Revising Katrina For The Age Of Obama

By a pleasing coincidence, the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst disasters in American history, has occurred between the coronations of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

And Katrina has acquired a political dimension. Since 2005, a form of Katrina revisionism has been institutionalized, steadily reversing reality into a Politically Correct narrative fit for the Age of Obama. (A similar process occurred with that great Black Community PR disaster of the `80s, the Central Park Jogger case.)

There are six stages to the Katrina story:

  1. The failure of Mayor Ray Nagin and Gov. Kathleen Blanco to fulfill their respective responsibilities, prior to landfall.
  2. Black savagery, initially reported straightforwardly by the Main Stream Media.
  3. The decision, initially by editors at the New Orleans Times-Picayune but followed by the national MSM, to launch a revisionist campaign downplaying savagery reported by their own paper and the rest of the MSM had actually happened;
  4. The claim by the Nation of Islam’s Minister Louis Farrakhan that “the government” had dynamited the levees in the black Lower Ninth Ward, in order to commit racial genocide against blacks;[Farrakhan visits Charlotte, criticizes federal response  By Anna Crowley, WCNC.com, September 12, 2005]
  5. The propagation  of Farrakhan’s claim by black nationalist columnist Greg Kane and movie propagandist Spike Lee, without naming the source. Lee also invented the meme that the real story was white vigilante and police violence, picked up by the Leftist magazine The Nation, the New York Times and the MSM. This new narrative airbrushed all black violence out of the picture.
  6. A typically politicized Obama Justice Department lynching of law enforcement officers, holding them to unprecedentedly high standards while ignoring black crime.

Demoralization of law enforcement is likely to be Katrina’s enduring legacy.

My exposes of the Times-Picayune can be found on my blog Nicholas Stix, Uncensored: 1,900-word version; Two-part, 3,900-word version (here) and (here); and 9,900-word version.

In my opinion, the best accounts of Katrina remain Africa in Our Midst: The media suppress Katrina’s lessons, by Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, October 2005 and Who’s Killing New Orleans? by Nicole Gelinas, City Journal, Autumn 2005.

Other points that need to be made:

  • The New Orleans Police Department were Katrina Revisionists from the start—for good reason.

NOPD flacks were asserting from the get-go that the snipers firing on rescue workers were just “frightened,” “scared,” and were trying to “get [rescuers’] attention.” Well, they certainly succeeded.

In fact, Katrina exposed terrible weaknesses in the NOPD. As many as 200 officers hid at home. Hundreds more turned out to exist only on paper, created by an NOPD conspiracy to defraud the federal government out of millions of dollars paid to hire additional officers. of Four black female NOPD officers were filmed looting a WalMart; other NOPD officers allegedly stole possibly more than 200 Cadillacs and Corvettes from an auto dealership. Still others seem to have been trigger-happy.

  • Katrina may have unleashed a journalistic monster: Trymaine Lee. 
    Trymaine Lee

The Times-Picayune and its ace reporter, Brian Thevenot, were in the embarrassing position of having to unreport their own story: Mayor says Katrina may have claimed more than 10,000 lives; Bodies found piled in freezer at Convention Center by Brian Thevenot, September 6, 2005 was replaced by Rumors of deaths greatly exaggerated; Widely reported attacks false or unsubstantiated; 6 bodies found at Dome; 4 at Convention Center by Brian Thevenot and Gordon Russell, Times-Picayune, September 26, 2005.

The 9/26 story was immediately debunked by bloggers Eric Scheie at Classical Values, and “ziel” at Your Lying Eyes, but the Times-Picayune was rewarded by the Pulitzer Prize Committee, chaired by Nicholas Lemann, with not one but two Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage.

Trymaine Lee (pictured right) was a member of the Times-Pic staff who shared in the Pulitzer. He subsequently went to the New York Times, where he wrote Rumor to Fact in Tales of Post-Katrina Violence  [August 26, 2010] dismissing black violence as mere “rumors” and focusing on white violence, and then to the leftwing AOL/Huffington Post—where he gave the Trayvon Martin Hoax a national audience, transforming the reality of racist black officers on the Sanford, FL, PD into one of racist white officers (here and here).

  • Only one major MSM journalist seems to have queried Katrina revisionism: the Christian Science Monitor’s Patrik Jonsson.

Jonsson suggested that the purveyors of the revisionist narrative, and those who were engaging in prosecutions based on it, were imposing the normal legal and prosecutorial standard on a highly abnormal state of emergency.

