Tuesday, August 22, 2006

When The Levees Broke -- Not Just The Story of The Post Katrina Gulf Coast

"Does this somehow sound familiar?  Did the builders of the Titanic design it in such a way that they aimed to kill the occupants of steerage? Not at all. They did, however, design it so that if anyone was going to die, it would be those in steerage. Their deaths were acceptable for the builders of the Titanic. After all, those in steerage were considered a less-relevant population than the rich on the upper decks."   a quote from The Titanic of Our Era  by Bill Fletcher Jr..
No matter where in this world you live,  if you have access to HBO and if you have not seen it yet,  please watch Spike Lee's documentary "When The Levees Broke:  A Requiem in Four Acts"  when it airs again on  Tuesday, Aug. 29 (8:00 p.m.-midnight EST ), the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
"When The Levees Broke" isn't just the story of the devastation of America's gulf coast it is the story of  political apathy, government incompetence, racism, classism and the legacy of colonialism
You may think that I'm mistaken in using the word colonialism but I've chosen that word very thoughtfully.  This documentary clearly paints a picture of a region that is resource rich, in that it supplies 30 percent of America's oil and natural gas, but where virtually none of the wealth garnered from those resources  has stayed in the region to benefit its people.
The gulf coast region in general, and Louisiana in particular,  has been treated like a third world nation within US borders.   It was not a coincidence that the media began referring to the displaced residents as "refugees".   In many ways, similar stories   unfold in many sub-Saharan African nations everyday.  


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