Sunday, 19 November 2006

After the Flood ?

After the Flood ?

Federal Budget cuts and the Louisiana
National Guard deployed to Baghdad
In the face of warnings of Hurricane Katrina
Wreak havoc on a magical city
A mystical city of REAL culture-
Blues and jazz funerals
Parades and sexuality
Graveyards and voodoo

A city of kindness and hospitality
Of social networks and support
A city of racism and corruption
of Jerald Thomas and protests
A city of black filled hellholes
infamous Angola State Pen
and Orleans Parish Prison

The rich flee from Katrina
And the poor in their 4 by 4’s
And SUVS while
The poor nowhere to go
And no way of getting there
Suffer demonisation for
Committing the crime of
Surviving

The media
Deflecting attention
From (ir)responsible corrupt city fathers
With Images of blacks as “ loot” ers , marauders
Criminals
conveniently forgetting to report the complete
absence of contingency
Planning

Public workers again act as heroes
with Police as exception lying through
fear about the location of life-saving buses
dispersal of groups and protection
of abandoned property their
thinly disguised goal

While greedy Halliburton
voyeuristically looks on
planning a long desired
white-washed
French quartered corporate
Restructured Disneyland
amid visions of super-gated rich
compound enclosures to protect
the rich from an angrier poor

Cultural genocide racial cleansing
Corporate plans
Vie with grassroots organisations’
resistance to Disney-fication
getting organised
by diaspora activists networking
to fight for their community
vision of a newer New Orleans

Meanwhile a Biloxi man
Finally lets go of his wife’s hand
as she tells him to
“look after the children
and grandchildren”

Peter Burton August 2006

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