Letting NOLA, Gulf Region Down

One thing all the presidential candidates, Democrat or Republican, have in common is the following: None who spoke after the New Hampshire primary brought up New Orleans or Katrina. Huffpo’s Harry Shearer had an excellent piece on this yesterday.

This is unconscionable. And, while we might expect this sort of crap from the GOP candidates, all of whom, as long as Bush is President, would (publicly, at least) be in support of his neglect of New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Region, we should not stand for it from the Democrats.

As Shearer put it, about Obama, McCain, and the rest who spoke Tuesday night,

they were totally, utterly, stunningly (to this observer) dedicated to ignoring the greatest disaster to befall an American city in modern times.

But most shattering to the hopes of anyone who might think that Obama and the rest of the Democrats would listen to their consciences and stand up for their party’s principle of looking for the “little guy” and speak out about on New Orleans and Katrina is Shearer’s conclusion to his piece:

Obama’s speech ended with a ringing evocation of three words he claimed were emblematic in the life of the nation: “Yes, We Can”; and the crowd joined in chanting those words in response. But, in their turning away from a “man-made engineering disaster” (in the words of UC Berkeley’s Dr. Bob Bea), in their turning away from a city that was betrayed by its country twice–in the faulty construction of a “protective system” and in the refusal to follow the letter of the nation’s own National Response Plan when that system failed–the candidates, Obama included, are paying silent tribute to the three words that more accurately describe America’s contemporary approach to problems: We Moved On.

Obviously the Democrats think they can afford to let Louisiana and Mississippi down because not only are they “Red” states (in spite of the fact that Louisiana is not legitimately “Red”, but has become so through BushCo’s ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide) but they’re small, poor states which have only a handful of electoral votes and campaign contributors between the,. So the Democrats have already written Louisiana and Mississippi off and couldn’t care less if New Orleans vanished from the face of the earth.

You can bet that had some Katrina-sized disaster instead hit a populous “Blue” powerhouse full of potential Democratic contributors such as California or New York, the Democrats would be treating her differently and bringing up her disaster every time they open their mouths. We need to demand no different for Louisiana and Mississippi. Because the people of those states have a right to have New Orleans and Katrina treated as a major campaign issue.

It’s time for all of us–and that includes Docudharma itself–to keep New Orleans and Katrina in the forefront and take a serious stand on making them a campaign issue, which is discussed in debates and comes up in interviews and news coverage of the candidates. Docudharma would make a good start by front-paging this issue. Because true progressives support New Orleans and her recovery.

If we want real change, we need to change the callous

We Moved On

mindset to

Never Forget, Never Again.

We need to shout loud and long for a presidential debate hosted in New Orleans, that’s all about New Orleans and Katrina.

Those of us who have contact with presidential campaigns need to demand that their candidates start focusing on New Orleans and Katrina and bringing them up every time they speak. We need to demand, if a New Orleans debate is not possible, that our candidates mention New Orleans frequently of their own volition in the debates that are held in order to get where they stand on New Orleans and Katrina into the news.

Because every time the Democrats remain silent on New Orleans, they are acquiescing to a BushCo and its compliant corporate-owned media which have their own vision of the future–which New Orleans is not a part of. By means of their silence, they are ensuring that the horrendous fate  pre-ordained for New Orleans and Louisiana by BushCo comes into being. By speaking out on and standing up for New Orleans they will show that they are fighting against it.

And that’s not all–all serious Democratic candidates need to put New Orleans and Katrina above the fold on their websites and make their rebuilding plans for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast centerpieces of their campaigns. I’ve already written on how Obama needs to do this–sometime soon I’ll be writing a similar diary on Hillary Clinton.

And we need to make it clear that New Orleans’ problems are not just

“Black” problems

(as was said in this comment under What Obama Must Do Now)

If you’d like

him labeled, the “black man’s President” which would lose him the election, just ask him to take on New Orleans – front and center. The country sees the problems here as “Black” problems and of little concern to them.  Of course, we who live here know that’s not true. John Edwards can take on New Orleans because he’s white, plain and simple and bless him for it.

Obama knows he can’t win unless he is perceived as President for all the people.  And I believe he will be.

If Hillary made Planned Parenthood a front and center issue do you think she would have done as well?  Already there are stupid signs at her rallys that say, “Iron My Shirt”.

by nolalily

We need to demand media coverage of New Orleans that’s accurate and doesn’t make her problems appear to the rest of the country to be

“Black” problems.

Because people of all races, cultures and classes are struggling to recover in New Orleans.

And if the above don’t work because nobody listens, we cannot afford to remain nice and polite about this, because obviously these tactics are not working. We need to make it clear that Democratic silence on New Orleans, Katrina, and BushCo’s abuse and neglect is the moral equivalent of Holocaust denial.

Maybe New Orleanians and New Orleans’ supporters all over the country should show up wherever and whenever these Democrats speak, demonstrate outside, and inside shout “What about New Orleans?” Maybe that would get the attention of the candidates and of the media. Because if the Democrats don’t have the moral strength to make an issue of New Orleans and get her into the news, somebody has to.

We need to do all of the above because we need a new, Democratic President and Administration who won’t keep New Orleans on the back burner and abuse and neglect her and Louisiana as BushCo has.  

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2 comments

  1. simply because the majority of them did not earn the right to talk about New Orleans.  There is only one candidate, that I know of, who actually went there and helped out with his hands and got to know the people and what their issues are.

    Oh and I made a widget for the relief in Mississippi.  If you can suggest a good fundraising organization for New Orleans I can make a similar one.

  2. people of all races, cultures and classes are struggling to recover in New Orleans.

    As nearly as this distant observer can tell, the very wealthiest, as well as some fortunate others, were high and dry during the debacle.

    If I am wrong, then I am wrong and regret it.

    I do think very sadly you have put your finger on a partial explanation as to why Obama has shown little interest in restoring New Orleans but there is more involved.

    In some ways New Orleans seems like a foreign country to most Americans in my view in much the same way Hawaii does.  A history of colorful corruption is not helpful when seeking aid.  I don’t know that it’s any different than Chicago, say, but the Daleys are hardly as colorful as the legendary sort in New Orleans.

    In any case it’s a terrible disgrace.

    I put it on somewhat the same scale as the enormous damage wrought by coal mining in West Virginia over a far lengthier period but with even less concern.  Notice that the residents of West Virginia are not considered black despite all that coal dust. 🙂

    I fear the result will be little different.

    Were it not so.

    Best,  Terry

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