Saturday, September 10, 2005

katrina left an open wound

What We Did on Our Vacation via the ergosphere
In short order, the police commander came across the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the city. The crowed cheered and began to move. We called everyone back and explained to the commander that there had been lots of misinformation and wrong information and was he sure that there were buses waiting for us. The commander turned to the crowd and stated emphatically, “I swear to you that the buses are there.

We organized ourselves and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope. As we marched pasted the convention center, many locals saw our determined and optimistic group and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings and quickly our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and others people in wheelchairs. We marched the 2-3 miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the Bridge. It now began to pour down rain, but it did not dampen our enthusiasm.

As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander’s assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move.

We questioned why we couldn’t cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the six-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their city. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans.

I am eagerly awaiting the mainstream media -- supposedly newly entoothed with fierce prosecutorial vigor -- to pick this story up.

The story won’t be picked up of course. This will end up in a slick in a few months, and referred to obliquely by pundits, with standard dissembling from the non-reality based community.

Katrina has left an oozing sore on North America on many levels. The scabby crust of see-no-evil racial politics in America has been ripped. The energy structure that feeds the beast, smashed apart.

Will this event enforce a moral awakening in the United States? No, the poor will get $2000 dollar debit cards, and a flood of donated goods, but their social class will not change.

Heavily armed Blackwater mercenaries on 6 month rotations will patrol poorblack infested regions, earning $350 dollars a day for the privilege of keeping the criminal element in line with social expectations.

Meanwhile poor children in America still won’t get enough nutrition to focus in school. That is a privilege of the middle class in America.

Freedom isn't free.


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