Grand Isle and the Oil Spill: Karma is a Bitch

They say that what you do unto others will be done unto you.  Now, trust me…I have compassion for the people currently effected by the oil spill.  People are losing their livelihoods and some have lost their lives.  However, I just have to say that I just see an irony in this mess.  A very, very sad irony.  Jefferson Parish officials refused to help people suffering during Katrina and now, parts of the parish are in need.

“And despite constant warnings from Jefferson Parish officials about oil approaching Grand Isle late last week, the boats needed to stop it weren’t around when they were needed. As a result, oil washed up on beaches and authorities in Jefferson “commandeered” shrimp boats from BP in order to get booms out to the passes near the island.” source

One of the most compelling during the Katrina disaster came from two white paramedics from San Francisco who were among those trapped in the city after the hurricane.  They were turned away on a bridge by Jefferson Parish police:

“”The police commander came across the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge to the south side of the Mississippi, where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the city…We organized ourselves, and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope. As we marched past the convention center, many locals saw our determined and optimistic group, and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings, and quickly, our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, as did people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and other people in wheelchairs. We marched the two to three miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the bridge…

As we approached the bridge, armed sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and the commander’s assurances. The sheriffs informed us that there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move. We questioned why we couldn’t cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the six-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans, and there would be no Superdomes in their city…All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away—some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the city on foot. (Bradshaw and Slonsky 2005)”

When questioned about these incidents later, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff confirmed that his office closed the bridge, explaining that his Parish did not have the resources to care for thousands of needy people.” source

Other Accounts:
Evacuees Were Turned Away at Gretna, La. : NPR

Jefferson Parish Sheriff
asks to be taken off of lawsuit | – NOLA.com

I wonder what the citizens of Jefferson Parish thought about the events on that bridge back then?  I wonder what they think about the responsiblity of all of us to care for the needy now?

17 Comments

Filed under community, history, injustice, katrina, news, opinion, racism, society

17 Responses to Grand Isle and the Oil Spill: Karma is a Bitch

  1. ARNEADER

    KATRINA was a very very sad day. Black people were treated like illegal aliens. Now that’s an example of behaving UnAmerican. My relatives relocated to Houston and a few returned back to New Orleans, none of them wanted tomove to Mississippi. I think New Orleans is DAMNED and I suppose they need to REPENT. Their lives are surrounded by the Gulf Coast. I can’t imagine Gumbo without the seafood, jambalaya without the shrimp; crab cakes, fried oysters, a crawfish boil, baked/blackened/fried fish, frog legs and alligator. I love our MS Gulf Coast and I pray that we survive this oil spill. I love President Obama but I was a little disappointed that he was not periodically publicly addressing the oil spill regression.

  2. bayoucreole

    @ARNeader: Damned?…wow…Really? I better repent. Wait? Repent for what? I’m a Katrina SURVIVOR.. no need for me to repent.Those low lives who refused to let NOLA citizens walk across the damn bridge need to repent. Harry Lee racists bastards…
    Just for the record though, it wasn’t New Orleans(Orleans parish) who stopped people from walking across the bridge. It was Jefferson Parish as stated in the blog post.
    *inhale good air…exhale bad air*

  3. ARNEADER

    @bayoucreole I know Damn sounds very harsh but sometimes the truth can hurt. My reference was to what God does to wicked people specifically in Ezekiel 33:11 but you can read the entire chapter for more clarity. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and New Orleanians were bused to Houston for safety they then had to evacuate Houston because of Hurricane Rita. When my relatives came from Houston to Mississippi for safety I told them “I hope yall aint bringing that storm over here” because it appeared that the storm was chasing them. I’m not from New Orleans but the other half of my family lives/lived there forever. I do know a little about New Orleans and Jefferson Parrish is in Gretna (the suburbs of New Orleans). Now with the Oil spill being in the Gulf and BP not being able to stop the spill it’s just a matter of time before it takes over Louisiana coastlines, then Mississippi and Alabama. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that a “gulf” is just an inlet to an ocean and LA, MS and AL encloses it. I know you saw the way ALL that oil was gushing out. I say “Lord have mercy” because that oil would get ALL of us and I love our MS Gulf Coast. June 1 is the first day of hurricane season and we do NOT need a hurricane blowing ALL that oil ashore.

  4. Seriously?

    @ARNeader
    Your comments are ignorant and it’s a shame that you use the bible to support your uninformed opinions. The “facts” you provide about Jefferson Parish show that you know nothing about the “New Orleans” area – let alone the difference b/t a parish, a city, and a suburb.

