Evacuation plan for New Orleans; leaving the poorest Blacks to drown

From Boing Boing: The poorest 20% (you can argue with the number -- 10%? 18%? no one knows) of the city was left behind to drown. This was the plan. Forget the sanctimonious bullshit about the bullheaded people who wouldn't leave. The evacuation plan was strictly laissez-faire. It depended on privately owned vehicles, and on having ready cash to fund an evacuation. The planners knew full well that the poor, who in new orleans are overwhelmingly black, wouldn't be able to get out. The resources -- meaning, the political will -- weren't there to get them out. http://www.boingboing.net/2005/08/30/email_attributed_to_.html Also: Cops looting in New Orleans: http://blighty.multiply.com/journal/item/537 Or the famous examination of language on YAHOO news: White people find things. Black people loot things. http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/006681.html Zach writes (Imc Urbana) Just a warning to everyone to be aware of the way language changes perception and not to fall into the trap the media is setting for us when we think about what is happening in New Orleans. I think it's a huge mistake to conflate the few looters who are violently stealing expensive consumer goods with the vast majority of people who are breaking into grocery stores so they can eat. It isn't like these folks have the OPTION of lawfully paying for their food. And really, those stores are going to be out of commission for so long that the food will be unsellable anyway. Honestly, I'm not even sure it'll ever be economical to recover the consumer goods from their stores for resale. So really, the fact that folks are salvaging stuff that would probably otherwise be lost to the bulldozers when they rebuild NOLA isn't a big deal. Violence is a big deal and I'd like to see the violent looters distinguished from the peaceful salvagers in news stories. I'd like to see that distinction NOT be quietly implied along racial lines. http://www.livejournal.com/community/blackfolk/2420240.html From the archives: The Invisible Whiteness of Beer Riots http://www.alternet.org/story/12479/


Fuck People in Need, There are Businesses to Protect!

By fwd

Fuck People in Need, There are Businesses to Protect! ABC News is reporting that New Orleans police have been ordered to stop doing rescue missions, and to start attempting to control the widespread looting that is occuring. Good to see that we've got our priorities straight. Mayor Ray Nagin ordered 1,500 police officers to leave their search-and-rescue mission Wednesday night and return to the streets. http://abcnews.go.com/US/HurricaneKatrina/wireStory?id=1085472 found at Indyblogs.

Hurricane Katrina devastates New Orleans, Lo. USA

By Indy UK

Floods in New Orleans threaten more lives whilst rescue services appear unable to cope and hospitals and evacuation centers are facing isolation and power outages.

Despite years old warnings that New Orleans was a major risk for flooding following a hurricane, funding was slashed and Louisiana State and US Federal rescue services have now been unable to cope with the developing tragedy in the wake of Hurricane Katrina earlier this week. Flood waters continue to rise, and more people are being threatened with their lives on an hourly basis: emergency evacuation centers - including the Superdome - are isolated and State governor, Kathleen Blanco has called for the complete evacuation of the city. Further claims state that it will be months before the city becomes inhabitable again

Reports from New Orleans state that "things were so crazy: it was all poor black people and old white people - the people who couldn't afford to get out." William Quigley, a Law Professor at Loyola University has said that " They are estimating that it may take several days to evacuate these people - water, electricity, food, security all will be gone by then." Indeed, enforced evacuations began yesterday - following a mass exodux from the city in advance of the hurricane - but initial estimates that expected them to be complete by the evening of August 30th were overly optimistic. And, while outside agencies struggle to help, thousands remain stuck - including inside hospitals [ 1 | 2 ].

Meanwhile, it appears that priorities were focused elsewhere: it seems the US is more concerned with oil - the price of petrol is rising and both Florida and Hawaii are trying to conserve their stocks, following on from the devastating effects of Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico; questions are also being asked if the National Guard is being stretched thin by Iraq War? And while Bush can't meet anti-war protestors, his plane is diverted over New Orleans. The irony doesn't stop...

[New Orleans Weather Warning (28th August) | Democracy Now! reports (Aug. 30th) | Explanation about Hurricanes (MP3) | Further analysis: 1 , 2 , 3 | Insane looting? - Not at all! ]