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American Genocide in New Orleans

I was seriously hoping that I would not have to write this article. But it has been too long now, and I have to say something. Regardless of whether the deaths en masse of poor black folks in New Orleans is due to neglect or maliciousness, the end result is constructively a genocide on poor blacks in America, right now, in 2005. The lack of aid to New Orleans at this late hour (7 pm, Sept. 1) is not explicable. I have only one explanation that I can muster up. And that explanation is classism and racism.
American Genocide in New Orleans
By Kirsten Anderberg (www.kirstenanderberg.com)

I was seriously hoping that I would not have to write this article. But it has been too long now, and I have to say something. Regardless of whether the deaths en masse of poor black folks in New Orleans is due to neglect or maliciousness, the end result is constructively a genocide on poor blacks in America, right now, in 2005. The lack of aid to New Orleans at this late hour (7 pm, Sept. 1) is not explicable. I have only one explanation that I can muster up. And that explanation is classism and racism.

The reality is these refugees in New Orleans right now were already poor, so that tells you how much the government cared about them BEFORE this disaster. Why would you expect the government to all of a sudden, now, prioritize the group they did not care about before, to the tune of inadequate health care, inadequate and expensive housing, etc.? So this is not a shock, I guess, that the American government is apparently going to let poor black Americans die for no apparent reason, right on the nightly news. They were already not caring about the health of these people, so I guess they are still in that mindset.

Look, New Orleans is not on Mars. I cannot explain why military aircraft carriers, the like we saw during the South Vietnamese evacuation in the Vietnam War, are not landing in New Orleans and airlifting these folks out. Are they all in Iraq or what? I also cannot explain why they are not, at the very least, airdropping food and water onto the people in New Orleans, like they did in Afghanistan after 9/11. These people are literally DYING because America is not doing that! I cannot explain why they did not evacuate the New Orleans jail until AFTER the disaster, either. The many, many ways that the American government has now jeopardized the lives of poor black Americans in this Katrina disaster has literally scared me to death, as a poor person. I feel very strongly that if those were middle class white people stuck in those conditions in New Orleans right now, that relief would have come days ago. For some reason, just as the cops let L.A. burn in the Rodney King riots, this smells of racism to me.

New Orleans is not even a day away from the West Coast. I cannot explain why it is taking days to get help to those people dying down in New Orleans right now. But I remember when I was in the Northridge Earthquake in 1994, that the white middle class people had all the water they could use from the national guard, while only a few miles to the south, the mostly Hispanic communities, were standing in lines for hours in the sun to get only 5 gallons of water. My son and I drove up from the San Fernando Valley into the Santa Clarita Valley in 1994 after the quake collapsed our apartment, after seeing block-long lines at stores for water and long lines at high schools and parks with National Guard trucks giving out water to anyone with a 5 gallon container. When we hit Santa Clarita, there were cases of bottled water at every I-5 off ramp, with military personnel just sitting there, waiting for these middle class families to drive up. When I hit the Santa Clarita Red Cross, they also asked me to take some water off their hands, unloading a few cases of Evian water into my trunk! They had a surplus. I asked both the military and the Red Cross to please load the water up and drive just a bit over the hill where the water was desperately needed. And they refused. Maybe that story is a microcosm of what is going on here in New Orleans right now. No one wants to drive over the hill with supplies?

I cannot explain why there is not at least food and water for the people we are seeing suffering in New Orleans, and the idea there is no landing strip is not true. I have seen flat lawns with massive people littered on them, I have seen abandoned highway strips that could sustain a landing, and I am sure if you told the refugees if they move out of the area for the plane to land, they will be airlifted out, they would cooperate right away!

I have watched insane police hold machine guns to the bodies of mothers carrying clothing out of department stores on TV news. I saw the cops force the mothers to drop the clothing, with his gun in her chest, and she dropped the clothing, and it floated away. A pure authoritarian waste. Even Nazi-ish in nature! I saw police allowing their own into stores for food, but holding the people back from the same luxury, calling poor blacks desperate for food and water "looters" while the cops do the same exact thing and are NOT called looters. I would assume some cops are gonna die if they keep trying to act like this. I see America fueling a heavy crisis in New Orleans, then blaming the refugees for getting desperate. Just as it is in the Middle East, if people were fed by American government, instead of patrolled and pointed at with guns while hungry, things will be safer for all.

