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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/4/2005 11:54:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 11:55:39 AM EDT by fullclip]
Great read....

The ugly truth

Sunday, September 4th, 2005

Bubbling up from the flood that destroyed New Orleans are images, beamed around the world, of America's original and continuing sin: the shabby, contemptuous treatment this country metes out, decade after decade, to poor people in general and the descendants of African slaves in particular. The world sees New Orleans burning and dying today, but the televised anarchy - the shooting and looting, needless deaths, helpless rage and maddening governmental incompetence - was centuries in the making.

To the casual viewer, the situation is an incomprehensible mess that raises questions about the intelligence, sanity and moral worth of those trapped in the city. Why didn't those people evacuate before the hurricane? Why don't they just walk out of town now? And why should anyone care about people who are stealing and fighting the police?

That hard, unsympathetic view is the traditional American response to the poverty, ignorance and rage that afflict many of us whose great-great-grandparents once made up the captive African slave labor pool. In far too many cities, including New Orleans, the marching orders on the front lines of American race relations are to control and contain the very poor in ghettos as cheaply as possible; ignore them completely if possible; and call in the troops if the brutes get out of line.

By almost every statistical measure, New Orleans is a bad place to be poor. Half the city's households make less than $28,000 a year, and 28% of the population lives in poverty.

In the late 1990s, the state's school systems ranked dead last in the nation in the number of computers per student (1 per 88), and Louisiana has the nation's second-highest percentage of adults who never finished high school. By the state's own measure, 47% of the public schools in New Orleans rank as "academically unacceptable."

And Louisiana is the only one of the 50 states where the state legislature doesn't allocate money to pay for the legal defense of indigent defendants. The Associated Press reported this year that it's not unusual for poor people charged with crimes to stay in jail for nine months before getting a lawyer appointed.

These government failures are not merely a matter of incompetence. Louisiana and New Orleans have a long, well-known reputation for corruption: as former congressman Billy Tauzin once put it, "half of Louisiana is under water and the other half is under indictment."

That's putting it mildly. Adjusted for population size, the state ranks third in the number of elected officials convicted of crimes (Mississippi is No. 1). Recent scandals include the conviction of 14 state judges and an FBI raid on the business and personal files of a Louisiana congressman.

In 1991, a notoriously corrupt Democrat named Edwin Edwards ran for governor against Republican David Duke, a former head of the Ku Klux Klan. Edwards, whose winning campaign included bumper stickers saying "Elect the Crook," is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for taking bribes from casino owners. Duke recently completed his own prison term for tax fraud.

The rot included the New Orleans Police Department, which in the 1990s had the dubious distinction of being the nation's most corrupt police force and the least effective: the city had the highest murder rate in America. More than 50 officers were eventually convicted of crimes including murder, rape and robbery; two are currently on Death Row.

The decision to subject an entire population to poverty, ignorance, injustice and government corruption as a way of life has its ugly moments, as the world is now seeing. New Orleans officials issued an almost cynical evacuation order in a city where they know full well that thousands have no car, no money for airfare or an interstate bus, no credit cards for hotels, and therefore no way to leave town before the deadly storm and flood arrived.

The authorities provided no transportation out of the danger zone, apparently figuring the neglected thousands would somehow weather the storm in their uninsured, low-lying shacks and public housing projects. The poor were expected to remain invisible at the bottom of the pecking order and somehow weather the storm.

But the flood confounded the plan, and the world began to see a tide of human misery rising from the water - ragged, sick, desperate and disorderly. Some foraged for food, some took advantage of the chaos to commit crimes. All in all, they acted exactly the way you could predict people would act who have been locked up in a ghetto for generations.

The world also saw the breezy indifference with which government officials treated these tens of thousands of sick and dying citizens, even as the scope of the disaster became clear. President Bush initially shunned the Gulf Coast and headed to political fund-raisers in the West.

That left matters in the bumbling hands of the director of emergency management, Michael Brown, who ranks No. 1 on the list of officials who ought to be fired when the crisis has passed. Even as local officials were publicly reporting assaults, fires and bedlam at local hospitals, Brown took to the airwaves to declare that "things are going well" as mayhem engulfed the city. When asked about the rising death toll, Brown attributed it to "people who did not heed the advance warnings." Brown's smug ignorance of the conditions of the place he was tasked to save became the final door slammed on the trap that tens of thousands of the city's poorest found themselves.

