Skip to main content

katrina

While some details of what came after the federal state of emergency can be disputed, the massive flooding as the result of oft predicted broken levees cannot be. Thousands drowned, many inch by inch over days spent trapped, finally giving into fatigue and the lack of upward mobility. Thousands were trapped in the convention center and the Superdome without food and water or working bathrooms. People died in the streets for lack of medication and proper care. I could go on, but what I realize is that I can only write about this in the most distant way. I can’t do justice to the horror of this situation, to the absolute depth of this sickening feeling of watching this disaster unfold over days, with seemingly no help coming; all the while being told to send money, I thought we should have sent people, buses, planes. It was like having to watch people trapped in the towers on 9/11 again, knowing that people are dying, minute by minute, but having those few hours stretched out over several days. Feeling powerless and just wanting the power to somehow save them. To be honest, I couldn’t watch it on television. I needed the emotionally sanitizing distance of the paper and the internet. It has still been overwhelming.

The thing that really blows me away is that the people with the power to save the trapped in New Orleans were somehow not getting the same reports that everyone else seemed to receive. Or perhaps more to the point, they just didn’t give a damn. I don’t want to go into all of my many problems with the President. It all pretty much boils down to one thing: he has failed at virtually everything that he has attempted. Bush didn’t deserve a second chance anymore than he deserved his first. Before the last election I asked several Republicans what he had done, factually, to deserve another four years. Aside from feelings and strong Kerry dislikes (which I understood) they had nothing that was “factually true.” I'd have accepted even dubious accomplishments. The fact is that since that morning in the midst of his first massive vacation, six months after starting his new job. When he received the memo warning that Osama wanted to fly planes into buildings; he has gotten away with things that would have led to impeachment hearings for a democrat or led a feeling man to break down crying, begging for forgiveness on national television.

I want him held accountable for his choices and general inability and unwillingness to govern. Whether you voted for him or not, unless you live in Florida, is this the man you want responsible for seeing to your well-being if disaster struck your home? I know enough about the aftermath of 9/11 to feel nervous about staying in NYC. So basically what I have done is collected bits from several blogs that I’ve been reading to provide some simple tools for discussing this national emergency and its widespread repercussions factually. Use this, critique it, let me know what i've missed or where I'm wrong. Eventually the post will have links to the articles and video where possible. In the meantime you can copy the web address and paste it in your browser window. Or paste the video into your windows media player. Crooksandliars.com has much of the video as .mov’s.

j
sept. 13

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Making the White Supremacist Argument in Blackface

What are the stakes that people imagine to be bound up with demonstrating that capitalism in this country emerged from slavery and racism, which are treated as two different labels for the same pathology? Ultimately, it's a race reductionist argument. What the Afro-pessimist types or black nationalist types get out of it is an insistence that we can't ever talk about anything except race. And that's partly because talking about race is the things they have to sell. Adolph Reed Jr.
If it's not clear already, it's worth thinking about the ways in which the history revision of the 1619 Project is less about understanding history than it is using history to justify a specific approach to defining and dealing with racism in the present. It serves the same purpose as all of the moral idealism pretending to represent justice-- identity politics, intersectionality, reparations-- that exist in the discourse to deter economic redistribution generally, and specifically, in th…

Anti-racism - Class = Status Quo: The Neoliberal Argument Against Coalition

I was approached a few months ago around the idea of collaborating to make the progressive case for reparations. I've said before that while the idea of reparations is morally appealing I don't believe in them as an immediate political project. It's not clear to me that it's possible to build a coalition around a reparative justice focused on just 13% of the population. Encouraged by a recent Twitter conversation that included economists Sandy Darrity and Darrick Hamilton where they suggested that saying reparations will never happen is cynical I've begun trying to think of them as an eventuality and lay out the steps to reaching them. Doing this has made clear that our understanding of reparations as a form of compensation to the descendants of the enslaved is not the reparative justice that we think it to be. If we were living with the kind of understanding of justice that made reparations possible we would not be a nation where war, healthcare, education, and cr…

The Intersectional Swiftboat Waltz

This past week the Working Families Parties endorsed Elizabeth Warren in the democratic primary. It's a somewhat obscure thing, in terms of national politics. WFP is a nominally left party started in New York state. In New York rather than run their own candidates they endorse Democrats. The choice of the centrist Warren over Sanders isn't without precedent. They endorsed Joe Crowley over Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and Andrew Cuomo over Zephyr Teachout. The entire affair is only relevant for what it suggests that we can expect from the rest of the primary.

When the endorsement was announced, members asked leadership to release the breakdown of votes, as they did in 2015 when the party endorsed Sanders. Leadership refused, saying something about preserving the integrity of the vote. What was obvious, where the 56 person leadership/advisory board had a vote equal to that of the 10,000+ membership, is that the leaders had heavily favored Warren while the members went to Sanders. I…