive of African-American names.”
A sampling of popular names that could be used include Keisha, Jamal and Deshawn, according to the paper.
“There’s discrimination and actually elected officials wandering around worried about the discrimination in the name of hurricanes,” said talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh. “And hurricanes are destructive. You know nobody’s very excited when a hurricane’s heading their way, and yet here she is demanding that hurricanes be named after black people.”
Which raises the question: What if Hurricane Keisha, and not Hurricane Katrina, had leveled New Orleans?