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Thread: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Black survivors of Hurricane Katrina said Tuesday that racism contributed to the slow disaster response, at times likening themselves in emotional congressional testimony to victims of genocide and the Holocaust.

    The comparison is inappropriate, according to Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Florida.

    "Not a single person was marched into a gas chamber and killed," Miller told the survivors.

    "They died from abject neglect," retorted community activist Leah Hodges. "We left body bags behind."

    Angry evacuees described being trapped in temporary shelters where one New Orleans resident said she was "one sunrise from being consumed by maggots and flies." Another woman said military troops focused machine gun laser targets on her granddaughter's forehead. Others said their families were called racial epithets by police.

    "No one is going to tell me it wasn't a race issue," said New Orleans evacuee Patricia Thompson, 53, who is now living in College Station, Texas. "Yes, it was an issue of race. Because of one thing: when the city had pretty much been evacuated, the people that were left there mostly was black."

    Not all lawmakers seemed persuaded.

    "I don't want to be offensive when you've gone though such incredible challenges," said Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Connecticut. But referring to some of the victims' charges, like the gun pointed at the girl, Shays said: "I just don't frankly believe it."

    "You believe what you want," Thompson said.

    The hearing was held by a special House committee, chaired by Rep. Tom Davis, R-Virginia, investigating the government's preparations and response to Katrina. It was requested by Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Georgia, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

    "Racism is something we don't like to talk about, but we have to acknowledge it," McKinney said. "And the world saw the effects of American-style racism in the drama as it was outplayed by the Katrina survivors."

    The five white and two black lawmakers who attended the hearing mostly sat quietly during two and a half hours of testimony. But tempers flared when evacuees were asked by Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Florida, to not compare shelter conditions to a concentration camp.

    "I'm going to call it what it is," said Hodges. "That is the only thing I could compare what we went through to."

    Of five black evacuees who testified, only one said he believed the sluggish response was the product of bad government planning for poor residents -- not racism.

    Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.
    "Not a single person was marched into a gas chamber and killed," Miller told the survivors.

    No, they were marched into a huge dome with no supplies or protection.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Bronze Member Tsarina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    Nagin and Blanco deserve to be run out of town. Asshats. They both fucked up the local and state plan. Too bad they didn't bother to follow the damned manuals or use the buses. Idiots. They should be first in line to pay, then they should make the Army Corps of Engineers pay for not maintaining the levees.
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.
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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    Oh please. Nagin did what he could and Blanco, well, maybe you're right as far as she is concerned. But give me a break. The federal government dropped the ball bigtime here and they need to take responsibility. And for a lawmaker to basically call a witness a liar is absolutely outrageous.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsarina View Post
    Nagin and Blanco deserve to be run out of town. Asshats. They both fucked up the local and state plan. Too bad they didn't bother to follow the damned manuals or use the buses. Idiots. They should be first in line to pay, then they should make the Army Corps of Engineers pay for not maintaining the levees.

    Blanco needs to pay and perhaps Nagin for not forcibly evacutaing a populace he knew could in no way leave because of their poverty. But to put the blame for the failure at the feet of the Army Corp of Engineers is downright ignorant. For over thirty years the Corp of Engineers warned the federal government that this would happen, not could happen, if they didn't approve funding for redoing the levee system and putting in place other safeguards. Congress and senate voted it down every single time it came up, both sides, Democrats and Republicans. I'd like to see every federal lawmaker that voted against this or shut it held accountable.

    How do I know this? I'm from New Orleans and it's been publically talked about there for many years. My husband worked for six years at the Army Corp of Engineers right on the river, at the foot of Prytania St. He worked on the costs to benefit ratio reports for disaster-proofing New Orleans only to see them rejected by the Feds yearly. This is one the main reasons he transferred to another division of the government, many many times he and his co workers would work on putting together reports on how this project or that one would benefit this city or state, increase revenue, yadda, yadda, yadda, only to see the project be scrapped at the federal level while the monies that could have funded it were used to buy new White House china or given to Israel. Of the several hundred reports he worked on only one ever got funded. This disaster I lay directly at the feet of all lawmakers at the federal level.

    Also we're still not getting the truth out of the media about exact death tolls. Right now I'm helping coordinate getting some church groups from our area into the Mississippi Gulf area to help rebuild and talking to the pastors of the churches down there we're working with. In most of the small towns down there such as Long Beach the pastor is saying that most of the people that chose to ride out the storm in their homes are still missing, perhaps as much as 30 percent of the population completely gone. The storm surge went in as far as a mile so it looks like many folks were pulled back out into the sea and drown, leaving no corpses around. Now in New Orleans the news media is being suppressed by Fema and other federal workers to not take photos of corpse recovery. Two of my uncles work for television stations in New Orleans and they've both said that the body count there is much higher than the numbers being fed to the media. You have to wonder why they are not telling the true numbers of the death toll. Could it be that they don't want additional egg on the face of this administration?

