The way Donnell Herrington tells it, there was no warning. One second he was trudging through the heat. The next he was lying prostrate on the pavement, his life spilling out of a hole in his throat, his body racked with pain, his vision blurred and distorted.
It was September 1, 2005, some three days after Hurricane Katrina crashed into New Orleans, and somebody had just blasted Herrington, who is African-American, with a shotgun. “I just hit the ground. I didn’t even know what happened,” recalls Herrington, a burly 32-year-old with a soft drawl.
The sudden eruption of gunfire horrified Herrington’s companions–his cousin Marcel Alexander, then 17, and friend Chris Collins, then 18, who are also black. “I looked at Donnell and he had this big old hole in his neck,” Alexander recalls. “I tried to help him up, and they started shooting again.” [...]
Herrington shouted at the other men to run and turned to face his attackers: three armed white males. Herrington says he hadn’t even seen the men or their weapons before the shooting began. As Alexander and Collins fled, Herrington ran in the opposite direction, his hand pressed to the bleeding wound on his throat. Behind him, he says, the gunmen yelled, “Get him! Get that nigger!”
[FYI: This is by no means "news" to those who consistently payed close attention to Katrina's latest developments. For more info on this, pls. visit: http://www.cwsworkshop.org/katrinareader/node/573].
Three years since Katrina and the government continues to fail us. Malik Rahim has spoken out with courage, asked the difficult questions and built viable community alternatives. He is a strong organizer who acted while the politicians waited. Now he wants to take his courage to Congress.
After Hurricane Katrina, Malik founded Common Ground, an organization which:
- opened the first free health clinic in the city of New Orleans,
- helped MLK Elementary and other schools to re-open, and
- gutted over 3,000 homes and provided direct services to nearly 200,000 returning residents.
Malik is in a winnable race for U.S. Congress in Louisiana’s 2nd District. The Louisiana Secretary of State changed the elections calendar after Hurricane Gustav, so the general election for that seat is on Dec. 6.
“We still have one more Congressional election within our grasp,” writes Cynthia McKinney, legendary former congresswoman from Georgia and this year’s Green Party presidential candidate [...]
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