“Just days before ”Southern Decadence“, an annual homosexual celebration attracting tens of thousands of people to the French Quarters section of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina destroys the city….
”Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city…New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. From the devastation may a city full of righteousness emerge.“
What is interesting about this release is that it is not just attacking the usual suspects it is explicitly holding the whole city to blame for their permissivness in allowing these events to occur. He ends on a note of psuedo-compassion:
”We must help and pray for those ravaged by this disaster, but let us not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long. May this act of God cause us all to think about what we tolerate in our city limits, and bring us trembling before the throne of Almighty God.“
The symbolic violence implicit in this kind of discourse is the same as the will to violence in Governor Blanco’s invocation of the troops ability and willingness to kill. Jeff Sharlet reports:
Three hundred troops directly from Iraq have landed in the city, and ”they have M-16s, and they’re locked and loaded,“ blusters Louisiana Governor Blanco. ”These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so if necessary, and I expect they will.“
As Sharlet also suggests on this occasion there are indeed people to blame or at least people that must be held accountable for their ”stewardship“. This whole violent erruption is undergirded by the historic and willful refusal of government and corporate powers to address the saftey of the people of New Orleans. This refusal is in itself an act of violence by the US government on its own people and has also been linked by a number of commentators to funding cuts that are the direct result of the cost of Bush’s militarised war on terror.
This event is not about the violence of God it is about the interlocking violence of man – male pronoun used deliberately because this is masculinist violence no matter the gender of the perpetrator – obvious at so many levels. It is indeed a call to righteousness but not of the type Marcavage imagines.
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