*WASHINGTON, D.C. — Earlier today on News One Now, host and managing editor Roland Martin spoke with Congressman Al Green (D-TX) about the state of affairs and recovery efforts going on in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
The rains are still coming in to the Houston area, and the death toll has risen to 14 and massive flooding is still occurring. Though the Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, has received a lot of flak for not issuing an evacuation emergency upon Harvey’s arrival last week, Green says the criticism is “unfounded criticism.”
“When [Hurricane] Rita hit and we had the great exodus, we had over 100 people to lose their lives as they were traversing the highways. It was horrific to be out on the roadway without the resources necessary. I regret that this kind of petty politics has crept into something as significant as a catastrophic event of this magnitude,” said Green.
He also noted that that residents in his home district of Missouri City, which borders on Houston, evacuated to a nearby school and a local church yesterday for protection due to a pending threat of river overflow.
“We had to immediately find a place for people to go. Within a couple of hours [the school] was filled almost to capacity. Hundreds of people had come in and what is interesting is that you see people from all walks of life, all ethnicities – Houston is a very diverse city, and you see all these people cooperating and collaborating – working together in a time of great strength and need,” said Green. “There’s a lot going on in places other than Houston, but we want to communicate that Houston and the surrounding area, people are working together and Samaritans are making a difference.”
Martin also discussed the 54th anniversary rally of the March on Washington held yesterday, where Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and others marched in D.C. to commemorate the historic event. News One Now reported that 3,000 faith leaders walked from the Martin Luther King Memorial to the Department of Justice to call out the same social injustices that Martin Luther King and others spoke of in 1963. Sharpton, who organized the rally with his organization, the National Action Network, called for moral leaders to get rid of their fear and their political laryngitis and stand up together.
When asked what his father would say about the current moral climate of our country, Martin Luther King III didn’t know if he had the words.
“I don’t know if I’m even equipped to say what he would say, but I know he would be greatly concerned about what is going on in our nation. But he would be proud of the fact that spiritual and religious leaders of all faiths are coming together to stand up for justice, to stand up for righteousness, and to stand up for truth and freedom,” said King.
Elijah Coles-Brown, a young political activist who also spoke at the March, said it all boiled down to checking one’s own moral compass.
“You have to ask yourself this one question: How are you going to achieve justice, how are you going to achieve equality, how are you going to achieve freedom. You can do it by marching, you can do it by speaking out against the injustices of this country and of this world,” said Coles-Brown. “You can do it by continuing to carry the torch, from people like Rev. Al, from people like Rev. Jackson, from people like Michael Eric Dyson and the many wonderful speakers that spoke here today. You have an opportunity. You can do it.”