9.08.2005

On rage . . .

During "normal" times I generally carry around a fairly steamy level of rage about our government(s), politicians, and prevailing culture. I know it "seeps through" on occasion (yes, I'm being facetious) into my writing here. I also know that when the heat level goes from "steamy" to nuclear, my thinking and writing suffer. Last week, the level went from nuclear to solar. So I decided to keep my mouth shut and put some mittens on.

I'll have to be cautiously satisfied, for now, with a return to nuclear. Before pointing you to some more reliable sources ('tho no less pissed off than I), let me reiterate one of my basic premises: the Gulf Coast Genocide is the result of a long-term, systematic effort of the middle and right-wing forces to dismantle our governments and redistribute its considerable resources to well-off, white "christians". Period.

The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang has successfully matched Saddam Hussein's genocidal acts of the '80s. And unless there is universal, fundamental change and rehabilitation, this holocaust is only a preview of things to come.

I'll leave the rest of the talking to the folks at The Black Commentator. I won't link to individual articles, because if you don't start at the homepage and read the whole issue, you suck. Here are some excerpts, however:


Margaret Kimberley, "New Orleans and the Demise of the Democrats" -


“They have M-16s and they’re
locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill, and
they are more than willing to do so.”
Kathleen
Blanco
, Democratic Louisiana Governor

“But I want to thank the president.”
Mary
Landrieu
, Democratic Louisiana Senator

“…you and I are not in a position
to make any judgment because we weren't there.”

Bill
Clinton
, former Democratic President

Democrats made these mean spirited and ignorant statements.
The entire country is facing the plight of the people of New Orleans,
coping with the dangers of Republican hell and Democratic high water.
One party is proud of its viciousness while the other claims not
to be vicious but proudly proclaims its willingness to shoot desperate refugees.

The degree of Democratic callousness in the New Orleans
tragedy may be shocking at first, but it is actually consistent
with the direction the party has taken for the past two decades.
The Democrats are dying a slow political death. Their inaction and
acquiescence in New Orleans is just the latest symptom presented
by a terminal patient . . .

Thulani Davis, "Unbearable Crime on the Mississippi" -
. . .there is now what is called the Katrina Diaspora. This diaspora of people without resources puts the restoration of families and community at risk, and in the case of New Orleans' black community, probably makes that impossible. Even people who own land there are going to be in deep trouble trying to hold onto it when the real estate boondoggle gets in the courts. I'm afraid we'll be reading a lot of stupid crap about how they couldn't be found, taxes were owed, etc. as in times past throughout the South. That's why I hope Jesse gets someone to bring people like Congressman Bennie Thompson into the fold, as he is familiar with the commission that had to be set up in the Delta because people are still trying to get back land stolen in the 1930s. And the developers are probably asking for eminent domain to be declared even as I'm typing . . .

This is a tragedy not only for the millions there on the ground, and the national economy but for the culture at large. We are witnessing in a matter of days a dislocation one-fifth the size of Middle Passage – which took place over more than 200 years. And all those conveniences of modern social organization which would mitigate its effects for most of us – phone, internet, cars, gasoline, and family with ample housing – do not apply to this country's poor. For them, getting lost may mean not being found any more easily than in 1865 when people went on foot and in wagons following word of mouth leads to find where family members may have been sent.

Tim Wise, "Blasphemy About New Orleans: A God With Whom I am Not Familiar" -
This is an open letter to the man sitting behind me at La Paz today, in Nashville, at lunchtime, with the Brooks Brothers shirt:

You don't know me. But I know you . . .

I heard you ask, amid the din of your colleagues "Amens," why it was that instead of pitching in to help their fellow Americans, the people of New Orleans instead – again, all of them in your mind – choose to steal and shoot at relief helicopters.

I watched you wipe salsa from the corners of your mouth, as you nodded agreement to the statement of one of your friends, sitting to your right, her hair neatly coiffed, her makeup flawless, her jewelry sparkling. When you asked, rhetorically, why it was that people were so much more decent amid the tragedy of 9-11, as compared to the aftermath of Katrina, she had offered her response, but only after apologizing for what she admitted was going to sound harsh.

"Well," Buffy explained. "It's probably because in New Orleans, it seems to be mostly poor people, and you know, they just don't have the same regard."

She then added that police should shoot the looters, and should have done so from the beginning, so as to send a message to the rest that theft would not be tolerated. You, who had just thanked Jesus for your chips and guacamole, said you agreed. They should be shot. Praise the Lord.

Your God is one with whom I am not familiar . . .

Your God – the one to whom you prayed today, and likely do before every meal, because this gesture proves what a good Christian you are – is one with whom I am not familiar.

Your God is one who you sincerely believe gives a flying fuck about your lunch. Your God is one who you seem to believe watches over you and blesses you, and brings good tidings your way, while simultaneously letting thousands of people watch their homes be destroyed, and perhaps ten thousand or more die, many of them in the streets for lack of water or food.

Did you ever stop to think just what a rancid asshole such a God would have to be, such that he would take care of the likes of you, while letting babies die in their mother's arms, and old people in wheelchairs, at the foot of Canal Street?

Your God is one with whom I am not familiar . . .

God doesn't feed you, and it isn't God that kept me from turning around and beating your lily white privileged ass today either.

God has nothing to do with it.

God doesn't care who wins the Super Bowl.

God doesn't help anyone win an Academy Award.

God didn't get you your last raise, or your SUV.

And if God is even half as tired as I am of having to listen to self-righteous bastards like you blame the victims of this nightmare for their fate, then you had best eat slowly from this point forward.

Why didn't they evacuate like they were told?

Are you serious?

There were 100,000 people in that city without cars. Folks who are too poor to own their own vehicle, and who rely on public transportation every day. I know this might shock you. They don't have a Hummer2, or whatever gas-guzzling piece of crap you either already own or probably are saving up for.

And no, they didn't just choose not to own a car because the buses are so gosh-darned efficient and great, as Rush Limbaugh implied, and as you likely heard, since you're the kind of person who hangs on the every word of such bloviating hacks as these.

Why did they loot?

Are you serious?

People are dying, in the streets, on live television. Fathers and mothers are watching their baby's eyes bulge in their skulls from dehydration, and you are begrudging them some Goddamned candy bars, diapers and water? . . .

Well Chuck, it's a free country, and so you certainly have the right I suppose to continue lecturing the poor, in between checking your Blackberry and dropping the kids off at soccer practice. If you want to believe that the poor of New Orleans are immoral and greedy, and unworthy of support at a time like this – or somehow more in need of your scolding than whatever donation you might make to a relief fund – so be it.

But let's leave God out of it, shall we? All of it.

Your God is one with whom I am not familiar, and I'd prefer to keep it that way.
Amen!