From Citizens To Refugees

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No one seems to want to talk about the major catastrophe of those levees.  A few weeks have passed and we continue to talk about the flooding in New Orleans, the chaos, sickness, disease, horror, and devastation that is taking its toll on these survivors.

With all the high-powered equipment in space, tracking storms, reporting how strong and fast they move and predicting its level; I cannot believe, those in power of this great Nation did not know to evacuate New Orleans earlier.  And why should they?  “Katrina,â€? recorded as a level-5 hurricane wasn’t the real threat to the New Orleans area and no one is talking about the reason(s) those levees failed.

Some of the loss of life and property can be blamed on hurricane Katrina, but not all of it.  Most of the devastation was reported hours after the storm had already passed heading northward and then came the flood. What happened to those levees?  Did the levees give way because of its upkeep or lack thereof?  Did some type of large object slam into the levees causing them to give way?  Where are the reports from the private companies who are paid to maintain these levees?  Shouldn’t someone, by now, be telling us the conditions of the levees before and after this storm?  And was there any visible damage or parts of the levees recovered?

In the midst of this horrible circumstance in New Orleans, the mainstream media chooses to focus on what may appear to be criminal acts, or survivors taking advantage of an emergency situation.  When opportunity presents itself, although it may not be right, there will be some people who will act up.  Looting is looting; surviving is surviving, these are two different things.  We would never condone criminal acts, or anyone who criminally trespasses upon women and children.  There is no reason or defense for these types of acts and those who partake or commit such acts should be dealt with very severely – no matter who they are.

However, right now the focus must remain on the aftermath of this hurricane and the devastation of the New Orleans levees.  In 1927, these levees failed causing the land in Mississippi to be submerged under water.  It was reported, President Calvin Coolidge, promised to rebuild after the flood, but ‘left to play golf instead.’

Here 78-years later, “President,â€? George W. Bush, flies over New Orleans flooded crime scene, lands his plane to take photo-ops, then goes to play golf the next day.  Is this stuff starting to make your blood boil?  Did Bush take a page out of Coolidge’s playbook?  That’s not cool.  It’s a shame; and we must continue to connect the dots and follow this oil trail.  A few days after the flood, gasoline prices continues to be on the rise and those in charge of this government seem to be taking us back to the Stone Age.

We must take a hard look at the slow action taken by this government in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.  With the assistance of the mainstream media, this government has made an attempt to change the status of the flood survivors, labeling them as “Refugees.â€?

Words and names have power, and if you were born here in the United States of America (USA), how can your government change your status because of a horrific event?  Thousands of USA Citizens and others were forced to seek shelter in the New Orleans Superdome stadium.  This government failed to protect these people and their property in New Orleans.  Homeland security failed big time.

There were a small amount of refugees who were visiting New Orleans from London, England and were forced to the stadium.  They complained about the living conditions and feared for their safety at the stadium.  The Queen sent her condolences to the New Orleans victims, and quickly sent London diplomats to aid her subjects’ – can’t say the same for this president.

The mainstream media, along with the president, labeled the New Orleans survivors, as refugees.  This should be an affront to the American Peoples and must be dealt with.  Bush now reads from his speeches like he’s buying these folks liberty for $2,000, as he refers to them as “Evacuees,â€? meaning, displaced persons; émigrés; fugitives, none of which depicts these USA survivors. The flooding in New Orleans is not new, but the stealing of one’s civil and political status is.  Did the flood wash away the Constitution?  What happened to the 14th amendment?  In part, “Everyone born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction of the national Government, is both a citizen of the United States and of the state in which he lives.â€?

Do we have any elected officials who would dare stand up to this Bush administration, that has so much blood on its hand – i.e., September 11th, 2001, the war in Iraq, New Orleans-2005?  Where will the next graves from mass destruction be? When will any politicians pull a page out of Huey Long’s book?  Long was elected governor of Louisiana in 1928 after the flood, and he apparently laid the blame where it belonged.  Where are the billionaire philanthropists?  Yes, your money is good and needed, so jump that long line and help these people.

I will do my part.  Let this article stand as a Notice to, ‘President Bush,’ not to take the Citizens land and to cease from referring to these hurricane victims as refugees and evacuees.  Together, we must do what we can for these Peoples and help ease their pain and to bring them back to as normal a life as soon as possible. We must make sure, the natives of New Orleans receive some kind of training to assist in the rebuilding of their land and property, because it’s going to be a long time before she gets back on her feet.

If you have any comments contact Winkfield or for his consideration regarding covering your story.  Write to: On The Spot, Post Office Box 230149, Queens County 11423 or email:  Together we can get the justice everyone just talks about. Readers please send your comments on this article to For more reports please click on “subscribeâ€? or call (212) 481-7745 to order the newsstand edition of The Black Star News the world’s favorite Pan African news weekly.

Jobs For Katrina Victims: The Black Documentary Collective would like to offer our help in finding a job and other assistance to the victims of the Gulf Coast natural disaster and resulting hardship due to the delayed rescue effort. If you are in need of employment, please list what type of job you are seeking and your qualifications for the position you seek. Please include your name and contact information. We would like to make this offer to as many people as possible. If you are able to put another friend or colleague in touch with us, please do so. Our newsletter goes out four times a year, but special e-mail blasts will be made more frequently in order to get the word out to as many as possible around the globe about your circumstance. Our thoughts are with you.  We look forward to hearing from you. The BLACK DOCUMENTARY COLLECTIVE. E-mail:

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