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Only Whites Claim Katrina’s Poor Response is NOT Racist

I have not seen one person of color saying that the response to Katrina in New Orleans had "nothing to do with race." The mere fact that the ONLY people saying that are white says it all to me. Last night, I saw the Mayor of Houston whose name is ironically "Mr. White" pooh-poohing the race card...
A sea of white males...
A sea of white males...
Only Whites Claim Katrina's Poor Response is NOT Racist
By Kirsten Anderberg (www.kirstenanderberg.com)

I have not seen one person of color, anywhere, on any news broadcast, on any TV special, in any print article, even on the streets themselves, saying that the response to Katrina in New Orleans had "nothing to do with race." The mere fact that the ONLY people saying that are white says it all to me. Last night, I saw the Mayor of Houston whose name is ironically "Mr. White" pooh-poohing the racist part of this wholly. There is something totally obnoxious about this white mayor of Houston, saying it is "divisive" to try to address race in the Katrina response. Indeed, white boy President Bush said that any mention of this massacre in New Orleans being racially driven is merely a "political agenda" put out there by his opponents. I am sure Bush is scrambling to find some black faces to publicly deny the racist part of this, and that is why we have Condi Rice around. For times like these. You can tell just how racist this country is, by how many white men are working round the clock to pooh-pooh what is obvious to the world at this point.

Yesterday morning, Sept. 2, 2005, I went out and wrote "Stop the genocide in New Orleans NOW! Impeach GWBush" in chalk on sidewalks near my house. I found it wildly interesting that as I was writing one of these, a white male in his 20's came up and said "If you were not a woman, I would beat the sh*t out of you right now." I said, "Why, for writing this in chalk?" He said "You are so ignorant. You do not even know what genocide is." I said, "Excuse me sir, I have a degree in political science from the University of Washington and also have successfully passed all my prerequisites in law school, and I am well aware of what the word genocide means." I quoted the Webster Collegiate Dictionary definition: "the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group." It was as if steam began coming out his ears at this, he puffed his chest, and began to stand in a physically threatening manner close to me. I said, "You know, I am twice you size. And I can be absolutely crazy if you push me. Just know you may endanger yourself physically if you touch me." He left with his legs between his tail, but why did a white male want to BEAT ME for saying that?!

I watched this trend continue all day yesterday. White men threatened me with violence ALL DAY yesterday for not giving an inch, calling this a genocide. I took a very large protest sign out to the streets yesterday. It said "No more RACIST and CLASSIST genocide in New Orleans. Impeach Bush Now." The first bus I got on, a black man immediately said to me "You got that right, sister." Then as I waited for the next bus, a black delivery man unloading near where I was waiting came up to me and said I was 100% right with my sign. When I got on the bus, I sat down, and an older black man turned around from the seat in front of me and said my sign was right on, and wondered how a white girl like me ended up out there protesting the racism. We talked for quite some time. Then I got off the bus into downtown Seattle.

Sadly, I was the only protester on the Seattle streets yesterday. I began to walk to the Market and a white businessman in his 50's said "Ma'am, ma'am... " and I kept walking thinking he was going to hassle me. He ran after me, tapped me on the shoulder, and said, "I just want to thank you for that sign." That was a good turn around from the morning threats, but it was brief. I got to the Market and a white middle class man in his late 60's came up to me and said, "You have a lot of nerve. No one is listening to you." I said, "No, it is old capitalist racist sexist white men that no one is listening to anymore and I think you are defensive because you know that." He said "You better watch your mouth girl." I said "There is free speech in America and I will call you a racist capitalist pig to your face again, so there!" Fuming, he threatened to go get cops. I laughed in his face and kept on walking and talking.

Next, I walked along First Avenue thinking maybe someone with a conscience was protesting at the Federal Building. As I walked down First Avenue, a white male cowboy started glaring at me, then walking next to me at my pace, then began berating me for saying this had to do with race. I pretended I did not hear him and kept walking. Sadly, when I got to the Fed Building, I was the only protester. I stood on the street there protesting for a while. Then decided to move to a place with more foot traffic, Westlake Center.

