Thursday, September 01, 2005

Black men in peril!



As the gruesome reality and devastation that Katrina left in her wake continues to blanket newspapers and news broadcasts around the world one face has begun to emerge as the constant symbol of an entire people. That face is the displaced, victimized, lost black man! It seems that over the last 4 days we have been unable to turn on the televison or open up a newspaper without seeing our brothers faces in despair, crying, mourning, and hopeless. Naturally the media largley has chosen to focus on a few renegade, gun wielding, "gang members" who are allegedly terrorizing search and rescue teams. However, even with regards to them I have had to ask myself to what lengths I would be willing to go in order to feed and protect my family. In no way do I want to defend those that are exploiting this situation for personal gain, but for every boy that has looted a gun I am sure there are 50 men who need to protect what little they have managed to hold on to since Monday morning. Once again, the media, in a race for the most sensationalized story has chosen to magnify that which is the most horrifying element of a story that has at least 100,000 perspectives. On Tuesday morning I was moved to tears by a gentleman I will call Mr. Jackson. The cameras were filming people aimlessly walking sown the street. The reporter asked him how he was doing. He said, "I aint doin' no good"! It seems that he was trying to hold on to his Children and his wife at the same time during the hurricane. After a while his wife realized that he couldnt hold on to her and the kids. Finally she said, "let me go, you can't hold me"! The man was devastated and kept saying, "I dont know what I am going to do"! This morning another black man was in Houston. He had successfully gotten his wife and children to safety before the hurricane set in. Now he had come to the AstroDome searching for his extended family, mother-in-law, uncles, and siblings. As he began to beg and plead for anyone that knew anything about his family to contact him by cell phone or email he also began to weep. I wept with him and tried to imagine what my state of mind would be if I were in his shoes. This week I have seen more of my black brothers and sisters on CNN than ever before. I have grown increasingly angry towards the people who are supposed to be managing this tragedy. I have gone from sorrowful to bitter when I see 60,000 mostly black people wading through filth, debris, and sewage trying to get water, food, and shelter! Knowing the military muscle that this country is capable of displaying I am awed that such an event could be so poorly mishandled on US soil. Finally, I have been forced to ask myself, if there were 60,000 caucasian women and children stranded at the superdome would it be taking 4 days to evacuate them from what appears to be war zone?
My heart is heavy for all of the people that have been effected by hurricane Katrina, but particularly for my brothers trying to make sense out of the choas.

Below you will find information on how to assist those that have been displaced as well as information for those that may need assistance.

Our prayers and thoughts are with those that are affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Katrina has blazed a trail of devastation throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Across the Gulf Coast, Katrina engulfed thousands of homes and decimated the landscape in what could become the most destructive storm in U.S. history. Victims are stranded and in need of immediate medical care, food and water, and tens of thousands of people will need temporary housing for months.

Help people affected by this storm by making a donation today.

HOW TO HELP:

1. American Red Cross - In response, the American Red Cross is launching the largest mobilization of resources for a single natural disaster involving thousands of trained disaster relief workers, tons of supplies and shoulders to lean on. (http://www.redcross.org/)

2. Network for Good - is the place to make secure online donations, explore volunteer opportunities, and learn more about the causes that matter most by assisting victims of Hurricane Katrina. (http://www.networkforgood.org/)

3. Habitat for Humanity - Help rebuild the lives of the victims of Hurricane Katrina, piece by piece, house by house. (http://www.habitat.org/)

4. NSALA: Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue - Unfortunately, most public evacuation centers do not allow individuals to take their pets. Our mission of rescuing and restoring animals to loving homes. (http://www.nsalamerica.org/)

5. Salvation Army - is currently providing services to storm victims and first responders in the Gulf Coast states. (http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/)


TO GET HELP:

1. State of Louisiana - Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (http://www.ohsep.louisiana.gov/)

2. State of Mississippi - Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (http://www.msema.org/index.htm)

3. State of Alabama - (http://www.state.al.us/statenews.php)

4. Federal Emergency Management Agency - Federal Emergency Management Agency (http://www.fema.gov/press/2005/resources_katrina.shtm) and (http://www.fema.gov/index.shtm)

5. WWLTV: News for New Orleans, Louisiana - Get out messages to let loved ones know that you are okay. Are you trying to get in touch with someone? (http://www.wwltv.com/forums/index.php)
Help those affected by this tragedy. Support rescue and relief efforts. Donate today.

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