    So just a question…hurricane Ike hit Houston a few years ago, does that mean God was searching for Katrina surviors? Or Houston is damned too?

  5. ARNEADER

    Anyways…

    I really don’t see why you are tripping over something that is clearly stated in black and white. I just pointed out to you in the scriptures what God says happens to WICKED PEOPLE if they don’t turn from their wicked ways.

    Secondly…

    Gretna controversy

    The city of Gretna, Louisiana, the parish seat of Jefferson Parish, made news after its police force participated, along with Crescent City Connection Police and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputies, in a road block on the Crescent City Connection Bridge in the days following Hurricane Katrina. The purpose was to stop evacuees from crossing over into the evacuated communities on the Westbank of the Mississippi River. Gretna Police had charge of Westbank-bound lanes, while Jefferson Parish deputies controlled the east bank-bound lanes and the bridge police closed the transit lanes.
    Initially, as many as 6,000 evacuees were permitted to cross and were shuttled out of the area on buses; however, that operation was eventually discontinued as available fuel supplies were exhausted. Without transportation or sufficient supplies of food or water, west bank law enforcement personnel determined that they were unable to further assist the evacuees. It was also believed at that time that federal relief efforts and supplies were soon to be concentrated in the downtown area of New Orleans. The decision to stop further evacuees from crossing the river was then made after Oakwood Center was looted and burned by evacuees from the east bank of New Orleans. A unified local police decision was made to lock down all areas. Due to the lack of effective communications during the crisis, some New Orleans police officers independently continued to direct evacuees to buses across the bridge that were no longer operational. The inevitable confrontation occurred on the section of the bridge controlled by the Gretna police, and warning shots were fired over the heads of desperate evacuees who had been misdirected onto the bridge.
    In the immediate aftermath of the storm, the Oakwood Center had been looted and set on fire.
    A business report released in April 2007 found Jefferson Parish lead the nation in job growth, for the quarter ending September 30, 2006, [2] as rebuilding continued after Hurricane Katrina. Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard believes that Jefferson Parish will reach pre-Katrina numbers or even exceed those numbers, as residents who are still evacuated from New Orleans return to Jefferson Parish to be closer to New Orleans as they wait for federal recovery money to repair their homes.[3]

    Lastly…

    In answer to your question “grasshopper” you may very well be right, Hurricane Ike may have been looking for Katrina survivors in Houston even the Houstonians were not too pleased with the Katrina survivors themselves because the 9th Ward doesn’t have fairest of people. (I suppose I’m wrong again.)

    http://www.bloghouston.net/item/3904
    http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/2006/02/did-katrina-evacuees-bring-more-crime.html
    http://www.crimefilenews.com/2006/09/katrina-victims-ravaging-houston.html

    I could go on and on and on…

  6. bayoucreole

    @Seriously, Well said. ARNeader is beyond clueless.

  7. Mardi Gras Queen

    People who are not from should Louisianna should remain quiet.

  8. ARNEADER

    @bayoucreole, Seriously? and Mardi Gras Queen

    I don’t know why YOU people are getting so upset. Even in New Orleans they call the city SIN CITY, still today! My cousin who moved to Houston prior to Katrina says he tells people when he goes back to NO, he’s GOING TO HELL!

    I worked in Real Estate in MS and people in the city complained about the Katrina victims specifically from the 9th Ward living in HUD homes being rowdy in their communities, kids running all in the streets and at all times in the night. I personally rented to ONE Katrina couple they were so nice and grateful, begging and pleading for the rental house. They kept the house clean in the beginning. The next thing I knew when I went to collect the rent a few times the house wasn’t clean anymore, stuff was lying on the floors. I had to step over stuff to get in the living room. Then they stopped having their rent on time and had to wait a few days for the rent. So I started driving by the house just to see what was going on. The family wasn’t living in the house the wife was staying with her mother while her husband was going back to NO to work. Her sons were going back to NO off and on. The husband later found out the wife was cheating on him with someone who was visiting his wife at her mother’s house. The husband went on to say his next girlfriend was going to be a white woman. Someone broke into the house. The wife accused the husband. It was ridiculous! When Katrina victims would ask to rent from me I would ALWAYS turn them down.

