They Kissed New Orleans And Its Poor Good Bye!

Part 1:

An Incomplete Timeline Of The Silence and Cancer of Betrayal!

September 8, 2005

Parts 2 to 6:

African And Poor People Are Dying And Being Displaced, Worldwide!

The U.S. Government Is Responsible For These Crimes Against Humanity!

African And Poor People are Powerless And Disorganized, Worldwide!

African And Progressive Leadership Is Powerless And Disunited, Worldwide!

We Demand An African United Front, And The Unity Of Progressive Forces, Worldwide!

By Bob Brown

co-director of Pan-African Roots

As I see and hear the spectacle of another human tragedy, a man and woman-made tragedy, of genocidal proportions unfold in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and as I am bombarded by CNN with streaming video of and 30-second sound bites from an endless procession of vultures and beggars circling over our people’s watery graves, the prophetic voices of Dr. Lerone Bennett Jr., Kwame Ture, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Amilcar Cabral reverberate in my mind’s eye and my heart’s ear.

Dr. Bennett, in his book The Negro Mood, warned our ‘leadership,’ over forty years ago, that they are on trial, not just for the things they said and did, but also for the things they did not say and did not do. This statement is as prophetic today, as it was forty years ago when first published; and permit us to also suggest that it applies to all of our ‘leadership’, democrat or republican; governmental or non-governmental; black or white; elected, anointed or self-appointed.

In his article titled “What We Want,” which was published in the New York Review of Books on September 22, 1966, Kwame Ture, formerly known as Stokely Carmichael, suggested that:

One of the tragedies of the struggle against racism is that up until now there has been no national organization which could speak to the growing militancy of young black people in the urban ghetto. There has been only a civil rights movement, whose tone of voice was adapted to an audience of liberal whites. It served as a sort of buffer zone between them and angry young blacks. None of its so-called leaders could go into a rioting community and be listened to. . . .”

On April 4, 1967, in his speech against the Vietnam War, which he gave at Riverside Church in New York, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. warned us that:

"A time comes when silence is betrayal. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men [and women] do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. .. But we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. For we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.”

We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation, for those it calls "enemy," for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers [or sisters]… [We must] think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.”

One year and four days later, on April 8, 1968, Dr. King was murdered by the U.S. government; and two hundred and twenty-two cities became his funeral pyre—a people’s memorial to a principled and nonviolent man.

In April 1972, at Osagefyo Kwame Nkrumah’s funeral in Guinea-Conakry, Amilcar Cabral, a founder of the PAIGC in Guinea-Bissau and an architect of the national liberation, Pan-African and socialist revolution, correctly said that Osagefyo did not die of cancer, he died of the “cancer of betrayal!”

Permit us to suggest and prove in this and subsequent papers, that the victims of Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. coup in Haiti, of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, of the resource wars in Rwanda and the Congo, Sierra Leone and Liberia, of Darfur and the Horn of Africa, the Middle East (Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan), and countless other areas around the world, are the victims of the cancer of silence and betrayal as well!

The victims of Katrina were not killed or displaced by the hurricane or floods; they were knowingly and maliciously killed and displaced by the silence and cancer of betrayal by every branch and level of the U.S. government, especially the White House and Congress; the states, counties and cities that were hit by Katrina; the states, counties and cities who received and shelter Katrina’s victims; the Democratic and Republican Parties; the Red Cross and the emergency relief community--governmental, non-governmental and for-profit; Greyhound and Trailways Bus; the 6 Class 1 Railroads and the American Association of Railroads; the travel and hotel industry; the media and communications industry; the food, apparel and pharmaceutical industry; and a litany of other forces who silently stood by while New Orleans and its poor drowned and dispersed.

African and progressive “leadership,” especially those in position of influence and power, must and will be held accountable as well, for the things they said and did, and for the things they did not say and did not do!

Permit us here and now also, to remind you about and invite you to:

The International Tribunal On Haiti

Friday, September 23, 2005 - 7 pm - 10 pm

George Washington University

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E St. NW

Washington, DC

The Joint Anti-War Rally and March

To End The War On Iraq

Saturday, September 24, 2005 – 11:30 am

The White House

Washington DC

The 10th Anniversary Commemoration of the Million Man March

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Washington, DC

May we humbly and respectfully suggest that it would be another act of betrayal if these events were postponed or canceled. We must push forward, inspite of, if not because of the unfolding tragedies in the Gulf States and countries of the United States and the Caribbean, in Africa and in the Middle East.

