Katrina a Man-made Disaster: Before, During, and After
(See Laura Flanders GRITv , Democracy Now!, and Brother Lefty Videos below)
|Hurricane Katrina Takes Aim on the Gulf Coast|
Sometimes I still come to tears as I attempt to sing "Washed Away." The song wrote me ten years ago as I was apartment sitting for a friend in Queens, NY. Choked with pain and anger, appalled at what was I was seeing on TV and the web, it was, and still is, difficult to accept that what transpired in New Orleans could happen in the wealthiest nation on earth.
Made in the U.S.A.
Although Hurricane Katrina, the ferocious vortex that was born over the Atlantic Ocean during the sultry days of late August that year was a "natural" phenomenon, what happened a decade ago was not. It was, from beginning to end, a man-made disaster, a glaring example of the continued institutional racism of the neo-liberal era.
|In line for evacuation buses at the Superdome|
Officials at FEMA knew that the 100 year old system of levees and flood control protecting the half a million residents of the City, nearly 70% of whom were Black, couldn't withstand the force of a hurricane of that magnitude. They had reported repeatedly that there was no adequate system in place to evacuate the people at risk.
Then, the buck was passed -- or the bucks, rather. In a glaring example of Crony Capitalism at it's worst, FEMA privatized New Orlean's Disaster Planning in 2004!
This is all a matter of public record. It's there in black and white.
Those in charge knew. Many of the career government service professionals were on record, trying to address the problem.
In fact, just three months before Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Agency responsible for flood control, had issued another warning to the Bush Administration which had not yet acted to implement a flood control plan involving extensive construction they had proposed years earlier.