Thursday, October 2, 2008

Re-Up (When The Lights Go Out And Reality Comes Rushing In...)













TYLER, Texas - As Hurricane Ike blew through Texas, a different kind of storm was brewing inside an old Wal-Mart hastily converted into a shelter for evacuees.

The building, vacant for two years, quickly became a cauldron of tension, with 1,600 people crammed into a structure with a leaky roof, few indoor bathrooms and almost no privacy. Fights soon broke out, and one ended after police allegedly used pepper spray on dozens of evacuees and a Taser on a 15-year-old boy.

Many claimed that the building was unsanitary and that fear of crime and violence was constant.

When a fight between two women in a smoking area attracted numerous onlookers on the second night, police swarmed. Four people, including two juveniles, were arrested on charges that included disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.

"People refused to move out of the way and wouldn't stop fighting," Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle said. The Taser was used after a couple of people threatened an officer with a chair, he said.

But some evacuees tell a different story, saying police were overly aggressive and used racial slurs.

-source


In Nakuru, furious mobs rule the streets, burning homes, brutalizing people and expelling anyone not in their ethnic group, all with complete impunity.

On Saturday, hundreds of men prowled a section of the city with six-foot iron bars, poisoned swords, clubs, knives and crude circumcision tools. Boys carried gladiator-style shields and women strutted around with sharpened sticks.

In the past 10 days, dozens of people have been killed in Molo, Narok, Kipkelion, Kuresoi, and now Nakuru, a tourist gateway which until a few days ago was considered safe.

That is the reality across much of Kenya…..

-nytimes


From Wikipedia,

"A formerly prosperous French colony, the island nation bears several historical feats: Haiti became the first independent black-led republic and the only nation ever to form from a successful slave rebellion. Haiti is also the second oldest non-native country in the Americas, after the United States, as well as the first (and therefore the oldest) nation in Latin America to declare its independence, on January 1, 1804."

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - It was lunchtime in one of Haiti's worst slums, and Charlene Dumas was eating mud. With food prices rising, Haiti's poorest can't afford even a daily plate of rice, and some take desperate measures to fill their bellies. Charlene, 16 with a 1-month-old son, has come to rely on a traditional Haitian remedy for hunger pangs: cookies made of dried yellow dirt from the country's central plateau.

The mud has long been prized by pregnant women and children here as an antacid and source of calcium. But in places like Cite Soleil, the oceanside slum where Charlene shares a two-room house with her baby, five siblings and two unemployed parents, cookies made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening have become a regular meal.

-source


This has nothing to do with poverty though,

Most people who eat dirt live in Central Africa and the Southern United States. While it is a cultural practice, it also fills a physiological need for nutrients.

In Africa, pregnant and lactating women are able to satisfy the very different nutritional needs of their bodies by eating clay.

The tradition of geophagy spread from Africa to the United States with slavery.

A 1942 survey in Mississippi showed that...

at least 25 percent of the schoolchildren habitually ate earth. Adults, although not systematically surveyed, also consumed earth. A number of reasons were given: earth is good for you; it helps pregnant women; it tastes good; it is sour like a lemon; it tastes better if smoked in the chimney; and so on.*

Unfortunately, many African-Americans who practice geophagy (or quasi-geophagy) are eating unhealthy material such as laundry starch, ashes, chalk and lead-paint chips because of psychological need. These materials have no nutritional benefits and can lead to intestinal problems and disease. The eating of inappropriate objects and material is known as "pica."

