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Sunday, October 16, 2005

The ugly truth about Katrina!

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Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").

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The ugly truth! Why we couldn’t save the people of New Orleans Poor residents trapped long before Katrina. Simply put, without money, for many there was no escape. "If you’re living well below the poverty line, do you have a credit card to pay to stay in a motel or hotel for a few days?"

Bubbling up from the flood that destroyed New Orleans are images, beamed around the world, of America’s original and continuing sin: the shabby, contemptuous treatment this country metes out, decade after decade, to poor people in general and the descendants of African slaves in particular. The world sees New Orleans burning and dying today, but the televised anarchy - the shooting and looting, needless deaths, helpless rage and maddening governmental incompetence -was centuries in the making.
To the casual viewer, the situation is an incomprehensible mess that raises questions about the intelligence, sanity and moral worth of those trapped in the city. Why didn’t those people evacuate before the hurricane? Why don’t they just walk out of town now? And why should anyone care about people who are stealing and fighting the police?
That hard, unsympathetic view is the traditional American response to the poverty, ignorance and rage that afflict many of us whose great-great-grandparents once made up the captive African slave labor pool. In far too many cities, including New Orleans, the marching orders on the front lines of American race relations are to control and contain the very poor in ghettos as cheaply as possible; ignore them completely if possible; and call in the troops if the brutes get out of line.

By almost every statistical measure, New Orleans is a bad place to be poor. Half the city’s households make less than $28,000 a year and 28% of the population lives in poverty. In the late 1990s, the state’s school systems ranked dead last in the nation in the number of computers per student (1 per 88), and Louisiana has the nation’s second-highest percentage of adults who never finished high school. By the state’s own measure, 47% of the public schools in New Orleans rank as "academically unacceptable."
And Louisiana is the only one of the 50 states where the state legislature doesn’t allocate money to pay for the legal defense of indigent defendants. The Associated Press reported this year that it’s not unusual for poor people charged with crimes to stay in jail for nine months before getting a lawyer appointed.

These government failures are not merely a matter of incompetence. Louisiana and New Orleans have a long, well-known reputation for corruption: as former Congressman Billy Tauzin once put it, "half of Louisiana is under water and the other half is under indictment."
That’s putting it mildly. Adjusted for population size, the state ranks third in the number of elected officials convicted of crimes (Mississippi is No. 1). Recent scandals include the conviction of 14 state judges and an FBI raid on the business and personal files of a Louisiana congressman. In 1991, a notoriously corrupt Democrat named Edwin Edwards ran for governor against Republican David Duke, a former head of the Ku Klux Klan. Edwards, whose winning campaign included bumper stickers saying "Elect the Crook," is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for taking bribes from casino owners. Duke recently completed his own prison term for tax fraud. The rot included the New Orleans Police Department, which in the 1990s had the dubious distinction of being the nation’s most corrupt police force and the least effective: the city had the highest murder rate in America. More than 50 officers were eventually convicted of crimes including murder, rape and robbery; two are currently on Death Row. The decision to subject an entire population to poverty, ignorance, injustice and government corruption as a way of life has its ugly moments, as the world is now seeing. New Orleans officials issued an almost cynical evacuation order in a city where they know full well that thousands have no car, no money for airfare or an interstate bus, no credit cards for hotels, and therefore no way to leave town before the deadly storm and flood arrived. The authorities provided no transportation out of the danger zone, apparently figuring the neglected thousands would somehow weather the storm in their uninsured, low-lying shacks and public housing projects. The poor were expected to remain invisible at the bottom of the pecking order and somehow weather the storm. But the flood confounded the plan, and the world began to see a tide of human misery rising from the water - ragged, sick, desperate and disorderly. Some foraged for food; some took advantage of the chaos to commit crimes. All in all, they acted exactly the way you could predict people would act who have been locked up in a ghetto for generations. The world also saw the breezy indifference with which government officials treated these tens of thousands of sick and dying citizens, even as the scope of the disaster became clear. President Bush initially shunned the Gulf Coast and headed to political fund-raisers in the West. That left matters in the bumbling hands of the director of emergency management, Michael Brown, who ranks No. 1 on the list of officials who ought to be fired when the crisis has passed. Even as local officials were publicly reporting assaults, fires and bedlam at local hospitals, Brown took to the airwaves to declare that "things are going well" as mayhem engulfed the city. When asked about the rising death toll, Brown attributed it to "people who did not heed the advance warnings." Brown’s smug ignorance of the conditions of the place he was tasked to save became the final door slammed on the trap that tens of thousands of the cities poorest found themselves. The challenge for America is to remember the faces of the evacuees who will surely be ushered back into a black hole of public indifference as soon as the White House and local officials can manage it. While pledging ourselves to remember their mistreatment and fight for their cause, we should also be sure to cast a searching, skeptical eye on the money that Bush has pledged for rebuilding. Ten billion dollars are about to pass into the sticky hands of politicians in the No. 1 and No. 3 most corrupt states in America. Worried about looting? You ain`t seen nothing yet.

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People who used a mail truck to escape the flooded areas of New Orleans East are forced to lie on the highway by Texas game wardens August 31, 2005. The people were freed but forced to continue on foot.

So the white people don’t "loot", they "find". A curious insight into prevalent racism in the US media; just as one man’s "terrorist" is another man’s "freedom fighter," it seems one man’s "looter", is another man’s "finder". You decide.

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A Black woman walks out of a grocery store after finding food in New Orleans, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005.
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A Black man carries a bucket of beer after finding it in a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005.
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A young man walks through chest deep flood water after finding food a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005.
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Kanye West “George Bush Does Not Care About Black People” (NO SHIT)

Kanye West “George Bush Does Not Care about Black People” Kanye, you forgot about Dr. Condoleezza Rice, we know that she doesn’t care.
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This is what she thinks about black people.

Kanye West “I hate the way they treat us in the media, when you see a black family it says they’re looting when you see a white family it says they’re looking for food and it’s been five days because the people are black. George Bush Does Not Care About Black People.”

I hope Mr. West remembers his perception of blacks in the news media when he and his peers produce music videos that glamorize black males as potentially violent goons and black women as b#cth`s and s#uts. I wonder who was of greater influence to those who were raping women in the Superdome: George Bush or Kayne West.

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FEMA Chief Michael Brown Removed from Katrina Relief Coast Guard Admiral Put In charge Of Gulf Coast’s Recovery.
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Michael Brown has emerged as chief scapegoat for what went wrong in the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

Bush’s next sacrificial lambs for Katrina.
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"They have M-16`s and they are locked and loaded," Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
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New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin offered no transportation when he ordered the population of New Orleans to evacuate. Hundreds of thousands of people were stranded, homeless. Survivors struggle for life’s barest necessities in the toxic floodwaters of New Orleans.

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Don’t Give Your Hurricane Donations to the Red Cross Establishment charities have history of withholding disaster funds?

As the aftermath of hurricane Katrina continues to wreak mayhem and havoc amid reports of mass looting, shooting at rescue helicopters, rapes and murders, establishment media organs are promoting the Red Cross as a worthy organization to give donations to.
The biggest website in the world, Yahoo.com, displays a Red Cross donation link prominently on its front page. Every time there is a major catastrophe the Red Cross and similar organizations like United Way are given all the media attention while other charities are left in the shadows. This is not to say that the vast majority of Red Cross workers are not decent people who simply want to help those in need. But what the media fails consistently to remember in their promotion of the organization is that the Red Cross has been caught time and time again withholding money in the wake of horrible disasters that require immediate release of funds.

The Red Cross, under the Liberty Fund, collected $564 million in donations after 9/11. Months after the event, the Red Cross had distributed only $154 million. The Red Cross` explanation for keeping the majority of the money was that it would be used to help `fight the war on terror`. To the victims, this meant that the money was going towards bombing broken backed third world countries like Afghanistan and setting up surveillance cameras and expanding the police state in US cities, and not towards helping them rebuild their lives. Then Red Cross President Dr. Bernadine Healy arrogantly responded when questioned about the withholding of funds by stating, "The Liberty Fund is a war fund. It has evolved into a war fund." Despite the family members of victims of 9/11 complaining bitterly to a House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight panel, the issue seemed to be brushed under the carpet and the mud didn’t stick.
The Red Cross` scandalous activities reach back far before 9/11. After the devastating San Francisco earthquake in 1989, the Red Cross passed on only $10 million of the $50 million that had been raised, and banked the rest. Similar donations after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and the Red River flooding in 1997 were also greedily withheld. Smaller charities that were involved with the 2004 Tsunami relief project went public to say that large charities like Red Cross and United Way were engaged in secret backroom negotiations with each other that meant a large portion of the donation money was purposefully restricted from reaching the neediest areas affected by the disaster.

The history is clear, the Red Cross and other large so-called charities are in actual fact front group collection agencies for the military industrial complex. Many informed historians have even alleged that the Red Cross was used as a Skull and Bones cover to overthrow The Russian Czar and pave the way for the rise of the Bolsheviks.

Do not give any money to the Red Cross unless you support the expansion of empire abroad and police state at home. Find a smaller trustworthy organization in the local area of New Orleans and make your donation to them. The BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund Is providing support to families who are assisting those displaced by Hurricane Katrina? These funds raised by the BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund will go to individual Families who have opened their homes to families displaced by Hurricane Katrina, to supplement their personal households as the recovery efforts continue. The BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund is working cooperatively with churches in states neighboring affected areas to identify households in need of assistance. When you make your donation, you can be confident that your contribution will go to families that are in need of assistance.
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Echoes of History.
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The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America. Like Hurricane Katrina, after a Mississippi storm in 1927, nearly a million people fled. Over a thousand perished. The so called refugees were overwhelmingly black and poor. During the flood, African American was herded onto the levee into camps guarded by the National Guard. The guards were called in to keep African American sharecroppers from fleeing and finding work elsewhere.

