Kindra Arnesen’s husband is a tough-as-nails fisherman who recently fell ill after working on a clean-up crew just off the shores of Louisiana. I can’t find any pictures of Kindra or background info on her and her family. I actually caught a glimpse of her giving an interview to CNN about BP’s death-grip on the local fishermen and their families. What stood out to me was her balls-to-the-wall fearlessness to speak out against BP and Deepwater Horizon’s horrific aftermath.
She mentioned that several friends asked if she was “scared” to get on national television and go head-to-head with the one entity that put food in their mouths…and had the power to take it right back out. And what was her answer? “Yes. I’m scared.”
One spunky girl getting all up in the face of a conglomerate that has repeatedly failed to recognize and respect human and environmental frailty. Initially after the spill, BP hired out-of-work fishermen to help with the clean-up, but things started to get bumpy when the fishermen complained of too few people being hired and their cleanup contracts containing problems. After working long hours in water thick with oil and dispersants, men began complaining of illness. Headaches, thick coughs, unable to sleep.
At least one worker said he wasn’t given protective equipment by BP.
Like other cleanup workers, Jackson had attended a training class where he was told not to pick up oil-related waste. But he said he wasn’t provided with protective equipment and wore leather boots and regular clothes on his boat.
“They [BP officials] told us if we ran into oil, it wasn’t supposed to bother us,” Jackson said. “As far as gloves, no, we haven’t been wearing any gloves.”
BP spokesman Graham McEwen told the LA Times that “he was unaware of any health complaints among the cleanup workers,” adding that “the fishermen the company is training are not being deployed into areas that require respirators or breathing apparatus. Those who are working for BP laying booms or skimming oil are issued protective coveralls and gloves.”
BP even went so far as to insult everyone’s intelligence by suggesting these fishermen were simply suffering from a good ole fashioned case of food poisoning. Really, BP? Really? I guess this is what happens when Big Oil is given autonomy with no responsibility.
Obama just needs to quit pretending to be a Cool Cat and go on and get ghetto on BP’s triflin’ butt. I mean straight up G-to-the-H-to-the-ETTO. Burn all the red-tape and bring down the gauntlet on these dredges of society. Bankrupt them. Make it so the CEO’s and CFO’s have to apply for food stamps and welfare cheese. Make it so they can only afford Goodwill and Save-a-Lot. Make it so they have to look every person in the eye whose life they’ve single- handedly destroyed. Make them take full and total responsibility for 100% of this nightmare.
Then make it so these fishermen and their families can live the rest of their lives without a financial worry or health concern. Make THAT so.
Maybe others will stand up with Kindra Arnesen and let their voice join with hers…making it louder until everyone is forced to stop and listen to what they have to say. Maybe others will boldly look BP in the face and dare them to screw around with the lives of their loved ones. BP has already tossed out a million bucks to help these fishermen and their families…like this is the cure-all.
Perhaps the almighty dollar is king in BP’s world. But out here….where the water is poison and the air is toxic…there are more important things. Things like the human condition. Things like our ecological legacy evaporating before our very eyes. Things like Kindra Arnesen pointed out in a recent town hall meeting with BP officials:
“I look at my five- and my eight-year-old, and I think in 10 years, am I going to have to look at Elena(ph) and say to her the reason you’re in this hospital bed is because I kept you there. That’s what I’m here to ask, and I really do appreciate that.”
I pray that we as a people can somehow take control of the reins and get our planet somewhere CLOSE to the track so that our children and future generations aren’t left with the diseased scraps of what God trusted us to care for.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’” (Genesis 1:26)