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Community activists charge racism before Congress, Part 2

Earlier this month, at the request of Rep. Cynthia McKinney, five community activists made some rather disturbing charges before Congress. And, as previously discussed, the MSM ate it up: "Community activists charge racism before Congress, but…"
Now, this article has a bit more on the activists and their charges.

NBC discovers racism in New Orleans. Again!

What with all the talk about more per capita deaths of whites than blacks, NBC seems to have struck back. On tonight's NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams announced - somewhat triumphantly - that racism had been discovered in the housing situation for evacuees. I only caught the last part of the report, and it doesn't appear to be online, but it seemed to only concentrate on one large apartment company. If there was any racism involved it was probably at the local level and very likely does not reflect their overall corporate policy.
Then, Martin Savidge offered a separate report, discussing how an older lady was worried about the local government trying to force her off her property to build casinos. Then, in a disjointed jump, Savidge discussed the building of "New Urbanism" communities, pointing out that they were for those who were rich... and white!

Others say New Urbanism is designed for a limited kind of resident, primarily wealthy and white. Most homes in Seaside sell for more than $1 million.

Yes, Martin, I'm sure those developments have covenants prohibiting non-whites.

Which is exactly what Elaine Parker is afraid of - that plans for the future will make her and her neighborhood a part of the past.

You'd only know it from the video, but Parker is white.
Truly a pathetic pair of reports from NBC.

The Gretna Bridge socialists are back!

You may recall Larry Bradshaw and Lorrie Beth Slonsky as the pair who wrote about their experiences trying to get over the Crescent City Connection from New Orleans into Gretna ("Building communism under the overpass"). Bradshaw will apparently be featured on December 18th's 60 Minutes talking about the incident.
From Drudge:

...Larry Bradshaw, who is white, says he thinks the explanation the officers gave for turning them back seemed racist. "The only two explanations we ever received was, one, 'We're not going to have any Superdomes over here,' and 'This is not New Orleans,'' he remembers. Shauron Holloman, a black man who was also on the bridge, agrees. "A group of people trying to leave a city that's predominantly African American and you have the officers, who were white -- that's the way it appears,' Holloman says. "[We were stopped] I think because the group was 95 percent African American."
Holloman says that when the crowd sat down and attempted to stay on the bridge, an officer became aggressive. "He sped down in his cruiser and over the loudspeaker he just continuously said, 'Get the f--- off the bridge,' and would point his gun at some people," he tells Bradley.
"We're not a predominantly white, racist community that some people may assume," says Ronnie Harris, the mayor of Gretna, whose residents are 35 percent African American. Harris says Gretna had already helped to evacuate thousands of people fleeing New Orleans but at that moment could not accept more for lack of food, water and buses. "The city of Gretna was completely on its own. Our entire services were disrupted -- no city services, no electricity. We had no shelter. We had no medical services. We were hit by a category four hurricane. What were people expecting us to do?" says Harris.
Harris does say that another reason for sealing off his town was to protect his citizens from looting and chaos reported in New Orleans that some in the large crowd, which included women and children, could have taken part in. He says the shotgun blasts were warranted. "When law enforcement is present, order is expected. Without it, terror and mayhem can ensue," he tells Bradley. "The crowd was desperate.... had gone through some unbelievable sights and sounds.... They were looking for safety and security - something that I could not provide. It was as simple as that," says Harris.
The Louisiana attorney general is investigating whether civil rights were violated or if any laws were broken. Oliver Thomas, the president of the New Orleans city council, thinks Gretna could have handled the situation better. "Your politics cannot be bigger than your humanity, and in this case, we didn't need politics. We needed humanity."

Obviously, there are different sides to this story, and one wonders whether the apparent agenda of Bradshaw will be discussed at all.
Previously: "March demands accountability of Gretna police action" (the bridge is back!), Ray Nagin: "We" told people the Crescent City Connection was open, Ray Nagin meets with Louis Farrakhan, discusses conspiracy theories, LAT on the Gretna bridge incident, and Conyers supporting socialists' Gretna bridge tale

Community activists charge racism before Congress, but...

