Katrina Racism & Catholic Social Teaching

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

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Katrina Racism & Catholic Social Teaching

  1. 1. Katrina, Racism, and Catholic Social Teaching
  2. 2. Goal is Justice not Guilt
  3. 3. Racial Justice Economic Justice Gender Justice Are Intertwined
  4. 6. Brothers and Sisters to Us U.S. Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter on Racism
  5. 7. Racism is a sin
  6. 8. 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.
  7. 9. Not Just White and Black
  8. 10. Isn’t Racism Over?
  9. 11. 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.
  10. 12. Racism is Prejudice Plus Power
  11. 13. Distinguish Between Personal Prejudice and Personal Acts versus Systemic and Institutional Preferences for Whites
  12. 14. What is Structural Racism?
  13. 15. 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.
  14. 16. Importance of Structure
  15. 17. Can You Restrict With One Wire?
  16. 18. Depends on How You Arrange the Wires
  17. 19. Structural Racism Directs Us to Examine the Way the Wires (Institutions) Are Interconnected
  18. 23. Movement toward authentic justice demands a simultaneous attack on both racism and economic oppression .
  19. 24. The continuing existence of racism becomes apparent when we look beneath the surface of our national life.
  20. 25. Look beneath the surface
  21. 26. Bishops point to 5 areas that illustrate continuing racism: Employment Education Housing Criminal Justice Opposition to Affirmative Action
  22. 27. But First, Who Was Left Behind When Katrina Hit?
  23. 28. Race & Katrina Gender & Katrina Class & Katrina (Property Ownership) Cannot understand Katrina Without Analysis
  24. 30. 25% of New Orleans Do Not Own Car
  25. 31. Officials already knew that: 100,000 people, 27% of New Orleans, Lived below poverty line
  26. 32. Who was left behind?
  27. 41. 8300 Prisoners Left in Cells
  28. 42. Many Never Made It Out 1,700 direct deaths
  29. 44. One Million Displaced
  30. 45. Employment
  31. 46. 204,000 People Lost Their Jobs September 2005
  32. 47. People Have Lost Jobs, Health Insurance, Hospital, Doctor, Dentist, Pharmacy, Records
  33. 48. June 2006, Black evacuees nearly 5 times more likely to be unemployed than white evacs, - U.S. Department of Labor.
  34. 49. 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.
  35. 50. Dramatic Reduction in Public Education, Healthcare, Housing, Transportation, & Childcare Equals Reduction in African American Women Workers in NO - From 51,000 to 17,000
  36. 51. Education
  37. 52. 110 Public Schools Destroyed or Severely Damaged
  38. 53. <ul><li>Pre-K - 56,000 students in over 100 public schools Katrina hits </li></ul><ul><li>public schools put in receivership </li></ul><ul><li>Best schools converted into charters </li></ul><ul><li>2006-2007 </li></ul><ul><li>- 25,000 students - 69% in Charter Schools </li></ul>
  39. 54. September 15, 2005 School Board Converts First Schools to Charters – Meeting in Baton Rouge
  40. 55. September 30, 2005 <ul><li>U.S. Department of </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Gives $20.9m to Louisiana </li></ul><ul><li>Charter Schools Only </li></ul>
  41. 56. LA Legislature Strips NO School Board of 102 Schools
  42. 57. Largest Union in Louisiana United Teachers of New Orleans DECERTIFIED after 35 years 7500 people lose jobs
  43. 58. 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
  44. 59. <ul><li>Pre-K - 56,000 students in over 100 public schools Katrina hits </li></ul><ul><li>public schools put in receivership </li></ul><ul><li>Best schools converted into charters </li></ul><ul><li>2006-2007 </li></ul><ul><li>- 25,000 students - 69% in Charter Schools </li></ul>
  45. 60. School Daze <ul><li>Disaster in RSD public schools </li></ul><ul><li>Charters looking good </li></ul>
  46. 61. Non-Charter Public Schools Failing <ul><li>John McDonogh, a public high school November 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>775 students - teachers, textbooks and supplies remained in short order months after school opened. </li></ul><ul><li>Students described the school as having a “prison atmosphere.” </li></ul><ul><li>No hot lunches and </li></ul><ul><li>Few working water fountains. </li></ul><ul><li>Girls’ bathrooms did not have doors on them. </li></ul><ul><li>Library had no books at all, not even shelves for books. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Our school has 39 security guards and three cops on staff and only 27 teachers,” one McDonogh teacher reported in fall 2006. </li></ul>
  47. 62. High School Entrance
  48. 63. Fight for public schools continues
  49. 64. Housing
  50. 67. 300,000 homes uninhabitable
  51. 69. Black & Poor Neighborhoods Suffered Disproportionate Damages Lower Elevation
  52. 71. Who ended up in shelters?
  53. 72. September 10, 2005 in Shelters <ul><li>64% Renters </li></ul><ul><li>55% Did Not Have a Car </li></ul><ul><li>93% African-American </li></ul><ul><li>67% Employed </li></ul><ul><li>76% Had Children under 18 In Shelter Too </li></ul><ul><li>57% incomes of Less than $20,000/year </li></ul>
  54. 73. “ 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
  55. 74. St. Bernard Parish: September 2005 Rent Only to Blood Relatives Ordinance
  56. 75. Jefferson Parish Council Passes Resolution Opposing Tax Credits for Housing. Member Chris Roberts: &quot;With the number of jobs out there, nobody should be on public housing unless you're ignorant or lazy.&quot; October 2005
  57. 76. 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
  58. 77. Noose Around New Orleans for African-American and Moderate Income Renters
  59. 78. New Orleans is Majority Renters