When I got to Westlake Center, it was packed with shoppers. Disgusted, I began saying very loudly, while holding my sign, "Your children are going to ask you what you did to stop the racist genocide of 2005 in New Orleans and you are going to have to tell them you went shopping! Can you live with that?" Black folks walked by with very wide grins as I was screaming this on the corner. Three black teen girls came up and said their aunt had said what I was saying. We talked at length at why this is blatant racism. They wanted to protest. I told them that even one person protesting makes a difference and they could see I was certainly getting a reaction.

As I stood at Westlake, Seattle's insane Police Department rode up on their little bikes. They walked right up to my face, and one of them, in FULL UNIFORM, ON DUTY, made circles around his ears at me to symbolize that I was "crazy." And yes, he was white, of course. I no longer am amazed at the gross lack of professionalism in the beater police squad in Seattle. But that seems very inappropriate to me.

As I stood on the corner with my sign, black males and females were coming in a solid stream saying that I was right, thanking me, etc. Yet white male after white male came up to me, pointed to the word "racist" on my sign, and called me crazy, a bitch, and many other slurs. The police stood by monitoring me, ready to arrest at one wrong move. Three men in a row threatened me with violence, and I was getting louder with each for safety. The police moved closer. Then a fourth white man and his wife approached. The police moved within hearing distance, within two feet of us. I knew they were getting ready to arrest me as a public nuisance or to try to put me in some weird psych thing they keep for logical women such as me. But as they leaned in, they heard the white man saying "What the hell is wrong with those men hassling you? You are absolutely right and you have courage." Ooops, not what the cops wanted to hear. For about 5 minutes, these folks from Canada began to tell me they are teachers, they have to explain this to kids, and it is impossible without bringing in the race and class equation. The police got bored and rode off.

By the time I got home yesterday from my one woman protest about town, I felt absolutely exhausted. I tried to figure out WHY this was so agitating to white men. I cannot believe I am going to be this honest, but I have to say, that my conclusion after yesterday is, that these white men really do WANT genocide, they really do WANT those poor black people in New Orleans dead. They are not even neutral on the subject. They want them DEAD. And they will try to beat and silence anyone who works against that. Is it mere coincidence that not ONE person of color threatened or harassed me yesterday and white male after white male threatened me with violence? How do YOU explain it?

Yesterday, someone wrote me an email claiming I was nuts to apply racism to this lack of response. I wrote back and said, "without knowing you, I can guess with certainty that you are 1) white and 2) male." This was his response this morning via email: "Kirsten, I am white. I am proud to be white. And I have no idea why you even brought that up. Was it my vocabulary that gave me away? You sound like a racist. I said nothing about your education. I was not referring to you when I talked about education as the key. I was speaking about people in general. You seem to want to make you and race the focus of everything. I was hoping that you actually had something valid to contribute. But it sounds like you are filled with hate. You sound like another one of those who need to blame the entire worlds problems on American white men. Too bad. I tried. Rmartin" Do I even need to add commentary to that? LOL! These white men try to play some patriarchal game, calling me ignorant and uneducated, then when I bust out the reality that I have more "education" than THEY do, they lose their minds and begin calling ME the racist! LOL! I have begun posting this crap on my website at  http://resist.ca/~kirstena/pagehatemail.html.

Katrina has exposed the racism and classism so prevalent in America today and it has shown it is intentional, is my take on it. Those who defend the racism and classism, or try to deny it aggressively, seem to WANT genocide of people of color and the poor. That is my serious take on it. ONLY WHITES are saying Katrina's response was not racist. That should say it all. (And I am not saying all whites are denying this racism, I am saying that the only people who do deny it, are white, from my experience so far.) Seeing who is angry when you try to fight racism, often tells you where to begin. Go make some racists mad today!

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

K Anderberg: You're in good company 03.Sep.2005 09:37

ne1

"On ABC News, there was a story about a Spanish parliament member and his family stuck at the Convention Center in New Orleans. He told ABC that the treatment of these trapped people was "genocidal." He added with disgust that "they are being treated worse than dogs."