The challenge for America is to remember the faces of the evacuees who will surely be ushered back into a black hole of public indifference as soon as the White House and local officials can manage it. While pledging ourselves to remember their mistreatment and fight for their cause, we should also be sure to cast a searching, skeptical eye on the money that Bush has pledged for rebuilding.

Ten billion dollars are about to pass into the sticky hands of politicians in the No. 1 and No. 3 most corrupt states in America. Worried about looting? You ain't seen nothing yet. www.nydailynews.com/front/story/343324p-292991c.html
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:00:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 12:02:39 PM EDT by FLAL1A]

Originally Posted By fullclip:

The decision to subject an entire population to poverty, ignorance, injustice and government corruption as a way of life has its ugly moments, as the world is now seeing.



I take it that this decision is carried out by giving these folks a free education, subsidized housing, food, medical care, and free (if tardy) legal representation when they decide to break the law. That seems a rather inefficient way to execute a decision like that.

As for subjecting them to government corruption, I wouldn't mind seeing the voting patterns of the precincts where these folks live, matched up with a list of indicted officials. I think we'll find another "chicken or egg" conundrum lurking there.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:06:55 PM EDT

President Bush initially shunned the Gulf Coast and headed to political fund-raisers in the West.



Yep. If the pilot turned really really tight, he could have landed Air Force One in the eye of the storm as it passed over an airport, or a highway, or maybe a really long sidewalk.

Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:19:12 PM EDT
It's all a gubmint plot.

Curtis Mayfield said it all back in '72:

"Freddies dead, thats what i said.
Let the man read, the plan, said it singing home
But his home was a rope and he should've known.
Everybody's misused him, ripped him up and abused him.
Another junkie plan, pushin' dope for the man.
A terrible blow, but thats how it goes.
A freddies on the corner now."


Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:52:00 PM EDT
There's only one thing I can say to the reporter: QUIT WHINING! It's not America's job to bail out losers in the greatest economy in the world where people do not have travel restrictions.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 12:52:38 PM EDT

the traditional American response to the poverty, ignorance and rage that afflict many of us whose great-great-grandparents once made up the captive African slave labor pool.


Oh, I see, it's because of slavery -- which ended 140 years ago. Waaah.... fucking..... waaaahhh.....
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 1:10:54 PM EDT
Initially, when the people was told to evac to the SilverDome, the govt said to bring 3 days worth of food and water. Apparently most of the evacuee brought nothing except the clothes on their backs.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 1:18:43 PM EDT
Excellent points!

See, It IS the job of "Big Government" to care for its citizens from cradle to grave. No need to go to school, work, better yo bad self, raise your own fricking kids etc. Just let the government handouts take care of everything. Too many babies in poverty? No. Not possible. All you have to do is look at the 'families' in NO. Where the hell are the 'fathers' by the way?

I for one am appalled that the United States of America is only spending $500,000,000 a day to relieve the suffering of this fine and noble people from the bowery of New Orleans. They contribute so much to the fabric of America. But thank God they are being rescued. Hopefully Congress will pass a bill so the taxpayers can buy them all new houses and cars as soon as possible.

Makes me sad to be an American.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 1:52:09 PM EDT
Bring it.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:02:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 2:03:59 PM EDT by cmjohnson]
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:23:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ThirtyCal_FAL:
Excellent points!

See, It IS the job of "Big Government" to care for its citizens from cradle to grave. No need to go to school, work, better yo bad self, raise your own fricking kids etc. Just let the government handouts take care of everything. Too many babies in poverty? No. Not possible. All you have to do is look at the 'families' in NO. Where the hell are the 'fathers' by the way?

I for one am appalled that the United States of America is only spending $500,000,000 a day to relieve the suffering of this fine and noble people from the bowery of New Orleans. They contribute so much to the fabric of America. But thank God they are being rescued. Hopefully Congress will pass a bill so the taxpayers can buy them all new houses and cars as soon as possible.

Makes me sad to be an American.