-source

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which blasted the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, the entire world has seen images that leave no doubt that what is repeatedly called the sole remaining superpower can be reduced to squalor and chaos nearly as gruesome as anything found in the Third World. The weather—a Category 4 hurricane—certainly had something to do with it, but the most serious damage was done not by nature but by man.
New Orleans is 67 percent black, and about half the blacks are poor. Of the city’s 480,000 people, all but an estimated 80 to 100 thousand left before the hurricane struck. This meant that aside from patients in hospitals and eccentrics in the French Quarter, most of the people who stayed behind were not just blacks, but lower-class blacks without the means or foresight to leave.
People came because their houses were under water, but also because New Orleans very quickly collapsed in banditry. Looting began even while the storm was still blowing. At first there was sympathetic clucking about the need for food and medicine, but news clips of blacks wading happily through waist-deep water with television sets over their heads dispelled that view.
New Orleans has had only black mayors since 1978, and has spent decades making the police force as black as possible. It established a city-residency requirement for officers to keep suburban whites from applying for jobs, and lowered recruitment standards so blacks could pass them. Katrina blew away any pretence that the force was competent.
Violence of all kinds quickly spread through the paralyzed city, where robbery, rape and even murder became routine. There were still thousands of people trapped on rooftops and in attics, but on Sept. 1, Mayor Ray Nagin called the entire police force off of rescue work and ordered it to secure the city. The response form the force? An estimated 200 officers just walked off the job. “They indicated that they had lost everything and didn’t feel that it was worth them going back to take fire from looters and losing their lives,” explained Henry Whitehorn, chief of the Louisiana State Police. Many disappeared without a word. Sheriff Harry Lee of Jefferson Parish in New Orleans also said his men were deserting. “They want to be with their families,” he said. “Well, I want to be with my family too, but you don’t quit in the middle of a crisis.”
(On September 5, exactly a week after the hurricane, Mayor Ray Nagin offered to pay for the entire police force, firefighters, and city emergency workers to go on five-day vacations—with their families—to Las Vegas or some other destination.
New Orleans has a high crime rate at the best of times—it is usually in top contention for the American city with the highest murder rate—and looted and stolen firearms spilled into the street. Some blacks fired on any symbol of authority, blazing away at rescue helicopters and Coast Guard vessels. Several days after the hurricane, with desperate people still waving for help from rooftops, FEMA said conditions were too dangerous to attempt rescues.
Many soldiers came under gunfire from civilians. “I never thought that as a National Guardsman I would be shot at by other Americans,” said Philip Baccus of the 527th Engineer Battalion. “And I never thought I’d have to carry a rifle when on a hurricane relief mission. This is a disgrace.”

A group of about 30 British students were among the very small number of whites in the stadium, where they spent four harrowing days. Jamie Trout, 22, an economics major, wrote that the scene “was like something out of Lord of the Flies,” with “people shouting racial abuse about us being white.” One night, word came that the power was failing, and that there was only ten minutes’ worth of gas for the generators. Zoe Smith, 21, from Hull, said they all feared for their lives: “All us girls sat in the middle while the boys sat on the outside, with chairs as protection,” she said. “We were absolutely terrified, the situation had descended into chaos, people were very hostile and the living conditions were horrendous.” She said that even during the day, “when we offered to help with the cleaning, the locals gave us abuse.”

Mr. Trout said the National Guard finally recognized how dangerous the threat was from blacks, and moved the British under guard to the basketball area, which was safer. “The army warned us to keep our bags close to us and to grip them tight,” he said, as they were escorted out. Twenty-year-old Jane Wheeldon credited one man in particular, Sgt. Garland Ogden, with getting the Britons safely out. “He went against a lot of rules to get us moved,” she said.

Australian tourists stuck in the Superdome had the same experience. Bud Hopes, a 32-year-old man from Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, took control and may have saved many lives. As the stadium reverted to anarchy he realized whites were in danger, and gathered tourists together for safety. “There were 65 of us altogether so we were able to look after each other, especially the girls who were being grabbed and threatened,” said Mr. Hopes. They organized escorts for women who had to go to the toilet or for food, and set up a roster of men to stand guard while others slept. “We sat through the night just watching each other, not knowing if we would be alive in the morning,” Mr. Hopes said.
John McNeil of Coorparoo in Brisbane tells what happened to their group, too, heard the lights were about to go out: “I looked at Bud [Hopes] and said, ‘That will be the end of us.’ The gangs had already eyed us off. If the lights had gone out we would have been in deep trouble. We were sitting there praying for a miracle and the lights stayed on.” Mr. Hopes said the Australians owed their lives to a National Guardsman who broke the rules and got whites out to a medical center past seething crowds of blacks.
Peter McNeil of Brisbane told the Australian AP that his son John was one of the 65 who managed to get out. The blacks were reportedly so hostile “they would stab you as soon as look at you.” “He’s never been so scared in his life,” explained Mr. McNeil. “He just said they had to get out of the dark. Otherwise, another night, he said, they would have been gone.” No American newspaper wrote about what these white tourists had gone through.
Armed gangs took control, and occasional gunshots caused panic. There was no power, and at night the center was plunged into complete darkness. Degeneracy struck almost immediately, with rapes, robbery, and murder. Terrible shrieking tore through the night, but no one could see or dared to move. When Police Chief Eddie Compass heard what was happening, he sent a squad of 88 officers to investigate. They were overwhelmed by superior forces and retreated, leaving thousands to the mercy of criminals.
The world reacted with astonishment to sights it never expected to see in the United States. “Anarchy in the USA,” read the headline in Britain’s best-selling newspaper, The Sun. “Apocalypse Now,” said Handelsblatt in Germany. Mario de Carvalho, a veteran Portuguese cameraman, who has covered the world’s trouble spots, said he saw the bodies of babies and old people along the highways leading out of New Orleans. “It’s a chaotic situation. It’s terrible. It’s a situation we generally see in other countries, in the Third World,” he said.
In the United States, the stark contrast between endless scenes of appalling behavior by blacks and rescue personnel who were almost all white was greeted with the standard foolishness.
Most blacks and many whites fell into the usual assumptions about omnipotent white government and helpless Negroes. If black people were suffering it was because whites had not done enough for them. It did not occur to them that it was the responsibility of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana—not the federal government—to prepare for hurricanes. Before the storm hit, Mayor Nagin issued a mandatory evacuation only under pressure from the Bush administration. The mayor then did nothing to enforce the order, leaving hundreds of city buses and school buses to drown rather than use them to offer transportation to people without cars.

