Skip to comments.Katrina victims testify on racism's role
Posted on 12/06/2005 3:25:07 PM PST by quantim
WASHINGTON (AP) Black survivors of Hurricane Katrina said Tuesday that racism contributed to the slow disaster response, at times likening themselves in emotional congressional testimony to victims of genocide and the Holocaust.
The comparison is inappropriate, according to Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla.
"Not a single person was marched into a gas chamber and killed," Miller told the survivors.
"They died from abject neglect," retorted community activist Leah Hodges. "We left body bags behind."
Angry evacuees described being trapped in temporary shelters where one New Orleans resident said she was "one sunrise from being consumed by maggots and flies." Another woman said military troops focused machine gun laser targets on her granddaughter's forehead. Others said their families were called racial epithets by police.
"No one is going to tell me it wasn't a race issue," said New Orleans evacuee Patricia Thompson, 53, who is now living in College Station, Texas. "Yes, it was an issue of race. Because of one thing: when the city had pretty much been evacuated, the people that were left there mostly was black."
Not all lawmakers seemed persuaded.
"I don't want to be offensive when you've gone though such incredible challenges," said Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn. But referring to some of the victims' charges, like the gun pointed at the girl, Shays said: "I just don't frankly believe it."
"You believe what you want," Thompson said.
The hearing was held by a special House committee, chaired by Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., investigating the government's preparations and response to Katrina. It was requested by Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
"Racism is something we don't like to talk about, but we have to acknowledge it," McKinney said. "And the world saw the effects of American-style racism in the drama as it was outplayed by the Katrina survivors."
The five white and two black lawmakers who attended the hearing mostly sat quietly during two and a half hours of testimony. But tempers flared when evacuees were asked by Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., to not compare shelter conditions to a concentration camp.
"I'm going to call it what it is," said Hodges. "That is the only thing I could compare what we went through to."
Of five black evacuees who testified, only one said he believed the sluggish response was the product of bad government planning for poor residents not racism.
Houses severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina are seen in the New Orleans East
neighborhood in New Orleans, Monday, Dec. 5, 2005. The proposal by the
Urban Land Institute to rebuilding New Orleans, smacks of racism to certain local leaders.
The proposal focuses available resources on the least damaged neighborhoods first,
while carefully studying whether it makes sense to repopulate areas that flooded worst.
(AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki) MLive.com
What the hell happened to self-reliance in this country?
Thank Mr. Nagin and Ms. Blank-o, you jerks.
All I remember is all the cars in the ninth ward that were underwater--and wondered why the hell those people didn't get their fat butts in those cars and get out of town.
Maybe this will be the final straw that will break the back of the 'race' card.
REDICULOUS it is!
AND where was the Governor and Mayor of N.O.? I thought every state had a plan....no????? How foolish of me to think that....
Where was Kerry, Kennedy, clinton, boxer, and the rest of the koolaid crowd????? How about the Hollywood crowd....little babs, alex baby, oh yeah thats right, someone brought a boat down and ruined his motor...how foolish of me to forget that....
Oh yes, NOW I remember, IT'S ALL BUSH'S FAULT!!!! How foolish to think that people can manage on their own and survive, nope they have to have the PRESIDENT there to hold their hand...how foolish of me to forget!
Bone head! You had the better part of a weeks warning to get out. You could have easily taken a bus out of town before the storm hit. Thats the problem with expecting cradle to grave government handouts to solve your every problem. GET OVER IT! IT WAS YOUR OWN STUPID FAULT FOR NOT LEAVING!
White people mostly evacuated themselves [by autokinesis] ... many black people waited to be "rescued" by someone else.
New Orleans was almost 70% black ... isn't it natural that a predominantly black city would have predominantly black people left over at most "events"?
Let's move on to something worthwhile ... like rebuilding lives and rebuilding the city. Hurricane Katrina is over.
I have been to Dachau, I find this comparison absolutely appalling. Did any "armed guards" tell them "Arbeit macht Frei? I didn't read of anyone committing suicide because there was no hope of rescue, I didn't see any ovens at the superdome or convention center for throwing people in, or showers hooked up to exhaust systems to gas people. I am sick of hearing about racism after being hit by a category 5 hurricane, after they were ordered to a mandatory evacuation.
These whackjobs hit every leftwing point imaginable. Halliburton, racism, concentration camps, shooting people when they left their homes, blowing up the levees, ethnic cleansing and no telling what else during the hearings.
The welfare scum Of New Orleans were taught from cradle to grave by Democrats not to help themselves.
Katrina 'victim's are their own worse enemy.
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I agree. The reference to the laser on the grandaughter's forehead.........sounds like she was 4 and in pigtails. Bet she was in her 20's and an a..hole.
Yes it was a all time low.
If the prospect of freedom couldn't make these people start walking north over 150 years ago, why would a category 5 hurricane?
Even fish know to walk out of a muddy puddle when their fins are stiff enough!
investigating ...requested by Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Okay. Read enough right there. She's the real racist pig in this pen.
someone brought a boat down and ruined his motor...how foolish of me to forget that....
This guy Penn?
Cynthia McKenny called for this -- so no shock the outcome, bet she hand-picked the people who testified.
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