The racist cops of L.A. used the Rodney King riots to validate some kind of weird racist theory that blacks are violent and riot. But that is bull. The movie "Trading Places" with Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd is a beautiful movie about this idea where you drive someone to desperation then call them criminals. My friend was cleaning pools in Beverly Hills during the Rodney King riots and she said there was a cop car on every block. But when she got into the lower income areas, a cop could not be found. So, from my own disaster experiences, I guess the class/caste separation of even disaster rescue in America is obvious and dominant.

I just told my 21 year old son that he is watching a genocide of people in America right now on TV, as this is what this feels like to me. I have heard NO logical argument as to how on earth those people could still be stranded in New Orleans. It is not Mars. This is ridiculous. And it has become obvious this delayed response in New Orleans is fueled by classism and racism, unless the U.S. government can spit out some logical explanation, but I have not heard one yet. New Orleans is a scene of constructive genocide right now on America's poor blacks, and I do not know how Americans are just sitting quietly as they watch this on TV. I am out of my mind about this right now. Just out of my damned mind. I have never hated GWBush more, and I have never seen a better living example of classism and racism alive in America today. According to resources in Canada, Canadian TV is reporting they offered planes full of food, water, and supplies to help New Orleans refugees and America turned them down! Again, I wish I did not have to write this article. And I hope I am wrong in this conclusion. But again, I have waited days now for logical answers from the U.S. government and it appears those answers are not coming!

homepage: homepage: http://www.kirstenanderberg.com

thank you 01.Sep.2005 22:37

humanoid

what to do right now about this tragedy?

riot in solidarity? 01.Sep.2005 22:54

kanderberg

The first thing we can do is make as loud a stink as possible and name it AS RACISM cuz that is what it is. Also, call the bullshit out...I am sick of hearing more committees are made, more acts passed...they need FOOD NOW! Force the USGovernment to explain this shit. Force a public investigation of this. And if there are lawyers out there watching this, they need to do FREE class acts vs the American govt over what is going on here...This is a f*ckin genocide and yes, we are watching it! All I can figure to do is write and agitate and write and agitate...and name it as racism, but I, too am absolutely frustrated at my wit's end...this is absolutely a racist hate crime in my opinion.

already said it once and I'll say it again 01.Sep.2005 23:02

p.o.ed pirate

This is actually a WORSE disaster than the 9-11 one and where the hell are the heroic firefighters, EMT's, etc.? Where the hell is the 24-7 media coverage? And most of all where is the respect for the living and dead? Where are the flags at half-staff?
I just read that 27% of the people in New Orleans didn't own cars-my pal whose wife went to school there said you didn't need one. Also that the place the non-rich lived was right up against the levee. Like anybody even had a chance.
I guess if there aren't terrorists to blame, just blame the victims.

sure looks like you're right 01.Sep.2005 23:04

chinese sneakers

have got to admit that it sure looks like genocide is taking place in LONA...If nothing else, the lowest of the low are being left to die.

it's more than 01.Sep.2005 23:12

just the

aftermath that shows the gross racism and classism.

there wouldn't be nearly as many people needing rescue if more of them had evacuated. but evacuation plans all were based on driving away. i've heard about 20% of households in N.O. have no car. then there's those with cars, but with crappy unreliable ones -- better to weather a hurricane in a home than a broken-down car, so many of them decided to stay. then there was the lack of evacuee housing (and of coordination of same) -- so those who couldn't afford motel rooms stayed behind, too.

then there's the matter of the big chunk of the louisiana national guard's personnel being away in iraq. and almost all the la. guard's amphibious vehicles were sent to iraq, too. and of the money being diverted from levee work to the iraq war.

portland

Black boy saves busload 01.Sep.2005 23:15

gk

I just heard on the news a young, black teenager from New Orleans hijacked a yellow school bus, loaded it with refugees, even picking up some along the roads. Never having driven a bus before, he drove it non stop to Houston.

