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Katrina's Hidden Race War


It was great!” said one vigilante. “It was like pheasant season in South Dakota. If it moved, you shot it.”

First the video:

And here are the notes from Color Of Change:

A new report in The Nation documents what many have claimed for years - for some Black New Orleanians the threat of being killed by White vigilantes in Katrina’s aftermath became a bigger threat than the storm itself.

After the storm, White vigilantes roamed Algiers Point shooting and, according to their own accounts, killing Black men at will – with no threat of a police response. For the last three years, the shootings and the police force’s role in them have been an open secret to many New Orleanians. To date, no one has been charged with a crime and law enforcement officials have refused to investigate.


Join us in calling on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana’s Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, and the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a full investigation of these crimes and any police cover-up.

In the two weeks after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the media created a climate of fear with trumped-up stories of Black lawlessness. Meanwhile, an armed group of White vigilantes took over the Algiers Point neighborhood in New Orleans and mercilessly hunted down Black people.

“It was great!” said one vigilante. “It was like pheasant season in South Dakota. If it moved, you shot it.”

The Nation’s article tells the story of Donnell Herrington, Marcel Alexander, and Chris Collins — a group of friends who were attacked by shotgun-wielding White men as they entered Algiers Point on September 1, 2005. As they tried to escape, Herrington recalls, their attackers shouted, “Get him! Get that nigger!” He managed to get away. Alexander and Collins were told that they would be allowed to live on the condition that they told other Black folks not to come to Algiers Point. Herrington, shot in the neck, barely survived.


Then there’s the story of White militiamen who tried to drive their Black neighbors from their homes. Reggie Bell, who lived just two blocks down the street from the vigilantes’ ringleader, was told at gunpoint, “We don’t want you around here. You loot, we shoot.” Later, another group of armed White men confronted him at his home, asking, “Whatcha still doing around here? We don’t want you around here. You gotta go.”

These are only a few of the stories of Black folks who were accosted in Algiers Point, and you can read more in The Nation... Journalists have encountered a wall of silence on the part of the authorities. The coroner had to be sued to turn over autopsy records. When he finally complied, the records were incomplete, with files on several suspicious deaths suddenly empty. The New Orleans police and the District Attorney repeatedly refused to talk to journalists about Algiers Point. And according to journalist A.C. Thompson, “the city has in nearly every case refused to investigate or prosecute people for assaults and murders committed in the wake of the storm.”


Please join us in calling on state and federal officials to investigate these brutal attacks and the conduct of Orleans Parish law enforcement agencies, and please ask your friends and family to do the same.

I'd like to think that I'm well-informed, especially on such matters, given how much reading I do everyday, on and offline; yet, in the 3 years since Hurricane Katrina dissipated, I've never heard any of these stories. Now I know... and now you know as well, if you didn't know before.



  1. Anonymous said...

    man i went to the youtube page for this and i started reading the comments. i swear i almost got mad all over again. anyways, i lived in algiers but not the point during the storm. we left and came back a week later. i have heard several stories. i mean at one supposedly martial law was issued.
    i mean it looked like a war zone. helicopters flying and hummers driving around.

    this white fear that allows for crazy get away free passes is a big problem. it has always been a problem. therefore leaving justice for blacks barely an option.
    it's like suing gang members or stopping suspicious people on the street. how can you tell who is who?

    the crime in new orleans is crazy. from black on black to crazy or hate driven white folks. they are trying to say we are number 5 in the world. i was watching the news yesterday (which i just started doing again) and it was death after death.

    this brings up my issue with guns. a friend of mine and i always go back and forth we both agree that the people should be able to defend themselves. i feel we are not defending ourselves against the government or the police state. really what is the point now. we are defending ourselves based on our fears, shame, and conditioning. better guns laws less shootings. however if we take them out of the people's hands i want them out of the police's hands.

  2. The Obenson Report said...

    I mostly agree. Guns are one of many by-products of a much more significant problem. So, even if we got rid of guns, the problem will still remain, and we will find some other fatal way to harm one another.

    So, basically, as far as I'm concerned, we're fucked! :o)

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