Five black New Orleans evacuees testified before Congress, and four of them said the underlying reason why the rescue wasn't as good as would have been expected was racism. Their testimony has received minutes on the nightly news shows, which took their testimony at face value.
However, note that one, a former federal worker, didn't blame racism. And, consider this:

...Leah Hodges, a community activist, recalled trying to help a group of stranded senior citizens. The military took them to an evacuation point on a highway where they spent the night, awakening to a "bunch of hard red necks scowling and growling at us in military uniforms ... pointing guns at us and treating us worse than prisoners of war," she said.

Now, not all community activists are bad, but then again most people who adopt that moniker tend to be a bit left and some of them hold rather unconventional opinions. And, when complaining about racism and expecting to be taken seriously, one might want to avoid using racial slurs.

Hodges described waiting in the burning sun in conditions she likened to a concentration camp. Rep. Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican, asked her to stop making that comparison.
"I'm going to call it what it is. If I put a dress on a pig, a pig is still a pig," she responded heatedly.
Miller countered, "Not a single person was marched into a gas chamber and killed."

And, another one of those who testified, Dyan French ("Mama D"), claims the levees were dynamited.

Blanco sued over budget cuts; now stands accused of race baiting

But, isn't accusing her of race-baiting in itself race-baiting? I seem to have misplaced my PC guide:

Gov. Kathleen Blanco engaged in the "the lowest form of racial baiting" when she suggested last week that a lawsuit filed against her by the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus was a ploy to protect controversial programs in the state budget, the chairman of the caucus charged in a letter to the governor Friday.
"As legislators, and as citizens of this state, we deserve better," Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, wrote to Blanco. "We deserve more thoughtful commentary from our top officials. We deserve straight answers to straight questions, and above all we deserve due respect to do our jobs."
Richmond's letter escalates a feud that began before the current special legislative session. Several black lawmakers have accused Blanco of ignoring their suggestions for subjects to be debated in the session, and of cutting too deeply into programs for the poor in trying to close a $959 million budget gap.
Their anger culminated in a lawsuit, filed Wednesday by state Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge, on behalf of the caucus. It charges that Blanco exceeded her constitutional authority with a Nov. 5 executive order that sliced $431 million in state spending.
A hearing on the suit has been set for Nov. 18 in the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge.
When asked about the lawsuit Thursday, Blanco attributed it to anger over her decision to freeze about $6 million in spending by the Governor's Office of Urban Affairs and Development.
"If I would boil it down to a rational reason, I think that's probably the cause of the problem," Blanco said. Often described by critics as a "slush fund," the program doles out cash for projects and nonprofit groups in the districts of black lawmakers...

Far left: Public housing being racially cleansed, etc.

Jay Arena, "PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Tulane University", offers a long screed entitled The War At Home: New Orleans, Public Housing, and the "Chilean Option" (also here).
Your call to action, should you accept it, is to:

Join the Working Class Fightback!: New Orleans Convergence, MLK Day 2006

In the meantime, enjoy this snippet:

The racist, anti-working class agenda being pursed by the ruling class is not going unchallenged. Local social justice activists, some of whom have the spent decades on the front lines in New Orleans fighting for economic justice and social equality are currently involved in ongoing struggles in the Greater New Orleans area to stop unfair evictions, reopen public housing, schools, and secure alternative housing for storm victims. They recognize that it will take a national movement to stop the post-Katrina offensive against affordable housing, public healthcare, public education and police repression now besieging the community. Yet, they also realize that this struggle must incorporate the people of New Orleans here and currently in exile.

While there's no doubt a grain of truth in some of what he writes, and more than a grain in a few points he raises, overall I don't believe the way to handle things is that socialism thing. It's been tried, comrade.

"March demands accountability of Gretna police action" (the bridge is back!)

