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Destiny Clashes with Purpose: My Life Changing Experience as a reporter w/the White House Press Pool PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marlene Christine Hurd   
Tuesday, 03 December 2013

On Saturday morning, November 23, 2013, while working on a class final, to my surprise I clicked over to read an email which said, “President Obama to Travel to San Francisco to speak at the Betty Ann Ong Recreation Center.” My immediate response was Wow, Could this be true?  

As a student who studied International Relations at Laney College, Ethnic Studies and Public Policy at Mills College and Poverty and Inequality and U C Berkeley’s Goldman’s School of Public Policy, then received training as a Alumni Fellow with Oakland’s based Urban Habit, I knew destiny was calling.

To my surprise the email came from a former English Professor who sent the request asking if I could cover the story for her news group as part of the White House Press Pool.  I said yes, sent in my RSVP and was cleared. I’d had never covered a White House story but wanted to represent the news group Wanda’s Picks, in a spirit of excellence. Using the assignment letter sent from Ms. Sabir, Editor-in-Chief, I created a press pass and media packet along with business cards printed onto a label affix to index flash cards to hand out.

Good to go that Monday morning, I was the first in line excited and honored to work alongside media organizations such as the Associated Press, KTVU Fox 2, CBS Radio,  KRON 4, Vic Lee, with Channel 7 News, Sing Tao Daily, the largest Chinese news paper in the Bay Area and Telemundo, a Latino news group. I felt like a kid at Christmas who had received a favorite present off of my wish list. After the media checked in, all White House Press Pool received a press pass to wear which identified them for the White House.

At 11:55 a.m., President Barack Obama arrived to speak on Immigration Reform at the San Francisco Betty Ann Ong Recreation Center.  The ticket holders and dignitaries in attendance, included Oakland’s Mayor, Jean Quan whom I waved at. President Obama spoke with passion on the subject of immigration reform which has become a nationwide movement around the world. Ms. Ong is known for her heroic courage as a flight attendant on American Airlines, Flight 11. On September 11, 2001, this was the first airplane out of four hijacked. Flight 11 left Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts headed to Los Angeles California. There were 81 passengers, nine flight attendants, and two pilots on board.

Without hesitation, Betty quickly contacted the airlines ground crew to inform them of what was happening inside the plane. Ong stayed on the line for 25 minutes providing updates to the ground crew before the plane crashed into the North Tower of the New York World Trade Center killing all on board. Ong’s actions resulted in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), closing down all airline fights. This was the first time in history for this to happen. I was honored meet Betty’s mother, her two sisters, niece and uncle. The family created buttons with Betty’s picture on them to us with the words, “An American Hero 9-11-01 AA Flight Attendant” and a picture of the lovely, brave, heroic Betty Ann Ong’s portrait in the middle. The recreation center was named after her because of her love for children.

President Obama spoke about his “Common Sense Immigration Reform Bill” which is slowly making its way through Congress. Here in California, though, we have not waited to act. Governor Jerry Brown’s Assembly Bill 4 or “Trust Act” establishes protections for immigrants, allowing them to no longer live in fear of deportations. Brown created a pathway out of 20 years under the dark cloud of California Prop 187. This legislation took us in the wrong direction which resulted in anti immigrant polices similar to current federal policies the Common Sense Immigration Reform Bill circulating in the House now would rectify. The President also joked that he hoped the bill would pass despite his name attached to it.

Oakland based organization, Black Alliance for Just Immigration BAJI Co-Founder Reverend Kelvin Sauls states that “human dignity, not political expediency must be the heartbeat of immigration reform in the United States. A human rights framework must be foundational to the development of immigration policy globally.”

President Obama agreed as he reminded attendees that, “When Chinese immigrants came to this city in search of “Gold Mountain” they weren’t looking just for physical riches, but for freedom and opportunity.”

One fourth generation Chinese American attendee told me that “birth rights and citizenship started right in San Francisco’s China Town with the March 28, 1898 United States Supreme Court landmark case United States vs Wong Kim Ark. The Supreme Court ruled then that “if a person were born on U.S. soil he is indeed a U.S. citizen  Prior to this ruling, unless an immigrant were a Western European or a freed slave under the 14th Amendment in the citizenship clause, he would not be recognized as a citizen.” Interesting history lesson, I was not aware of.

