Katrina Racism & Catholic Social Teaching

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Information about Katrina Racism & Catholic Social Teaching

Published on November 12, 2007

Author: jadymitchell

Source: slideshare.net

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Bill Quigley's presentation on Katrina, Racism, and Catholic Social Teaching

Katrina, Racism, and Catholic Social Teaching

Goal is Justice not Guilt

Racial Justice Economic Justice Gender Justice Are Intertwined

 

 

Brothers and Sisters to Us U.S. Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter on Racism

Racism is a sin

Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father.

Not Just White and Black

Isn’t Racism Over?

Because the Courts have eliminated statutory racial discrimination and Congress has enacted civil rights legislation, and because some minority people have achieved some measure of success , many people believe that racism is no longer a problem in American life.

Racism is Prejudice Plus Power

Distinguish Between Personal Prejudice and Personal Acts versus Systemic and Institutional Preferences for Whites

What is Structural Racism?

The structures of our society are subtly racist, for these structures reflect the values which society upholds. They are geared to the success of the majority and the failure of the minority. Members of both groups give unwitting approval by accepting things as they are.

Importance of Structure

Can You Restrict With One Wire?

Depends on How You Arrange the Wires

Structural Racism Directs Us to Examine the Way the Wires (Institutions) Are Interconnected

 

 

 

Movement toward authentic justice demands a simultaneous attack on both racism and economic oppression .

The continuing existence of racism becomes apparent when we look beneath the surface of our national life.

Look beneath the surface

Bishops point to 5 areas that illustrate continuing racism: Employment Education Housing Criminal Justice Opposition to Affirmative Action

But First, Who Was Left Behind When Katrina Hit?

Race & Katrina Gender & Katrina Class & Katrina (Property Ownership) Cannot understand Katrina Without Analysis

 

25% of New Orleans Do Not Own Car

Officials already knew that: 100,000 people, 27% of New Orleans, Lived below poverty line

Who was left behind?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8300 Prisoners Left in Cells

Many Never Made It Out 1,700 direct deaths

 

One Million Displaced

Employment

204,000 People Lost Their Jobs September 2005

People Have Lost Jobs, Health Insurance, Hospital, Doctor, Dentist, Pharmacy, Records

June 2006, Black evacuees nearly 5 times more likely to be unemployed than white evacs, - U.S. Department of Labor.

Women Louisiana lost 180,000 workers after Katrina, 103,000 were women. In New Orleans after Katrina, men’s median annual income rose to $43,055 while women’s fell to $28,932; Two-thirds of single mothers have not returned to New Orleans; In Mississippi only one of the state’s women crisis centers remained open – covering four counties in the disaster area.

Dramatic Reduction in Public Education, Healthcare, Housing, Transportation, & Childcare Equals Reduction in African American Women Workers in NO - From 51,000 to 17,000

Education

110 Public Schools Destroyed or Severely Damaged

Pre-K - 56,000 students in over 100 public schools Katrina hits public schools put in receivership Best schools converted into charters 2006-2007 - 25,000 students - 69% in Charter Schools

Pre-K - 56,000 students in over 100 public schools Katrina hits

public schools put in receivership

Best schools converted into charters

2006-2007

- 25,000 students - 69% in Charter Schools

September 15, 2005 School Board Converts First Schools to Charters – Meeting in Baton Rouge

September 30, 2005 U.S. Department of Education Gives $20.9m to Louisiana Charter Schools Only

U.S. Department of

Education

Gives $20.9m to Louisiana

Charter Schools Only

LA Legislature Strips NO School Board of 102 Schools

Largest Union in Louisiana United Teachers of New Orleans DECERTIFIED after 35 years 7500 people lose jobs

Spring 2006- FEMA trailers More than one-fifth of the school-age children who were either not in school , or had missed 10 days of school in the past month

Pre-K - 56,000 students in over 100 public schools Katrina hits public schools put in receivership Best schools converted into charters 2006-2007 - 25,000 students - 69% in Charter Schools

Pre-K - 56,000 students in over 100 public schools Katrina hits

public schools put in receivership

Best schools converted into charters

2006-2007

- 25,000 students - 69% in Charter Schools

School Daze Disaster in RSD public schools Charters looking good

Disaster in RSD public schools

Charters looking good

Non-Charter Public Schools Failing John McDonogh, a public high school November 2006 775 students - teachers, textbooks and supplies remained in short order months after school opened. Students described the school as having a “prison atmosphere.” No hot lunches and Few working water fountains. Girls’ bathrooms did not have doors on them. Library had no books at all, not even shelves for books. “ Our school has 39 security guards and three cops on staff and only 27 teachers,” one McDonogh teacher reported in fall 2006.