[Note: This timeline was taken from the Wikipedia online free encyclopedia, and other pages found on the internet. Time does not permit us to edit it properly, so whole sections, passages and paragraphs have bee taken as published. We apologize for any and all copyright and intellectual property rights violations. We are not motivated by money, never have been and never will be. We simply want the truth known in ever corner of the globe!]

An Incomplete Timeline

During the 41 years prior to Hurricane Katrina, no less than three category 4+ hurricanes had passed within ten miles of New Orleans: Hilda, Betsy and Camille.

It was known by all concerned, that the poor, the elderly, and the sick--African, Native American and white--barely survived day to day, and could not survive a major disaster or evacuate from harms way on their own resources.

"A major hurricane could swamp New Orleans under 20 feet of water, killing thousands. Human activities along the Mississippi River have dramatically increased the risk, and now only massive reengineering of southeastern Louisiana can save the city… New Orleans is a disaster waiting to happen."

"Hundreds of thousands would be left homeless, and it would take months to dry out the area and begin to make it livable. But there wouldn't be much for residents to come home to. The local economy would be in ruins."

"100,000 people without transportation will be especially threatened," the paper wrote. "A large population of low-income residents do not own cars and would have to depend on an untested emergency public transportation system to evacuate them."

According to the state's evacuation plan for southeast Louisiana, the primary means of evacuation was to be personal vehicles, but 27 percent of the city's households don't own a car -- a problem that doesn't appear to have been addressed in advance planning models.

The "untested" emergency response system was supposed to be a system of public buses that would transport people out of the city in the event of a disaster.

"It's only a matter of time before South Louisiana takes a direct hit from a major hurricane. Billions have been spent to protect us, but we grow more vulnerable every day."

"If enough water from Lake Pont-Chartrain topped the levee system along its south shore, the result would be apocalyptic. Whoever remained in the city would be at grave risk. According to the American Red Cross, a likely death toll would be between 25,000 and 100,000 people, dwarfing estimated death tolls for other natural disasters and all but the most nightmarish potential terrorist attacks. Tens of thousands more would be stranded on rooftops and high ground, awaiting rescue that could take days or longer. They would face thirst, hunger and exposure to toxic chemicals."

"KYAGB—kiss your ass good bye!"

"Because," says Maestri, "anyone who was here when that storm came across was gone—it was body-bag time. We think 40,000 people could lose their lives in the metropolitan area."

And some scientists say that figure is conservative.

It is my belief that an unprecedented storm disaster is drawing near for the United States. Studies conduced in several coastal cities concluded that tens of thousands of people could be in “extreme risk” if a serious hurricane hit before high-density coastal areas could be evacuated.”

Statistically, we are quite overdue for an epic disaster. In recent years, several intense and potentially devastating hurricanes have formed and approached the U.S. coastline. Fortunately, they diminished right before landfall."

"What few people realize is that the very forces that created New Orleans now threaten its very existence. The eco-system is incredibly fragile and volatile, and if no action is taken, the city could be wiped out in the next hurricane or gradually swept into the sea from the current course of things."

"The design of the original levees, which dates to the 1960s, was based on rudimentary storm modeling that, it is now realized, might underestimate the threat of a potential hurricane. Even if the modeling was adequate, however, the levees were designed to withstand only forces associated with a fast-moving hurricane that, according to the National Weather Service’s Saffir-Simpson scale, would be placed in category 3. If a lingering category 3 storm — or a stronger storm, say, category 4 or 5 — were to hit the city, much of New Orleans could find itself under more than 20 ft (6 m) of water"

"I've got at least six levee construction contracts that need to be done to raise the levee protection back to where it should be (because of settling). Right now I owe my contractors about $5 million. And we're going to have to pay them interest”

A copy of the most recent comprehensive formal evaluation by the Army Corps of Engineers of the state of the levees has yet to be made public.

"It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

"The system is in great shape, but the levees are sinking. Everything is sinking, and if we don't get the money fast enough to raise them, then we can't stay ahead of the settlement...The problem that we have isn't that the levee is low, but that the federal funds have dried up so that we can't raise them."