The Dreamers were present and at a moment during President Obama’s speech a South Korea graduate student started yelling that he has been separated from his family for 19 months now and asked that the President halt deportations for undocumented immigrants in this country. He said, “You have a power to stop deportations for all undocumented families.”

The secret service were closing in on the young man who was a bit too close to the Commander in Chief for comfort, but cool and smooth and ever in control, the President told his squad to let him speak.

When the yelling subsided he said: “I respect the passion of these young people, because they feel deeply about the concerns of their families. Now, what you need to know, when I’m speaking as President of the United States and I come to this community, is that if, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we’re also a nation of laws. That’s part of our tradition.”

Another heckler said, “We need to pass comprehensive immigration at the same time we –you have a power to stop deportation for all undocumented immigrants in this country. President Obama answered, “Actually I don’t. And that’s why we’re here.”

People seem to think the president can do whatever he wishes and President Obama was clear when he stated:  “We are a nation of laws and what I am proposing is the harder path, which is to use our democratic processes to achieve the same goal that you want to achieve. But it won’t be as easy as just shouting. It requires us lobbying and getting it done.”   

Obama closed his speech with a call to action: “If you’re serious . . . then I’m ready to work with you. But it is going to require work. It is not simply a matter of us just saying we’re going to violate the law.  That’s not our tradition.  The great thing about this country is we have this wonderful process of democracy, and sometimes it is messy, and sometimes it is hard, but ultimately, justice and truth win out.  That’s always been the case in this country; that’s going to continue to be the case today.”

As attendees began leaving the event while still behind in the White House press pool area, I interviewed a member with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) who said as  Latino whose people have taken a lot of hits on immigration over the past 15-20 years in California, Arizona and Texas that the “President Obama reflected on something that the Latino community has been waiting on [for a long time] and recognized the blows his policies on immigration have taken No one is listening to the topic of immigration.” Well they are listening, but the wheels are churning very slowly in Washington.

I left the event on fire and inspired with a new sense of purpose realizing it is now time to ACT to rewrite history and pass a Commonsense Immigration bill.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 December 2013 )
Haiti Celebration at the College of Alameda PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wanda Sabir   
Tuesday, 01 June 2010

Haiti Awareness Day Celebration
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at the College of Alameda

During Spring Break 2010 Professor Wanda Sabir went to Haiti. She visited schools, orphanages, and other organizations devastated by the January 12, 2010 earthquake.  She saw crumbled and severely damaged national monuments in Port-au-Prince and just north on her way to Cap-Haïtien.  She met wonderful people like Rea Dol whose school Sopudep was damaged and the neighborhood so severely damaged that she decided to rebuild in another city nearby where the stench of death isn’t as powerful and the PTSD triggers absent. Of her staff of 50 over half were homeless three months after the quake, yet, each day they showed up along with students the week the week she was there to help build a wall around the perimeter of the new school site. The former major of Petionville also came by. He is a structural engineer and is consulting with Mrs. Dol on the new structure. Later that week Professor Sabir got a tour of Cité Soleil with a young activist, Jean Ristil Jean Baptiste, who showed her bullet ridden buildings where many more recently orphaned children’s parents were killed by the government.

In an event co-sponsored by ASCOA join us in a celebration of Haitian culture and resilience as we look at a nation which can use our assistance in its move towards liberation and self-determination.  We will have a blessing in the Haitian tradition with drumming and song, a slide presentation, along with a history of Haiti in the context of the rebuilding efforts headed by this government (Clinton/GW Bush).  There will also be information about grassroots organizations one can assist with money and in-kind donations. Professor Sabir would like to return early June for two weeks this time to visit Port-au-Prince again and Southern Haiti: Jacmel, Les Cayes, Port Salut. 

I am so excited to be here with you celebrating the legacy of the Haitian Revolution, specifically General Jean Jacques Dessalines, who on May 18, 1803, at the first Pan African Congress created the Haitian flag. Flag Day is such a misnomer; it’s like calling King Tutkhanamun: King Tut—as Professor Siri says its like saying Hey Dude to the pharaoh, god’s representative on earth. May 18, 1803 was so much more!
Jacob H. Carruthers’s The Irritated Genie is such a fine work, a preview not just for the Haitian Revolution, but for black revolutionary struggle.  The Irritated Genie is an examination of the pre- and post-colonials transfers of power which are not really transfers of power if we look at the state of the Pan African Diaspora and how freedom and liberty and justice are defined outside the elite circles, those “field negroes,” whether literal or figurative.

