Thursday, September 01, 2005

Crescent City

Crescent City
Originally uploaded by ALifeAllah.
As many Knowledge by now the hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans hard. There is alot of things going on now in regards to relief efforts in that area. There has been alot of focus on Hip Hop and its response to the crisis.

There are many Gods and Earths in Now Cipher (New Orleans) and the surrounding areas of Black Rule (Baton Rouge) and Law Effect. My alike True Wise Allah resides in Black Rule. He has been giving us constant updates. Here is his latest one.

It’s in style for the media to blame ‘someone’ for large sweeping problems. The “fat population” is blamed on McDonalds. The fear of terrorism is blamed on the “Middle East”. The waning job market is blamed on Mexicans and Asians. One reason why people hate natural disasters so much is that there is no one to blame. This forces everyone to live without the bloodthirsty satisfaction of knowing that ‘retaliation’ is around the corner. However, in the case of hurricane Katrina someone can be blamed. If not “blamed”, at least some of the angry energy can be redirected at a certain population.

Because I live in Baton Rouge, the local news (WAFB 9) offers constant coverage of Katrina’s flood. The worst flood zones in New Orleans are in the black community (surprise, surprise). Consequently many of the victims visible on TV are black people who are “roaming” (in the words of the media) through the streets. Many of these people have been without food or freshwater for days. Many Original People are trapped on the highways and were complaining to news reporters that vans, trucks, and police cars have driven passed them, countless times, without offering assistance. With thousands of starving and thirsty people sitting on rooftops and highways, in 95 degree weather, many people have resorted to stealing food and water.

Of course not everyone is innocently stealing food. Some people are stealing things like jewelry, clothing, and medication from hospitals that can sell as narcotics. The picture being painted by the media is that this ‘opportunistic’ theft represents the majority of the “looting”. Now when the business owners return to New Orleans, with nothing, they get to blame the ‘roaming blacks’ that they saw on TV.

One helicopter (and only one), was reported to have gunshots fired at it, from an unknown source. From this incident, it has become a media ‘fact’ that the rescue missions can’t continue in “certain areas” because “gangs” are trying to take down the helicopters. Now when we hear about the high numbers of people who didn’t get saved, the public can now blame it on the so-called “gang violence”.

It is also likely that most of the people in the New Orleans hospitals will die. The nurses don’t have the running water necessary for clean medical practice. They don’t have enough beds for everyone to sleep on, resulting in people sleeping on chairs. Some of the “roaming looters” have broken into the hospital to steal food and medication (mentioned earlier). So now when we hear the jaw dropping figures of how many people died in the hospitals, at least some of the frustration can be directed toward the “looters”.

The media is required to report the news, and they can’t be blamed for that. But they can EMPHASIZE what ever they want. What is the picture being painted of black people during this tragedy, and what will be the consequences? What “social facts” will remain after all is said and done?

No one is blaming the city planners for failing to protect the city against a cataclysmic flood. No one is blaming the increasingly extreme weather patterns (which probably caused Katrina) on deforestation and the poisoning of the atmosphere. The public is now blaming, or directing their hateful energy toward the black population.

1 comment:

Brother OMi said...

my sentiments exactly

i was watching MSNBC last night at my best friends house (his entire family lives in the NO), They showed video of folks taking food. I was like "okay, i can dig it... heads are starving out there.." then they showed footage of a video store. I noticed that people ran in and then ran out BUT no one was carrying ANYTHING... i waited again and they kept showing the footage. I saw mostly children run in and then run out but no one took anything.

I know its only one clip but i did not see anyone looting TVs..