Thursday, October 06, 2005


I have been told that in 1965, during Hurricane Bessie, the city of New Orleans dynamited a levy, diverting the water to the have-nots living in the lower 9th WARD TO PREVENT FLOODING IN THE EXCLUSIVE FRENCH QUARTER. Many bodies were found floating in this year of 2005, many Katrina victims say the levy was dynamited and the water was diverted to the 9th ward once again. Many, many bodies were floating in the water.

Like most residents of New Orleans, Sandra Moore from the 9th ward, thought hurricane Katrina was a usual storm just passing through. But she awakened in total shock to see her neighorhood submerged in water. "We have nothing now! No jobs, no homes, no schools, no hospitals - we have nothing but floating bodies everywhere," said Ms Moore. She rescued her drowning grandmother, mother, and aunt, all who were unable to swim to safety on their own. Ms Moore, with her six-month old baby wrapped under her arm headed for higher grounds in hope of receiving help. That hope turned into hell, frustration, and long hours.

I, Edward Pinkney, the executive director of the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (B.A.N.C.O.), one of the largest activist organizations in the midwest, located in Benton Harbor, Mi, was part of a caravan that brought people out of the gulf area and placed more than 20 families in homes. We brought two truck loads of donations and were turned away by the national guard inside New Orleans. We found a large group of people in a store parking lot where we distributed relief items: cleaning supplies, aspirin and other over the counter drugs, bottled water, canned goods, hygiene supplies, baby formula, diapers, wipes, pedialyte, sterile gloves, and batteries from AA to watches and and hearing aids batteries.

We visited many outlying towns and villages in Mississippi and Louisiana, places that the Red Cross and FEMA hadn`t visited. I spoke with a nurse who said a New Orleans doctor told her how she prayed for GOD to have mercy on her soul - she ignored every tenet of medical ethics and ended the lives of many she had fought to save. Her heart rending account has been corroborated by a hospital orderly and by local government officials. Those who had no chance of making it were given morphine and laid down in a dark place. Euthanasia is illegal in Louisiana. I also heard doctors were acting on instructions from the federal government.

What happened after Hurricane Katrina was shocking and awful. There was a total non-response of the federal government for four days. The world was left to see pictures of tormented black faces; relief was nowhere to be seen for the poor and the have-nots, U.S.citizens, and immigrants.

This could easily have been Benton Harbor, as long as we have Whirlpool, Cornerstone Alliance, and Berrien County Commissioners, who are racist. The Berrien County Courthouse that practices racism every single day and that has destroyed more families than Katrina. And let`s not forget about the four corrupt black families that run the city of Benton Harbor and have given the city away.

With these people and institutions in place, there would be no relief for Benton Harbor in the face of such disater.