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    1. #1
      Raha's Avatar
      Raha is offline Be EASY.

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      N.O. Activist Malik Rahim Blasts Mayor Nagin


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      From DemocracyNow.org:

      Malik Rahim, veteran of the Black Panther Party in New Orleans, is interviewed in the Algiers neigherborhood by Democracy Now! producers. Rahim talks about what should have been differently. We turn to Malik Rahim who had his own critique of Mayor Nagin's response to the devastating Hurricane Katrina. Malik Rahim is a veteran of the Black Panther Party in New Orleans. For decades he has worked as an organizer of public housing tenants both there and in San Francisco. He recently ran for New Orleans City Council on the Green Party ticket. Democracy Now! producers John Hamilton and Sharif Abdel Kouddous met with Malik Rahim on Sunday afternoon in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans, which lies on the west bank, and is the only part of the city that is not flooded. They drove with him to get ice, water and food for his community. On the way, Malik began by talking what he would have done differently to deal with the storm.

      * Malik Rahim, New Orleans Organizer of Public Housing Tenants

      RUSH TRANSCRIPT

      This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
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      JUAN GONZALEZ: Producers John Hamilton and Sharif Abdel Koudous met with Malik Rahim on Sunday afternoon in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans which lies on the West bank and is the only part of the city that is not flooded. They drove with him to get ice, water and food for his community. On the way, Malik began by talking about what he would have done differently to deal with the storm.

      MALIK RAHIM: I would have commandeered everything, Greyhound buses, Amtrak trains, school buses, public service buses and had them all filled with people getting them out of harm's way. That was the very first thing I would have done. Secondly, I would have asked for volunteers. Volunteers of people that lived in the community and that know the community that didn't need a map to find out where such and such is -- street exists. And had them come back in here. I would have had my police force to commandeer every boat that was available. Because everybody knew the flooding was going to happen. You know, to make sure that people would have been getting out. I wouldn't have left it on the faith-based community. I would have made sure that everybody would have had a means that wanted to leave, or they had the means to leave. Even if I would have took some of these car dealerships and made every truck that's like this one, I would have went in there and took them all. I mean, what's going to happen to them? So what if they messed up. They was going to be flooded anyway. So, you are going to lose them one way or another, but it could have got people out of harm's way, you know? There's no way in the world I would have put people in that Superdome. Everybody knew that that Superdome was nothing but a death trap. Because if we would have gotten 30 feet of water, how are you going to survive in that Superdome? I mean, everybody knew this. And then when you start hearing the horror stories, last year we had test run. A hurricane came, but at the last minute, it veered off. So, we had a test run. Everybody knew what needed to be in place, and it seemed like -- he still got caught unprepared with his pants down. Ray Nagin. No, I don't have no -- listen, the little respect I have for him is gone. Same thing about our Governor. You know, the little respect I had for her is gone.

      SHARIF ABDEL KOUDOUS: Nagin got on the radio and gave an impassioned speech talking about --

      MALIK RAHIM: It was too late.

      SHARIF ABDEL KOUDOUS:…how federal authorities failed.

      MALIK RAHIM: But listen, if you get out this car, and get under here to work on this car, and I run over you, and while you laying there dying, I'm telling you about how sorry I am, what good would that do you? How would you feel? Would you feel better? Well, I'm going to die, but at least he's sorry he killed me. You still dead. You know, that's the part of it -- you know. It's too late to be talking about who failed. You failed. We elected you to represent us. So, if you was waiting on the federal government, then damn, we don't need you as Mayor. We need the federal government to run New Orleans. We don't need you, if you cannot lead the city in a time of emergency. You know, this is when we need leadership. This is when we need for the real Ray Nagin to come and stand up. You know, not to be on no boat trying to rescue people, because you don't feel -- now all of a sudden you have a guilt trip. You know, you should have been out here leading everybody by getting them out of the city. That could have left. You know, I mean, it just came too little too late.

      SHARIF ABDEL KOUDOUS: And the Governor?

