because of a situation that has been weighing heavliy on my mind. Bear with me for not feeling up to posting an upbeat post-Christmas diary.
For I am heartsick over the news of what happened in New Orleans a week ago, Thursday. I won’t extensively go into what happened because this has already been excellently done in NOLA: Stun Guns Used As Bulldozers Stand Ready and This Is A National Issue.
However, I will go into several other aspects of what happened, which are deeper, more complex, and more personal than what the mainstream media did in their brief reports and soundbites.
Such as the painful impact witnessing the TV coverage had on me–it flashed me back to Katrina and some things that happened as that was going on. I’m not going to suggest here that it was s simple matter of the cops abusing protesters because there was more to what happened than met the eye of anyone watching the news coverage and listening to the newspeople, who’d been getting the story wrong. Because of all the other parties involved, who had their various agendas. Because as Nightprowlkitty said under Nataline Sarkysian And Louisiana,
There were experienced agitators there who knew exactly what they were doing and forced a confrontation. There were also just plain angry citizens who were frustrated at not being able to get into the meeting because of overcrowding (and, I’ve read from eyewitnesses that there’s a real possibility the Council packed the meeting beforehand with their supporters). In any event, it was known that there would be angry people there, and whoever is in charge of these meetings could have done a far better job to see that folks were accommodated in the process.
Sadly, however, the conflict over the housing and demolitions and ill will it has engendered among all groups involved could further hamper a fragile Louisiana’s healing process. Her storm-weary, traumatized people have suffered enough and need the peace that would enable them to work together, and don’t need new reminders of things that happened in the chaos of Katrina that will add to their agony. Here’s a comment by snackdoodle under the diary “Stun Guns Used….” that struck a chord with me:
…I was stunned by the use of force. Of all the places it was out of place it was today in NOLA. Just more of the monumental insensitivity that blew in with Katrina.
Because of my concern about the various mental ills post-Katrina–the thought that that would have contributed to the psychic pain people have been enduring in Katrina’s aftermath was especially spirit-shredding.
And to me there’s more, even worse than
that’s been going on there. More like an effort to throw a new roadblock in the way of Louisiana’s recovery and New Orleans’ repopulation.
I won’t speculate on what went into the decision by the City Council members to go ahead with demolishing the public housing because I’m not familiar with them and what agendas they may have per se. But I will say this is all a part of BushCo’s grand plan which involves disaster capitalism as discussed in Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine.
BushCo wants to make sure the ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide that it carried out in Louisiana sticks and keeps her a Red state. So HUD wants to tear down the projects although, if refurbished, they could provide temporary housing for low-wage workers better than FEMA trailers until better housing the poor can afford is built. And BushCo knows that low-wage workers tend to vote Democratic.
Back during the Vietnam War, there was a general whose name I unfortunately don’t recall, who said something like,
We had to destroy the village to save it.
Well, BushCo wants to destroy New Orleans to save her. For BushCo’s cronies who happen to be demolitions and building contractors and all other contractors involved in construction and deconstruction. So they can build housing the poor won’t be able to live in.
And where are the mainstream media on this issue? The good news is that, although his coverage left a lot to be desired because it didn’t go into the complexities of the situation, Brian Williams last Thursday led with the story on the protests. But the bad news is the fact that when usually there’s a story like that, Williams will air a follow-up the next day, he didn’t do so. So last Friday night’s newscast was as if what happened in New Orleans took place in a parallel universe where it had never happened. And that makes me physically ill. It’s as if Williams had been anxious to sweep what happened in New Orleans under the rug and forget about her.
As for the candidates: kudos to both Barack Obama and John Edwards who’ve both come out against the demolitions. But where is Hillary? And lamentably, none of the three main Democrats has New Orleans or Katrina as an above the fold issue–which especially in light of what happened they need to be. Discussing New Orleans as part of an article on poverry, for example, won’t cut it–New Orleans needs to be findable on the front page because not only do bloggers and the rest of the general public see their front pages, so do media people. Media people often have tight deadlines and don’t have time to search for what’s buried below the fold. And when they don’t see New Orleans above the fold they could get the impression that the candidates don’t consider her a major issue.
The saddest thing about the fact that all this is going on is the homeless–still under overpasses or otherwise on the streets–who weren’t home for Christmas. And the fact that come April FEMA trailer parks will be closing–adding to New Orleans’ homeless population which has already doubled. We need to do everything possible to keep this in the forefront because of more people were aware of what was going on in New Orleans they’d be stunned.