The President and His Critics Mark Anniversary Along Coast

Great, the President actually showed up, on time this year.  But I digress…..

After watching Spike Lee’s documentary, ‘When the Levees Broke’ on HBO last week, I just couldn’t imagine a more comprehensive and objective look at the way all levels of government handled the Katrina crisis.  The documentary gave a glimpse of all who were affected; black, white and other, poor, middle class and upper middle class.  So I was waiting to see this week if any of the news shows would cover his documentary and what they had to say.  And of course you know which network never fails in marginalizing people of minorities by spewing a jaded, half assed conservative elitist view… Fox News.

I was watching the O’Reilly Factor last night (there was guest host; sorry I can’t remember his name).  Out of the 4 hours of great footage from Spike’s documentary, this idiot decides to show the brief 3 minute segment about how some residents thought that levees were intentionally broken.  He thought that these people were “crazy and ridiculous.” To add insult to injury, he had a black conservative on there who served as his token yes man.  Anyone who saw the documentary, especially that part, knows that after the residents made those comments, scientist and other experts chimed in and said that the explosions that these people heard were that of the levees actually breaking.  This punk sitting in for O’Reilly only showed one part of that conversation which gave the perception that Spike Lee’s 4 hour documentary was about outrageous conspiracy theories.  Put this doesn’t surprise me coming from Fox.  They have a history of marginalizing, and underestimating people of color.

The second show that I watch was Scarborough Country.  Scarborough really surprised me last night.  He interviewed Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.  Scarborough asked him about why Mississippi seemed to be making more progress then Louisiana.  Governor Barbour had the audacity to say that that the people of Mississippi were strong and resilient:

“Our people weren’t looking for anyone to blame; there weren’t whining; Mississippi is not into victim hood”

“We got hit by one of the worst natural disasters in American History, but our people that day got up; hitched up their britches; and went to work.”

“They went to work helping themselves and helping their neighbors; and that’s the way it’s been ever since; and that spirit makes all the difference in the world.”

“They’re the kind of people that are just not going to quit.”

Let’s take at look at these comments Governor Barbour made.  The Governor said that his people were not looking for anyone to blame and that they were not crying, who is comparing them too?  I could only think of the people of Louisiana and particularly New Orleans.  The people of the NO were not sitting back letting the flood waters drown them to death.  Men and women were helping the elderly, most of them who were in wheelchairs and bed ridden by carrying them or making make shift wagons and pulled them to safety.  Babies were dying and people were passing out.  Many poor people, especially people of color had medical conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy and had no medicine.  Some people had to watch their loved ones die in their arms or close to them.   The Dome in New Orleans which the government instructed everyone to head too for safety became a living pit of hell.  So who the fuck was sitting back whining and asking for handouts?  It was a time of crisis in the midst of a natural disaster.  If any time was appropriate to ask for help from the government, it was then!!    

If you want to talk about having a spirit that won’t quit, then you can historically look at black people.  No matter what obstacles were put in front of us we overcame them.  From the brutality and genocide from the American Slavery system, to racial discrimination that kept black people separate and UNequal during the Civil Right’s Movement.  And not to mention that Mississippi was one of the worst states besides Alabama when it came to race relations and discrimination.  And since Governor Barbour claims that his state is together, he should explain why Jackson, MS (which is the State Capital) is a complete mess. 

My people have sustained for over 450 years in this damn country.  The majority of people in New Orleans may have been black, lower and middle working class, but they were home owners and they paid their taxes.  They were hard working honest people.  Perhaps Governor Barbour should watch Spike Lee’s documentary so he can see how ignorant his comments were.  And it was quite honest that he was directing them to New Orleans.  I am 100% certain that when the Federal Government dispersed money to the states affected by Katrina, his ass was in line to receive it for the people of Mississippi.  He took a handout from the government for the “strong resilient” people of Mississippi.  

News Flash Governor Barbour:  African Americans have been pulling up their britches and going to work for this country, before America even considered us citizens.  We had to fight to be counted a whole person.  We had to fight for the right to be considered as people; human beings and not property; we even had to fight for the right to vote.  I am sorry for going off on this blog, but he pissed me off sop bad last night.  I would not have taken issue with what he said if he did not qualify his statement by subliminally comparing the progress of his state to, in his opinion, the lack of drive of the people in New Orleans… I’m out…..        

The President and His Critics Mark Anniversary Along Coast

By Michael Abramowitz

BILOXI, Miss., Aug. 28 — A year after Hurricane Katrina devastated Mississippi and Louisiana, President Bush and Democratic leaders are converging on the Gulf Coast this week to commemorate the losses while continuing the political argument over the federal response to the country’s largest natural…

One Response

  1. The scientists didn’t actually state that folks had lost their minds or anything of the sort. Former mayor Mark Morrial stated that no investigation was conducted. An archivist/historian who chronicled the flood of 1927 stated the levees were dynamited 80 years ago – and that there was a precedent for the belief that the levees were dynamited again. Scientists did suggest the sound of the levees breaking would sound like the explosions that people reported hearing – but based on the evidence on the table, and the monetary incentive to blast the levees, this is not an open and shut case – nor is it a priority. The jury is still out – the only question is whether or not they should ever be called in.

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