Friday, September 09, 2005

Katrina .. you'z a Bitch


This post will be very sporadic - and long – my thoughts are jumping around quite a bit and I am just writing this as it comes – Sorry people DEAL – I got no time to edit profusely.


I live in a very electronic world – I read blogs by people all over the world – black people white people, republicans, house wives, cops, republican cops, rightwing farmers, left wing writers, film makers, democrats, independents, guys, girls, kids, dads, parents, couples, poets, assholes, asshole poets… you know who you are! J – everybody has a blog and it gives me so much of a broader view of our society to read them.
People and their response to Katrina, who by the way ran in to the south east like she was a woman scorned - varied from the compassionate to so harsh I wonder if they have hearts in their chests. Emotions were high – almost from the very beginning. Mine were raw for days on end – and actually today well the last 24 hours has been the first time I have tried to gather my thoughts for post.
People want to avoid politicizing this event (ironically republicans who also want to turn everything we who have issue with into – us saying Bush is responsible for the hurricane. Lets be real people. Bush is a lot of things but he’s not God so no I don’t blame him for mother nature I blame him for all the opportunities he F’ed Up after the fact, and the things he didn’t do that could avhe stopped it from happening this way to begin with) – but everyday all of it is politics. I am not a republican – not a democrat, for me that’s like asking do you want to be stabbed in the back or the front? So this is not about supporting a particular candidate. Its about being real.

The Katrina disaster zone takes up an area roughly the size of the United Kingdom. 90,000 square miles. That area is home to slightly less than 12,000,000 people.


I am embarrassed by my governments’ response on the highest levels. I am a relative of men in Armed forces, police officers, my friends are firemen and national guards men and I know - know like you know - they are trying to go - do what they can - and I will be here trying to do what I can, give what I can - help who I can but that pride in the people of the US does not extend to its government as a whole for me. I blame the current administration as well as Clintons. And yes I believe now is the time to point out the problems before they are forgotten in our 30 minute attention span Americans are known for.
I blame our administration for dismantling FEMA - while I give them credit for doing what they can with what they have (there are unsung heroes amidst every fuck up) - but they should have had more to work with - wasn't their funding cut to pay for Iraq? And they should have taken this seriously from the jump. Not after all eyes were furrowed in anger afterwards and looking their way- I also blame the previous administration for not putting more money behind it - taking the threat more seriously - I hate to take this position but I really - can't bear to hear another thing about Iraq and we can't take care of home .


I shoulder my fair share of blame - but I wonder what we do to prepare - Missouri sits on the largest earthquake fault in the nation and we are not prepared - what if it had been us? What if we had been shaken and the pictures were not of people drowning in water but in rubble again? This is why the comparisons to 9/11 are made because if it were St. Louis or E. St. Louis or some equally middle class city - and yes predominately minority - would it have taken Bush THREE DAYS to start federal preparations? New York is always portrayed as white people land - Blair Underwood was the ONLY BLACK MAN in New York in you believed Sex in the City and there are like three if you watch Friends. And I hate that it’s a race thing but its not just race - it’s a class thing - look at where the towers went down... in the middle of wall street.

If it were Beverly hills, LA falling into the ocean or Portland caught in a mudslide? would they have had to wait? I bet you your extra tall Latte HELLZ NAW! Now, it should be mentioned that less than 2 days after Rehnquist (sp) died, before his body was even in the ground, Bush had nominated John Roberts as his choice to become the new Chief Justice of the Supreme court. It takes less than 2 days to announce and send something on its way when it’s some shit that matters to him.We live in a great country, I don’t argue that. I love my city – I love my culture– while I score a 40% American on the little joke quiz – I am an American – a black woman – so in the eyes of many including most members of government -40% is about right. And I know the question becomes why, why are black people and granted people in general so hostile about this? Why are we so vocal? Why do we want the people responsible for our government held responsible for this? Let’s look at http://www.guerrillanews.com/articles/1663/System_Failure
or rather if you don’t like Guerrilla News as a source lets try Newsday http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--katrina-formerpre0906sep06,0,7162001.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork

And we wonder why black people look sideways at this administration, at Government in general. People are a very strong reflection of their parents. I have my racist moments. I know some of my beliefs are in place as defense mechanisms – blatant ignorance on occasion, and sometimes bad information. But as leader of the free world – shouldn’t you be trying harder to over come those types of racist tendencies and , and while I strongly believe that race plays a major roll like Barack Obama believe it is just as much a class issue as well. see this article, anyway Jake and I - We got into a short e-mail discussion about the role of race in this situation. Which, by the way, in the week following has been a card finally recognized by the media – who have started to earn back a millimeter of my respect. (most of you don’t know when I was in high school I wanted to be in journalism, the change in news coverage between high school and college changed my mind quickly – Newsrooms are too corporate to allow for many Watergates anymore) Anyway I don't think the people who stayed (whether they felt they had a choice or not) deserve what they got. PERIOD. No excuses, no fancy reasoning. They are human and are my peers, my human family. No one deserves to have their family members slip out of grasp, away from fingertips - Don't think they deserve to sit in a football stadium with no water or power among the corpses of those who would not survive. No one should have to sit on the side of the interstate while her husband dies while she begs for police and rescue works to stop and help. Yes I know there was not much they could do for her - in particular- yes I know the whole thing could have been handled differently by both the people who stayed and the people who were sent to help. Granted, looting for electronics is stupid - Looting for food is what I would have done to feed my little girl - take care of my husband - help my grandmother survive.

I read a kid say in another blog : There is a higher law that says you have to stay alive.

I couldn’t agree more. We don't know why they stayed - I'm sure some of them were of the "we'll ride it out" mindset but I can't fault them because they have rode out storms many of us would not be able to dream of. I have family and friends in the area some who stayed for reasons their own - some left because they could. Some stayed for family who could not go.
And that is why this is not just about people but politics – because the politics of all of this should have been enough to ensure the well handling of our fellow citizens. PEOPLE ARE POLITICS. Because to our Government officials and our “non-biased media” it should never have been an issue that was a topic of concideration. Black people catch the negative end of the assumption constantly – We’re looters, we’re used to the conditions, we’re animals and out of control… you leave any group of people in those conditions and see what happens. If our government had supplied the same amount of support and compassion to Louisiana and Mississippi as they did to the Tsunami victims, 911 victims, Shoot TERRY SCHIVO for Christ sakes, if the media had been as forth coming as they had been with the college girl in Aruba situation, with Iraq , insert nationally featured white girl kidnap victim here – instead of trying to paint those people as animals, maybe the whole truth would get out.

How about the paramedic http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/090805A.shtml who tells his story about how police kept people from leaving NO? All the while Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went shoe shopping on Fifth Avenue, played tennis and saw a musical.
"... at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several
thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes. A fellow shopper went up to the
Secretary and reportedly shouted, 'How dare you shop for shoes while thousands
are dying and homeless!' Rice had security physically remove the woman."

What about the stories of the Military personnel on the USS Baatan* (see foot note below) who followed Katrina in from the gulf and were ready to assist but were told to stand down And Vice President Dick Cheney was still on vacation ... killing things, and trying to get his corrupt hands on the sweet sweet Canadian tar sands

The Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert said, maybe we should just forget all about rebuilding New Orleans. It's below sea level, he doesn't listen to "jazz," has never been south of Virginia, doesn't know any African Americans, and besides, it might cost money ... so how important a city could it be?-The Pentagon, headed by Donald Rumsfeld, reassured America that, yes, the Country music hoe-down with Clint Black on September 11th is still on ... but don't politicize hurricane Katrina, besides he was at a baseball game. .

The head of the Republican National Committee, Ken Mehlman, sent out an email stressing that NOW is the time when we must repeal that which is causing our country to go down the tubes: the estate tax. Because the public is seemingly too distracted to notice. -And Vice President Dick Cheney was still on vacation ... killing things, and trying to get his corrupt hands on the sweet sweet Canadian tar sands.

And when Bushie finally got around to dealing with the situation – he has the nerve to look BORED?!?!? COME on people – what does he gotta do to get impeached? All it took for Clintion was a less than attractive woman and a stained blue dress. This man is caught in lie after lie after lie after lie, and we just kinda shrug it off – as if we knew he wasn’t for us anyway. Like that makes it okay?


* There's an interesting BBC
World News report
(brought to my attention another blog I’m doing a bit of
copy and paste here) in which NorthCom Lt. Commander Sean Kelly explained the
military's efforts which, in addition to military support, include distribution
of medical supplies, search and rescue operations, distributing food and water,
and meeting transportation needs. (Note: the server hosting the video seems to
be overwhelmed. This is
a direct .mpg link, which is also slow right now, but keep trying.)
When the
BBC noted the criticism of the government's slow response, Lt. Commander Kelly
explained that NorthCom was ready to go well in advance of Katrina making
landfall, but suggested the president didn't make the right call at the right
time.
"Northcom started planning before the storm even hit. We were ready
when it hit Florida, because, as you remember, it hit the bottom part of
Florida, and then we were planning once it was pointed towards the Gulf
Coast.
"So, what we did, we activated what we call 'defense coordinating
officers' to work with the states to say, 'OK, what do you think you will need?'
And we set up staging bases that could be started.
"We had the USS Bataan
sailing almost behind the hurricane so once the hurricane made landfall, its
search and rescue helicopters could be available almost immediately So, we had
things ready.
"The only caveat is: we have to wait until the president
authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military
can't just act in this fashion; we have to wait for the president to give us
permission."
Apparently, that permission could have been given right away,
but it wasn't. Bush was on vacation, sharing some cake with John McCain, and pretending to play some guitar.
This seems like it could be a fairly big deal.
There's been some frustration on the part of military officials about bureaucracy and FEMA's ineffectiveness, but Kelly's remarks to the BCC sounded like a fairly direct
challenge to the president's leadership — they wanted to leap into action, but
the White House never made the call.
Considering that there are already questions about who was in charge last week, can someone please ask the White House who first gave the order to NorthCom and when?

Tell me what I am supposed to think? How am I supposed to believe in my country like this? This is my song for the day . Down load it to your respective IPod MP3 player and take a listen. “My Petition” Jill Scott
You say you mean good for me
But you don't do it
You say you have a plan
but you just don't go thru with it
You say you know the way to goA
nd I should follow
But all of your empty promises
Leave me hollow
And oh
How do I trust you
How do I love you
When youLie to me repeatedly
And oh
How do I have faith, in you
When you just don't come thru
Like you say you could
Oh, say can you see [2x]

You say that I'm wrong for
Stating my opinion to you
You say that I'm wrong and there'll be quiet consequences too
But I know my rights babe
There'll be no law abridging
The freedom of my speech
Or the right for me to petition for a remedy of grievances
And I want to trust you
I want to love yeah
But you lie to me repeatedly
And oh I want to have faith in you
But you just don't come thru
Like you said you could
Oh say can you see
HmmmI want fresh fruit, clean water,
Air that I don't see
I want the feeling of being safe on my streets
I want my children to be smarter than me
I want, I want to feelI
want to feel, I want to feel free
For real ya'll
I'm just telling you so you know
I want to, I want to have faith in you
I really do but you keep lying to me
It hurts
I believe, I believe you owe it me
Give it to me like you said you would
HmmmOh say can you see
HmmmOh say can you see
Oohh say can you see
Hmmm
By the dawn's early light

4 Comments:

Anonymous LAN3 said...

Cdr. Sean Kelly, the NORTHCOM officer you quote, emailed blogger Kevin Drum (no fan of Bush) with a clarification-- the authorization was indeed something they had to receive before they could act, and they *did* receive authorization in a timely manner.

"Thus we had permission to operate as soon as it was possible." (Scroll down to the update)

1:14 PM  
Blogger Queue said...

ummm... who are you and where is your link trying to send me to?

4:07 PM  
Blogger CousinSarah said...

damn I told you to write it sista...and you sure did. So much to respond to...but the bottom line is..now what? What happens NOW?

1:10 PM  
Blogger G said...

While I disagree with somethings your eloquence is astonishing in writing. You have a gift that is for sure. The writing gift in our family went to the eldest that is for darn sure! :)
It was nice to read your post and I look forwrad to reading more!

6:37 PM  

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