Saturday, September 10, 2005

From Inside a FEMA "relief" camp: refugees or detainees?

A report from Oklahoma from members of a local church who try to donate food and clothing. Pics included.

Residents are expected to stay in the isolated camp for 5 months, and no exits allowed
(not even to go to church). Exiting means you will be prohibited reentry.

Families to be split up into same-sex housing; cooking prohibited; clothes turned away. No fresh vegetables or fruit. No milk. Two meals a day.

The visitors narrating the story were told that such amenities would "start riots" because they "just didn't understand the type of people coming in here".

6 Thoughts:

Blogger Doug said...

Well, they obviously are political liabilities that need to be kept away from the media.

Fascism, anyone?

Saturday, September 10, 2005 6:00:00 PM  
Blogger pawlr said...

I think also that what we're seeing here and in Colorado might be an atavistic form of racism based on fear of minorities and urbanites in isolated communities that are 99.9% white. I don't know yet if this particular aspect of the relief effort is because of Federal policy or the ignorant directives of local heads.

Saturday, September 10, 2005 9:45:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

I have it from first hand sources in LA that the whites living in areas inundated by poor black refugees are really pissed-off. Call it racism if you want. The point is that these whites are angry at Bush for failing to keep 'em down on the farm.

Saturday, September 10, 2005 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger Zeppellina said...

That is an incredibly sinister story.
Very alarming overtones there.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 9:19:00 AM  
Blogger GodlessMom said...

I've been seeing this attitude of fear and distrust here in Houston ever since the survivors began to arrive last week. The rumors that are circulating around here are horrible. There is an outside attitude of charity and good will that masks a lot of negative thoughts and emotions. A neighbor of mine was even complaining that the children from Louisiana are going to bring disease into our schools, as if Louisiana doesn't give the same vaccines that Texas gives. I'm really worried about the long term social effects of this fiasco.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well, the problem is that we have yet to actually finish the Civil War in this country. Racism (North and South) is rampant. I've heard many racist statements up here in supposedly "blue" Rhode Island, too. And the scary thing is, those people don't realize that they are making racist statements. It's buried deep.

A friend of mine from West Hartford, CT -- a very Democratic town -- actually accused anyone who mentions race in connection with the disproportionate death and destruction and suffering from this hurricane is "fomenting a race war."

Race war. Of course, this guy has been living in Atlanta for about a decade, so that complicates the picture a bit. But I know first-hand that most white West-Hartford families -- Jewish, Protestant, Catholic -- were at least "passively" racist. First-hand. Include my mother in that. My father hated only Arabs; quite progressive on any other topic. Interesting.

Anyway, we have a huge racial and class-based problem in this supposedly classless society. As John Edwards rightly stated, Katrina ripped the facade off our "society," showing the "Two Americas" we have increasingly tolerated as they have increasingly bifurcated under Republican AND Democratic presidencies that have hacked away at the New Deal and Great Society programs.

Welfare, in this country, is only for huge multinational corporations. That's fine, of course.

God help the power elite if and when the majority of the country, which has been royally screwed by the power elite, actually get together and vote beyond the reach of electoral cheating. The GOP strategy, since 1965, has been to appeal (subtly or not-so-subtly) to racism, homophobia, and a host of other non-issues (flag-burning, prayer in schools, Darwinism, et al) in order to focus the increasing rage at the increasing bifurcation of society at the Other.

Hence, "values" voting -- and campaigning. It's a coverup of the horrifically unfair economic system we have in this country.

I can only hope that Katrina will help forge a new progressive moment (they never last more than a moment in this country, unfortunately) that will usher in some much-needed change.

Unfortunately, we've got two open USSC seats -- the rightwingers ensconced thereupon will affect us all for decades to come.

Sunday, September 11, 2005 11:37:00 AM  

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