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anti-racism | katrina aftermath

Red Cross racists - Not one more dollar

The Red Cross keeps something like 80% of the money raised for its own self. (Does anyone remember the exact figure/story link?)

Here's one more very good reason not to ever give them one more dollar. Rampant racism, evicting people from shelters.
as reported on 'Democracy Now' - 12/16/05:

 link to www.democracynow.org

(excerpt from interview iwth Amy Goodman)

BILL CHANDLER: We have had some very, very serious problems with very overt racism on the part of the Red Cross, not only with immigrants, but with other people that were displaced by Katrina, as well. But with immigrants, initially in the application process for benefits, we had a considerable problem in Hadleyburg and in Laurel with people asking for too much information, going, you know, beyond what is required by the Red Cross to certify people for eligibility, and they were asking for documents, they were asking for all kind of things that was irrelevant to their victimization.

We had a situation where undocumented or documented immigrants who had been living on the coast, and I think people need to know that Mississippi has a rapidly growing immigrant population, and we estimate that over 100,000 people are here working. But on the coast there's about 30,000 and of that there were a lot of people that were affected by Katrina. And like the Anglos and like the African Americans and Vietnamese, and so on, they were seeking shelter with the Red Cross. We had an incident late in September where the shelter manager in Long Beach decided he didn't want any of the Latinos to be there, and he called a number of law enforcement agencies, ranging from the Indiana State Police, who were here to supplement local law enforcement, to the ICE, which is the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement which we commonly know as "La Migra" or the INS, what used to be the INS, and had them come, and they pulled the Latinos out of the shelter. Several people were pulled out of showers and were not allowed to wrap themselves in towels, and were pulled into the parking lot and told that they would be deported in 48 hours if they didn't leave the shelter immediately.

Following that, an organizer from our organization went to confront the shelter manager about that that night, and she was escorted from the premises by armed security. The next day, a delegation that included people from the Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, Oxfam America and a number of other organizations, primarily African Americans, went to confront the manager about what had happened, and they were taking pictures, and the shelter manager wanted the camera and wanted the film and the people, of course, refused to give it to him. And so they were held hostage by local law enforcement for about 45 minutes, were not allowed to leave the shelter until they produced the film, which they refused. And finally U.S. Marshals came and advised the shelter manager to let them go, that they did have a right to take pictures.

But later on, a few days later, the shelters all over the coast were demanding that Latinos leave the shelters, and they claim that they were all out-of-state workers and they had no right to be in the shelters. The National Council of La Raza and the National Immigration Law Center and other organizations alerted the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Representative Grace Napolitano, who is the chair of that, confronted the Red Cross. They denied those things were going on and said their policy is to take anybody who is homeless. But it never filtered down to the shelters here, and ultimately they evacuated all of the Latinos, regardless of status, regardless of where they lived before the hurricane, out of those shelters. So we have had some very serious problems with the Red Cross, and it is consistent with previous experience that we've had with them in the past. ...

The truth about the Red Cross 19.Dec.2005 16:41

Joe Allen

I found this great article on the red cross

The right-wing, scandal-ridden "charity" that isn't really a charity
The truth about the Red Cross
October 21, 2005 | Page 4

FOR MANY people, the American Red Cross is the very embodiment of lifesaving. Its bold red emblem is imprinted on the sides of vehicles that appear at natural disasters, storms or fires, to take care of the survivors. Millions of Americans donate blood or hard-earned pay to the organization each year, or during special appeals like after the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

But as JOE ALLEN reveals, the real story of the Red Cross isn't nearly as noble and humanitarian as the image.

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IN RECENT years, the image of the Red Cross has been tarnished. The worst scandal came after the September 11 attacks, when it was revealed that a large portion of the hundreds of millions of dollars donated to the organization went not to survivors or family members of those killed, but to other Red Cross operations, in what was described by chapters across the country as a "bait-and-switch" operation.
Recently, long-simmering concerns about the Red Cross' disaster relief operations were expressed by Richard Walden, of the humanitarian group Operation USA, in the Los Angeles Times--prompting a vitriolic response by the Red Cross.

But these recent scandals are nothing new for the Red Cross. In fact, the whole history of the organization is one gigantic scandal--stretching from its racist policies toward African Americans to its corporate mentality toward human beings.

It is a tribute to the feebleness of the U.S. media--and the Red Cross' powerful Republican allies--that an institution with such a dubious history continues as the symbol of "humanitarian leadership," when it should have been replaced by a far more effective agency decades ago.

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THE AMERICAN Red Cross was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton, who became famous during the Civil War for organizing the distribution of food and medical supplies to Union Army soldiers.
The Red Cross is specifically mandated, according to its Congressional charter adopted in 1905, to "carry out a system of national and international relief in time of peace, and apply that system in mitigating the suffering caused by pestilence, famine, fire, floods and other great national calamities, and to devise and carry out measures preventing those calamities." The organization was also to carry out its work in accordance with the Geneva Conventions concerning the treatment of prisoners of war. Later, the Red Cross would also be entrusted with control of a large part of the nation's blood supply.

But who got relief after disasters has always been affected by the racism that has been part of the Red Cross' long history.

For example, during the Great 1927 Flood that destroyed large parts of the Mississippi Delta and Louisiana, Black

rest of the article at  http://www.socialistworker.org/2005-2/562/562_04_RedCross.shtml