suburban police blocked those trying to escape while black

None of this surprises me any more, although there was a time, less than two weeks ago, when I could still go about the day without these images of the horrors of our racism haunting me all day long and through much of the night.

Police Trapped Thousands in New Orleans

As the situation grew steadily worse in New Orleans last week, you might have wondered why people didn't just leave on foot. The Louisiana Superdome is less than two miles from a bridge that leads over the Mississippi River out of the city.

The answer: Any crowd that tried to do so was met by suburban police, some of whom fired guns to disperse the group and seized their water.

This is a short excerpt from a post by Rogers Cadenhead linked from Atrios, who headlined his own abreviated citing, "America's Worst Person," referring to Gretna, Louisiana police chief Arthur Lawson.

FOOTNOTE: See the identiy of the armed man in an LAT photograph I included in this post of mine. Even a week ago I was struck by the imagery I found in several photographs I found which included Gretna police interacting with New Orleans refugees.

Gretna police officer Ray Lassiegne stands guard over a busload of evacuees after they were picked up near the Greater New Orleans Bridge just south of New Orleans. [Los Angeles Times caption, image dated September 1]

My point is not to paint an entire town with the color of racism or just plain selfishness (in this case, criminal), nor is it to exclude individuals or communities elsewhere. We can all share in the blame, and we know it, even as we express our outrage.

[image by Robert Gauthier from the Los Angeles Times, via Newsday]

If you caught the radio show 'This American Life' on NPR this weekend, they ran a story that talked specifically about those trying to leave by foot. They were told they were not letting people leave as they would 'turn the west bank into the superdome'.

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Published on September 9, 2005 2:04 PM.

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