Racist Vigilantism is Documented in New Orleans

Published December 30, 2008

A shocking exposé detailing how White vigilantes hunted Black people “like pheasants” in New Orleans during the floods of Hurricane Katrina is reopening old wounds about the racism that surrounded the whole ordeal.

In his jolting report for the Jan. 5 edition of the Nation magazine, writer A.C. Thompson focuses on lynch-mob justice perpetrated by residents of the largely White community of Algiers Point, which is surrounded by predominantly Black Algiers.

Amid all the national – often exaggerated – reports of roving bands of Black thugs.

Thompson discovers during his year-and-a-half investigation that the real thugs were White vigilantes who randomly shot Black men, killing 11, but escaped arrest, prosecution or any real exposure for their violent misdeeds.

During Thompson’s report, an unidentified White man was asked how he protected his community.

“You had to do what you had to do. You know? If you had to shoot somebody, you had to shoot somebody. That simple,” he said, proudly. Said another White man, “ It was great!” as a third chimed in,  “It was like pheasant season in South Dakota! If it moved, you shot it!”

Donnell Herrington, a Black man who was shot by the vigilantes but survived, said he would like to see his attackers brought to justice. Speaking to Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now, Herrington, who saga is included in the Nation article, said, “You know, this is the kind of thing that many, many people can investigate: the local DA, the local police, the state attorney general, the federal authorities. If the public demands that the authorities actually take a look at this, it may well happen. But it’s going to take the public pushing the authorities to do something.”

Written by From Staff & Wire Services

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