Carruthers’says in his essay, The Irritated Genie: An Essay on the Haitian Revolution, General Dessalines used that moment 207 years ago to reconcile factions and to end the national identify crisis. His “[removal of] the white bar from the red, white and blue tri-colors under which both Toussaint’s army and the French expedition had been fighting” represented an abandoning of support for the Europeans and a reliance on black sovereignty and independent. Toussaint had been kidnapped and starved to death in a French prison (1803), the French were trying to re-enslave free Africans. The racial and class divides between free blacks and enslaved blacks, Kreyol and pure blacks was seen as it was, a way to keep Africans weak and divided.  I can’t imagine the spectacle of Africans and Europeans, both marching to the “tune of La Marseillaise and other French songs under the French flag proclaiming ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.’ It was quite confusing when the enemy was doing the same. Both sides were trying to save the French Republic. Dessalines removed the white bar symbolizing the white people and the French nation in particular. He then joined the blue which symbolized the Mulattoes (or mixed race Africans). Thus, the united sons of Africa were fighting against their common enemy” (77).
Dessalines was not afraid to be misunderstood or vilified. He loved his people enough to accept their misdirected disdain. This is how Victor Schoelcher, in Colonies: Etrangeres et Haiti, 1843, cited in Steward, p. 231), a contemporary white scholar describes Dessalines:

“He did not wish to borrow anything from the whites. He repelled all civilization; he would not agree to learn anything beyond rudely making some mark which represented his name. he affected to speak only Creole and to not understand French; and although born in Saint Domingo he vaunted himself as being only a ‘savage African’” (Carruthers 77). 

Today we look at the victory of Haiti, its successes and its failures as a microcosm of Pan African suffrage or independence movements. After reading the Irritated Genie which looks at the Haitian Revolution at a war with white supremacy, the French and by extension the Americans or Spaniards, who were not about to agree to rule where black and white, that is, formerly enslaved Africans and they are equal.  Toussaint L’Overture believed the French could and would eventually see Africans as their equal, when nothing was further from the truth then and now.  At its basic level, the Haitian revolution was a fight for human rights. Dessalines never said Africans were superior to another race or culture. He just said “liberty or death.”

I am so happy on the eve of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz’s birthday that I am at the College of Alameda, a part of the Peralta College District, a place where Malcolm X is not only recognized, he is given a holy day.  The Peralta College District has a history of black powere and black liberation with the birth of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, and many of its student leaders enrolled here.  The Peralta College District is also the first college district in the nation to have a black student union.

Malcolm X, Stokley Carmichael or Kwame Ture, gave a speech at Merritt College when Huey P. Newton wasn’t feelin’ too much love for the brother after COINTELPRO whispered in his ear that Ture was out to get him. Ture, named for two revolutionary African leaders, post-colonialism, Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Turre, presidents of Ghana and Guinea, showed up to countradict that rumor in person.
I mention these leaders, now ancestors, because they walked in the footsteps, they stood on the shoulders of General Dessalines and the Henri Christophe and Petion and of course Toussaint L’Overture.  CL James, another scholar and author of the book, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Overture and the San Domingo Revolution, “views Haiti as the first link in the chain of Pan-African revolts that led to independence throughout Africa.” (113).

Frederick Douglas says in 1893 that the Haitian Revolution laid the foundation for the vindication of the Black race.  He says: “Speaking for the Negro, I can say, we owe much to (David) Walker for his Appeal … But we owe incomparably more to Haiti than to them all. I regard her as the original pioneer emancipator of the nineteenth century” (111). 

The independence movements in Africa do not mention the Haitian revolution. Revolutionary blacks, Curruthers says, and I agree, tend to cite Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Cuban revolutionaries before they reference General Dessalines.

This week around the country and the world, Africans are celebrating African Liberation Day. A day instituted by Kwame Ture when he created the All African People’s Revolutionary Movement, similar to Malcolm X’s Organization of African Unity.
This is what Dessalines in the footsteps of Bookman and Mame Fatiman intended when the “irritated genie” is satisfied. On January 1, 1804, Independence Day, General Dessalines says, “It is not enough to have expelled from our country the barbarians which have stained it with blood for two centuries. It is not enough to have stopped the factions which have always reviewed each after its turn, a phantom of liberty that the French exposed to your eyes” (90). True freedom is uncompromising—it is 100 percent or nothing at all.