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/09/324056.shtml#194103

we know where we're headed 03.Sep.2005 10:02

--

by those we leave behind.

a lot of the pictures posted to this site (  http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/hurricanekatrina/?page=14 ) are great but look like they're from people viewing the catastrophe close enough to see it, but in relative comfort... a lot like most of us. it took some searching to find indications of the tragedy inflicted by nature and the criminals in power. looks like not too many people in the refugee camps and in the ghost streets of New Orleans have digital cameras or net connections. yeah, i know. fucking duh.
The water is rising. Please help.
The water is rising. Please help.

related stories on Katrina slow response, racism 03.Sep.2005 10:29

links

Chicago Mayor Daley 'shocked' as feds reject aid

 http://www.suntimes.com/output/hurricane/cst-nws-daley03.html

A visibly angry Mayor Daley said the city had offered emergency, medical and technical help to the federal government as early as Sunday to assist people in the areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina, but as of Friday, the only things the feds said they wanted was a single tank truck.

That truck, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency requested to support an Illinois-based medical team, was en route Friday.

"We are ready to provide more help than they have requested. We are just waiting for their call," said Daley, adding that he was "shocked" that no one seemed to want the help.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said he would call for congressional hearings into the federal government's preparations and response.

"The response was achingly slow, and that, I think, is a view shared by Democrats, Republicans, wealthy and poor, black and white," the freshman senator said. "I have not met anybody who has watched this crisis evolve over the last several days who is not just furious at how poorly prepared we appeared to be."

Response 'baffling'

The South Side Democrat called FEMA's slow response "baffling."

"I don't understand how you could have a situation where you've got several days' notice of an enormous hurricane building in the Gulf Coast, you know that New Orleans is 6 feet below sea level. ... The notion that you don't have good plans in place just does not make sense," Obama said.

Obama said he expects his counterparts in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama will call for congressional hearings, but he is ready if they do not. "It's heartbreaking and infuriating and, I think, is embarrassing to the American people.''

-----------------------------------------------------

Black and white issue?
Some black leaders say federal officials responded slowly to Hurricane Katrina because many victims are African-Americans

 link to www.newsday.com

BY DEBORAH BARFIELD BERRY AND J. JIONI PALMER
WASHINGTON BUREAU

September 3, 2005

WASHINGTON - A growing chorus of black lawmakers, civil rights leaders and academics questioned Friday whether race played a role in the government's slow response to the crisis in the gulf region.

"Many of these Americans who now are struggling to survive are Americans of color," said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. "We cannot allow it to be said by history that the difference between those who lived and those who died in the great storm and flood of 2005 was nothing more than poverty, age or skin color."

While the government has stepped up relief efforts in recent days, "it's simply not fast enough," Cummings said in an emotional news conference.

Homeland Security officials dispute charges that race or class played a role in their response, arguing that the public would be proud of their efforts, including evacuating 22,000 residents as of late Friday and sending in more National Guardsmen.

"I completely disagree with the notion that race is a factor or that their socioeconomic status is at all a factor ... This is a catastrophe," said Russ Knocke, a spokesman for Homeland Security. "We're here to save. We're here to help ... And we're going to be there to help recover."

Black lawmakers, angry and frustrated, complained that the administration has fallen short. "I'm ashamed of America. I'm ashamed of our government," said Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.).

Ron Walters, a political scientist at the University of Maryland, said there is little doubt that race and class are factors. He pointed to the response to recent hurricanes in Florida "where the population was predominantly white, where FEMA got cracking in a hurry."

"Somebody has to fill in the blanks as to why the response was different," Walters said. "We have a traditional response - that a black life is not as valued as a white life."

It's not surprising that people question whether race and class have slowed the government's response because of the "very troubling history of racism in this country," said Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP's Washington bureau.

Shelton said the NAACP has gotten calls from officials in stricken black communities outside of New Orleans complaining they haven't heard from federal officials. He also cited reports of boats filled with whites being evacuated while blacks were left behind.

Many African-Americans already tend to distrust government officials so the seemingly slow response does little to shake that perception, said David Bositis, a fellow at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. Bositis said that skepticism and the government's inability to improve relations could prove detrimental in crises.

"We don't expect them to do right by us, so we have to shame these people into doing what's right," said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.).

Further heightening the debate were comments by Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), likening the violence in New Orleans to Mogadishu, a city in East Africa. Gary Flowers of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition denounced King's comments. "It is un-American to blame the victim. It was the citizens who were abandoned by the United States government," he said.

Black leaders complained that federal officials knew the hurricane was coming and that New Orleans, which is predominately black, was vulnerable to flooding. Still, they didn't do enough to prepare and haven't done enough to help survivors.