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation, up there with a large earthquake in California or a terrorist attack on New York City. Even the Red Cross no longer opens hurricane shelters in the city, claiming the risk to its workers is too great."

In that article National Geographic predicted with eerie accuracy that more than a million people would evacuate, but some 200,000 would remain, including "the carless, the homeless, the aged and infirm."

"It's possible to protect New Orleans from a Category 5 hurricane.... we've got to start. To do nothing is tantamount to negligence," genocide

[Note: The reported cost of Katrina so far is $10 to 25 billion (insured damages only.) The poor, and people of Color, have little or no insurance. The projected cost is $20 to $100 billion, making Hurricane Katrina the most expensive Atlantic hurricane of all time). The U.S. government has earmarked only $40 billion thus far. $195 billion has been spent for the War in Iraq thus far, and the cost is rising.]

"The potential for such extensive flooding and the resulting damage is the result of a levee system that is unable to keep up with the increasing flood threats from a rapidly eroding coastline and thus unable to protect the ever-subsiding landscape."

"In scripted appearances being recorded now, officials such as Mayor Ray Nagin, local Red Cross Executive Director Kay Wilkins and City Council President Oliver Thomas drive home the word that the city does not have the resources to move out of harm's way an estimated 134,000 people without transportation."

"City, state and federal emergency officials are preparing to give the poorest of New Orleans' poor a historically blunt message: In the event of a major hurricane, you're on your own."

The Louisiana State police reported that 18,000 vehicles per hour were streaming out of the city and the surrounding areas.

[Note: If this report is correct, then we estimate that it took at least 12 to 22 hours to evacuate 400,000 people.]

[Note: And this historic grassroots, mass movement has been and continues to be denounced or characterized by murderers, racists and fools as chaos.]

The vast majority of those who stayed were reported to have been unwilling or unable to leave because they did not have vehicles, money for gas and other transportation. Also, many residents were unable to travel because they were elderly or infirm; or had no place or family to go to, and no money to live on once they got there.

The reality of life for many of the city's poorest residents is that welfare and Social Security checks arrive at the beginning of each month, meaning that by the time the hurricane hit, money and food had run out.

Other residents, who live paycheck-to-paycheck, recalled previous hurricane evacuations where they had spent more than $1,000 on out-of-town hotel bills only to find that the storm had spared the city.

For these people, evacuating the city wasn't an option.

Yet they too were and continue to be denounced by the racist and insensitive media, and by public officials and hand-picked so-called “spokespersons,” black and white, as crazies and criminals.]

International response to Hurricane Katrina, and to help its poor and oppressed victims, has poured in from over 50 countries and agencies, including: Afghanistan, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, the European Union, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, the International Energy Agency, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, NATO, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, the Organization of American States, Oman, OPEC, Pakistan, Paraguay, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the UAE, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Venezuela and the World Health Organization.

Other countries not on this list have also offered aid, but the US State Department mentioned that they had not been asked. Later, the State Department, and Secretary of State Rice, said all offers were being examined. But, the offers from Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, and other countries the United States government is destabilizing and attempting to overthrow, have been turned down1

Permit us to suggest that this is a crime against humanity, against the humanity of the living and dead victims of Katrina. And the silence of our “leadership” on this issue is deafening and a crime against our humanity as well.

In Part 2 of our paper, we will document the fact that African and poor people are dying and being displaced in every corner of Africa, the African Diaspora, not just New Orleans, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama; and they are the victims of the silence and cancer of betrayal as well.

If you truly seek justice and peace, atonement, reconciliation, responsibility and reparations, you will be marching, standing and sitting in the front of the line and first row, with all of your family and friends, especially the victims of Katrina, at:

The International Tribunal On Haiti

Friday, September 23, 2005 - 7 pm - 10 pm

George Washington University

Elliott School of International Affairs

1957 E St. NW

Washington, DC

The Joint Anti-War Rally and March

To End The War On Iraq

Saturday, September 24, 2005 – 11:30 am

The White House

Washington DC

The 10th Anniversary Commemoration of the Million Man March

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Washington, DC

© 2005, Bob Brown

Copyright © 2005
(Labor donated)