The Katrina kool-aid: Gets spiked

Published 15 years ago -  - 15y ago 40

“I don’t put anything past the United States government. I don’t find it too farfetched that they tried to displace all the black people out of New Orleans.” — Spike Lee, renowned black film maker, commenting during a recent CNN interview on the theory that a levee in New Orleans may have been blown up during Hurricane Katrina in order to kill or displace the city’s black population.

Displace all the black people to where, Spike? What good does it do a racist United States government (your presumption) to displace them from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, or to Houston, or to Memphis, or to anywhere else unless it’s out of the country altogether and for good? Did these nefarious government operants just decide for some reason that they wanted this one particular city to become lily white? Doesn’t seem too smart. Since tourism is New Orleans’ lifeblood — presumably because of its unique ambiance, much of which is constituted by jazz and black culture — how would it help to turn it into a colorless blandsville, devoid of the very essence that made it an attraction in the first place?

Way to go, Spike. You crossed a line in front of a national television audience that transports you beyond your former status of mere nettlesome complainer about the evil forces that relentlessly conspire to keep black people down. You’ve now moved on to a whole new dimension of racial conspiracy theories where the emphasis is on patent lunacy.

Our old pal Louie Farrakhan is the one who first publicized the blown-up levee theory: “I heard from a very reliable source who saw a 25-foot-deep crater under the levee breach. It may have been blown up to destroy the black part of town and keep the white part dry.”

Yeah, right, a “very reliable source.” A regular “Deep Throat” type of informer in the great plot to destroy the black part of New Orleans . Let’s just call it Floodwatergate. Maybe this Deep Throat will keep feeding Farrakhan dribs and drabs of information until it all comes out and the Bush administration can be taken down for attempted genocide.

Or maybe the men in the clean white coats will come and take Farrakhan away, ha-ha. If only.

This blown-up levee hogwash is every bit as wacky as it would be if someone suggested — I don’t know, let me think of something really wild — that several days after Katrina hit, starving black people who had been abandoned by callous authorities resorted to eating dead bodies to stay alive.

Actually, someone did suggest that very thing. Randall Robinson, “internationally respected foreign policy advocate and author,” according to his bio, posted this on Arianna Huffington’s blog site: “It is reported that black hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive. Four days after the storm thousands of blacks in New Orleans are dying like dogs.” However, the reports didn’t turn out to be so reliable and a couple of days later Robinson issued a retraction. But don’t expect any such retraction from Farrakhan. He’s all about nutty and unverifiable claims.

But just for the heck of it, let’s see if we can try and understand how this plot that Farrakhan publicized and Spike wouldn‘t put past the U.S. government might have come about. There must have been some pretty nefarious and very secretive people within the U.S. government who found the time to sit down together as Hurricane Katrina approached and said: Hey, we’ve got this catastrophe headed straight for New Orleans, compliments of mother nature. There ought to be a way to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and get rid of all the blacks. Let’s see, what we could do is, we could send in a clandestine agent to set off an explosive at a strategic point on one of the levees and the result would be that lots and lots of blacks would be killed and/or their part of town would simply be wiped out. Whatever blacks survived would have to be displaced to other parts of the country since they would have no homes to return to. Then we rebuild New Orleans as a pristSure, there are plenty of people in the government who think that way, and sure, it could work. Heck, it pretty much did, didn’t it?

Do people like Spike ever stop and think about the logic of these conspiracy theories or do they just pick them up and run with them because of some perverse psychological need to believe them? It must be painful living with that kind of racial paranoia. Of course, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean no one’s after you. But on the other hand, just because no one’s after you doesn’t mean you’re not paranoid. In other words, maybe Spike is paranoid, but for no good reason.

For instance, did Spike have a good reason for believing himself to be the victim of a movie ticket plot back when his movie “Malcolm X” came out? Spike alleged that some theatre owners had credited sales from “Malcolm X” to some other film in order to make his film look less successful, thereby hurting his chances of studio support for future films. Sure, you believe that a bunch of racist theatre owners got together and hatched that petty plot, don’t you?

So this is the mentality that Spike brings to one of his latest projects, a post-Hurricane Katrina documentary for HBO that will no doubt delve deep into the delusional. But hey, anything to make poor blacks look like the hapless victims of diabolical plots, particularly when those plots are coming out of the self-evidently evil cabal of Bush/Cheney/Halliburton — or as you might as well call it, Black Genocide, Inc. (What about Condi? Presumably, she goes along with it all just to stay in good graces with her masters.)

You might laugh, shrug your shoulders and wonder why anybody cares what these wack jobs say. The problem is, guys like Farrakhan and Spike Lee have a lot of influence over multitudes of black people, some of whom are all too eager to believe such nonsense. Combine that with the constant negative rhetoric of the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons, who basically act as if there hasn‘t been a half century of dramatic racial progress, and what do you get? A whole lot of needlessly angry black people who are convinced of the futility of trying to get ahead when instead, they could be taking advantage of the incredible opportunities that any non-white immigrant to this country will tell you exist in fabulous abundance.

Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”

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