Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Najaf, Louisiana

I don't get much radio or TV, but one thing that hasn't been much discussed is how many of the local police and other officials responding to Katrina had been rotated through Iraq in National Guard units. You hear the stories of them driving at high speed past the victims, windows rolled up or guns pointed out, and it sounds so much like Iraq. The Iraq experience may have informed their response. Add in racism and fear of the poor, and you see why the sheriffs refused to let people cross the bridge out of flooded New Orleans and over to dry land. They wanted to keep the angry, dangerous Negroes out of the good places. The Black people became the enemy. It's like "Queen for a day," only in reverse. A city's entire stratum of underprivileged African Americans became, for a week, honorary hajis.
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