Black People : BLACK PSYCHOLOGISTS RESPOND TO HURRICANE KATRINA

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by oldsoul, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. OldSoul

    OldSoul Permanent Black Man PREMIUM MEMBER

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    BLACK PSYCHOLOGISTS RESPOND TO HURRICANE KATRINA​

    This message is a compilation of thoughts being shared between the members of the ABP (Association of Black Psychologists). Almost immediately after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf coast, communication began to take place between our members regarding the experiences of grief and dismay being experienced in response to the losses and hardships being imposed by nature on the people of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Their lives were being severely disrupted by this natural disaster. It was particularly disheartening to be confronted with the images on our television screens of the disproportionate number of African Americans who were unable to evacuate their communities. As the days wore on it became apparent that these African decent people in New Orleans and the Gulf area were essentially experiencing a modern day Maafa, an event of catastrophic death and destruction beyond human comprehension. The emotional agony expressed by the generally stoic news reporters was a testament to the magnitude of the trauma unfolding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
    The disproportionate degree to which our people were having to bear the brunt of the suffering and loss is clearly attributable to the economic and social stratification that exists within this society at large. It was made undeniably evident in New Orleans. This disparity exists because of our people's economic and social oppression under a system where both societal and governmental manifestations of white supremacy continue to play out. The insidious effects of such exclusion from access to society's resources and ongoing stigmatization was evidenced by the rapid disintegration and loss of hope by these people after two days of inadequate response or at times no response from the government. Some of the press coverage was especially distasteful and shameful, even if not surprising.
    What happens to a people who have been dispossessed, despised, and disinherited when tragedy occurs?
    The answer is that they are seen as dispensable and can thus be destroyed and disposed of. The destruction of a people is preceded by the defamation of one's character. This is exactly what has happened to thousands of African Americans living or who lived in New Orleans, Louisiana from Monday, August 29, 2005 until the present. A city known for its revelry and festive atmosphere was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
    The amazing aspect about this hurricane is that it started out in a manner that almost went unnoticed by meteorologists and other weather analysts. Although the devastation that it caused clearly has gained the attention of the world, like the beginnings of the storm the aid that has been rendered to the survivors has been relatively unnoticed by them. What the hurricane survivors have noticed is benign neglect. This happened in large part because the surviving Black population that had to remain in New Orleans has suffered from the defamation of character. While aid and rescue has been slow to fly towards the survivors, the pejorative euphemisms regarding the African American survivors of Hurricane Katrina have flown freely.
    A seventeen-year-old boy was able to start a New Orleans Parish School Bus and safely drive people (40- 50) from New Orleans, Louisiana to the Astrodome in Houston, Texas was called a thief.
    The bus was called a "renegade bus" and the hurricane survivors on the bus were denied access to the Astrodome because they did not come directly from the New Orleans Superdome on a designated bus and they had arrived sooner than the designated chartered busses. The survivors were given water and later allowed to enter. Some report the seventeen-year-old bus driver was arrested when he was returning to go back the New Orleans to rescue others. If he had been White he would have been called a hero but he was not White, he was Black. Thus he was called a renegade. When the displaced residents of New Orleans finally arrived at the Houston Astrodome
    they were called refugees. A refugee is defined as a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or power. These people were simply evacuees from a flooded city and the bus driver was resourceful.
    In a similar story of survival, people were securing survival items for themselves and their families. When the news reported that the people were White, the caption read "two residents wade through chest-deep water finding bread and soda from a local grocery store." When a reporter for the Associated Press saw Blacks doing the same thing, the story read, "A young man walks through chest-deep water after looting a grocery store."
    The difference in the perception of these two situations was in the perspective of the reporters. The perception is largely guided by the contemporary thought of society. Blacks are portrayed as negative within American society therefore their behaviors were judged accordingly.
