Steppin’ Out of Babylon: Podcast-Radio Interviews by Sue Supriano

“Babylon” is the “isms” and “schisms” not only within the system but within ourselves. Let's organize, unify and step out of Babylon.



Sue Supriano’s Steppin’ Out of Babylon is a radio interview series covering a broad range of important issues in today’s world: peace and war, human and civil rights, communication, the media, the environment, food security, racism, globalization, immigration and matters of the spirit. Over 250 shows are available at this site!



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Malik Rahim

New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina Report

Play Audio.
TRT: 27:17
Date: 2005-10-05

Malik Rahim lives in Algiers-- a section of New Orleans that was not hit by Katrina, the huge hurricane that destroyed so much of New Orleans although it did flood somewhat because some levees broke. Rahim talks about his experience of the scandalous lack of response to help people who were suffering from the effects of the hurricane and floods-- especially poor Black people. In fact, due to these racist policies many people died needlessly. We may never know how many. He tells the story of a dead body lying rotting for days in front of the health clinic and how the army even put a tent over it, but didn't remove it for a week or so. Horrendous stories!

Rahim stepped forward as an organizer since there was no person, people, or organizations doing the job. He was a Black Panther in the past and knew the importance of organizing. One of the first things that he, along with others, did was to set up a health clinic out of his mosque. Of course the needs of evacuees who were coming to Algiers was very great and no help was forthcoming for a week. During that time hunger, thirst (no fresh water or ice available) grew and violence and despair ensued. When aid did come from FEMA and the Red Cross, it was mostly on the outskirts of the urban area. He describes having to scrounge gas for a vehicle with no gas stations open, in order to get to where the "ready to eat" meals were distributed. Some people walked miles and miles for their food and water. He talks about folks coming from the Astrodome in New Orleans with the same clothes on for a week and those clothes being soaked with the toxic substances that were released. As usual, poor and Black people were the hardest hit by the disaster since they were less likely to have a car and gas or a way to get evacuate before the hurricane hit. Those who got out were the more affluent. There was no organized help for the poor at all!

Rahim describes that when the US Military arrived he was pleased because it kept order which was important, but he also acknowleges that at the time of this interview it is a police state with a curfew. His absolutely main point is that we cannot depend on any level of government to help us and urges us to take it into our own hands and prepare our communities for catastrophies that could well come at any time. They've always been happening, and especially in these times of climate change and other potential catastrophies they are almost certain to occur in many places so organize and prepare locally!! He also invites people to come and help rebuild New Orleans and get to know the people there.

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December 26, 2015

In memory:

Sue, who lived an amazing life from 1938 - 2015.