An Archive of Jacob Appelbaum’s Post-Katrina weblog


Naomi Klein comes for a visit

Naomi Klein came today with Avi Lewis (husband and cameraman) and they interviewed Malik. I was really happy with the questions she asked, she really hit the important ones home. She asked about class, she asked about race, she asked about displacement, she asked about the help they received.

Naomi Klien interviews Malik

I’m really happy that Malik has the attention he rightfully deserves. The people on the ground here are in a fight to get the help they need and he’s the leader they love. I’ve heard people repeat over and over again that he averted people from dying, he helped them to eat, he helped them to be calm and he brought everyone together. They put aside their differences and became a community over night. He talked about the armed white men in the streets pulling their guns on every black man they could see. He talked about their efforts to calm everything and how it worked.

While Naomi Klien interviews Malik this man interjects praise

The man pictured above interrupted the interview to speak at length about how Malik basically saved his life and the life of the community with no outside help. He talked about the hell of the Superdome and how it was suicide to go inside. He actually took over the interview with his emotional response but everyone was listening to him. Cameras were rolling.

I was really happy at how down to earth Naomi was. She spoke to me about the project she’s doing. She does really impressive work and it’s an honor to meet someone who actually does things to change the world! When people tell me that I’m doing something worth while I think about the work that Naomi or Kalle Lasn (Adbusters) are doing, it makes me remember that I have much further to go. People like Naomi are an inspiration.

 Naomi Klein interviews Malik

She’s filming for a documentary and I believe one of the main issues the film will address is the idea of displacement during natural disasters. I asked her what she meant and she discussed a number of subjects. One of them was how such actions could be viewed as colonialism (would this be called neo-colonialism?). Authorities often use disasters as a reason to rebuild “worthwhile” economic developments rather than homes for the displaced poor who once lived there. Perhaps this is the future of the parts of this city.

Really interesting stuff!

13 Responses to 'Naomi Klein comes for a visit'

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  1. Effie said,

    Good stuff, man. Please link the interview when it’s up. I’d love to read it. Malik is an intriguing guy who I’m interested in reading more about.


  2. From what I read, Malik is a true friend to even strangers. He is someone who I would be proud to meet one day.

  3. Dave said,

    It looks like Malik is doing a world of good. And there’s mixed reports about what the aid agencies are getting up to. Is there any way to get donations to Malik for him to keep doing what he’s doing?

    I’m sure if there was an easy way to get cash to him via paypal or something and it got linked on boingboing, there’d be some funds available in a pretty short amount of time.

  4. Mona said,

    Malik was on the air by phone with Laura Flanders on Air America Radio several days ago and what he had to tell her was very enlightening. Glad you have found him and are giving him publicity.

  5. evelyn said,

    I just came across this article, because I was researching the name Klein. My husband was Jacob Klein, a very good , strong man who built our home and worked very hard. I think we need more people like Malik to help the void that has occurred between the white and the blacks. I live in a very small town, where we have no dissention, I cannot imagine what it must be like to be looked down upon all the time. I have notice in our area, the young blacks(I do not like the word black0 we are Americans’ have a chip on their shoulders, why? InPa we treat everyone alike

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