John McDonogh, a public high school November 2006

775 students - teachers, textbooks and supplies remained in short order months after school opened.

Students described the school as having a “prison atmosphere.”

No hot lunches and

Few working water fountains.

Girls’ bathrooms did not have doors on them.

Library had no books at all, not even shelves for books.

“ Our school has 39 security guards and three cops on staff and only 27 teachers,” one McDonogh teacher reported in fall 2006.

High School Entrance

Fight for public schools continues

Housing

 

 

300,000 homes uninhabitable

 

Black & Poor Neighborhoods Suffered Disproportionate Damages Lower Elevation

 

Who ended up in shelters?

September 10, 2005 in Shelters 64% Renters 55% Did Not Have a Car 93% African-American 67% Employed 76% Had Children under 18 In Shelter Too 57% incomes of Less than $20,000/year

64% Renters

55% Did Not Have a Car

93% African-American

67% Employed

76% Had Children under 18 In Shelter Too

57% incomes of Less than $20,000/year

“ We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.” Richard Baker, U.S. Congressman (R-La) Days after Katrina

St. Bernard Parish: September 2005 Rent Only to Blood Relatives Ordinance

Jefferson Parish Council Passes Resolution Opposing Tax Credits for Housing. Member Chris Roberts: "With the number of jobs out there, nobody should be on public housing unless you're ignorant or lazy." October 2005

We do not want “thugs” and “trash” from New Orleans public housing projects. Everyone with dreadlocks or che-wee hairstyles will be stopped by law enforcement.” Sheriff Jack Strain St. Tammany Parish

Noose Around New Orleans for African-American and Moderate Income Renters

New Orleans is Majority Renters

Rents Soar – 39% - 70%

 

Pre-Katrina, 5000 families lived in public housing

 

June 2006 - 1040 families allowed to return to public housing HUD Announces Demolition of 4500 Apartments

HUD Announces

Demolition of

4500 Apartments

Lower 9 th Ward No Drinkable Water For One Full Year

1 Year After - 298,000 people living in FEMA trailers on Gulf Coast

Over 65,000 Families on Gulf 240 sq ft. Trailers – Oct 07

Demolition of 4500 affordable apartments by government will give clear message to private sector about who is welcome back

Criminal Justice

ACLU Report Abandoned & Abused

 

 

 

Surviving or Looting?

 

Criminal Courthouse Closed No Jury Trials No Witnesses No Victims Accused Still Lost in System

6000 criminal case backlog – May 2006 Judges only in courtrooms part-time Insufficient #s Public Defenders Problems with Jail Facilities Absent retired or quit NOPD officers Evidence problems District Attorney problems Displaced victims, witnesses Backlog cut to 3000 by October 06; Backlog cut to 2000 by December 06;

Judges only in courtrooms part-time

Insufficient #s Public Defenders

Problems with Jail Facilities

Absent retired or quit NOPD officers

Evidence problems

District Attorney problems

Displaced victims, witnesses

Backlog cut to 3000 by October 06;

Backlog cut to 2000 by December 06;

Seven Police Officers Charged with Murder

National Guard Still Patrols New Orleans

Opposition to Affirmative Action

Opposition to Immigrants

Migrant Workers Abuse June 7, 2006 – UCAL Berkeley & Tulane Report on Migrant Workers. Half the reconstruction workers in NOLA is Latino; 54% of group is undocumented – 87% already living in us at time of Katrina Routinely mistreated.

 

Migrant Workers Abuse (cont) INJUSTICE FOR ALL Report by Advancement Project

Where did the money go?