Black history really is world history—the mistakes of the past echo in the present—Katrina wasn’t a mistake. It was intentional, just as the response to Haiti’s January 12, 2010, earthquake and subsequent tremors is intentional. The earthquake of economic sanctions and global or at least western nation nods to military coups and dictatorships resemble the policies of the 18th century when Caruthers’s states: The white phantom masquerade as Black Power (53).


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 June 2010 )
Skin, the film PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wanda Sabir   
Friday, 13 November 2009

Reprinting from
Skin opened in theatres this past week. Another film I'd highly recommend is Good Hair.

Monday, October 19, 2009
Mill Valley Film Festival

Yesterday I watched a great film, Skin, directed by Anthony Fabian. The film is based on the true story of South African woman, Sandra Laing, born to white parents but classified as coloured during the apartheid era. Sandra is portrayed well by Sophie Okonedo, however, the child who portrays the younger Laing, was equally compelling as the child who up to the time she goes to boarding school, doesn't see any difference between herself and her parents and brother(s). When she moves into the larger society where skin color is one's racial classification, then one sees the self-hatred emerge as her father introduces his child to skin bleaching creams which burn her skin. The scene where he blows on her face to cool the fire is poignant.

I hadn't read the description in advance, so I thought the work was narrative fiction. One can imagine my surprise when I learn at the end of the film that Sandra Laing really exists and this is a true story. Wow! I'd certainly recommend this film to all anthropologists.

So what is race and how effective is it as a barrier when two apparently white parents can have a child who is not white? Genetically it's called a recessive gene--or a throw back, but what does this do to the psychological make-up of the family?

Sandra is eventually saved from life as a "coloured" citizen, yet, nothing is ever the same for her. Back at school, the boys don't date her and at home, her father's illusion of his daughter and Afrikaner suitors who would marry her is just that, an illusion. No white boy wants a black girl as a wife. One is not surprised when Sandra decides to be with the young African she grew up with, a man whom she began to sneak off to visit at night.

He is kind to her, even rescuing her from some of these dates she escapes from. However, his love is not enough to combat his hate for the apartheid system which means he cannot have a business and the government can at will bulldoze entire shantytowns--he says to friends, "They move us around like cattle."

No one speaks of the community removal which displaced so many Africans and the disruption on family life. I was speaking to a friend Saturday about what "coloured" meant in South Africa and what "colored" meant to an African American. I remembered that coloured didn't mean black and white or mixed heritage, actually coloured in South Africa was purely a catch all category for non-Bantu Africans like the Khoikhoi.

At the time Sandra is born, it is still against the law for white people to cohabit or have sexual relationships with black people, so when Sandra's father prosecutes her and the police pick her up from her boyfriend's home, she is imprisoned.

"Skin" looks at the way Sandra's skin color challenges the whole notion of white supremacy and racism. She is obviously intelligent, so if she is classified according to her parents' classification then what's to say that the entire system is wrong, that intelligence is not bound by race, that this is false science.

Okay, you might have a system of government that says certain people have certain privileges, but to say it is genetic is falsified by every "throw back" or recessive gene that produces children like Sandra from white parentage.

"Skin" is also about the bond between a parent and a child. Sandra loves her parents and they love her. It gets confusing when she brings in her lover and then husband into the fold--or tries to, but there is love there. Sandra has a normal childhood, surrounded in her isolated community by people who love her. Her husband doesn't understand why she wants anything to do with her mother when she is white.

He says to her, "I thought you were happy here."

She says she is, but this doesn't mean she doesn't miss her mother and father, and siblings. Before she leaves home she asks her dad if he loves her. For Mr. Laing, the political gets mixed up with the the end it's not what is good for Sandra that drives his actions, it's what good for the family and his name and decision he eventually regrets.

Trouble the Water, Review PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wanda Sabir   
Tuesday, 09 September 2008

I saw an amazing film this week, Trouble the Water, talk about Amazing Grace…its sweet sound…wretched souls once lost and finding themselves, blinded they now see. Sometimes it takes living through something as catastrophic as Hurricane Katrina and busted levees, flood waters and thoughts of dying, to shake one from the stupor one was drifting in for most, if not all, of one’s life.

