Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What Are We Going To Do Now?

What Are We Going To Do Now?

“Nationalism is a double edged sword. It can be wielded as a tool of oppression by cohesively organized peoples or nation states such as those of Western Europe, who used it to impose their exploitative rule over many non-European nation and peoples, or by White Americans to enslave and otherwise dominate Black Americans. It can also be use as a tool to organize people, nation states, to best achieve their liberation from oppression an/or to achieve sovereignty or self-determination and to gain control of a national territory.” Dr. Amos N. Wilson Blueprint For Black Power A Moral, Political and Economic Imperative for the Twenty-First Century page(s) 849-50.

Once again our experiences at the hands of our political adversaries has demonstrated the need to have practical and workable plans of action, survival to counterbalance the at very least callous and insensitive and at worst a genocidal response to a situation like Hurricane Katrina. We must realize that this 2005 disaster mirrors the 1927 response of whites towards Africans in America who were caught and devastated by the inundating floods of 1927 in the Mississippi Delta region. Images of trapped citizens of New Orleans who are too poor, too sick with no means of transportation, no social support networks or the wherewithal to escape the impending floods and the anemic response of the Bu$h administration to their plight begs the question, can we depend upon the government for our survival in a time of need? On my Internet radio program The Digital Underground which airs live Sundays on www.Harambeeradio.com From 12 Noon to 2 PM Eastern time (forgive the shameless plug) this past Sunday I had two non mainstream journalists as guests: Henry DeBarnardo and Saeed Shabazz. Brother DeBernardo is the publisher of The Black Star Newspaper out of Philadelphia Pa. and Brother Shabazz is the UN Correspondent for The Final Call Newspaper. We discussed Hurricane Kartina, the ample and detailed warnings of a storm like that, the storm itself and aftermath from a number of differing perspectives and vantage points. However the one pertinent question these astute brothers raised was, “what are we going to do in light of what we have just witnessed?” That is the 64 Million Dollar question. There is no doubt in most black folks’ minds that at the very least the initial (and inept) response of the Bu$h administration reflected their race and class biases towards a city that is almost 70% African-American and who has a disproportionate percentage of people living below the poverty line. For me Bu$h’s secondary response, that of combat operations rather than search, and rescue of survivors and repairing the levees and draining the flood water demonstrates his mental myopia. I saw a photo of heavily armed National Guardsmen on one Website, they were riding in an armored carrier in the flooded streets of New Orleans as bystanders watched. The caption read, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, all the world looks like a nail.” My concern was with the decidedly militarist tone to this operation. Why did the recent issue of www.Armytimes.com have the banner headline, “Combat Operation In New Orleans.” What is that about?
As the brothers on my radio program separately asked, “What are we going to do now”? What are we going to do? We have social, fraternal and religious organization mobilizing to help send aid directly to the victims in the Gulf Coast and that is needed and commendable; but what about formulating an overarching plan to insure our survival in a racist, color and class biased culture. Quiet as it’s kept, most of us can easily envision ourselves in the shoes of our brethren in New Orleans regardless of our jobs, bank accounts and salaries. There but for the grace of the CREATOR go we all We saw first hand just how cold-blooded and callous Bu$h and Co. are. Kanye West was correct, Bu$h doesn’t care about black people, but this is no major revelation. How long has Kanye been Black in AmeriKKKa? It’s not even about Bu$h. Bu$h’s response was similar and symptomatic of many white AmeriKKKans. Their attitudes made it easy for the mass media to demonize the poor and the sick who were marooned in New Orleans as undesirables, as criminals unworthy of saving. It’s not just about the Republicans either, Bill Clinton was appraised of an equally abhorrent ongoing condition in the waning days of his presidency; the disproportionate incarceration rates of people of color (Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans ). The US Sentencing project in their landmark report raised this issue, but the man loved and revered by the Negro elite , the man who owed his presidency to their loyalty chose to do nothing to ameliorate this situation This is bi-partisan racism. This is all the more reason we must come together to formulate strategies to empower ourselves by building strongly ethnocentric social networks, independent economic and educational infrastructures and cohesive political organization. What lessons do we need to learn from Hurricane Katrina? Where do we go from here? When will we stop being reactionary and totally dependent on our adversaries for sustenance and assistance and become proactive, self-determined and self-actualizing people?
Look at our situation, where would you get food if a major disaster or military siege/occupation like the one going in New Orleans now hit your town? Are we up to speed and in the loop as far as commuity defense and emergency management preparation are concerned in our towns and neighborhood? If not, why not? Do we even know our neighbors well enough to know where in their homes and apartments they or their family members sleep in case of a fire or other emergency? Do we have enough supplies of bottled water, first aid kits, canned or dehydrated food to tide our neighborhood over in case our community is condoned off or cut off from supplies? Have local churches, mosques and temples even thought about htist? Will the Millions More March address any of these questions in light of recent current events? Do we even see the need for any of this? Questions, questions, does anyone see the urgency or need come up with answers?



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