    The world saw thousands of African Americans sitting at the Superdome waiting for some assistance for more than three days. The scene was akin to events of Haiti or Kosovo or any war torn country. Desperation could be seen on the faces of so many people. This is a very shocking reality when Americans reported assisting Asian Tsunami victims within 48 hours. While time elapsed, the Katrina survivors were said to have resorted to total anarchy. They had reportedly begun to shoot at the "law" officials and other forms of rescue units. They had also been reported to have had engaged in raping and killing children. Thus they have been called rapists. There was more effort placed on restoring order via the military troops (Martial Law) than on getting supplies to people and rescuing stranded individuals. People with adequate resources are more likely to be cooperative than those suffering for the basic necessities of life. An eye-witness reporter suggested people shot guns at helicopters that were passing over them going to mostly White, Kenner and Metairie, LA (Metairie, LA is home to a nationally known Ku Klux Klan's member David Duke) and rescuing people there rather than saving those in the severely flooded areas of New Orleans. They said the shots were fired because the Blacks were being unnoticed again and had become upset about this. It was also reported that all of the patients in the mostly White Tulane Hospital had been completely evacuated, while the mostly Black patients of Charity Hospital were being transported out slowly. Was this act of benign neglect? Many of the African American citizens of New Orleans saw this as such and became even more frustrated at the blatant racism.
    The perpetrators of such "racist" acts do so out of their own spiritual bankruptcy and culturally hard wiring to be "anti other." Their language consequently reflects their internal set. Looters? Renegades? Refugees? Rapists? All of these are terms that are designed to dehumanize a people and thus justify their ill treatment. On a psychological level we see where people who have been denied access to the goodness of life have been relegated to be the scum of the earth. Who were these people left behind in New Orleans? Why were they there following the call for a mandatory evacuation? These people were mostly working class Blacks who either could not afford to leave or did not have adequate transportation to leave. These were the people that made the city pop although they got very little recognition for their contributions. These people were the ones that had been passed over long before Hurricane Katrina relief helicopters passed t hem over. The distinction between the "haves" and the "have nots" was ever present to one who visited "The Big Easy". Classism and racism is still the order of the day in New
    Orleans. The ones who we have seen on television are mostly the heartbeat of the city. Just as our heartbeat, which is vital to our existence, is often unnoticed to us in our daily actions, these people had gone unnoticed. We often notice our heartbeat during times of excitation or stress, just as we are noticing the dispossessed of the "Crescent City". The media assault on these vital people has caused an angina pectoris (i.e. a chest pain, which occurs because the muscle tissue of the heart must continue its activity without a sufficient supply of oxygen) to America. The world has seen how America treats its despised citizens. In an effort to justify the ill treatment of African Americans in this situation defamation of character is being carried out. The psychological damage that results from the defamation of character is long lasting and is slow to be removed.
    The Association of Black Psychologists denounces the utilization of the usage of the term refugees for domestic citizens who have been displaced from their homes due to an act of God.
    We further denounce the utilization of the word looters, in a discriminatory manner, for those individual seeking the secure some of the necessities of life.
    We further denounce the utilization of the term renegade for those who have applied their genius to engage in an act of heroism in time of need.
    We further denounce the application of the term rapist to a large portion of African Americans who are honorable and respectful.
    The utilization of such terms is psychologically damaging and also delays the hurricane survivors from receiving the assistance that they need because people are less likely to help people that hurting them.
    We advance that more appropriate terminology (e.g. hurricane survivors, evacuees, displaced citizens) be used to ensure that the adequate assistance is rendered to displaced people of the Gulf coast.
    We vow to render the culturally appropriate assistance to these evacuees wherever they may be found. This assistance will be in line with the essence of a people who have experienced years of benign neglect.
    We further vow to assist the survivors of Hurricane Katrina with career counseling and job readiness training.
    We seek to ensure that the children receive an appropriate education in an environment that is understanding of their unique situation of being displaced.
    We seek to inspire the inherent value and worth of these estranged children by acknowledging their strengths of resilience and resourcefulness.
    We seek to assist the families with securing adequate housing, healthy food and clean clothes, employment, and childcare and charge our membership to facilitate such acquisition by opening their homes to displaced evacuees in the spirit of African kinship.
    We recognize that this effort to enhance the well being of our people is a long-term undertaking that involves working in conjunction with the existing crisis response teams that are already in operation to achieve immediate results. This work must be followed up with collaborative engagement with many existing agencies and
    service networks to address the long-term needs made so evident by this disaster. We are committed also to utilizing our expertise to create culturally congruent programs where it becomes apparent that none currently exist.
    The Association of Black Psychologists is committed to functioning within the spirit of Afro-centric unity to accomplish these aims.