The waters came down with a biblical fury and it was -- as it is always -- the poor who were left to confront the catastrophe on her own terms. There had been years of warnings before the floodwaters exploded past the levees. They poured into the low-lying areas; sweeping away housing that had been substandard even before the rains began. Nearly a million people fled. Over a thousand perished. The refugees, overwhelmingly black, overwhelmingly poor were placed in sites that were their own brand of disaster and, unable to leave once they entered, they began comparing the structures to prisons. And the terrible truth beneath this all was that this occurred precisely as it was supposed to: Water follows the path of least resistance.

These events went down not in Louisiana in the past week, but in Mississippi in 1927. Swollen by heavy rains, the river began bursting through levees, built despite protests, that they would only amplify the water’s destructive capacity -- between Illinois and the Gulf. The Republican official in charge, Herbert Hoover in this case -- took a virtually hands-off approach and the Red Cross refugee sites became models of Southern race relations with blacks being forced to do laundry for the National Guardsmen and literally leased out to help rebuild the flooded plantations of the Delta. The levees were repaired, though; as soon as the waters receded enough for black men to be gathered at gunpoint and forced onto labor gangs. (One black man refused to join the gang and was killed by a policeman.)

There been echoes of bad history in the aftermath of Katrina. The past has come back upon us like bad food in the gut.

Hiding Bodies Won’t Hide the Truth!
FEMA Blocks Photos of Katrina Dead victims!

The US government agency leading the rescue efforts after Hurricane Katrina said on Tuesday 9/6/05, it does not want the news media to take photographs of the dead as they are recovered from the flooded New Orleans area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, heavily criticized for its slow response to the devastation caused by the hurricane, rejected requests from journalists to accompany rescue boats as they went out to search for storm victims. An agency spokeswoman said space was needed on the rescue boats and that “the recovery of the victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect.”
“We have requested that no photographs of the deceased be made by the media,” the spokeswoman said. The Bush administration also has prevented the news media from photographing flag-draped caskets of US soldiers killed in Iraq, which has sparked criticism that the government is trying to block images that put the war in a bad light. The White House is under fire for its handling of the relief effort, which many officials have charged was slow and bureaucratic, contributing to the death and mayhem in New Orleans after the storm struck on Aug, 2005. So FEMA can try to hide the bodies from the public’s view. But the public will not forget.

The US government did not block these photos of the Dead! They were not treated with dignity and the utmost respect.
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George W. Bush abandons Black Americans. Shocking delay in aid contrasts with 200 billion wasted in Iraq.
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President George W. Bush pays back the good Christian Americans who elected him despite his illegal act of slaughter in Iraq by sitting in his Texas ranch for two days after the most horrific suffering was visited on the area around New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. After two hundred billion dollars were spent in destabilizing Iraq, slaughtering up to one hundred thousand innocent civilians, blasting the legs and arms off defenseless children and leaving the country and region in utter chaos, the best he can do is a brief flyover of the region and a belated visit, hurriedly put together only because of the protests. And the protests are many, and venomous and rightly so. How is it possible that in a country which is always blowing its horn about how advanced it is, that people are starving to death? Is this Somalia? No, it is George Bush’s United States of America.

How is it possible that young children are dying of thirst? Is this Mali? No, it is George Bush’s United States of America. How is it possible that people are having to scavenge for food? Is this Burkina Faso? No, it is George Bush’s United States of America. So, this is how President George Bush treats the people who put their trusting him. After siphoning off 200 billion USD of their hard-earned cash to finance his illegal act of butchery overseas, he turns his back on them, leaves them to wallow in the sewage, to lie rotting in the streets and to starve to death.
Welcome to George Bush’s United States of America. It appears the man is as inept at governing his own country as he is at conducting foreign policy. George W. Bush will go down in the annals of history as the worst president this country has ever had and the worst leader the international community is unfortunate enough to have been forced to rub shoulders with.
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How Bush’s policies doomed New Orleans.

No one can say they didn’t see it coming. A year ago the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed to study how New Orleans could be protected from a catastrophic hurricane, but the Bush administration ordered that the research not be undertaken. After a flood killed six people in 1995, Congress created the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, in which the Corps of Engineers strengthened and renovated levees and pumping stations.

In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war. Biblical in its uncontrolled rage and scope, Hurricane Katrina has left millions of Americans to scavenge for food and shelter and hundreds to thousands reportedly dead. With its main levee broken, the evacuated city of New Orleans has become part of the Gulf of Mexico. But the damage wrought by the hurricane may not entirely be the result of an act of nature. In 2004, the Bush administration cut the Corps of Engineers’ request for holding back the waters of New Orleans’ Lake Pontchartrain by more than 80 percent. Additional cuts at the beginning of this year (for a total reduction in funding of 44.2 percent since 2001) forced the Corps to impose a hiring freeze. The Senate had debated adding funds for fixing New Orleans levees, but it was too late.

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REFUGEE ~ defined as a person outside of his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

The above definition proves that these people are in no way "Refugees".

3 comments:

Rosa Benito said...
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darrylant said...
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Jerry Simpson said...
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