  60. 79. Rents Soar – 39% - 70%
  61. 81. Pre-Katrina, 5000 families lived in public housing
  62. 83. June 2006 - 1040 families allowed to return to public housing <ul><li>HUD Announces </li></ul><ul><li>Demolition of </li></ul><ul><li>4500 Apartments </li></ul>
  63. 84. Lower 9 th Ward No Drinkable Water For One Full Year
  64. 85. 1 Year After - 298,000 people living in FEMA trailers on Gulf Coast
  65. 86. Over 65,000 Families on Gulf 240 sq ft. Trailers – Oct 07
  66. 87. Demolition of 4500 affordable apartments by government will give clear message to private sector about who is welcome back
  67. 88. Criminal Justice
  68. 89. ACLU Report Abandoned & Abused
  69. 93. Surviving or Looting?
  70. 95. Criminal Courthouse Closed No Jury Trials No Witnesses No Victims Accused Still Lost in System
  71. 96. 6000 criminal case backlog – May 2006 <ul><li>Judges only in courtrooms part-time </li></ul><ul><li>Insufficient #s Public Defenders </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with Jail Facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Absent retired or quit NOPD officers </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence problems </li></ul><ul><li>District Attorney problems </li></ul><ul><li>Displaced victims, witnesses </li></ul><ul><li>Backlog cut to 3000 by October 06; </li></ul><ul><li>Backlog cut to 2000 by December 06; </li></ul>
  72. 97. Seven Police Officers Charged with Murder
  73. 98. National Guard Still Patrols New Orleans
  74. 99. Opposition to Affirmative Action
  75. 100. Opposition to Immigrants
  76. 101. 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.
  77. 103. Migrant Workers Abuse (cont) INJUSTICE FOR ALL Report by Advancement Project
  78. 104. Where did the money go?
  79. 105. Tens of billions of $ to be made
  80. 106. 2% Rule of Gulf Coast <ul><li>98% of the money distributed in a disaster ends up enriching corporations </li></ul><ul><li>2% gets to the people. </li></ul>
  81. 107. Example #1 – Blue Tarps on Roof
  82. 108. Example #1 : Blue Tarps – 2% <ul><li>SHAW GROUP 1 st got $175 a square to put on the tarps. </li></ul><ul><li>Shaw subcontracted the work out to A1 CONSTRUCTION for $75 a square. </li></ul><ul><li>A1 subcontracted the work out to a WESCON corporation for $30 a square. </li></ul><ul><li>Who in turn subcontracted it out again to guys who did the work for $2 a square. </li></ul>
  83. 109. 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!
  84. 110. A1 Construction gets $75/square subcontracts out for $30/square X 15 Per roof!
  85. 111. Roofers get $2 per square (of original $175)
  86. 112. Example #2: Ashbritt Inc of Florida <ul><li>Received no-bid contract for $579 million to pick up trash in Mississippi </li></ul><ul><li>Miami Herald reports company does not own a single dump truck! </li></ul><ul><li>MH also reported the company gave $40,000 in previous 12 months to GOP lobbying firm </li></ul>
  87. 113. Example # 3: Circle B Enterprises - Georgia <ul><li>Awarded $287 million no-bid contract to build FEMA trailers </li></ul><ul><li>Company filed for bankruptcy year before </li></ul><ul><li>Company does not have a website </li></ul><ul><li>Company had no license to manufacture trailers in GA. </li></ul>
  88. 115. Analysis & Lessons Learned
  89. 116. Lesson: Build and Re-Build Community
  90. 117. St. Augustine’s Church
  91. 119. Self-Reliance
  92. 120. Value every single life equally
  93. 121. Don’t Wait for a Leader- Become One
  94. 122. Lesson: Prepare for Love-Hate Relationship with Government
  95. 123. If government works for corporations before the disaster, why different after? After disaster is a hyper corporate friendly environment.
  96. 124. Privatization of New Orleans <ul><li>Public Schools to Charter Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Public Housing to Private Developers </li></ul><ul><li>Public Healthcare to Private Providers </li></ul><ul><li>Public Oversight to </li></ul><ul><li>Private Oversight </li></ul>
  97. 125. If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
  98. 126. 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
  99. 127. Justice-based Reconstruction will NOT be funded
  100. 128. Radical Revolution of Values
  101. 129. “ 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 &quot;thing-oriented&quot; society to a &quot;person-oriented&quot; 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.
  102. 130. Love is the answer Justice work is a commitment for the long haul
  103. 131. Signs of Hope
  104. 133. Our Hearts Must Be Totally Open to Injustice and Pain and Totally Open to Hope and Love
  105. 134. Wherever you find tragedy and injustice You will also find resistance and inspiration
  106. 135. People Keep Fighting to Come Home
  107. 138. Church Groups Organize e.g. Jeremiah Group
  108. 139. “ This is why we joined the service – to help people!”
  109. 140. Those Left Behind When Katrina Hit Are Being Left Behind Again
  110. 141. How start to combat racism?
  111. 142. 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.
  112. 143. Be willing to move beyond your comfort zone
  113. 144. Transformative Education Educate Self and Community about history and reality of the barriers of structural racism How it affects us, How it affects others.
  114. 145. CREATE a safe environment for open and honest discussion
  115. 146. Study Bishops Pastorals “Brothers and Sisters All”
  116. 147. Listen to People of Color
  117. 148. There are resources for training & expert help
  118. 150. 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
  119. 151. Justice Challenge? Never Again!
  120. 152. www.loyno.edu/~quigley/

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