    I AM BECAUSE WE ARE AND BECAUSE WE ARE THEREFORE I AM.
    Kevin (KP) Jostán Prince, Ph.D.
    Staff Psychologist & Alcohol Education Coordinator
    Counseling & Consultation Center
    Saint Edward's University (Shared with permission)​
     
  2. Monetary

    Monetary going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I agree with what's been said here.

    Michigan is supposed to receive about 300 to 400 survivors today. The Governor says she's prepared to receive 10,000 survivors.

    On another website, a chatter who works for social assistance from NC said that they've been told not to offer assistance to those in the state already on the list for housing and to save those opportunities for the survivors.

    hmmmmmm...can you say...Where does the money being collected from around the planet for the survivors go? FEMA? To rebuild Nawlins? QQn
     
  3. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother OldSoul, thanks a million for this article... It is something, post traumatic stress syndrome, that I've been meditating on since I read an article about a brother who said he'd been on his roof top 4 nights and days before being rescued, watching a sister a neighbor had lashed to her house to keep her body from floating away... He'd said he just couldn't take his eyes off of her, and it was beginning to play with his psyche...

    While watching the BBC News, my heart was snatched out of my chest by a 4 or 5 year old brother who said that, "my mommy is dead", as he was led away by rescuers... I cannot even begin to imagine what tortures and torments that little manchild went through, or is going to go through from this point, but I wanted to hug him, and reassure him that he will be protected from this point onward... Somehow I don't think his experiences would allow him to believe me, though...

    I began to ruminate on the scene of horrors unimaginable in our lives, and I concluded that many Africans who escaped New Orleans will need therapy for the rest of their days, just to keep their minds at peace... I am glad that the Black Psychologists understand their role, and what must be done...

    Peace!
    isaiah

    BTW, we need to find out what that young man's name is, and raise his name up as hero in this thing... WE need to stop looking to the enemy to give us our due.. He just aint going to do that... It is NOT in his interests to do that...
     
  4. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    hi Isaiah.........

    as i saw the clip he said "my mommy is dead, someone pushed her into the water".
    sad.
     
  5. watzinaname

    watzinaname Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thank you for posting this article oldsoul. We are a strong people, that no one can honestly deny. But being human...just how much can the human psyche take?
     
  6. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    16 Survivors Escape Katrina in Odyssey

    16 Survivors Escape Katrina in Odyssey By JOSEPH B. VERRENGIA, AP Science Writer
    Sun Sep 18, 3:50 PM ET


    HOUSTON - They're out there. The shooters, the choppers, the looters, the lines, the foul water and the bodies. Especially the bodies. "But we're in here," says Victor Fruge.

    Others — hundreds of thousands of them — had also escaped from New Orleans. But few could match the extraordinary, even miraculous odyssey of Fruge and his comrades — 16 mentally ill men and recovering addicts, cast out of their group home, Abstract House, by the storm.

    For a week the men stuck together through Hurricane Katrina and its rising waters, following a survival instinct like a candle in the dark and gamely caring for each other as they traveled unsupervised for nearly 500 miles. They arrived at dawn in Houston, a sprawling and unfamiliar city among the thousands of hurricane refugees who have made the exodus to Texas, but without a friend in sight.

    Along the way they ate and slept in at least four different shelters and caught rides on four different means of transport, always clutching the psychotropic medications that keep their imaginary devils at arm's length while the real world around them sunk into a deeper hell.

    "You don't see that a lot in this business," says Dr. Sara Allison, a psychiatrist who treated the men during their first night in the Astrodome and has been checking on them daily since then. "But there were a lot of things in this (emergency) that you don't see a lot of."

    Hollywood screenwriters might be tempted to pitch this remarkable journey as "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" meets "Planes, Trains and Automobiles." But these guys don't quite fit the stereotype.

    They are not inmates. While they might be delusional, largely toothless and at times hilarious, they are not really rebellious. Wearing scraps of donated clothing, the men range in age from 30 to 70. Several are quiet — Leonard, for one, didn't speak for 12 days after the storm.

    For these men who are schizophrenic, bipolar, severely depressed, obsessive-compulsive and shellshocked from war — often simultaneously — Hurricane Katrina and its agonizing aftermath have forced them to function as a family, perhaps for the first time in their lives.

    "We look out for each other," says Raymond Jean Pierre, who everybody agrees is the oldest.

    "We stick together," says Patrick Pitchford, whose tattoos crawl down both arms like psychedelic shirt sleeves. "If one person had to go to the bathroom, we all go'd to the bathroom."

    "We haven't killed each other," says Ray Brown

    CLICK ON THE WEB ADDRESS FOR MORE OF THIS GREAT STORY...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050918....RsaMYA;_ylu=X3oDMTA5bGVna3NhBHNlYwNzc3JlbA--

    pEACE!
    iSAIAH
     
  7. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    brother Jabbar Gibson commandeers bus from NOLA to Houston...