But teasing the facts out of a flood of rumor and grains of truth will be daunting. It is a ‘morally treacherous’ gambit to measure the actions of stressed people in the virtually lawless state of post-Katrina New Orleans by typical standards, says Peter Scharf, a criminologist at Tulane University. The outcome, he worries, could impact the willingness of first responders – police, doctors and nurses – to stay behind during a major natural emergency for fear of later repercussions.

“The United States District Attorney and the FBI are ‘entering this incredibly gray, confusing period,’ says Mr. Scharf. ‘It`s like investigating the Battle of the Bulge where everyone is lost in middle of the Ardennes Forest. There`s ambiguity in the fog of war.’

The New Orleans coroner`s office has counted 23 dead with gunshot wounds to their heads, he says. What happened to these people is a mystery to authorities, he adds.

[Post-Katrina `vigilante` violence: rumor or fact? by Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, September 2, 2009.]

  • What happened may still be suppressed.

The most recently updated report on the Katrina dead from Louisiana was prepared by two CDC staffers and one from the Louisiana Office of Public Health. The report’s low-end estimate showed 986 deaths for the period from August 27-October 31, 2005, in parishes hit by Katrina, seventy-five percent of whom were from Orleans Parish (New Orleans). (The high-end estimate was of 1,440 dead.)

Victim Demographic Characteristics

  • Black                                  51% (498)
  • Non-Hispanic white               42% (403)
  • Hispanic                              2%  (18)
  • Asian                                  (4)
  • American Indian                   (4)
  • No information                     (42)

Cause of Death

  • Drowning                             40% (387)

       Injury and trauma -

  • Mechanism specified             2%  (20)
  • Mechanism unspecified          23% (226)

 

  • Illness
  • Heart disease                       11% (107)
  • Other illness                         5 (46)
  • “Unspecified, Katrina-related” 185 19%

[Hurricane Katrina Deaths, Louisiana, 2005 by Joan Brunkard, Gonza Namulanda, and Raoult Ratard, Disease Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, August 28, 2008.]

The report listed only two homicides, four “unintended firearms death[s]” and two “suicide[s].” But New Orleans would have had to go from the nation’s murder capital to its safest city for that to be true. I’m sure the 246 “injury and trauma” deaths are hiding many homicides. Note the suspiciously large category “mechanism unspecified.”

  • Little effort has been made to track down and bring to justice the black perpetrators of mayhem.

I called the office of Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro Jr. nine times on Friday, August 31, to inquire about Katrina-related prosecutions, but got a busy signal every time. The office’s Web press page is blank, except for saying, “News and current press regarding the District Attorney will be featured soon on this page.” The page lists no press flack or contact number.

  • The only aggressive prosecutions so far have been of policemen accused of murdering civilians. These trials have been extremely dubious.

After police shot and killed two black men, and severely wounded four other people on the Danziger Bridge, 11 NOPD officers were charged with murder and engaging in a cover-up.

The cop defendants were variously acquitted or had charges dismissed in state courts. But the U.S. DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, spearheaded by notorious racial witch hunter Thomas Perez, committed unconstitutional double jeopardy in order to prosecute 11 defendants. Seven officers, including a one black, have since been convicted, either via trial or plea bargain, and been sentenced to up to 65 years in prison. (The sentences are reportedly being appealed).

U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt was understandably uncomfortable with the whole proceeding:

‘Using liars to convict liars is no way to pursue justice,’ Engelhardt said.

“Citing witnesses for perjury ‘at this trial would be like giving out speeding tickets at the Indy 500,’ he added.

The judge also took exception with some of the charging decisions made by the Department of Justice, as well as the mandatory minimum sentences prescribed by law.

[Judge imposes stiff sentences on 5 NOPD officers convicted in Danziger shootings by Brendan McCarthy, Times-Picayune, April 4, 2012, updated April 5, 2012.]

I agree with Judge Engelhardt. And it is hard to know exactly what happened at the Danziger Bridge, because of that “fog or war.” But I am very sure that Obamacrat Thomas Perez is a U.S. Vyshinsky with his own racial agenda.

Tellingly, the feds have shown no interest in prosecuting the NOPD for multimillion-dollar embezzlement.

If Obama remains in office, look for Katrina political prosecutions for years to come—and for our children to be taught the revisionist Bizarro Universe parallel history of Katrina.

Nicholas Stix [email him] is a New York City-based journalist and researcher, much of whose work focuses on the nexus of race, crime, and education. He spent much of the 1990s teaching college in New York and New Jersey. His work has appeared in Chronicles, The New York Post, Weekly Standard, Daily News, New York Newsday, American Renaissance, Academic Questions, Ideas on Liberty and many other publications. Stix was the project director and principal author of the NPI report, The State of White America-2007. He blogs at Nicholas Stix, Uncensored.