Is Feinberg the latest carpetbagger

It was a period called Reconstruction and it took place from 1865-77.

Following the most tragic military conflict ever on North American soil, the defeated Confederate States found their farms and towns left in ruins.

Four years of war had destroyed their economy. The political and social landscape also changed significantly from what had been considered normal in the Deep South.

New laws were being passed for a populace that carried mixed opinions regarding change. And opportunists made their way from northern states to take advantage of the situation.

Those northern operators were called carpetbaggers. They came south under the guise that they were here to help the afflicted and restore the region following its long-term disaster.

Carpetbaggers took advantage of trusting southerners and profited off their hardships.

Carpetbaggers might, for example, purchase a section of land from a family desperate for money, but pay a fraction of the property’s value. Then the acreage would be sold for an outlandish profit.

Carpetbaggers were also involved in the political machine that for another century kept most of the south segregated and poor – while making overall gains for themselves.

One hundred and forty-five years later, the south has made significant strides culturally and economically. But carpetbaggers are still coming around when tragedy strikes.

Following the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, southerners along the Gulf Coast were told that BP through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, directed by its administrator Kenneth Feinberg of Dublin, Ohio, would reconcile all hardships.

But individuals, agencies and state offices report having a hard time getting claims filed before a Nov. 23 deadline. They want to know why efforts to get answers from the GCCF seem to be ignored and data found at times appears inconsistent.

The only certainty it appears is that once again southerners facing hardships are being offered a suspicious line, and that during this time of post-moratorium economic and environmental reconstruction we are again being visited by carpetbaggers.