Just when you'd forgotten all about the Gretna Crescent City Connection incident, it comes roaring back in this:

A March to Gretna in protest of the actions of the Gretna police in the aftermath of Katrina and in support of displaced African-Americans from New Orleans, who continue to be denied access to participation and opportunity in the reconstruction process is planned for Monday, November 7...
In the aftermath of Katrina, New Orleans authorities directed people to evacuate the city by crossing the Crescent City Connection Bridge which spans the Mississippi River linking New Orleans to the west bank city of Gretna. It's alleged that if you were black or in the company of blacks, armed Gretna police with guard dogs blocked you from evacuating New Orleans. Reportedly, under orders from Gretna Police Chief Arthur S. Lawson, the bridge was sealed off and evacuees denied safe passage when Gretna police officers fired shots in the direction of the crowds.
The March to Gretna, organized by the Hip Hop Caucus and UP (United Progressives) for Democracy, will commence with a rally at the New Orleans Convention Center. It is expected to attract Howard Dean, Chairman, Democratic National Committee; Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and Congressman John Conyers...
...The Hip Hop Caucus is also calling for a federal investigation of the events by the Justice Department...

Who stands in solidarity with those mentioned above?

The MARCH TO GRETNA is endorsed by Black Leadership Forum, Center for Social Justice, Cities for Progress/Institute for Policy Studies, Clergy & Laity Concerned About Iraq, Code Pink,, Common Ground, Community Labor United, Ella Baker Center for Civil Rights, Global Crisis Coalition, Global Exchange, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Healthcare NOW!, Hip Hop Caucus, Independent Progressive Politics Network, League of Pissed Off Voters, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, National Coalition for Black Civic Participation, National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, New Orleans Network, National Organization for Women, No Fear Coalition, People's Alliance for Community Empowerment, People's Hurricane Relief & Reconstruction Oversight Committee People's Institute for Survival & Beyond, Progressive Democrats of America, Project South, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, National Progressive Youth & Student Organization, Quality Education as a Human Right, Rebuild Green, Rebuilding Louisiana Coalition (NOLA), Rebuild Hope NOW, Saving Our Neighborhoods, Southwest Workers Union, TransAfrica Forum, United for Peace & Justice, United Houma Nation of Louisiana, Urban Heart, World Can't Wait.

Oh gawd.

Jackson, Sharpton, AFLCIO complain about "low-wage workers" at rally

From Governor faults White House over rebuilding:

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, flanked by veteran Democratic activists and a union leader, criticized the Bush administration on Saturday for allowing hurricane rebuilding contracts to go to out-of-state firms and low-wage workers.
Speaking to a rally of about 1,000 union members and activists from the steps of the state Capitol, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton also charged the White House with using the crisis to remake the state's political map by discouraging the return of displaced blacks...

I don't know if anyone there said it, but those "low-wage workers" are, in fact, mostly illegal aliens. The article goes on to quote some race-baiting from Jackson, and I'm sure that from Sharpton was even worse. Perhaps they should concentrate on rebuilding jobs for Americans instead of their usual BS. I'm sure they'd get much more support from the rest of the country if they just concentrated on that.

GOP's Ken Mehlman defends outreach to blacks; Howard Dean baits

From this:

The national Republican Party chairman on Tuesday defended the GOP's outreach to black voters, days after his Democratic counterpart questioned how he could make such an appeal in view of the Bush administration's tepid response to Hurricane Katrina.
Ken Mehlman told the Waterbury chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People that the "party of Lincoln and the African-American people have an incredible history together."
He dismissed criticism from Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who questioned how Mehlman could appear before the group after the administration's much-criticized response to the hurricane's devastation.
Hard hit were predominantly poor and black neighborhoods in New Orleans, and thousands of blacks were left stranded at the city's convention center and Superdome for days without basic necessities.
"I'm shocked that he would have the nerve to show his face in front of any African-American organization after the way they treated those people in New Orleans," Dean said Sunday during a Democratic rally and fund-raiser in New Haven...

Yes, we see how wonderous living under Democratic rule was for them.
Oddly enough, I don't see Mehlman having pointed that out. Of course, pointing something like that out is not the "compassionate conservative" way of doing things.

"Symposium: Katrina, Race and Silence

FPM has invited several worthies to discuss this (biased) compendium of stories about looting. The bearded shrimp in the punchbowl is far-leftie Marc Cooper.


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