Trouble the Water is such a story. It’s the story of Kimberly Rivers Roberts and her husband, Scott Roberts, who managed to survive Katrina and save others in their Ninth Ward neighborhood.

Like the debris floating in the flood waters, Kim and Scott were also floating without anchors prior to a challenge that pulled on a strength they knew they possessed, but hadn’t actually utilized to its potential; but death does that—as one’s life passes in front of her eyes…one either sinks or swims.

As one watches the film, Kim with a camera is interviewing her neighbors and asking them if they are leaving as she packs her freezer with ice, goes to the store to buy meat and interviews the proprietor who tells her, he isn’t leaving either. She wakes up her uncle, passed out in a stupor and he wanders off to a place where he’ll be indoors. She calls friends and relatives to alert them to elders who are alone and don’t possess phones so someone will look in on them so they don’t drown.

What’s really sad is the story we see later in the film about one such relative, who drowns in a convalescent home that wasn’t evacuated, and other stories about government's response to the victims: refusing the weary rest at the empty army base--this story juxtaposed with President Bush's advice over the air in Washington, DC, admonishing people in the Gulf that "everything is being done--no resources spared which can help with the recovery." At Frederick Douglass High School, where Scott and Kimberly ended up, the soldiers laughed at the victims--the comments were, "they didn't know basic survival techniques." Excuse me?! These two people had just braved the worse natural disaster in US history!

Trouble the Water, directed by Carl Deal (Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11) with director, Tia Lessin, used the early and priceless footage Kim took prior to their meeting her and Scott, in Alexandria. Kim and Scott had the safe house; their attic supplied with ice, food and cheer. Her cousin Larry, along with Scott, rescued people during the storm floating in without anchors in the storm waters. There they all stayed until the men evacuated them one at a time to higher ground.

As Kim’s footage showed the storm and the people inside the small room, frightened –Kim always positive and cheerful, while other archival footage: radio streaming were voices of other New Orleans residents calling 911 and asking for help. The operators answered the frantic callers with, “When the water level decreases we’ll be able to help you." The distressed caller's response was, “So I’m going to die?” Silence greeted this conclusion.

Once the water receded and the Kim and Scott and the others left the shelter they headed to Alexandria to Kim's favorite uncle's house. The Roberts’ couple packed a truck with 20 people and their pets (cat, and dogs) and headed north. When they arrived, all Kim and her uncle could do was hug. One could feel the relief mixed with sorrow. He told them they could stay in the house as long as they liked. There they stayed the night and then went to an American Red Cross Shelter as there was no electricity or plumbing at the house.

Her uncle had lost his mother, Carrie Mae in the storm. The Convalescent home hadn't evacuated her and the bodies had decomposed. It was hard to identify the remains. That was so sad. Kim and Scott made sure everyone was settled, before continuing on to Memphis; it was the first time Scott had been out of New Orleans. The couple hoped to make a new start.

Throughout the entire crisis, Kim shows how she can think on her feet. It was cool witnessing the extended family taking care of one another; this is how these folks were able to survive.

Early footage of Katrina showed black folks and white folks looking for water and other resources like food to survive, yet the black folks were called thieves and the white folks, survivors. Trouble the Waters is a more balanced look at a population off the radar. As Kimberly says often enough, "no one cares about the 9th Ward and its inhabitants. No one came looking for the dead;" death’s stench is unbearable from the porch where Kim and Scott went into homes of friends and family to see if they’d gotten out. Many hadn’t.

Nor has the recovery been any better, three years later. Just as another friend, adopted along the way, Brian, who couldn’t get any FEMA money because he’d been in a half-way house and didn’t have an address, was told by Kim not to worry, people are still in the streets –those who stayed because the housing supply is insufficient--I saw them--long lines of homeless men crowded on the sidewalks, waiting outside the doors, spilling into the streets at a shelter near Ashe Cultural Center in New Orleans, just this summer when I went home for a family reunion.

On the one year anniversary, Kim and her friends are commemorating the dead and their survival and police roll up and tell everyone to put their hands in the air. Kim is ordered to stop taping. The 9th Ward two years after that looks relatively the same…the neighbors Kim speaks of gone, the neighborhood-- formally occupied homes are, if not gone, are vacant. For miles and miles, all one sees are weed covered foundations where The Road Home and other such programs that penalize the victims, have prevented people from returning. Blight notices are posted on vacant, signaling preemptive demolition. Many of the owners are still in the Diaspora and not able to return.

