"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
This August 29 will mark the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Much attention has already been given to what has and has not happened over this decade-long struggle to repair, rebuild and reclaim a New Orleans devastated by the massive flooding caused by the levee breech. Thousands of people will descend on the city--joining in celebration and commemoration activities and events. Hundreds of reports have been written about New Orleans recovery after ten years--with a range of findings from those that declare victory to those that point out the ugly underside of widening inequality and those that show facts don't always match rhetoric.
Now is a good time to revisit Katrina and the Second Disaster: A Twenty-Point Plan to Destroy Black New Orleans, a blog (fist posted December 23, 2005) I wrote four months after the disaster--based on observations and interviews with Katrina survivors in a half dozen cities made several months after the flood. The "20-Point Plan" embodied "unspoken" policies, practices, "hidden agendas" and trends uncovered and made public. Read the full "20-Point Plan" here. A summary is pasted below:
1. Selectively Hand Out FEMA Grants.
2. Systematically Deny the Poor and Blacks SBA Loans.
3. Award Insurance Claims Using the "Wind or Water" Trap.
4. Redline Black Insurance Policyholders.
5. Use "Greenbuilding" and Flood-Proofing Codes To Restrict Redevelopment.
6. Apply Discriminatory Environmental Clean-up Standards.
7. Sacrifice "Low-Lying" Black Neighborhoods in the Name of Saving the Wetlands and Environmental Restoration.
8. Promote a Smaller, More Upscale, and "Whiter" New Orleans.
9. Revise Land Use and Zoning Ordinances to Exclude.
10. Phased Rebuilding and Restoration Scheme That Concentrates on the "High Ground."
11. Apply Eminent Domain as a Black Land Grab.
12. No Financial Assistance for Evacuees to Return.
13. Keep Evacuees Away from New Orleans Jobs.