A Carnival Cruise spokesperson babbled how hurricanes often disrupt cruises in Florida, and that by taking their cruise, we could help the area because they need tourists. How disgusting.

The FEMA manager, hired by Bush, has no disaster experience. He's an attorney.

I am sick at heart.

relax your cax 01.Sep.2005 23:23

pc

its many thing put it not genocide, calling it that is as tabloid as foxnews

getemout 02.Sep.2005 00:00

now

Is anyone in pdx trying to organize buses or places for people to stay up here in the Northwest? If so, it'd be great to get that info. If not, maybe the people reading this and myself can do it. Hell, I can drive. Anyone got a bus? Are they even letting people in to pick up survivors?

why aren't they stealing the cop cars? 02.Sep.2005 00:15

kirsten anderberg kirstena@resist.ca

yes, that boy who hijacked the bus is a fuckin hero! I do not understand why the folks in New Orleans are not actually just taking those cop cars over and driving out! Supposedly the folks on the streets have guns too and there are certainly more of them and if only cops were trapped there, someone would rescue them so I am amazed they are not just hijacking cop cars at this point. I just made a big protest sign and I plan on standing on Seattle Streets protesting this genocide all day tomorrow. I am about to do a mass emailing to ALL of my legislators, I have now posted a stop the genocide in new orleans poster in my front window, and we are also organizing a New Orleans Busker Aid from Seattle to offer street performers from new orleans instruments, housing, etc. as family.

I have also DEMANDED that FEMA director Michael Brown be IMMEDIATELY FIRED and replaced with someone who is going to do their damned job! I hold these deaths on Bush and Brown's heads, you bet.

the storm 02.Sep.2005 00:30

chinese sneakers

beyond the obvious convergence between racism and enforced indigence, which lead the lowest black folks to suffer most in the NOLA catastrophe, we must also see that the desctruction of NOLA and its underclasses is the confluence of many of the most pernicious trends in american politics and culture, be it...

--the out-of-control militarism that took most of the first responders and the requisite materiels to go off on some imperial adventure;

--or, the rampant elite avarice that refused to pay enough tax to keep the levees properly built-up and also lacked the wherewithall to impose the draft to adequately defend the security of the homeland;

--or, the excessive capitalism that is ideologically committed to completely killing off the public services, such as the army corps of engineers, because they are sworn over to a market madness and the cut-throat persuit of private monopoly capital;

--or, the envirommental degradation that has allowed the Mississippi river and its delta to be perenially debilitated, so that the buffer of flood plains has all-but disappeared;

--or, the public corruption that constantly involves bi-partisans selling out to big money by taking their cash in exchange for carrying out all of the legislative changes that seek only to return ever-more to the corporation leaders, inevitably at the expense of the common classes.

--because all of these forces have come together, like a perfect storm {sic.}, to destroy the essential foundations of our liberal democracy, while facilitating the solidification of their rule over us where, and when, it matters most.

--by most wise reckoning, we are now so thoroughly dispossessed that even the mildest resistance is unimaginable.

--we have lost and the tyrants have won. they have everything they need and their arch is still ascendant.

--hence, for the rest of us, this can only mean that conditions will worsen.

--good luck and take care.

chinese sneAkers 02.Sep.2005 07:09

jack

^^ well written. except i can imagine a strong resistance emerging from N.O. if there were proper weapons. i am thinking america's falluja. i am thinking that it is the good mans fight to overthrow this government and it is our historical duty.

...

