Monday, January 5, 2009

Katrina's Hidden Story: Race War?

Irvine -- For the edition of Subversity airing 5 January 2009, after we re-air our recent interview with Bill Ayers on education, we focus on a Katrina story that was largely unreported until last week. We plan to talk with the reporter exposing this story, A.C. Thompson, in The Nation (5 January 2009 issue).

AC Thompson is an experienced reporter currently on the staff of Pro Publica, a public interest journalism organization. His 18-month "Katrina's Hidden Race War" investigation for The Nation magazine can be found at, along with a companion video.

According to The Nation:

Last week The Nation released an 18-month investigation supported by The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, Katrina's Hidden Race War. The article (and a related sidebar) exposed a series of univestigated shootings in New Orleans of black residents by white vigilantes. Additionally, the investigation alleged serious misconduct by law enforcement.

On Christmas Eve, the New Orleans Police Department offered a response, citing intense media scrutiny. Police Superintendent Warren J. Riley issued a statement that his department "is currently looking into the allegations," and noted that they did not receive any calls at the time to corroborate the report in The Nation. The statement did not offer any details about the shape or form of an investigation, and pointedly did not mention the other main allegation in the piece: that the NOPD may have played a role in the death of Henry Glover. See:


* Congressman John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has spoken out voicing concern about the incidents. Conyers, in a statement released last week, said that he is "deeply disturbed" by the report, especially evidence that "local police fueled, rather than extinguished, the violence." The Nation is encouraging Conyers, and House Judiciary Sub-committee on Civil Rights chairman Jerrold Nadler, to launch a full investigation.
The Race War? section aired at 9:30 a.m. after hearing from our recent interview (re-aired) with Bill Ayers.

We chat with former Weather Underground member and Prairie Fire theoretician and current education professor (U of Ill. at Chicago) Bill Ayers. We asked him what are the prospects for educational reform in the new administration, as well as to reflect his days under the national spotlight during the recent presidential campaign.
To listen to the Bill Ayers 15 December 2008 interview that was excerpted 5 January 2009, click here: .
To listen to the interview with investigative reporter A.C. Thompson, click here: .

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