In fact, there's a new documentary being released right before the anniversary of the storm that could catalyze this conversation, and I had the privilege of seeing a preview yesterday. Trouble The Water, a Sundance Grand Jury prize-winner directed and produced by the producers of Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine, follows two residents of the 9th Ward, Kimberly Rivers Roberts and her husband Scott, as they survive the hurricane and the flood and struggle to survive what comes after. Kimberly picked up a video camera just a week before the storm and documented the events of August 29th from her attic, eliciting stunning footage and an entirely new perspective. First of all, the conservative myth that black Katrina victims were a bunch of whiners and moaners while white flood victims in Iowa "worked together" and showed their true American-ness is revealed as utter bullshit. Kimberly and Scott, along with their fellow residents left behind in the 9th Ward, were nothing short of heroic, saving their neighbors, pulling them from their houses and eventually bringing them to safety. One man, who used an old punching bag as a life raft to save dozens of people, remarks in the film "I never thought God had a purpose for me until that day." This is the story of a community brought together by the violence of the flood and the neglect of the government, forced to become their own first responders.I have disliked past Republican presidents, Reagan especially, but this George W. really takes the cake.
At one point, in an episode that I certainly never heard before, Kimberly and Scott walk about a mile through the water to a near-abandoned Navy base that was marked for closure and had hundreds of beds. With several dozen 9th Ward residents at the gates, the Navy personnel pulled out ammunition, cocked their rifles and turned their guns on the crowd, saying "Get off our property or we're going to start shooting." Months later the base received a COMMENDATION from Bush for "protecting the integrity of the base."
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
In a post titled "It's time to talk about Katrina" by dday over at Hullabaloo, we find this: