Archive for December 18th, 2008

“Like Pheasant Season In South Dakota”

Holy jumping fuck.  When the chaos of Katrina intersects with the lawlessness, racism, and corruption of Southern Republicanism, the result is far, far worse than I ever could have imagined:

A new report in The Nation documents what many have claimed for years — for some Black New Orleanians the threat of being killed by White vigilantes in Katrina’s aftermath became a bigger threat than the storm itself.

After the storm, White vigilantes roamed Algiers Point shooting and, according to their own accounts, killing Black men at will– with no threat of a police response. For the last three years, the shootings and the police force’s role in them have been an open secret to many New Orleanians. To date, no one has been charged with a crime and law enforcement officials have refused to investigate.

(…)

In the two weeks after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the media created a climate of fear with trumped-up stories of Black lawlessness. Meanwhile, an armed group of White vigilantes took over the Algiers Point neighborhood in New Orleans and mercilessly hunted down Black people. “It was great!” said one vigilante. “It was like pheasant season in South Dakota. If it moved, you shot it.”

The Nation’s article tells the story of Donnell Herrington, Marcel Alexander, and Chris Collins — a group of friends who were attacked by shotgun-wielding White men as they entered Algiers Point on September 1, 2005. As they tried to escape, Herrington recalls, their attackers shouted, “Get him! Get that nigger!” He managed to get away. Alexander and Collins were told that they would be allowed to live on the condition that they told other Black folks not to come to Algiers Point. Herrington, shot in the neck, barely survived.

And there’s the story of Henry Glover, who didn’t survive after being shot by an unknown assailant. Glover’s brother flagged down a stranger for help, and the two men brought Glover to a police station. But instead of receiving aid, they were beaten by officers while Henry Glover bled to death in the back seat of the stranger’s car. A police officer drove off in the car soon afterward. Both Glover’s body and the car were found burnt to cinders a week later. It took DNA analysis to identify the body.

(…)

Journalists have encountered a wall of silence on the part of the authorities. The coroner had to be sued to turn over autopsy records. When he finally complied, the records were incomplete, with files on several suspicious deaths suddenly empty. The New Orleans police and the District Attorney repeatedly refused to talk to journalists about Algiers Point. And according to journalist A.C. Thompson, “the city has in nearly every case refused to investigate or prosecute people for assaults and murders committed in the wake of the storm.”

This is pure, distilled racist evil right here, nurtured by a toxic smog of total impunity.  It is frightening that over 140 years after the slaves were freed, and over 40 years after the Civil Rights Act, that white people can and do still kill black people in this country for no other reason than because they feel like it.

Color Of Change is compiling an online petition to present to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, his Attorney General, and the Department of Justice to take action and seek justice.  Please sign it.

December 18th, 2008 at 10:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Katrina,Racism

The Right Of Conscience Rule

President Bush pretends to be a fan of that which he does not possess:

The Bush administration yesterday granted sweeping new protections to health workers who refuse to provide care that violates their personal beliefs, setting off an intense battle over opponents’ plans to try to repeal the controversial measure.

(…)

The far-reaching regulation cuts off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, health plan, clinic or other entity that does not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other employees who refuse to participate in care they find ethically, morally or religiously objectionable. It was sought by conservative groups, abortion opponents and others to safeguard workers from being fired, disciplined or penalized in other ways.

Hopefully President Obama will roll this back quickly – or, better yet, migrate it to the military and intelligence services…

December 18th, 2008 at 09:15pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Choice,Politics,Religion,Republicans,Wankers

More Philly Architectural Photoblogging

More buildings!  Hooray, buildings!

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December 18th, 2008 at 11:21am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging

More On Rick Warren

Pastordan’s take from the liberal, non-rabidly-homophobic religious perspective:

On a strictly professional level, this is a goddamn embarrassment. Nobody likes Warren. The Religious Right think he’s a flake because he’s too liberal, and everybody else thinks he’s a flake because he’s a shallow idiot. From where I’m sitting, as the victim of an extremely expensive and extremely rigorous theological education, Obama could have gotten a better invocation from Stuart Smalley. It would have as much depth, and at least it would be doing a Democrat a favor.

Stemming from that point, this is particularly galling to people like myself. Mainline Protestant pastors are opinion leaders in their communities, and they tend to appreciate their GLBT friends and not appreciate slick weasels like Rick Warren. I was hardly the only pastor to support Obama, or to stick up for his vision of hope and reconciliation. Obama just spat in our eyes, and it’s going to take a while to get over it.

And Nick Cargo sums up the LGBT community’s reaction:

“This is a horrific insult to the thousands of LGBT Americans who worked to elect Barack Obama president,” said Oxdown Gazette‘s Teddy Partridge, “and the millions of LGBT Americans who voted for him.”

“This is more than a serious faux pas; this is an insult to all the queers and non-believers that worked their asses off to elect Obama-Biden,” added blogger Mike Tidmus. “We need to let the President-Elect know that parading a homophobic bigot at his big parade rains on ours.

(…)

“Obama inaugural team, this is a big f*ck up a la Donnie McClurkin,” added Pam’s House Blend’s Pam Spaulding. The President-elect, in late 2007, came under fire for his choice of Grammy-winning gospel singer and professed “ex-gay” Donnie McClurkin to perform at a gospel concert. Then-Senator Obama later said McClurkin wasn’t vetted “to the extent that the people were aware of his attitudes with respect to…LGBT issues.” Obama also said in a November 2007 blog entry that McClurkin espoused beliefs “that I completely reject.”

People For the American Way and Human Rights Campaign have strong statements as well.

The Obama team released some talking points to try to justify/sugarcoat the decision, but they are insultingly weak. The money quote:

The President-elect disagrees with Pastor Warren on issues that affect the LGBT community.  They disagree on other issues as well.  But what’s important is that they agree on many issues vital to the pursuit of social justice, including poverty relief and moving toward a sustainable planet; and they share a commitment to renewing America’s promise by expanding opportunity at home and restoring our moral leadership abroad.

In other words, Obama knows Warren is a raging homophobe – he just doesn’t think it’s very important.  Awesome.

4 comments December 18th, 2008 at 07:20am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Obama,Religion,Teh Gay


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