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response
    ^ yeah No Shit Sherlock!

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    Elite Member Glasgow53's Avatar
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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    I think it was a combination of the people being poor and black. This country has a shocking intolerance of poor people. If they had been poor, black, and gay, they would have been thrown into the ocean.
    Keep passing the open windows.

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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    If they had been poor, black, and gay, they would have been thrown into the ocean.
    Ocean? They would have used the poor black gays to shore up the levees, stacked and tied six high.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    Ocean? They would have used the poor black gays to shore up the levees, stacked and tied six high.
    Sad to say but you are so right.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
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    Elite Member NawdleZouss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    Ack, I'm so sick of hearing all these people moan. Third World countries go through exactly the same problems, with only fractions of the aid given to the Katrina victims. Obviously, it must have been terrible for those involved, but hearing them complain about there being no air conditioning in the Superdome, WTF?

    When Hurricane Mitch hit here, killing hundreds, I don't recall any celebrities embracing the cause, or a fraction of the medias attention towards the victims. And yet, strangely, although they were dirt poor and Hispanic, no one cried racism. Odd...
    2 years...

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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    Quote Originally Posted by NawdleZouss View Post
    Ack, I'm so sick of hearing all these people moan. Third World countries go through exactly the same problems, with only fractions of the aid given to the Katrina victims. Obviously, it must have been terrible for those involved, but hearing them complain about there being no air conditioning in the Superdome, WTF?

    When Hurricane Mitch hit here, killing hundreds, I don't recall any celebrities embracing the cause, or a fraction of the medias attention towards the victims. And yet, strangely, although they were dirt poor and Hispanic, no one cried racism. Odd...

    I hear your frustration but tell that to my homeless relatives who are not being helped in any way, shape or form by the federal government in New Orleans. The poor blacks are the only ones receiving aid from FEMA. Everyone else is shit out of luck.

    It shouldn't happen anywhere. There should be emergency plans in place nationwide for evacuation and dealing with acts of terrorism or weather related disasters.

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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    And on a lighter note here's something that my relatives have been forwarding around from a Salt Lake City newspaper written about the shock, horror and crap that the Mormons have been experiencing since the worst dregs of the Desire Street projects landed in lilly whiter than white Salt Lake City. I don't who I feel sorry for out of this situation, the Mormons or the uprooted ghettoites. Major culture shock on both sides.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    > Katrina Evacuees/Salt Lake City.............from SJK
    > >
    > > Let me tell you a few things about the wonderful group of evacuees we
    > > received here in Utah. The first plane arrived with 152 passengers. Of
    > > the 152; 10 were children. 3 of these children had been separated or
    > > abandoned by their parents. As these passengers attempted to board the
    > > plane, the National Guard removed from their person; 43 handguns (it is
    > > Illegal to own a Handgun in New Orleans), 20 knives, one man had 100,000
    > > dollars in cash, 20 pounds of Marijuana, 10 pounds of Crack, 15 pounds of
    > > Methamphetamines, 10 pounds of various other controlled substances
    > > including Heroin. Upon their arrival here in SLC, two people immediately
    > > deplaned and lit up a joint.
    > >
    > > During the course of medical evaluations, it was discovered that parents
    > > were using their kids to carry loads of looted jewelry (price tag still
    > > on), and other items. One third of the people who got off the plane were
    > > angry that they didn't get to go to Houston or San Antonio. Over the
    > > course of the next 36 hours we received an additional 430 evacuees. Most
    > > of these, like their predecessors had to be relieved of illegal items.
    > > Additionally, most of them, were the owners of exceptionally prolific
    > > criminal records, just like those in the first flight. By the second
    > > night in the shelter, there was one attempted rape of a relief worker,
    > > sales of drugs on going and a gang had begun to rebuild. When the people
    > > arrived at the shelter, they were given the opportunity to dig through
    > > piles of donated clothes from local church groups. Many complained that
    > > they were second hand clothes.
    > >
    > > 'The state set up a reception center with relocation assistance, Medicaid
    > > and workforce services among many assistance groups. This past Saturday,
    > > workforce services held a job fair. 85 of the 582 evacuees attended.
    > > 44 were hired on the spot. 24 were asked back for a second interview.
    > > Guess the others had no desire to work.
    > >
    > > Yesterday we began relocating evacuees to be with family or friends who
    > > had agreed to take them in as well as three to the county jail. Now in
    > > the health arena; 4 with Aids, 15% of those 582 had some form of STD, one
    > > case of TB, 2 Heroin withdrawals, 15 mental health
    > > admissions, one brain tumor and 15 nursing home patients. Like everyone in
    > > this nation, I watched as the news media blasted FEMA and President Bush
    > > for the "poor response".
    > >
    > > While everyone on TV saw nothing but people being let down by government,
    > > I saw people letting down people. Who would have ever thought that we
    > > would reach a point in time that US citizens would lie around in piles of
    > > trash complaining that no one had come to pick them up out of it. What
    > > ever happened to people pulling together to make their circumstance
    > > better? Why couldn't they get up and move on their own or at least just
    > > clean up the area where they had to wait for evacuation? Why did they
    > > feel the need to take a crap in the aisle of the superdome? FEMA did not
    > > fail them. FEMA is not a response agency. State and local government
    > > is responsible for the first 72 hours. But more important, we all have a
    > > responsibility to help ourselves and neighbors.
    > >
    > > Poverty is not an excuse to behave like animals. The rest of the Gulf
    > > Coast did not have problems like this! Difficult situations are not an
    > > excuse to loot your neighbor 24 hours before the storm even hits. I have
    > > always said New Orleans was a toilet! Now everyone has proof that not
    > > only was it a toilet, but a toilet long overdue for a flush.
    > >
    > > Matthew Anderson
    > > Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Elite Member NawdleZouss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    Quote Originally Posted by UndercoverGator View Post
    As these passengers attempted to board the
    plane, the National Guard removed from their person; 43 handguns (it is
    Illegal to own a Handgun in New Orleans), 20 knives, one man had 100,000
    dollars in cash, 20 pounds of Marijuana, 10 pounds of Crack, 15 pounds of
    Methamphetamines, 10 pounds of various other controlled substances
    including Heroin. Upon their arrival here in SLC, two people immediately
    deplaned and lit up a joint.
    2 years...

