people have lost everything and still
need to survive what then is left? When
your baby is crying and you don't have
formula what do you do? When you have
a medical condition and no medicine where
do you go? When the water that surrounds
you is polluted with e coli and you are
thirsty what do you do?
early 2001, FEMA
, the Federal Emergency Management
Agency of the U.S. government, listed
a major hurricane hitting New Orleans
as one of the three most serious threats
to the nation. (wikipedia.org
watched an interview with the Mayor of
New Orleans, Ray
Nagin. The Mayor stated that the only
way out of the hurricane ravaged city
was to walk out. There was one interstate
highway that could lead to help and food.
He asked for water and food to be dropped
along side the road for the New Orleans
survivors that decided to march to safety.
The survivors were greeted by troops "search
& rescue personnel" with machine guns
forcing them to return to the submerged
city, because they feared that property
would be damaged and looted.
aid that came in response to this horrific
natural disaster came on behalf of the
wealthy. The poor that needed help the
most were cast aside in the name of protecting
property. This was a clear example of
where our countries priorities lie. This
is not about Republicans or Democrats;
this is about the value of human beings.
know everyone has heard about people
firing on helicopters. I'm certainly
not saying it is right, but after being
there, I understand. For five days,
helicopters are flying overhead, but
none of them are dropping water or food
down for anyone. They fly by using load
speakers saying that anyone found looting
or stealing will be arrested, and those
are the helicopters that are followed
by gunshots, from what I see.
only government group anyone has seen
is the police with sawed-off shotguns
threatening to arrest everyone who is
walking around on the streets.
is fearful for his future, and fear
leads people to do amazing, extraordinary
things. It's a state of war. People
don't even know who they're fighting,
but they know they're at war. Twice,
I bike away at full speed from people
that come at me. Before I leave the
city, my cash, backpack loaded with
food and change of clothes and my camera
are stolen. The final time, two people
robbed me of my water. They didn't even
ask for cash or my watch, just my water.
It is desperation, and the last thing
I could ever feel is anger.
Nick Glassman, Alternet.org)
the comparison: New Orleans looks like
Haiti, or Iraq, or Sudan, Bangladesh
or Sri Lanka. The images of all the
rubble and corpses and empty-eyed survivors
remind people of those places, not the
United States. (
Sullivan Washington Post)
being a capitalist country one might ask
what the market forces have in store for
these areas now depleted of poor people.
While taking an intro to real estate class
the one concept that stuck when thinking
about price was location, location, location.
The areas near the Gulf of Mexico are
prime real estate locations. As a young
boy I was told by a mentor, "that when
a problem arises always follow the money".
Who will benefit from this disaster? Considering
the mass exodus of poor black people that
do not support republicans, Bush would
definitely be on that list. Even with
the state going to Bush in the last Presidential
election this surely strengthens his base.
Navy has hired Houston-based Halliburton
Co. to restore electric power, repair
roofs and remove debris at three naval
facilities in Mississippi damaged by
Bush met with his Cabinet to discuss
the relief efforts, saying he would
be leading an inquiry and would be sending
Vice President Dick Cheney to the region.
(Dick Cheney is the former CEO of Halliburton)
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the deployment
would not hamper the military's involvement
in Iraq and Afghanistan.
have the forces, the capabilities and
the intention to fully prosecute the
global war on terror while responding
to this unprecedented humanitarian crisis
here at home," he told reporters.
can build billion dollar space stations
and planes that can fly beyond the speed
of sound. We can fly aid to Southeast
Asia for the tsunami victims in 36 hours.
We can even fit in a game of golf or two,
but what about the poor? The Bush administration
was quick to go to war in Iraq but slow
and inadequate to aid poor black people
devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Orleans and Cleveland tied as the poorest
big cities in the USA in 2004.
(U.S. Census Bureau)
you are hungry you need food, when you
are cold you need warm clothes and a home,
when you are sick you need medicine, whom
should you rely on? When your government
sends guns instead of life's necessities
you need a movement of, by and for the
people. Donating money to charity isn't
enough, when do we take our destiny into
our own hands? When do we hold people
accountable for their blatant disregard
for human life?
are millions of poor people in this country
who have very little, or even nothing,
to lose. If they can be helped to take
action together, they will do so with
a freedom and a power that will be a new
and unsettling force in our complacent
national life..." Martin Luther King,
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