Kim’s mother died from AIDS when she was 13, yet earlier than this she learned to survive the streets, stealing food to feed the family and then selling drugs to support them. It was a rough life, but not one, one hasn’t heard of before. Often one’s choices are almost made for you….When a child has to take on the responsibilities of an adult, in America; it’s not possible to do this legally when one is a certain age. Kim speaks of the need in her eyes which went unanswered. It is a call she responds to as an adult when she sees it in other's eyes--no more heroically than when the storm approaches and she and her husband are caught, even now in the storm’s aftermath one, two, three years later--she is still advocating for her neighbors, her friends, her relatives, her people.

The 9th Ward was like a world unto itself…similar to other urban enclaves throughout America, South Central, Bayview Hunter’s Point, West Oakland, East Oakland, South Berkeley, North Richmond, East Philly, Southside Chicago, South Bronx…as long as the life didn’t spill into the economically affluent side of town, the folks under siege –the siege of poverty and unrequited opportunities, it was allowed to fester and grow.

Katrina was the headlights on a vehicle left idling too long. It was the vision of all these American citizens drowning, then crowded on highways, outside the Superdome, fainting from heat and exhaustion…dying, that should have created a greater need to address this uneven recovery that continues to this day, even after hurricanes Rita and now Gustav...Ike.

Trouble the Water is troubling, yet it is people like Kimberly, Scott, Larry and Brian that give me hope. I know Kim is not going to let the government sleep on them…they are going to raise hell until the high water is no longer a threat to life and liberty for all, especially the more vulnerable like her little brother who was left to die along with other prisoners in the Parish Prison. His testimony is stunning; especially his comparison of what it was like in those prisons...locked up and left to the slave ships.

He’s still having nightmares.

Kim’s music comforts her. One of the songs on the soundtrack which is played towards the end of the film when Kim and Scott are back in New Orleans, is "Amazing." It’s about her life, which is pretty amazing…amazing that she’s alive and that she’s so upbeat and positive.

When I think about this 24-then, now 27 year old woman and what she has survived I am also reminded of our ancestors and what they survived and witnessed and lived through so we could witness their spirit and keep striving for freedom. Scott talks about this a lot. He wants a job, but doesn’t have a high school diploma and a couple years of college. No one is hiring, even though he wants to work.

The potential for stereotypes cast on Kim and Scott, Brian and others we meet are instructive…if nothing else, it tells us to not believe what we read and see on TV. We need to withhold judgment until we can have a more primary experience, which is what film and theater is so good at. At the end of the film, one loves Kim. She is our sister. She is our daughter. She is our granddaughter.

Watching this film, more so than Fauberg Treme and When the Levees Broke, was like being in the hull of that ship crossing the Atlantic. Second Line (dir.John Magary) came closest to the feelings invoked by Trouble, but even then, the protagonists were in a FEMA trailer park, not in the water. Perhaps because "Trouble" starts the day before and we’re there with the captives in the dank darkness and can hear their thoughts, see their faces, the experience is one that stays with you hours later.

I am dreaming about Kim and Scott. I wake up with them on my mind. When I close my eyes I see them, along with the others stranded. I hope they get away.

At the screening in Berkeley, Saturday evening, I’d hoped they would have had a moment of silence for the departed. I’d planned to mention it and then I forgot. These are people whose lives could have been spared. People are still dying and it is just as much a shame today as it was three years prior. A lot went wrong regarding government’s response to Katrina. Trouble the Water is an excellent organizing and teaching tool

FEMA, the American Red Cross and the state of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans needs to watch this and take notes. The opportunity to see other places, to travel to Memphis to start over again, was also an opportunity to see what they left behind…both the good and the bad and make some tough decisions about the direction they want their lives to take post-Katrina, Kim and Scott said.

Scott and Kim were not eager to return to the destructive behaviors of the past. Kim’s writing and belief in God were anchors that held her steady with head above water during and after the storm.

The film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and it will win your heart. Volunteer to help in the rebuilding of New Orleans, and support the Gulf Coast Recovery Bill, HR 4048, by writing your Congress woman and asking her to do so.

I’m trying to get Kim on my show, Wanda’s Picks at this Friday, Sept. 12, during the first hour, 8-9 AM. The URL is

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 September 2008 )
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