Often when people including those in government and the mainstream media who should know better refer to the events of 8/29, it is merely as “Katrina” or “Hurricane Katrina”.
There were actually two catastrophes that happened that day: the storm, which passed to the east of New Orleans, devastating with ferocious winds the Alabama, Mississippi and eastern Louisiana Gulf Regions, which was a NATURAL disaster, and the falling apart of New Orleans’ federally-built and maintained levees, which was a MANMADE disaster due to poor engineering.
While the use of Katrina as shorthand to cover the two events is easy (I’ve even done that at times) it’s misleading because of the implication that the flooding of New Orleans was a natural disaster. And this matters—more below the fold.
In fact, there is a blog, On Levee Failures & a Weather Event, devoted to finding examples of the use of Katrina shorthand. Its author writes letters to the editor whenever a reporter by referring to “Katrina” seemingly forgets that the flood had been caused by levee breaches in an attempt to set them straight. Because the media often need reminding that the hurricane and the catastrophic engineering failure are two separate events.
And as for government officials here’s an example: Recently Joe Biden .compared Georgia’s flooding to “Katrina” when talking to a flood survivor there.
And here’s why this distinction makes a difference. It’s not mere semantics or nit-picking. I prefer the term “Federal Flood,” which the NOLA bloggers use. Whether or not the New Orleans disaster is seen as manmade matters because of the allocation of federal responsibility, not to mention funding. Because if the flood is seen as merely natural, that makes it easy for the federal government to blow off its financial obligations to those who lost homes and businesses. And for the Army Corps of Engineers to not do what it’s supposed to be doing here at home instead of being busy spending time and money in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s time for the media, politicians, and other officials to get in the habit of framing the Federal Flood as the MANMADE disaster that it was. Maybe were they to start doing this, the rebuilding of New Orleans’ devastated areas, providing affordable housing for those in the diaspora who want to return but can’t afford to, and above all improving New Orleans’ levees and restoring Louisiana’s coastline would be higher priorities than they are now.
I’m just going to reblog this every year until people get this shit right.
Tagged by liliona
You can tell a lot about a person by the type of music they listen to. So hit shuffle on your ipod/pandora/iTunes/etc and write down the first 20 songs and pick 10 people to do the same.
ONE RULE: NO SKIPPING
- 69 Tea - Seether x
- I Raise My Cup to Him - Anais Mitchell feat. Ani DiFranco (from Hadestown)
- We Once Were (One) [One] - The Album Leaf
- Wolf Pups In The Den - Breathe Owl Breathe
- The Other White Meat Feat. Soul - Immortal Technique x
- Jet Star and the Kid Kobra Traffic Report - My Chemical Romance
- Tomorrow - Morrissey x
- Black Tongue - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
- A Tint of Rain - Halifax
- 60 Revolutions - Gogol Bordello
- Fire And Rain - James Taylor
- Arrogance Blues - Scoundrels x
- Somebody Hates Me - Reel Big Fish
- The Outsiders - Doves x
- Stories - Tunng x
- A Good Man Is Easy To Kill - Beulah x
- Wrong Love - Belle & Sebastian
- Breaking The Girl - Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Three Seed - Silversun Pickups
- Take The Night Off - Laura Marling x
GUYS I JUST REALIZED WHY PAPER BEATS ROCK OH MY GOD
PAPER SYMBOLIZES WORDS WHICH SYMBOLIZES BRAINS
AND ROCK SYMBOLIZES BRAWN.
BRAINS OVER BRAWN.
MIND OVER MATTER.
PAPER OVER ROCK.
You clever little shit.
then what the fuck does scissors mean
- Do not forget Michael Brown
- Do not forget how the media dehumanized him and tried to justify his murder
- Do not forget how peaceful protests were painted as savage riots
- Do not forget police armed with military grade weapons terrorized and arrested black civilians
- Do not forget Darren Wilson being awarded over $400,000 in fundraiser donations for murdering an unarmed black child
- Do not forget that this system was not built to defend us, but to control us
- Do not forget Ferguson
— Marvel Studios and diversity, everyone. (From here.)
This reality is a bit harder to swallow: There are more white people in the US and Canada because the US and Canada were established using the systematic genocide of Native peoples, the theft of Native lands, and the labour of enslaved peoples in the past and immigrant peoples currently who were and are never meant to stay or survive.
And now you’re uncomfortable. Good.
When you accept and acknowledge that census figures reflect a long history of marginalization, it is preposterous to use these same figures as the benchmark to which you measure the inclusion of marginalized people."
— There’s a great piece in the Toast about representation and diversity (‘Proportional Representation’ Has No Place In Diversity Discussions by Léonicka Valcius) today. (via whineandbeer)
I think an important thing to understand about Hollywood blockbusters is that they are almost never flukes; they are preordained. Sure, we have the occasional surprise indie hit, but you need a lot of money and marketing behind you to become a blockbuster. Just look at the top ten films in each of the last five years: nearly every single one had a budget of more than $100 million (a lot of them were also sci-fi/fantasy films).
Meanwhile, there hasn’t been a single film released this year starring a person of color with a budget of more than $50 million, let alone a sci-fi film, which is naturally going to be more expensive. The same goes for most of the last decade. So for anyone who might say “people just don’t watch sci-fi movies starring people of color,” or “there’s no evidence that this would work,” the truth is that we have no evidence that it wouldn’t work."
"White feminism" does not mean every white woman, everywhere, who happens to identify as feminist. It also doesn’t mean that every "white feminist" identifies as white. I see "white feminism" as a specific set of single-issue, non-intersectional, superficial feminist practices. It is the feminism we understand as mainstream; the feminism obsessed with body hair, and high heels and makeup, and changing your married name. It is the feminism you probably first learned. "White feminism" is the feminism that doesn’t understand western privilege, or cultural context. It is the feminism that doesn’t consider race as a factor in the struggle for equality.
White feminism is a set of beliefs that allows for the exclusion of issues that specifically affect women of colour. It is “one size-fits all” feminism, where middle class white women are the mould that others must fit. It is a method of practicing feminism, not an indictment of every individual white feminist, everywhere, always."
Please, everybody: read this article!