Calls for evacuating mean little to many who don't have a car or the means to get out of the city, let alone pay for shelter elsewhere, they said. More than one-third in the city live in poverty. They said many residents went to the Superdome as instructed but are still suffering.

Pedro Noguera, an urban sociologist at New York University, said the calamity in New Orleans is especially felt by those at the lowest rung of the economic ladder. "New Orleans is one of the poorest cities in the country. Large numbers of people have been living on the margins for a long time," he said.

Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, said he and others are pushing federal officials to consider using military bases to house victims. "I don't think this response can just be handled by FEMA and local units of government," he said.

Beyond the government, black lawmakers and groups are calling for private industry and citizens to help. "Where are the hotels of America? Where is the Hyatt?" said Jackson. "Where are the airlines we bailed out after 9/11?"

-----------------------------------------------------

Homeland Security won't let Red Cross deliver food

 http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05246/565143.stm

Saturday, September 03, 2005
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As the National Guard delivered food to the New Orleans convention center yesterday, American Red Cross officials said that federal emergency management authorities would not allow them to do the same.

Other relief agencies say the area is so damaged and dangerous that they doubted they could conduct mass feeding there now.

"The Homeland Security Department has requested and continues to request that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans," said Renita Hosler, spokeswoman for the Red Cross.

"Right now access is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities. We have been at the table every single day [asking for access]. We cannot get into New Orleans against their orders."

Calls to the Department of Homeland Security and its subagency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, were not returned yesterday.

race and class 03.Sep.2005 11:59

Guy Debord junior

Anybody who says race and class are not at the heart of the let-them-eat-cake attitude of the US state to these disaster victims is obviously a liar or a fool.

What this disaster is bringing out so starkly is that the ruling class cannot help treating the working class as enemies.
So they couldn't stop themselves, and still can't, from treating this disaster as a crisis of LAW ENFORCEMENT rather than of human need. ( FEMA's whole emergency management strategy and training, for example, is based on rounding up "trouble-makers" and containing them somewhere - whether in football stadiums, camps or just in public squares - and that is exactly what they've done.)

This ruling class perception of the workers as enemies is not essentially irrational, because the 2 classes really are enemies, and the ruling class never in fact treats the working class as anything else.
The irrationality generally lies on the side of those workers who find the whole relationship easier to live with if they delude themselves about its nature, but the mistake that Bush and co have made in this case is that they have not put in enough effort to maintain the normal suspension of disbelief.
Their particular hostility towards the most proletarian of the proletariat, the black workers ( who in the racist spectacular hierarchy "must REPRESENT poverty") has clearly made this mistake easier to make.

( At any rate, I think its a mistake - as I said in an earlier post, the working class response to this may be stronger than they think, especially among black workers, but it may be they are better judges of this than I am.)

and a comment on IndyMedia 03.Sep.2005 12:32

Ranger

was so demeaning as to compare those in NO to settlers who traveled 750 miles to Oregon, so why couldn't the NO'ers get to high ground? WTF? Obviously this person has no clue as to what conditions were like, not to mention the fact that many NO'ers did not even know the levees were broken and where high ground might be. Not to mention the fact that they had loved ones who were unable to walk and that communications failure and chaos was prevalent. There was no transportation. The settlers weren't rersponding to an emergency and while conditions may have been harsh enroute, they had more of a support system in 1800's than the New Orleans folk had in 2005!

As American As... 03.Sep.2005 12:44

Mr. Whitebread

I must disagree with you only in the scope of your claim. This genocide is not particular to New Orleans, but is part of the very fabric of this country. Hell, the "greatness" of this country is, and always has been, built on the exploitation of the brown and the poor. New Orleans simply highlights this.

Though I do not think of myself as money rich, I am a white male, so I think I understand why you are facing so much hostility from my fellows when confronting them on this issue. Essentially, it is very important that we are perceived by ourselves and others as good people who earned what we have. Thus, we do not like to be reminded of the fact that we are essentially vampires.

... 03.Sep.2005 12:59

this thing here

the poor, sick and black residents of new orleans were treated like shit, like dogs, like animals.

