2
Sep
2005

Hurricane Katrina is Our 911: Sign that the Apocalypse is Upon Us

The first US catastrophe of the post-911 world and it went about as many of us would have predicted.

People of color/ poor people/ people who possess no power were treated worse than animals.

Recall the very first imagess of people wading through chemical- laced, sewage-laden water and make every Black face White. Can you really imagine that the situation would have been allowed to deteriorate as it has?

Imagine middle-class white people in that hell-hole formerly known as the Superdome. Can't quite picture that? Oh..that's right. Black people don't really mind living in those conditions. And they like pickin' cotton too.

All human beings are worthy. But some are more worthy than others. Do you suppose the New York Times will publish biographies of each of the dead of Katrina as they did of 911?

Years from now will the public be still talking of the trauma these people (those who survive) experienced?

No, because what you get depends on who you are.

What about the trauma of the Palestinians compared to the trauma of the Jewish settlers? One is huge and we hear little or nothing about it. One is small and we hear about it every day for a week.

The government does not care for the least of us. That should not come as a surprise.

The least of us are treated differently. So one shot fired at a Chinook helicopter, and rescue attempts are put on hold. That is collective punishment. Just like one Palestinian turns himself into a suicidal bomber, so Israel invades and destroys entire villages. Collective punishment and racism. One of you did this to us, so we will turn our might on all of you. Doesn't matter that the one act had nothing to do with the other.

I'm glad to see the Black Caucus Jessie Jackson Reverend Sharpton and especially the Nation of Islam getting involved. What would Malcolm do? Malcolm would be there with the people sitting on the freeway, with the people outside the Superdome. If Malcolm were here, wouldn't be any bullets flying at helicopters trying to evacuate the sick and dying. Malcolm would know how to turn that desperation into constructive action. What would Mumia say? I hear Mumia's voice. I hear that distinctive cadence, can't quite make out the words. He will have the right words when words fail us all.

When all else fails blame the victim. FEMA head Mike Brown: "They" chose not to evacuate and now they are causing me all this damn trouble. Somehow 911 victims didn't get blamed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Damn. Ain't that just like Black folk, causing all that trouble.

20 foreign countries and the U.N. to date have offered assistance. Where are the corporate donations?? Where are the food companies, the water companies, the baby food companies?

What you get depends on who you are.

I recall trying to persuade people that Palestinians also grieve when their children die. I know..seems kinda like asserting that the sun rises, but there it is. If we were watching fair-skinned babies dehydrate right before the camera's eye..?

Charles Barkley, aka The Mouth, where are you? Sure would be nice if some athletes - or teams - or owners - gave even a couple of million. Chump change to them. Now that would be community service. Bill Gates - are you watching your TV?

60% of some police precincts not showing up for work!!? What is that about?! It got too hard, so I won't show up?

Hear a lot of folks are praying. I'm praying too. I'm praying for an end to racism. Those Black folk settled on the lowest-laying land in New Orleans, because it was land where no one else wanted to live. I'm praying for an end to classism. Those who had cars and money escaped. I'm praying for an enlightened leadership in our country which puts people above profits.

This is not a natural disaster.

Final comment: I never thought I would say this but I think for the most part CNN and MSNBC did a good job. Of course looting was exaggerated. In some cases cable news did a great job, such as when Anderson Cooper let his emotions show and actually broke down on the air. The reporters on the ground saw the misery and did not attempt to filter it. They did not sugar coat the horror. I shudder to think how much worse, if we were not seeing these images every day, every hour. I suspect that some of these reporters have been forever changed. Give them credit- they kept asking - where is the aid? They argued with the politicians and the bureaucrats and they challenged them. And (for-the-moment)Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans - Let's show some support for him when (if) this ordeal is over. He said the four- letter word, IRAQ and surely is going to be out of a job.


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