The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The Real Violence in Post-Katrina New Orleans Uncovered

Aug 30, 2010

Finally, five years after Hurricane Katrina, the real truth is coming out about the violence that occurred in New Orleans, about which there was so much talk and rumor in Katrina’s immediate aftermath. Finally, five years later, the first charges are being brought against the real thugs who shot innocent people trying to survive the massive flooding.

It turns out that everyone charged in the shootings is either a white vigilante or a cop. Despite all the rumors spread at the time about black “looters” and “marauding black gangs” carrying out unspeakable crimes, it was white gangs, both official and unofficial, that did the shooting and killing.

And if they did it, in part it was because the authorities, like New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, instead of organizing rescue operations, set loose these gangs of killers and authorized them to shoot “suspected looters.” This, in a town where none of the authorities at the local, state, or federal level provided any food or water to those stranded, so the only place for people to get what they needed was in boarded up businesses.

It took nearly five years for anyone to be charged with any of the shootings because the authorities buried any information about them. Charges are finally being brought now only because the press, starting with the left press, some of the black media, and then the Nation magazine, brought the shootings to light. Only recently, has the big bourgeois press like the New York Times admitted what the population of New Orleans from the beginning: it was white racists, given tacit approval by authorities like Nagin and Blanco, who did the killing. They shot people who lost everything in the floods and were struggling to survive, because the levees protecting the city were not constructed properly and the government had not organized the necessary evacuation.

In a society as racist as this one, it comes as no surprise that the first hysterical rumors following Katrina were about black violence, when what was really happening was white violence–a violence much greater than we will ever be able to discover. Although the first investigations by the press uncovered at least eleven people who were shot, no one has any idea of the number who just disappeared amidst all of the massive destruction experienced by the people of New Orleans.