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.
Someone in congress missed the mini teleprompt that said "Paid for by L Farrah Kahn and J Jackson."
My understanding is that it is not just movie props. Some do, some don't. Which ones...I don't know.
Translated all this means is, appropriate apologies will consist of getting your check books out caucasians. It will never be enough, but you get to apologize anyway. We're used to you doing it.
Interesting, ain't it, that the MSM can't seem to report on that part...
I was watching the "Starting Over" show yesterday, where women review and remake their lives, with coaches. Fascinating show, BTW. One of the 'life coaches' was in Houston with Katrina 'victims' and gently but firmly let them hold it (the responsibility) about evacuating. She asked them why they didn't leave. Various reasons were given, honest ones. The coach said that this was a very valuable lesson - to never base a decision 'in hand' on what you've done or not done in the past, or what might or might not happen in the future. Act in your best interest in the now. This coach should testify. The sound bites of the testimonies I've seen on the news this morning are obscene portrayals of not 'owning' any damn thing.
I wonder who chose these folks to testify.
"-The screw ups were caused by the dumb ass, incompentent, democrat politicians of Louiseana, from the US Senate to the Governor, to the Mayor."
Lest you forget the aspect of personal responsibility...let's include the dumb ass, incompetent, democrat residents, who, with a freight train barrelling down upon the neighborhood...sat on the porch and waited for a cab.
I meant that your first instance was of childre that were evacuated to shelters, the children I am talking about were listed as missing and last seen or heard from before the hurricane hit, or separated from caretakers during the hurricane.
Here is an example of what I am talking about, and I am sorry to believe that they did not survive. I hope the link works.
BTW, my only point with the children victims is that they were not given the chance to leave because they were with people who either didn't understand what a cat 5 meant, they felt they were helpless because Big Brother didn't come and get them or they didn't believe the reports thinking the hurricane would turn at the last minute. That is what I feel bad about.
Cuz someone stole his rent car?
LOL! Good point and well said, freema.
I saw a sound bite of one of woman's testimony something to the effect, near tears and with much dramatics and loudness of voice, this morning that they're sitting around a fireplace (the only thing left of their house) trying to keep warm in DECEMBER and that the hurricane happened in AUGUST!!!!
Guess the dumb ass still hasn't learned anything.
I really wouldn't give her a stick.
If someone doesn't have enough sense to get in out of the cold. We can't always have our cake and eat it too. Perhaps she should have traded in whatever the plane fare was that was given to get her to DC and asked for a ticket to Florida.
But freema, wouldn't it be a little cruel of us to tell these folks there is no Santa Claus, so close to Christmas?
I don't know who chose these refugees to testify but if they thought they would extort more money out of donors they thought wrong. Their plan has backfired.
It was disgusting, the little bit I saw.
I believe Cynthia McKinney, the nutcase Congress woman from Georgia requested the hearing. Her agenda is certainly not to help N.O. or Louisiana. Her agenda is to push her claims of racism behind everything. So, I don't think she has any interest at all in helping with the recovery. We don't want her help.
I usually can't stand to watch Shays because of his track record, but watched a few minutes of the hearings on C-SPAN, which was all I could take. A middle-aged black woman with a cloth wrapped around her head was claiming to be an eyewitness to the supposed bombing of the levee. Shays tried to find out how close she was to the place where the levee broke at the time, and she kept giving him a run-around (useless information to anyone not a resident of her block).
... were unfit to have custody, care and control of those children. Perhaps, in the future, Social Services should screen custodians more carefully. And, remove children from the care of many of them. It would not make any difference ... as quickly as they were removed, they would be replaced by yet more children by the same mothers.
How easy do you think it would be for Social Services to go into those neighborhoods and remove those children from their custodians? There would be a firestorm of unprecedented proportion, by the Left, if that were done for the good of those children.
My grandmother always told me that some problems are insoluble and that I should concentrate my efforts on things where some good could be done.