IT'S A FUCKING DISGRACE.

racism? you know it. and here's how it works. nothing overt. nothing open. nothing like the way it was 50 years ago. no, thing like that anymore. instead, it's just a complete disregard for the poor and the blacks. "wave my magic wand, and make them all disappear." as if they didn't exist. as if they weren't worthy of attention.

so that's why they were left behind to face this. because they could be forgotten and discarded. because they "didn't exist".

it's still racism. this is still a fascist country. we're still reaching new lows with every passing day. i see an image of the president and i still feel like puking...

paraphrased and I can't recall from whom 03.Sep.2005 20:56

TheTroll

A master might know what it is like to chop wood or tote water and even what it is like to pick cotton. But the master will NEVER know what it is like to be a slave.

Named After a Chevron Oil Tanker 03.Sep.2005 22:29

double hulled

Whatever utility the nation's top diplomat, Condi, might have provided to the white elites has been blown, as she was channeling Imelda Marcos by sticking to her vacation plans, shopping for shoes in Manhattan, while the waters rose and uncertainty grew in the "resorts of last refuge."

scary postings on white power site 04.Sep.2005 17:47

kirsten anderberg

I have started getting a bunch of hits to my website today from the "white pride world wide" website...the title of my article, "American Genocide in NO" is posted there, followed by "LOL JEWS" - Wow! That is some gross shit, eh?

Check it out... http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=229050

And today I went to the local Baptist church for services. I did not see a single white man the whole time I was there, and saw maybe 5 white women. So there was no move towards solidarity by Seattle's population at the predominantly black church in Seattle today. Sad but telling.

White supremacists show their colors 05.Sep.2005 08:37

kirsten

White supremacists show their colors from my article on Indybay...

*********************************************

 http://www.vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=22845

"Try making a reply to this story. I did.

 http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/09...ent.php#1765061

 http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/09/1764294.php
My response is there. I hope more vnners get in on the fun!

I even used my real name and contact info!

Ethnic cleansing is a good thing for white Americans
by Michael Mazzone Jr. Monday, Sep. 05, 2005 at 4:03 AM
 mmazzonejr@ameritech.net 847-359-2663 311 N. Mozart St., Palatine, IL 60067

Blacks are prone to criminality and savagery. Just look at all the raping, stealing, and murdering the blacks are engaging in wherever they are found. In New Orleans, we even see them reverting to cannibalism.

We should not save them.

My heart goes out to the white people who are suffering out there, but I'm filled with glee to see some genocide against the blacks taking place in the US. I hope that one day I'll never have to see another black person again.

If America was a country of whites only, it would be a much better country. If genocide against the blacks is the most efficient means to meet this end, then I certainly won't object to it.
www.vnnforum.com/search.php?searchid=455673"

It's Not Ethnicity ... IT IS POVERTY !!! 10.Sep.2005 08:34

robertbohlin7@yahoo.com

I will start out by making this statement that I have no strong biases for anyone based on their skin color. I judge people by their actions and their deeds.

In my opinion, many people are viewing our fellow americans suffering in The South and are asking why this happened. There are two common threads to this problem the first is most of the people who were trapped in the flood waters were without means to travel well and the second is many of them did not understand the magnitude of what was about to happen.

In this part of our country there are a few groups that fall into these two categories. First and foremost are the poor and undereducated people. Unfortunately poverty and lack of access to good schools many times go hand in hand. Another is the sick/elderly again lack of ability to travel is key here.

The majority of poor people in this area seem to be African American therefore that ethnic group is the one most affected. However many of us look at any issue that affects a large group of African Americans through "Race Colored Glasses" and unfortunately this can be a short sighted view. The issue spans more than ethnic lines... and the root cause is poverty and lack of education.

There is ethnic discrimination occuring daily in America. As a Scandinavian American I too have been the victim of its effects. However I find that during my life there are many ways to favor others or discriminate against others. The most common method of discrimination today is more poverty based than ethnicity (race) based.

I ask you to take a second look at this tragedy. Ask yourself if the poverty and lack of education on this disaster were not the root causes after all.

Thanks for listening,
Robert

Reality 28.Sep.2005 19:54

Lives in the South

The painful reality is that the Southern black man is treated the same as his great grandfather. It makes no difference if he is rich or poor as he is looked down upon by most who do not share his race.

In the past ten years I have seen all white schools in the South as well as businesses, graveyards, churches. I have seen black man beaten in person and one pulled behind a truck in chains on TV.

I am a middle age white professional male and it makes me ill to think that maybe, just maybe Dr. King's brave words had no effect on our country.