the poorest 20% of
- To: email@example.com, ACTNOW2003@yahoogroups.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: the poorest 20% of
- From: Newdem@aol.com
- Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 17:23:08 EDT
This is the horrifying reality of a society built on inequality.
Editor, New Democracy
20 Moraine Street
Boston, MA 02130
In a message dated 8/31/05 1:11:22 PM, email@example.com writes:
> [see addendum at end -- Tom Condit]
> The horrors that are happening to New Orleans now could have been avoided.
> Alternatively, they are what would happen in Cuba every hurricane season
> the government didn't put people's lives as the top priority, and plan for
> their welfare, evacuation, refuge, food, clean-up, rebuilding, etc.
> From Nelson Valdes' listserv. TR
> below is an e-mail by a rescue worker that was forwarded to me. i'm leery
> of forwarding unattributed material because wild tales spread via internet,
> but this comes from a good source. NV
> i have refrained from any political commentary thus far, but i will say
> this, re the penultimate paragraph:
> the poorest 20% (you can argue with the number -- 10%? 18%? no one knows)
> of the city was left behind to drown. period. and this was the plan.
> forget the sanctimonious bullshit about the bullheaded people who wouldn't
> leave. the evacuation plan was strictly laissez-faire. it depended on
> privately owned vehicles, and on having ready cash to fund an evacuation.
> the planners knew full well that the poor, who in new orleans are
> overwhelmingly black, wouldn't be able to get out. the resources --
> meaning, the political will -- weren't there to get them out.
> white per capita income in orleans parish, 2000 census: $31,971
> black per capita: $11,332
> median *household* income in B.W. Cooper (Calliope) Housing Projects, 2000:
> and now here's the rescue worker, whose name i don't know:
> * * *
> There are dead animals floating in the water, pets left behind. Surely
> people thought they would be back to collect the pets. Not so. The
> smell like gas when they come back in; there's gas in all of the water that
> consumes the area. Fires are burning all over the place. Our teams are
> tired and they are thirsty and they are hungry. And they have a place to
> sleep and water to drink and food to eat. I can only imagine how the people
> without these "luxuries" are feeling right now.
> Each night will be a race against time. When night falls, people can't get
> picked up from roofs, the rescuers can't chop into people's roofs to check
> the attics for anyone alive or for anyone dead (sadly, there are dead). At
> night we can't see power lines we can't see obstacles, we can't see any of
> the things that will bring down a helicopter or pose a danger to boats
> One of the teams came in today after having been out for hours at a time.
> One particular rescuer went straight to a corner and collapsed into tears.
> I went directly to him and just held his hand. What else could I do? I
> nothing. He said it all. They lowered him 26 times and he pulled 26 people
> to safety. He wants to be back out there but there are mandatory rest
> periods. His tears are tears of frustration.
> Entire teams are working on nothing but evacuating the hospitals. All four
> of the major hospitals are beginning to flood. Critical patients have to
> get out or surely they will be lost. Generators cannot run forever; that's
> just the way it is. There are limited facilities to take those that are
> rescued and those that need to be evacuated. Anything that leaves by air
> leaves by helicopter. There are no runways for planes that aren't under
> water. Only one drivable way in and out.
> Water everywhere and more keeps coming. Until they can do something about
> the three levees that are broken, more water will come and more water will
> kill. The water poses major health threats. Anyone with even a small open
> cut is prone to infection. Anyone who touches this water and touches his
> eyes, nose or mouth without find a way to "clean" himself first will be
> sick with stomach problems before long. It's bad and it's getting worse.
> It's not going to be anything better than devastating for days or weeks at
> I wish I could tell you that I'll check in again soon. I can't. I don't
> know when my next message will get out. We'll be leaving where we are
> within just an hour or so.
> [Addendum: Ben Roberts has forwarded two AP photos with captions which tell
> it all. One is of a white couple who have "found" food in a store. One is
> of a black man who has "looted" a store.]
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