African American Woman Speaks Out on the BP Gulf Disaster

I was at Art of Diva’s Hair Design, my hair salon, in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The salon is filled with stylists and clientele who are African American. As is always true, many conversations were swirling. I caught a word here and a word there.  I heard a few bits of conversation about the Gulf Oil Crisis.  

So I asked my hair stylist to share her thoughts about this frightening and monumental disaster. 

Stephanie, Photo Courtesy of Stephanie

Dianne: How do you think BP is handling this crisis? 

Stephanie: I think they are doing the best they can because they are losing money. They are losing money as the oil pours out the pipe in the Gulf. They are losing money on the stock market. They will have to pay out money to all the people in the Gulf who are suffering emotionally and financially.

Is there another method? Does anyone else have the expertise to do something different and better? I don’t know of any company who wouldn’t make a fix if there were simple solution to save the company. 

D: What about the government? Are they doing enough? 

S: I don’t think they are. They are not supervising to make sure the job gets done. They need to step up! 

D: Should locals in the Gulf get involved? 

S: What the heck can they do? BP does not need to be thinking about the safety of fisherman in boats with no experience going out into the Gulf trying to skim the oil. If something happens—illness from the oil fumes, a damaged boat, or physical injury–to a local without experience then BP will be made responsible. If the local people make things worse, then what? BP and the government need to monitor all this, cap the hole in the pipe, and lead clean-up. 

At the Beach, Photo Courtesy of Stephanie

D: Is President Barack Obama being visible enough during the crisis? 

S: Yes, he has spoken up. I have seen and heard him on television in few instances. 

D: How are you feeling about the environmental impact? 

S: I am so scared for the wildlife. I’ve seen images on television of seagulls covered in oil. People were cleaning the oil off the birds. I remember seeing the seals dead in the water back with the Exxon Valdez spill. I am so sad and worried for the wildlife and the people affected down in Gulf. 

A few minutes after we finished talking, Stephanie said, “Look. there’s Obama.” 

Photo by Dianne Glave

To all the creatures who have died in the Gulf in the last month or so — Rest in Peace.

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5 responses

  1. In light of the BP oil calamity it’s quite obvious that something must be done, and fast, if we are to save our world from corporations that would prefer to place huge profits above that of our environmental and financial welfare.

    As large corporations gobble up smaller corporations in an attempt to seize an even bigger piece of the global economic pie, it seems that businesses have been allowed to grow, unfettered, into unwieldy corporate behemoths (a.k.a., British Petroleum) with little, if any, regulations regarding their obligations to national sovereignties or allegiances.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I believe that if a corporation begins its “life” in a particular country, than it has an obligation to that country and its people: due in part to the patronage of its citizens throughout the years in helping that corporation to grow. When I hear about American businesses pulling up stakes and moving to other countries in lieu of cheaper labor and supplies elsewhere, I feel both embarrassed and betrayed. (They would be nothing if it weren’t for people like you and me. After all, we purchased their services, time and time again, fostering them constantly by giving them the opportunity to flourish. Our final reward for all our efforts? Millions of fellow Americans out of work, all desperately hoping that their unemployment benefits never run out.)

    I agree that the bad news is not just happening here in America, but around the globe. I blame that on the evolution of the business model: over the years, it has been compressed into a precise science in an effort to squeeze every last drop of profit out of the proverbial “bottom-line.” I began to notice the change in the late 1970’s when I was in my teens. Back then, it was a different world for me and I didn’t seem to care too much. Today however, it is a different story.

    What can we collectively do as Americans?

    Contact your representatives in the House and Senate. Let them know that

    big business should be regulated and ask them to enact laws to:

    1.Ensure that all corporations “born” within the United States deter from any and all actions that would adversely affect our country;

    2.Place high tariffs on imports from American businesses that move their bases of operations (not to mention our jobs) to other regions of the world;

    3.Work to limit their corporate power and influence in Washington D.C. by passing laws whereby politicians, found to have ties with said corporations or corporate lobbyists resign.

    4.Endeavor to ban all corporate favors and corporate lobbyists from Washington D.C.

    Essentially, it’s up to us to fashion our own future. If we don’t, rest assured that someone, or some corporation will.

    •(I know that BP was not born and reared here in the United States. I was merely using it as a reference as to what corporations are capable of doing if left to their own devices.)

  2. I am so sad that this catastrophe is unfolding , But at least it is happening in America and we all have to face up to the consequences, not like 3rd world disasters where “the blind eye”reigns. One planet ONE CHANCE FOR ALL of us to get it right. Jac

    • Jac, for so long the US has been immune to so many issues and concerns. terrorism by those beyond are borders (i.e. 911) is one example. yours is another example. we have be safe from so many things. now we are experiencing it firsthand.

  3. China pulled back its overseas production on Monday to concentrate on bolstering its own internal consumption (a.k.a. Isolationism/Protectionism), while airline stocks fell and U.S. stocks dropped below flash crash lows due to the euro.

    BP CEO Tony Hayward still refuses to admit to the world just how difficult it will be to drill that relief well he’s been telling us all about. Apparently, the odds of getting it right the first time is astronomical, according to noted Professor and theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku. Doing so correctly on the first try would be, in his words, “like winning the lottery.” Dr. Kaku went on to say that most likely, BP will have to drill over and over again to effectively get a handle on the situation; a process which may take months, if not years, to accomplish. (Can you dare to imagine the effect and impact on our oceans and wildlife?)

    Hungary’s huge financial debt (just one of several European countries due to suffer economic woes this year) will spark an even deeper decline and devaluation of the euro.

    Added news of certain U.S. indicators heading in negative territory in the next few days will push world markets even further downward. (I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Dow Jones fell another 200 points by June 21st.)

    It doesn’t take a math-wiz or soothsayer to figure out what’s going on here. All you need is common sense and the ability to think a few steps ahead, nothing more.

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