Something of the mood of black New Orleans was caught by Fox News film crews as late as Sunday, Sept. 4. White volunteers were trying to persuade a black woman and her small children to leave her flooded house. “You’ve got to get out,” they explained. “The water isn’t going away.” A black man at the top of a multi-story building told a helicopter crew he didn’t need to leave. All he needed was some supplies.

These people could not understand something that was obvious to the whole world: New Orleans had no electricity, no plumbing, no transport, and no food. Blacks refused to leave their flooded homes, even though to stay meant near-certain death.

Ninety-nine percent of the white people left New Orleans when the evacuation order went out. Some 80,000 blacks could not or would not leave. Whites did not “leave them behind,” as the editorial-writers keep telling us. No one could have gotten some of them to leave, but if it was anyone’s job to give them the option, it was that of the black-run city government.
Natural disasters usually bring out the best in people. They help neighbors and strangers alike. For blacks—at least the lower-class blacks of New Orleans—disaster was an excuse to loot, rob, rape and kill.

you can read more of this important report here

As District Attorney Eddie Jordan descended last week to his moment of greatest political vulnerability, a group of prominent business leaders met with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to craft an exit strategy for the beleaguered prosecutor -- one that chiefly involved giving him a soft landing in a private sector job, sources familiar with the talk said Tuesday.

They knew the $3.7 million legal debt Jordan's office -- the result of a jury verdict ruling that he racially discriminated against white employees -- faced a seizure of the office's assets and disruption of his staff's salaries. Jay Lapeyre, the president of the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, acknowledged that business leaders, Nagin and Jordan discussed finding the district attorney -- his professional reputation deeply scarred -- a way to make a living after leaving office.

The unprecedented move ends a tenure mired in criticism over a widely perceived failure to successfully prosecute violent criminals, chronic turnover in his office, and most recently the bizarre disclosure that a robbery suspect fled to Jordan's Algiers house only to then become a suspect in the shooting of a New Orleans police officer.

Nearly five years ago, Jordan proudly strode into office…

Now, Jordan's undoing appears rooted in one of his first official acts: Systematically firing white employees and replacing them with black applicants two weeks after taking office.

Of 56 total dismissals, 53 of the employees were white. Within six months of his administration, Jordan had hired 68 people, 92 percent of them African-American. Critics further have suggested that the firings had the effect of stripping the office of institutional knowledge and experienced talent, throwing its daily management into confusion and setting off a trend of poor working conditions and chronic turnover.

The district attorney's office struggled from the start of Jordan's tenure, hampered by chronic prosecutor turnover and staggering caseloads.

Though the public initially seemed patient, understanding the difficulty caused by the flood, critics became increasingly strident in condemning Jordan's handling of violent crime, particularly murder cases. This criticism climaxed this summer, when his office dismissed charges against suspects in the 2006 murders of musician and teacher Dinerral Shavers and the Central City massacre that left five teenagers dead in the street. Both cases fell apart, with Jordan claiming uncooperative witnesses.

Earlier this year, Jordan was further lambasted for his office's repeated release of suspects, even occasionally ones arrested for violent crimes, because his prosecutors could not make a decision about whether to press charges under the state mandated deadline.

In the latest and strangest flare-up, police recently questioned Jordan after robbery suspect Elton Phillips, 20, allegedly fled to his home after holding up a man outside a nearby Algiers Shell station.

Phillips -- an acquaintance of Jordan's longtime girlfriend, Cherylynn Robinson -- had just a short time before dropped off Robinson at Jordan's home after spending the day with her and his relatives in Baton Rouge. New Orleans Police want to question Phillips, who is still at large, for his alleged role in the home invasion and shooting of an off-duty officer a day later.

- source

For stories on post-Apartheid South Africa go here


For historical context see journalist
James Shepherd Pike's 1874 report on South Carolina's post Civil War Reconstruction called, 'The Prostrate State: South Carolina Under Negro Government' here.

“(South Carolina is under the control of) a mass of black barbarism...the most ignorant democracy mankind ever saw."
-James Shepherd Pike