Toad in the Hole

September 03, 2005

NOLA: Those Telling Details

As with the famously subversive photographs that Ansel Adams took of the Manzanar internment camp, there are details of the situation in New Orleans -- the Superdome, the Convention Center, and evidently some freeway-ramp islands -- that make it clear how the people in charge are thinking. And they're the same details: Which way the guards' guns are pointing.

I'm quoting a SF Chron piece by Anna Badkhen, with photo linked:

Around the perimeter of Miller's temporary new home stood several dozen police officers, mostly white, holding their rifles at the ready.

"We just don't want anybody to get out of hand in this heat," said Louisiana state trooper Chance Thomas, who stood on the bridge pointing the muzzle of his M-16 at the crowd below. "I'm just doing crowd control."

But Steven Mullcur, 36, a construction worker, said that when he and his wife wanted to visit his father, who lives not far from the camp, to use his shower, "two cops pulled up and said that if we didn't go back they'd put a bullet in me or worse."

"The statement that ticked me off the most was, 'You should've left before -- now stay here,' " Mullcur said.

One police officer, who declined to be identified, confirmed that the residents were not allowed to leave their garbage-strewn wasteland except on helicopters, which took only the severely ill, or on buses, which were not there.

Posted at September 3, 2005 04:44 PM