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Louisiana citizens weep for their future as Jindal calls out the Guard

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by Carol Forsloff

Governor Jindal has announced the activation of the National Guard to support oil response spill efforts in the Gulf.  The announcement was made earlier today, as native Louisianans express desperation about the impending disaster.

Across Louisiana, into the heartland, people are beginning to cry out about the terrible consequences of the oil spill in the Gulf.

This morning on a local radio station the seriousness of the oil spill was discussed.  People who listen to KNOC radio heard more than they usually get on a routine call-in show as people were left stunned with the news today of a state emergency and what might affect people across the state.

Dolores Blalock said, “You know you pay the consequences for greed.  And that’s been the driving force on the Gulf with the oil drilling.”  A local state Representative Rick Nowlin said earlier in the week,” I will keep my eye on this.  It could be potentially devastating for all of us.”

Randy Stelly is a newspaper publisher who traverses the State of Louisiana and Texas on a regular basis to ferret out news and to maintain advertisers for his community newspaper called The Real Views.    He has lived in Louisiana most of his life.  His father suffered through segregation in order to set up the first Catholic church for African Americans and a grocery story in Opelousas, Louisiana  in the southern part of the state.  A lot of heavy lifting went into those efforts to bring African Americans into the political and business community.

Stelly has a stake that is bigger than a newspaper in what is happening.   During an interview today he addressed the problem of the oil spill as a lifetime citizen of the state, one whose father helped pave the way for African American businesses less than 100 miles from the Gulf.

He was choking back tears as he said, “This is devastating for our state.  This will screw up our economy.  Like Valdez it might mean a boom for some jobs in the cleanup process, but the price we will pay isn’t worth it.  My daddy and men like him helped make a difference for other African Americans,  many who will lose their livelihood.”

“What about the others?” 

“Of course, I worry about everyone, doesn’t matter the color.  We’re all in this together.  The fact is, however, that some folks can from behind to get where they are.  It’s tougher for poor people.  But then, it’s going to be tough for everyone, even up here.  We’re going to feel what happens on the coast, because of the economy.”

Stelly likes to talk on the radio on the morning show and sometimes jokes around, as folks in Natchitoches know.  But today he was very serious as he said, “I’m not a politician, an environmentalist or a Coast Guard person, just a newspaper guy with a nose for what smells. and this has smelled bad since the beginning.  In fact that whole operation has smelled bad for a very long time.  It goes to the debate about drilling and the sacrifices made here in Louisiana.”

“What impact do you think it will have on New Orleans?” 

Stelly paused for a moment and said.  “It’s a given big deal.  The oil company is responsible for the erosion of the wetlands and this will be our coup de gras.”


Written by demon53

May 1, 2010 at 2:19 pm

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