I know your post was in jest, but it may have become an accepted fact of life today. I don't know exactly when the government accepted the responsibility for seeing that every man, woman and child in this country was equal on the quality of life scale, but the author of the article believes it. No need to teach your young about the value of hard work and ambition, just let the government equal the scale. Some families work the farms and others work the system. Family tradition. And he believes we haven't done enough.

What struck me most is that he is afraid that the politicians will get more gravy that the welfare class in the city. Perhaps we should set up two funds, one for corruption and one for welfare?

Pandoras box is open for business... fullclip
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:36:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
Initially, when the people was told to evac to the SilverDome, the govt said to bring 3 days worth of food and water. Apparently most of the evacuee brought nothing except the clothes on their backs.



Most of these people don't have 3 days worth of anything....except $150 sneakers.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:38:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By easy610:

Originally Posted By warlord:
Initially, when the people was told to evac to the SilverDome, the govt said to bring 3 days worth of food and water. Apparently most of the evacuee brought nothing except the clothes on their backs.



Most of these people don't have 3 days worth of anything....except $150 sneakers.



And crack... fullclip
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:39:09 PM EDT
Good point.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:42:02 PM EDT

That hard, unsympathetic view is the traditional American response to the poverty, ignorance and rage that afflict many of us whose great-great-grandparents once made up the captive African slave labor pool. In far too many cities, including New Orleans, the marching orders on the front lines of American race relations are to control and contain the very poor in ghettos as cheaply as possible; ignore them completely if possible; and call in the troops if the brutes get out of line.


Black leaders are the most guilty of this "control and contain" philosophy. They constantly remind their constituants that they are worthless and helpless and that they might as well not even try to better themselves since "the man" will just keep them down anyway. Naturally, this empowers said black leaders where they would otherwise be irrelevant. They are "leading" their "own people" right down the toilet for their (the leaders) own gain.

The country is rife with black success stories. Unfortunately most black leaders consider any of these folks "Uncle Toms" unless they recite the repression mantra. Every time Jesse or Rev Al scream racisism, I wonder who they are trying to shake down. They certainly don't give two shits about black folks.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:44:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fullclip:

Originally Posted By easy610:

Originally Posted By warlord:
Initially, when the people was told to evac to the SilverDome, the govt said to bring 3 days worth of food and water. Apparently most of the evacuee brought nothing except the clothes on their backs.



Most of these people don't have 3 days worth of anything....except $150 sneakers.



And crack... fullclip



Dude, nobody but a dealer has a 3-day supply of crack. No matter how much a user has, it becomes a one-day supply.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:12:27 PM EDT
Racebaiting, racist drivel, at it's worst...
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 3:42:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:16:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 7:20:02 PM EDT by DocH]

That hard, unsympathetic view is the traditional American response to the poverty, ignorance and rage that afflict many of us whose great-great-grandparents once made up the captive African slave labor pool.


Tell ya what, my great-great-great grandfather got crippled for life fighting to free Mr. Louis' great-great grandparents, so we're about even, dontcha think? Oh, and one of my other great-great grandfathers lost four of his brothers on the same day at Cold Harbor. Now that I think about it, maybe Mr. Louis owes me...

Doc H.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:29:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gus:

That hard, unsympathetic view is the traditional American response to the poverty, ignorance and rage that afflict many of us whose great-great-grandparents once made up the captive African slave labor pool. In far too many cities, including New Orleans, the marching orders on the front lines of American race relations are to control and contain the very poor in ghettos as cheaply as possible; ignore them completely if possible; and call in the troops if the brutes get out of line.


Black leaders are the most guilty of this "control and contain" philosophy. They constantly remind their constituants that they are worthless and helpless and that they might as well not even try to better themselves since "the man" will just keep them down anyway. Naturally, this empowers said black leaders where they would otherwise be irrelevant. They are "leading" their "own people" right down the toilet for their (the leaders) own gain.

The country is rife with black success stories. Unfortunately most black leaders consider any of these folks "Uncle Toms" unless they recite the repression mantra. Every time Jesse or Rev Al scream racisism, I wonder who they are trying to shake down. They certainly don't give two shits about black folks.



Well said!
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:32:19 PM EDT
Don't get me started.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 7:35:47 PM EDT
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