To honor 5-year Katrina anniversary, National Hurricane Center promises to use African-American names for storms in 2011
La Lune de la presse internationale
At a brief press conference for the news media in Miami, NHC spokesperson Skip Towne paid homage to the countless thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina, going on to say that throughout 2011 the NHC would use an "African-American" theme when choosing names for hurricanes.
"We know that the government failed in 2005," said Towne in his prepared remarks. "We understand that President Bush, and really the entire Bush family in general, hate black people other than Colin Powell. We have learned the lessons of Hurricane Katrina as a nation, because we know now that no President will ever be held accountable for anything, ever, unless he is black. Therefore, we here at the National Hurricane Center have decided to use African-American names in 2011 in order to send a message that unlike most Bush-era government officials we have not forgotten the victims of Hurricane Katrina."
Traditionally storms are named in alphabetical order by the NHC, using all but the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z. The following provisional list was released today and will serve as a guide for named storms in 2011:
The decision to use African-American names has already stirred up more controversy among different ethnic groups than the African Union's decision to adopt the Afro in 2007.
The Colorado Springs-based Deacons International Coalition for Kindness Society (DICKS) published a statement on its website shortly after the announcement, stating that the National Hurricane Center was showing "racial bias" against white people by favoring African-Americans. They maintain that people of all races were victims of Hurricane Katrina, even if they acknowledged that many of them were of African-American origin.
However, DICKS website manifesto states that "promoting and maintaining racial imbalances is an important part of allowing religious and government institutions to control the population, through the use of fiat-based slave-wage job creation and suggestive implantation of arbitrary racial and personal stereotypes. The DICKS members shall openly encourage disparity between races in order to maximize these imbalances and further encourage religious and institutional domination over society."
Other local groups applauded the decision, saying that it was "damn right" and "about motherfuckin' time" that the NHC honor African-Americans.
"I was like, man, why do all these hurricanes got whitey names? Whadup wit dat?" stated Trysum Phearst, a local entrepreneur in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. "But now, wit' the NHC bein' all like, yo bitch it's on now and shit, I'm like you goddam right."
Phearst, who studied ebonics until the tenth grade before opting out of the public school system, gained notoriety in his community after working as a personal investment counselor for a local independent pharmaceutical business.
Sonny Hayes, an Atlanta-area meteorologist for KKKK Channel 22 "News With a View", gave his reaction in a phone interview with the La Rochelle Times.
"You know, we've learned a lot throughout the years," said Hayes after the NHC announcement. "Either through ending the tradition of indentured slavery in rural areas and replacing it with indebted slavery in urban areas, or through the Civil Rights movement that allowed blacks to die alongside whites in Vietnam, we've come a long way. I think today's decision by the NHC goes even further by showing us that there is true recognition of a distinct African-American culture. Without it we wouldn't have jazz, blues, hip hop or funk. We wouldn't have draconian crack-cocaine laws to fill up our nation's prisons and enrich local politicians. We wouldn't have random black males to suspect as perpetrators in every newspaper, or here on KKKK news. So really, we have to thank the NHC for drawing attention to the unique cultural aspects of African-Americans by choosing to honor them during the 2011 hurricane season. Let us all remember that cultural and ethnic differences are there to be exploited for personal gain, and always to the detriment of a minority group."
Hayes was previously featured in the La Rochelle Times when he announced in early 2007 that he was really looking forward to the next hurricane season.