Dispatch from the Southland
What did I do to be so black and blue?
Forward (excerpted) from my mother's friend, Lisa, in Dallas:
...can we please stop using the word refugee!! I plan to call the New York Times who should really know better. I spent 13 years with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the people displaced by this hurricane ARE NOT refugees! (Unless of course they're going to change the rules again) "Refugee" has a negative connotation as well. But, for the record and according to the United Nations Convention (1951) a refugee is, "...owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such a fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country." So, what's a better word? How about, SURVIVORS.Oddly enough, ill suited as the term regugee is to those who endured Katrina as they "are not outside the country of their nationality," the Katrina survivors and, well, the rest of us have reason to hold "a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion"
She also notes:
There are few African Americans that are not touched in some way by this disaster. Most of us either have family connections to Louisiana, Alabama or Mississippi or know of someone who does. We've learned from people who are coming into our area that the devastation is beyond anyone's imagination or words and the death toll will be shocking.African American survivor Bernadette Washington speaks in Wil Haygood's Washington Post article (via different kitchen)
"To me it just seem like black people are marked. We have so many troubles and problems."My ma subscribes to some daily bible verse service and forwards them to me. This was todays:
"I thought we were going to die out there," Bernadette Washington said. "We had to sleep on the ground. used the bathroom in front of each other. Laying on that ground. I just couldn't take it. I felt like Job."
[Zophar advised Job], "You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by." Job 11:16 (NIV)not likely.