Category Archives: New Orleans

The New Slave Trade Alive In New Orlean’s

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Rosetta James cries for her son 29 year old Glenn Thomas, who died in the Orleans Parish Prison. Unfortunately, none of the Prison authorities, the Sheriff’s office nor City or State Officials notified her of this. She had to be told by a family friend who received a call from their loved one who was in the jail with Glenn. Rosetta angrily went to the prison on July 4th for information, she was told that her son who had absolutely no known medical problems, died the night before of “natural causes”, and that if she wanted she could call back in a month to get an official report.

Glenn Thomas died while awaiting his day in court; he was picked up on a warrant for failure to appear in court for simple drug possession. The unfortunate part happens to be, that on his stated court date the city of New Orleans was uninhabitable and people were being kept from entering in this part of the city. So, if no one can enter, then how was the court date still in effect? He sat in jail for one year awaiting his trial date but never made it. Criminal Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s public information officer, Renee Lapeyrolerie, said they couldn’t provide details about Thomas’s death but said, “Well, in his criminal history he had a lot of drug arrests. Those things can be linked to health problems.”

This is the third such “natural cause” death there this year, and they just don’t know how any of these deaths occurred. Sheriff Gusman blames anything that goes on in the jail as “the prisoners own fault or not enough money”. We know that he didn’t commit suicide, and money isn’t the problem as the jail receives a per diem amount and 3.2 million dollars per year intended for medical expenses towards the inmates’ wellbeing. In his 2007 budget request to the City Council, Gusman asked for an additional $5 million for medical services, a request that was granted. People are speculating that the Sheriff would like to get the numbers inhabiting his prison back to the pre-Katrina amount, stating that they are pretty sure they know exactly “who” will be the inhabitants.

Sheriff Gusman has made sure that the city’s trail to revitalization will be paved by his inmates–literally. According to the Nation, “since Katrina, Gusman has used his Community Service Program and Neighborhood Response Team to deliver cheap labor for reconstruction projects. His office’s website features photos of inmates in orange jumpers and sweatshirts emblazoned with Sheriff Gusman Community Service Program next to road signs announcing, Project Clean-Up, Inmates Working.” According to the Nation, in its first session back after Katrina the legislature amended a law regulating parish jail labor in order to grant immunity to prison authorities “for injuries or damages caused or suffered by prisoners participating in any work program during incarceration at parish jail facilities.” When asked, a legislative staffer about the origins of the post-Katrina amendment, she said, “I believe it was because there was a labor shortage.”

This is pretty much the way things were about a century ago. The Antebellum city records refer to what is now the Orleans Parish Prison as the “Workhouse”. Also along with those arrested for crime, the jail was a storehouse for slaves whose masters chose to lease them to the Workhouse. The same archives also disclose that Blacks were sent to the Workhouse for “claiming to be free”: In the space where the master’s name was usually recorded, these inmates were referred to as “so-called free.” After the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, Blacks arrested in New Orleans for black-code crimes such as vagrancy and unemployment were taken to the parish Workhouse. During Reconstruction, the incarcerated former slaves provided a stable pool of forced labor for railroad companies, agriculture and industry.

Lieutenant Eric Donnelly, director of the sheriff’s work-release program told a local business paper that the program played such a vital role in re-starting the city’s economic engine. “As soon as the hurricane ended and we got a new phone, it was ringing off the hook from employers saying they needed their inmates,” Donnelly said. “So as soon as we were getting them back in we had [employers] coming to pick them up themselves. That’s how much they rely on this program.” These employers might as well be calling looking for their “Slaves”. But, obviously to New Orlean’s as well as the rest of the nation, it doesn’t matter as long as those bad, bad black people are off the streets, whether that be dead from god only knows what in an overcrowded prison yet to even face charges, or worked like a slave just as their ancestors had, by a chain gang happy Sheriff.

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Are Police Getting Away With Modern Day Lynchings?

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Danny Brumfield, 45, was shot in front of the New Orleans convention center after walking in front of a police car, carrying a pair of shears. The police say it was a case of self defense, the District attorney Eddie Jordan agreed, then closed any investigations and charges will not be filed. Now the autopsy report is in and the evidence now shows that Brumfield was shot in the back by a single shotgun blast. Unfortunately Jordan now claims that even with the new autopsy report “I don’t believe that autopsy alone is sufficient to create a situation where we would be able to carry our burden of proof.” As far as being shot in the back Jordan says that “how Mr. Brumfield was shot in the back.” Jordan is suggesting that conceivably he was turning or falling off the patrol car at the time.

