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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/25/15

Racist 20-Point Plan to Destroy Black New Orleans Uncovered a Few Months After Hurricane Katrina

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"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.

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2. Systematically Deny the Poor and Blacks SBA Loans.

3. Award Insurance Claims Using the "Wind or Water" Trap.

4. Redline Black Insurance Policyholders.

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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."

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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.

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Robert D. Bullard is Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University in Houston. His most recent book is entitled "The Wrong Complexion (more...)
 

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