      MALIK RAHIM: The Governor ain't about nothing. She was -- she was just as lost as he was. You know, there ain't no -- none of them know what they was doing. You know, their answer to everything now is send in more troops. Marshall law. You know? I mean, for what? I mean, there's no reason for it now. Most of the looters and the people that was doing wrong that was stealing for all of the wrong reasons have done left. Now, you just have people here dying that's scared to go in the store to get anything. Because they are scared that you are going to kill them. She did’t come through here with no compassion. Nothing. You know what I mean, look how long we have been here. So, you tell me she's doing her [ bleep ] job? How long we’ve been sitting in this hot sun trying to get ice? Damn near an hour. You know, I mean, so, what is she doing? What is Ray Nagin doing when he ain't got one place in the whole damn city of New Orleans where we could get services from? We have to travel this far? When we get back to New Orleans, I'm going to show you if we could get to this firehouse they got water stacked up damn near to the ceiling. They ain't giving none of it away. You tell me if your house is on fire, and I come out there with -- even if I just have to have a bucket with water in it, you are going to tell me, oh, no, you ain't got to throw that bucket on my house. I'm waiting for the Fire Department. You ain't got to go in there and rescue my children because the firemen's going to be here in a little while to rescue. I want order. You are going to let everybody anybody that can help you, help you get out. I bet you there wasn't one person out there that was rescued by a civilian that told people, ‘oh, no, man, you ain't got to rescue me. I'm going to wait until Ray Nagin sends somebody here for me. He is going to send somebody.’ I know that that's a lie. I know ain't nobody going to do that. You are going to jump on anything. That's the way it should have been done for help, you know? The very first thing he should have done is made sure that one, that the medical assistance he knew it was going to be needed was made available. He should have had that in place. He should have had food in place. He should have had water in place. He should have had ice in place. He should have had generators in place. That's something that the city could have done. Even if they had to commandeer them from these stores. You know, you have backup generators in every one of these high rise buildings. What's in them? People not living in them? So, why couldn't he take them? Or he could put people in them. You know, he didn't do either. You know? It's all about property. Everything is about property. I tell you what, look at Cuba. Any time a hurricane -- when that -- when Hugo was passing through Cuba, and it was about to hit Havana, Cuba -- the Cuban government came through there and took everybody out of Havana. I mean, everybody was safe. They didn't have this kind of madness. So, I mean, so why are we going through it? Cuban government done said that they were willing to offer assistance with doctors. They wouldn’t even accept them. Now, you tell me if doctors isn't needed when you tell me about the people dying at the airport. But because of politics, you know, they won't take the aid. You know, that's stupid. It's just straight up stupid.

      AMY GOODMAN: Malik Rahim speaking in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans. This is Democracy Now!
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      Some people take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, when in actuality, no one else is really taking them as seriously as they think.

    2. #2
      IfasehunReincarnated's Avatar
      IfasehunReincarnated is offline Never Let Them Disrespect the Ancestors

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      Sounds like Mayoral, Governor and Congressional races are going to be interesting in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in the next couple of years.
      All is Well. Workin' Hard - Tryin' to Save Time for Fam. Check in Periodically.

    3. #3
      Raha's Avatar
      Raha is offline Be EASY.

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      Quote Originally Posted by IfasehunReincarnated
      Sounds like Mayoral, Governor and Congressional races are going to be interesting in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in the next couple of years.
      Indeed. Malik Rahim touched on a lot of valid points.
      Pyrrhic Victory (New songs are up!): http://www.reverbnation.com/pyrrhicvictory

      Some people take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY, when in actuality, no one else is really taking them as seriously as they think.

    4. #4
      RecoveringAA's Avatar
      RecoveringAA is offline Warrior

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      Quote Originally Posted by ThaAlchemist
      Indeed. Malik Rahim touched on a lot of valid points.
      and....

      he ain't told no lies.....