Law of the Jungle 02.Sep.2005 07:50

Joseph Conrad

More than a decade ago, a group of friends of mine were beaten to within inches of thier lives by a group of angry teens in New Orleans. They didn't steal anything. One friend commented that she had never seen such anger and she was shaken to her core. Having been to New Orleans myself it comes as no surprise that people who are already neglected and abused would behave inhumanly when I know that they have never been treated even remotely humanely. The projects of New Orleans are among the scariest in this country and Louisiana has a human rights record to match Indoneisa or Guatemala. Just look at Angola prison. When we ignore the plight of the poor and vulnerable this is what happens. New Orleans cops are among the most brutal and corrupt in the country. Almost as corrupt as Louisiana politicians.
What happens when a heavily armed and addicted populace loses everything? How many of the seemingly irrational people in the streets are looking for a fix? When you have nothing, you really do have nothing to lose.
As a kid I used to have nightmares about the "Road Warrior" and being trapped and beaten by brutes. Those nightmares exist right now in New Orleans. Meanwhile I watched SUV after SUV cruise through downtown Portland last night as the streets filled with the frivolity of conspicuous consumption.
The horror, the horror.
Exterminate all the Brutes.

man alive 02.Sep.2005 07:54

mamansita

please, you think you can fight against nuclear bombs, taser guns- think completely paralyzed but still aware of everything that's gonna happen to you not the cops got you ) and , i am becoming more convinced, mind control experiments concerning e3lectro-magnetic fields- with guns? that's their game for sure. they been gearing up for this for years. please don't get the rest of us bombed for sacred sake!
better to learn not to depend on them anymore. not to give the any more control over our life and death decisions. cuz you know what they would choose for the most of us.
2 things i learned from the nahleans dsaster and resulting fiasco. 1. never ever go to stay at the aid center. you might as well lock yourself in a concentration camp. they are not gonna let you go- or your family especially- once they let you in. never mind the dangerous electrical problems, complete lack of food and water, and dead bodies piling up. they would rather keep you SAFE in prison than let you risk your chances on freedom. 2. how easily victims can be criminalized. the cops cannot get in to help, but they sure as well will find a way to get in and punish the unruly(gasp!) looters! while people are starving and dying from flaoating pollution and bad water, i can not believe they would demonize people for property damage and theft. lives gotta be more important than stuff.

bush says he will not tolerate lawlessness, then suspends all laws concerning citizen rights by declaring martial law. that bush is such a sociopath, you just know every time he blames anyone else for anything, that is what he is really up to himself. the government is not even good for help in an emergency. FOR SOME DAMN REASON, it is impossible for us to get enough water? and food to these victims of this horrible natural(?) disaster. but we re gonna play hardball on them if they try to stay alive. better just roll over and die. in my mind, it is a greater crime to allow someone to die out of respect for authority.
and what is this shit with trappin the people in the city? how? why?

i too think that boy who never drove a bus before went along picking up complete strangers under threat- of life when youre a kid-especially black in amerikkkka.
is a frickin hero. let's celebrate him and people like him who helped eachother so people know what they can do to really help. not just petition the gaddamn government. talk to your fellow people. they are looking for a change. now. they know something is up and it's not right. our government no longer serves us, it has been that way for along while but is only now becoming more clear.
stop expecting them to feed you. we gotta learn to do it ourselves
and i'd like to say agin. guns can't be the answer unless you just want total annihilation. please but that energy to a skill for the people.

i bet some dude with a woodstove and some stocks is sittin up on a hill some where near nahleans snug as a bug sippin soup. i hope so. we can learn what we need to do to survive. but it is hard work. i hope some of you with fiery spirits are up to the challenge. can you dig?

@mamansita 02.Sep.2005 14:01

chi

i dig. you inspired me.

Black Youth Hero Drives Busload 05.Sep.2005 07:59

C. V. Linderoos clinderoos@rogers.com

Here in Canada, we saw on the Global TV news out of Toronto that a young black 18 year old male drove a borrowed school bus full of women, children through the night from New Orleans to Texas. I see you have numerous references to his story. Where is he now? I've written to Global to follow up and to Oprah.com to see if they could find him, because the only thing we know is that he was arrested & taken away with handcuffs. If people know what news outlet has his story, and his name, please let Oprah's Angel Network know about this info. at oprah.com. Many Canadians saw what a hero he was and if he could only be located, please help us celebrate his outstanding courage, his calm and his example. CVL in Canada (Sept. 5, 2005)