The police officers maintain that Brumfield was making stabbing motions, with the shears, when he ended up on the hood of the car, no one was sure whether he was hit by the car or jumped on the hood. His daughter who was sleeping outside the convention center witnessing some of the action agreed with the police that he was on the hood hanging on and then she heard the shot. His family explains that he had the shears because he was cutting cardboard for his grandchildren to sleep on so they wouldn’t have to sleep on cold concrete. The officer Ronald Mitchell who fired the fatal shot was terminated police spokeswoman Sabrina Richardson said; claiming it was due to “a domestic violence issue with his wife”.

This is yet another case from New Orleans of police being out of control. How does a person get shot square in the back and have it deemed justifiable by authorities. I understand that he may “have” been threatening the police officers, but he had shears and his back was obviously at the officers, so it seems that it would be prudent to handle the situation differently. Such as, firing a non-fatal shot or maybe just not using the shotgun. The police in New Orleans were involved in many other shootings involving blacks that are being either prosecuted or investigated at this time. Such as Ronald Madison an unarmed, mentally retarded man with no criminal record, who was killed by a shotgun blast to his back, the police officer told the investigators that Madison had turned and reached into his waistband right before the officer opened fire. The officer who was charged with first degree murder has resigned from the force. Six other policemen also were charged for the shootout on Danziger Bridge. Three others were indicted in the killing of a second person on the bridge. All of the officers have pleaded innocent, and are awaiting trial.

This to me is a wakeup call that people need to see that it is obviously OK to shoot, maim, kill, beat down, and any other violent thing that cops would like to do to blacks. But, yet people are saying that “racism is pretty much dead” or “look how far blacks have come”. These statements are just ridiculous. What I say is look at the facts, so many blacks are being shot numerous times apparently justifiably due to the “contagious shooting theory”. It is interesting that cops never seem to get “contagious shooting” when shooting at white people. Also, the frequent beatings blacks get, but judges and people say that the person shouldn’t be struggling and they wouldn’t be beaten. Well I don’t know about you, but if someone is beating me, I’m going to struggle. Unfortunately, I guess white people never struggle when being arrested, so there is no need to beat them, just blacks.

All this is showing me that blacks are under attack and it seems that it’s just as justifiable as it was when lynching a black was taking place (more often). Also things in America are more the same than ever. What else we should see, is that we blacks need to be kept in line by any means necessary.

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Family Values Man

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Another right wing so called family values man, Louisiana Senator David Vitter, is in the news having forgotten those values while he was whooping it up with a Washington Prostitute. It was discovered that he was a client when the operator a Madam’ Deborah Jeane Palfrey was accused of running a prostitution ring in Washington. She said Senator Vitter had been a customer from 1999 to 2001. The nice young lady named Wendy Cortez whom he was frequenting said that Vitter was one of her regulars as well. This is the same man who opposes abortions, also wanting to ban gay marriage to make sure that the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman remains. Maybe he should also recognize the ban on prostitution because that seems to be what corrupted the sanctity of his marriage.

Vitter claims that these “sins” happened long before he was a senator and that he already repented for them but these New Orleans brothel rumors are just that rumors being spread by his enemies to humiliate him. It seems that his enemies don’t have much to do since he should be humiliated enough for what he has been busted doing in Washington. But, let’s not play the blame game or start pointing fingers here and there. After all he did say that god forgave him for his past transgressions and so did his wife Wendy.

Wendy claims that he is her best friend, is now totally recommitted to their marriage and plans to stand by her man, defending him all the way. She is a good woman isn’t she, but in all actuality I believe that just like Hillary these politician wives put up with god only knows what for political reasons. Or maybe like she says she is recommitted and he really is her best friend. The sad thing is that he stands on Capitol Hill in 2006 and shouts about the sanctity of marriage and how “Marriage is truly the most fundamental social institution in human history.” All the while he could care less about his marriage and four kids back at home while he shows a prostitute why her body is a temple.

Of course Vitter has done his therapy and I am pretty sure that this makes it all better. No more prostitutes for him, he’s ALL cured now. I’m sure it’s not his fault the prostitute made him do it. Yet, here again is another spin from a right winger playing the blame game.

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