    Carlos Antonio Rios / Chronicle
    Jabbar Gibson's first time behind the wheel of a school bus was spent transporting dozens of people from New Orleans to the Reliant Astrodome.




    School bus comandeered by renegade refugees first to arrive at Astrodome
    By SALATHEIA BRYANT and CYNTHIA LEONOR GARZA
    Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
    HURRICANE KATRINA
    The first busload of New Orleans refugees to reach the Reliant Astrodome overnight was a group of people who commandeered a school bus in the city ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and drove to Houston looking for shelter.

    Jabbar Gibson, 20, said police in New Orleans told him and others to take the school bus and try to get out of the flooded city.

    Gibson drove the bus from the flooded Crescent City, picking up stranded people, some of them infants, along the way. Some of those on board had been in the Superdome, among those who were supposed to be evacuated to Houston on more than 400 buses Wednesday and today. They couldn't wait.

    The group of mostly teenagers and young adults pooled what little money they had to buy diapers for the babies and fuel for the bus.

    After arriving at the Astrodome at about 10:30 p.m., however, they initially were refused entry by Reliant officials who said the aging landmark was reserved for the 23,000 people being evacuated from the Louisiana Superdome.

    "Now, we don't have nowhere to go," Gibson said. "We heard the Astrodome was open for people from New Orleans. We ain't ate right, we ain't slept right. They don't want to give us no help. They don't want to let us in."

    Milling about the Reliant entrance, Sheila Nathan, 38, told her teary-eyed toddler that she was too tired to hold him.

    "I'm trying to make it a fairy tale so they won't panic," said Nathan, who had four grandchildren in tow. "I have to be strong for them."

    After about 20 minutes of confusion and consternation, Red Cross officials announced that the group of about 50 to 70 evacuees would be allowed into the Astrodome.


    All were grateful to be out of the devastation and misery that had overtaken their hometown.

    "I feel good to get out of New Orleans," said Demetrius Henderson, who got off the bus with his wife and three children. Many of those around him alternated between excited, cranky and nervous, clutching suitcases or plastic garbage bags of clothes.

    They looked as bedraggled as their grueling ride would suggest: 13 hours on the commandeered bus driven by a 20-year-old man. Watching bodies float by as they tried to escape the drowning city. Picking up people along the way. Three stops for fuel. Chugging into Reliant Park, only to be told initially that they could not spend the night.

    Every bit worth it.

    "We took the bus and got out of the city. We were trying to get out of the city," James Hickerson said.

    Several passengers on the bus said they took the matter into their own hands earlier Wednesday because they felt rescuers and New Orleans authorities were too slow in offering help.

    "They are not worried about us," said Makivia Horton, 22, who is five months pregnant.

    [email protected]

    [email protected]

    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory.mpl/topstory2/3334317

    Give this young brother his CDL, NOW!

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  8. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    New Orleans Men Estimate They Rescued 400

    NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 4, 2005 — There is little sign of life in New Orleans' flooded-out Lower Ninth Ward — no more human voices or barking dogs, just silence.

    "Hello," an ABC News crew called out Saturday in one of New Orleans' poorest neighborhoods. "Is anybody here?"
    Every day since Hurricane Katrina, Pryer has paddled through his neighborhood in a rowboat, searching for his neighbors. Pryer believes "a few thousand" of them may have died "because the water came so fast."

    But Pryer and a neighbor with a canoe, Michael Knight, estimate they saved more than 400 people by pulling them from their homes, ferrying them first to a small church in the neighborhood, and then moving them to dry land.

    "We've been running," Knight said. "I feel like crying. A lot of people just died, bro."


    Roof Holes Represent Families Saved

    For about a week, the two men have been living on Knight's roof, along with some other friends and some dogs that they saved, living off water and military meals dropped by Coast Guard choppers.

    The water was much higher after the hurricane, and the people were screaming for help.

    "See where those holes are at — where the roofs are?" Pryer said. "Some [people] were jammed in there."

    Pryer and Knight had to hack their way through the roofs to free some people.

    The evidence of their work is everywhere. Every hole in a roof represents another family saved.

    ABC News' Bob Woodruff in New Orleans originally reported this story for "World News Tonight" Sept. 3, 2005.




    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/HurricaneKatrina/story?id=1096328&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312
     
  9. Nisa

    Nisa Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    We've gotten alot here in the west michigan area.
     
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