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    The response in Mississippi has been slow as well..and most of those afffected were white. There has been so much reporting of the flooding in New Orleans(which was entirely preventable) and not so much about the rest of South Louisiana and especially Mississippi. In the southern 6 counties of Mississippi(the 3 along the Gullf and the 3 directly above them) of the approximately 171,000 housing units over 65,100 were completely destroyed, over 38,000 others suffered major damage, and only 1300 were completely undamaged. These numbers are not that far off from the numbers in New Orleans itself. The storm surge moved up to 6 miles inland or more along some waterways, broke all existing storm surge records going back over 150 years. Many areas that did not even flood at all from Camille were ruined by Katrina. Go online at GulfCoastNews, The Biloxi Sun/Herald, the Jackson clarion/Ledger and look at the photos and info. The before and after images of the historic coastal homes is particularly disheartening. And insurance companies are going to totally screw over so many people it is sickening.
    Regarding the death toll, there are still between 4,000 and 6,000 people officially reported as missing, and statisticians are saying that about 20% of these are probable fatalaties-this would nearly double Katrina's death toll. Check out NOLA.com(New Orleans Time-Picayune online)for any info about New Orleans.
    Last edited by Sojiita; December 8th, 2005 at 03:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    Ack, I'm so sick of hearing all these people moan. Third World countries go through exactly the same problems, with only fractions of the aid given to the Katrina victims. Obviously, it must have been terrible for those involved, but hearing them complain about there being no air conditioning in the Superdome, WTF?
    Ack...the United States isn't a third world country without resources. We live in a country that pats itself on the back for being so caring and giving and all about the people. But when the (poor, disenfranchised, black...take your pick) people are really in need, the government drops the ball.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Default Re: Victims: Racism a factor in slow Katrina response

    Sojiita I believe after talking to the Mississippi pastors that the missing and dead numbers are actually much higher than what's been reported. All of them are saying that 30% of their congregation has simply vanished and it's mostly people who stayed behind, this is true in both Long Beach and Pass Christian. They are also saying that the remaining people (white and middle class) are receiving virtually no help from FEMA. People are wandering the streets with no homes or jobs, living in tents on their property even as the chill of winter has finally decended on the place. From Bay St. Louis through Waveland is one big 3 world tent city. We have a group of twenty five from our church going down to Long Beach on Sunday bringing a couple of tractor trailer loads of building materials and supplies. They're going to go in and put up as much new insulation and wall board as they can in two weeks. Too bad every church or civic group in the US can't do that, it would go a long ways towards helping these people.

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