    Another bizarre story, while I was waiting in my vehicle for a client at her apartment complex, she told me a girl just had her apartment broken into and a hole had been cut out of her apartment wall LITERALLY from a vacant apartment next door to her. Ironically, while waiting in my vehicle for her I saw these boys/men in a truck with a big screen TV loaded on the back of a truck leaning so close to the ground if they had hit a dip in the road the TV would have scrubbed the street. While they were leaving they bumped my vehicle and did NOT stop. That’s what made me notice there truck tag (Louisiana) because I was bumped. They were so bumbling just Anthony Anderson and that guy was in that movie when they were trying to take that stolen ATM up a flight of stairs. It was just that unbelievable!

    I shared the story with my cousin from NO and she said the 9th Ward were the worst people in NO. From my personally experience I concur.

  9. jubilee

    I believe what is happening on the Gulf States is the business of ALL AMERICANS. I also believe it was started by an earthquake..GOD is trying to wake us up. All Americans need to repent and become more of a moral nation. Although the founders had slaves, I believe they treated them humanely because they couldn’t have written the Constitution with a clear conscience. They wrote that we couldnt have this nation WITHOUT GOD. they were going against a monarchy; they also knew about the pilgrims and what they stood for..The other stuff started later when they died and caused the civil war which was ALSO a judgement of GOD . Pres Lincoln said so in some of his writings…..Other countries could act immoral but the US was and is special

    • Jubilee: “I believe they treated them humanely because they couldn’t have written the Constitution with a clear conscience.” I respectfully disagree about them having a “clear conscience”.

  10. jubilee

    I believe the oil slick wont stop but get worse—I hope we could stop it though. Maybe we could pray

  11. jubilee

    Yeah its possible they hired some horrible overseers who abused us but who would you rather ‘own’ *sigh* you: someone who kept you semi-comfortable, or someone who would maim you. There were some freeborn blacks back then as well, although not as many as we would like Ben Banneker was one and he wrote an Almanack charting the seasons..I’ll admit that the system was horrible but few people were too afraid to fight it. My family goes back to 1820s freeborn-my grandmother charted it

  12. jubilee

    Sista, you should check out wallbuilders.com with Dave Barton. He wrote about blacks since he has the original documents and books that weren’t tampered by others. One of his books America, Black and white is real interesting.

  13. Malcolm X

    @jubilee: I disagree with America being special vehemently. I haven`t been following this oil spill because as I have previously stated, I DON`T watch The American news media because it deals in nothing but propaganda and lies. I DESPISE The White American news media because they often make truth look like a lie and lies look like truth. They are very skilled in their treachery and often the masses fall for it.

    Karma is indeed a Bitch. America has too much blood on her hands for me to fall for The American dream and be a loyal patriot. Of course I didn`t need Katrina to tell me what I already knew. It was the slave owner himself, Thomas Jefferson, who said, “I fear for my country when I realize that God is just and that justice does not sleep forever”.

    “Hence I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand under the weight”.

    Malcolm X

    I love you Brotha Malcolm and you are indeed my “HERO”.

  14. With Katrina, it wasn’t all of Jefferson Parish. It sure wasn’t the coastal areas like Grand Isle and Bararia Bay which are getting gooed now. It was Gretna.

    I first realized what Gretna, Louisiana, was about in 1991. I was putting up anti-David Duke signs before the Governor election. No problem on the West Bank in inincorproated Jefferson Parish (run by S.O.B. Harry Lee, but he was an ally of corrupt S.O.B. Edwin Edwards, who only looked good in comparison to actual Nazi & KKK’er David Duke). When I crossed the line into Gretna, adding a mix of anti-Duke and Edwards signs to the Duke signs along the neutral ground, it didn’t take long for a Gretna cop car to stop me. They held me for an hour and a half. Then they let me go; some of the cops were laughing, saying to the others, “I told you you weren’t going to find anything to charge him with”. The cops advised me to stay in New Orleans.

    In 2005 some of my friends were trying to cross the bridge across the Mississippi, just in search of a dry patch of ground to stand in, rumors there was running water to drink. Gretna cops shot over their heads, calling them the vilest of obsenities, and saying any New Orleanians who came to Gretna would be shot on sight.

    I have yet to hear that Gretna has repealed that order.

  15. Lucky

    I wholeheartedly agree with Brother Malcolm X. Every point he made was right on the money. When it comes to the mainstream press, you are told only what they want you to know and even that is spinned down. People from around the world mock America because she is a boastful and haughty (arrogant) nation, yet is unaware of the truth behind world events. In order to get real news, you have to go to the alternative press. If those hardcore patriots had any idea of what’s really happening, they would rethink their way of thinking.

    As for ARNEADER, the victims of Hurricane Katrina were mainly black people. Are you saying that only black people are worthy of God’s wrath?

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