Tens of billions of $ to be made

2% Rule of Gulf Coast 98% of the money distributed in a disaster ends up enriching corporations 2% gets to the people.

98% of the money distributed in a disaster ends up enriching corporations

2% gets to the people.

Example #1 – Blue Tarps on Roof

Example #1 : Blue Tarps – 2% SHAW GROUP 1 st got $175 a square to put on the tarps. Shaw subcontracted the work out to A1 CONSTRUCTION for $75 a square. A1 subcontracted the work out to a WESCON corporation for $30 a square. Who in turn subcontracted it out again to guys who did the work for $2 a square.

SHAW GROUP 1 st got $175 a square to put on the tarps.

Shaw subcontracted the work out to A1 CONSTRUCTION for $75 a square.

A1 subcontracted the work out to a WESCON corporation for $30 a square.

Who in turn subcontracted it out again to guys who did the work for $2 a square.

Shaw Group got contract for $175 a square (100 sq ft) -subcontracts for $75/square earns $100 each square- average roof is 1500 square feet – 15 squares X 15 Per roof!

A1 Construction gets $75/square subcontracts out for $30/square X 15 Per roof!

Roofers get $2 per square (of original $175)

Example #2: Ashbritt Inc of Florida Received no-bid contract for $579 million to pick up trash in Mississippi Miami Herald reports company does not own a single dump truck! MH also reported the company gave $40,000 in previous 12 months to GOP lobbying firm

Received no-bid contract for $579 million to pick up trash in Mississippi

Miami Herald reports company does not own a single dump truck!

MH also reported the company gave $40,000 in previous 12 months to GOP lobbying firm

Example # 3: Circle B Enterprises - Georgia Awarded $287 million no-bid contract to build FEMA trailers Company filed for bankruptcy year before Company does not have a website Company had no license to manufacture trailers in GA.

Awarded $287 million no-bid contract to build FEMA trailers

Company filed for bankruptcy year before

Company does not have a website

Company had no license to manufacture trailers in GA.

 

Analysis & Lessons Learned

Lesson: Build and Re-Build Community

St. Augustine’s Church

 

Self-Reliance

Value every single life equally

Don’t Wait for a Leader- Become One

Lesson: Prepare for Love-Hate Relationship with Government

If government works for corporations before the disaster, why different after? After disaster is a hyper corporate friendly environment.

Privatization of New Orleans Public Schools to Charter Schools Public Housing to Private Developers Public Healthcare to Private Providers Public Oversight to Private Oversight

Public Schools to Charter Schools

Public Housing to Private Developers

Public Healthcare to Private Providers

Public Oversight to

Private Oversight

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

Disaster can be a lens to reveal structural injustices in our community race gender class Educational opportunity for us to learn about ourselves, our institutions, and our communities

Justice-based Reconstruction will NOT be funded

Radical Revolution of Values

“ I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” Martin Luther King, April 4, 1967.

Love is the answer Justice work is a commitment for the long haul

Signs of Hope

 

Our Hearts Must Be Totally Open to Injustice and Pain and Totally Open to Hope and Love

Wherever you find tragedy and injustice You will also find resistance and inspiration

People Keep Fighting to Come Home

 

 

Church Groups Organize e.g. Jeremiah Group

“ This is why we joined the service – to help people!”

Those Left Behind When Katrina Hit Are Being Left Behind Again

How start to combat racism?

Start with the understanding that racism is “hard-wired” into our society and institutions. It is like the electric wires in the walls, or the plumbing, or the air and heat ductwork. Invisible. Important. Always There. It is a life-long struggle for justice.

Be willing to move beyond your comfort zone

Transformative Education Educate Self and Community about history and reality of the barriers of structural racism How it affects us, How it affects others.

CREATE a safe environment for open and honest discussion

Study Bishops Pastorals “Brothers and Sisters All”

Listen to People of Color

There are resources for training & expert help

 

If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us struggle together. Solidarity Lila Watson – Aboriginal Activist Collective

Justice Challenge? Never Again!

www.loyno.edu/~quigley/

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