    5. #5
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      Speaking to the flow of crap...downward


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      Just an addition acknowledging the *flow of ish*.....it flows down....this is just the top of the line

      hope it adds to the dialogue as WE re~cognize the paralysis of a-holes impact on the people...the "yes butts"

      also...i had been wondering what the "black leaders" had to say...
      here is jesse jackson jr's take:


      Each day since Katrina brings more evidence of the lethal ineptitude of
      federal officials. I'm not letting state and local officials off the hook,
      but federal officials had access to resources that could have made all the
      difference, but were never mobilized.

      Here's one of many examples: The Chicago Tribune reports that the U.S.S.
      Bataan, equipped with six operating rooms, hundreds of hospital beds and
      the ability to produce 100,000 gallons of fresh water a day, has been
      sitting off the Gulf Coast since last Monday
      - without patients.

      Experts say that the first 72 hours after a natural disaster are the
      crucial window during which prompt action can save many lives.
      Yet action after Katrina was anything but prompt. Newsweek reports that a
      "strange paralysis" set in among Bush administration officials, who debated
      lines of authority while thousands died.

      What caused that paralysis? President Bush certainly failed his test.
      After 9/11, all the country really needed from him was a speech. This time
      it needed action - and he didn't deliver.

      But the federal government's lethal ineptitude wasn't just a consequence of
      Mr. Bush's personal inadequacy; it was a consequence of ideological
      hostility to the very idea of using government to serve the public good.
      For 25 years the right has been denigrating the public sector, telling us
      that government is always the problem, not the solution. Why should we be
      surprised that when we needed a government solution, it wasn't forthcoming?

      Does anyone remember the fight over federalizing airport security?
      Even after 9/11, the administration and conservative members of Congress
      tried to keep airport security in the hands of private companies. They were
      more worried about adding federal employees than about closing a deadly
      hole in national security.

      Of course, the attempt to keep airport security private wasn't just about
      philosophy; it was also an attempt to protect private interests. But that's
      not really a contradiction. Ideological cynicism about government easily
      morphs into a readiness to treat government spending as a way to reward
      your friends. After all, if you don't believe government can do any good,
      why not?

      Which brings us to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In my last
      column, I asked whether the Bush administration had destroyed FEMA's
      effectiveness. Now we know the answer.

      Several recent news analyses on FEMA's sorry state have attributed the
      agency's decline to its inclusion in the Department of Homeland Security,
      whose prime concern is terrorism, not natural disasters.
      But that supposed change in focus misses a crucial part of the story.

      For one thing, the undermining of FEMA began as soon as President Bush took
      office. Instead of choosing a professional with expertise in responses to
      disaster to head the agency, Mr. Bush appointed Joseph Allbaugh, a close
      political confidant. Mr. Allbaugh quickly began trying to scale back some
      of FEMA's preparedness programs.

      You might have expected the administration to reconsider its hostility to
      emergency preparedness after 9/11 - after all, emergency management is as
      important in the aftermath of a terrorist attack as it is following a
      natural disaster. As many people have noticed, the failed response to
      Katrina shows that we are less ready to cope with a terrorist attack today
      than we were four years ago.

      But the downgrading of FEMA continued, with the appointment of Michael
      Brown as Mr. Allbaugh's successor.

      Mr. Brown had no obvious qualifications, other than having been Mr.
      Allbaugh's college roommate. But Mr. Brown was made deputy director of
      FEMA; The Boston Herald reports that he was forced out of his previous job,
      overseeing horse shows. And when Mr. Allbaugh left, Mr. Brown became the
      agency's director. The raw cronyism of that appointment showed the contempt
      the administration felt for the agency; one can only imagine the effects on
      staff morale.

      That contempt, as I've said, reflects a general hostility to the role of
      government as a force for good. And Americans living along the Gulf Coast
      have now reaped the consequences of that hostility.

      The administration has always tried to treat 9/11 purely as a lesson about
      good versus evil. But disasters must be coped with, even if they aren't
      caused by evildoers. Now we have another deadly lesson in why we need an
      effective government, and why dedicated public servants deserve our
      respect. Will we listen?


      -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Jesse Jackson, Jr. - Congressman Second District of Illinois
      http://www.jessejacksonjr.org
      Paid for and maintained by Jesse Jackson, Jr. for Congress

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