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Gettin' on for seventy times seven

By Owen Paine on Monday August 21, 2006 05:07 PM

Where in hell was the post-Katrina black march on Washington?

I read that somewhere today, and it's a good question. And where was the torchlight rally in front of the Lincoln memorial? And where was the black siege village around the White House?

The whole 200K poor black folks' diaspora from the Big Easy has just completely drowned its righteous outrage among its thousand and one "official places of refuge." The easest whitey trick of all: dilution. This vast black dispersion, this callous vale of smeers removal, this forced semipermanent vacation from all that prime location property -- why, that's just pure realtors' sneaky Pete: an opportunistic cleansing conspiracy to turn slumlords' warrens into big-D genteel developments.

This whole disgusting process should instead have led directly to a re-collection of every last one of these same expelled black folks, right outside the White House fence line, and America's black leadership should have camped out with the displaced persons, and dared Cheney to send in the troops.

Why hasn't this happened? What's more -- why can't it still happen? Why hasn't the black community risen up over Katrina like the Chicano community did over the house Republican Migra concentration camp plan?

Simple: today's national black leadership is tied by the neck to the Democratic party, and can't you hear the lily donk barons' response even to the slightest suggestion of a black poor folks' siege of the Bush/Cheney White House?

"Hush up now -- you know the score -- don't go gettin' conspicuous on us again. Those days are gone. We don't need a repeat of the early 70's, and you all damn well know it. We don't need you rappin' round the White House now, like you did just about everywhere back then. Christ almighty, it was you black types actin' up that turned us into the minority party in the first place! Wanna ruin our chance to recover?"

That's the DLC donks' way of talkin' -- hard-nosed. Kos would like it. It's pragmatic. It's winners' talk. Didn't Clinton electrocute some poor retarded black fella back home in Arkansas, right on the eve of his election to the presidency? "Bzzz! Get the message, gang? and Sister Souljah -- you could be next."

The papers tell us black folks forgave Bill his sins -- though I wonder how deep or broad that really is. They have to do a shitload of forgiving, when it comes to the donks.

As a white bystander, may I respectfully ask -- why do you bother?

Comments (6)

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that wondered why the hell there
wasn't one riot, not one mass mobilization, not one general strike
called in solidarity, not one "Resurrection City", not one single
goddamned black American uprising anywhere in response to what happened to poor and black neighborhoods in New Orleans after Katrina -- nothing but poor ol' Kanye West on NBC, sticking his neck out, putting his rep and career on the line just to look this nation in the eye and tell it what it needed to hear ("George Bush doesn't like black people")?

And I also wondered; what's the goddamn' deal with Black America these days, anyway, just sitting around on their asses while this is done to them? What are they, waiting for the Democratic Party to give them permission to rise up and take back what belongs to them? Christ.


The difference why African Americans didn't march on Washington in the same way Hispanic Americans didn't comes from two practical reasons on the surface: 1) The Hispanic protesters organized and came together in various local metropolitians for the most part. Hispanic Americans in Chicago protested in Chicago. Hispanic Americans in LA protested in LA. They stayed local for the most part. It's incredibly easy to march when you can head home to a nice, warm bed. Which brings us to 2) the Katrina victims lost just about everything. They spread out to where they could find some stability. They were still in shock, having coped with first the hurricane and then with a total complete in government assistance. Simply put, they had nothing, with little idea of what tomorrow was going to bring. I can recall footage of shocked faces in the wake of Katrina. People were speechless, people were separated from family, people were in mourning. People had nothing.

Now, all that said, I can see this a kind of Emmitt Till moment for the African American community, where they eventually build into a unified, passionate front after they see that Washington has completely abandoned the Crescent City. I imagine Hooveresque shanties springing up in Washington in the next few years, once people find the heart and fire to act.

I don't think this is the work of the Dems trying to hush up a population of New Orleans diaspora. I think the Dems have just been silent, which is par for the course. In time though, the shock of the disaster will wear off, and we'll see some mobilization...some demand for answers and funding...especially if, say, another storm tears apart some wealthy Red city.


Barak Obama fund-raising for Lieberman post-Katrina wasn't radical enough? Why, that shit was pure Huey P.!

Nice post, JSP.


Man, you're gonna get blasted for this, JS! But thank you for putting out a good question. One of the casualties of war (intentional, of course) is it takes our attention off of the important things, the real grievances of our lives.


Well, I started to say I'm flabbergasted by the way the Democrats have blown the whole Katrina issue. But then I realized I'm never surprised any more when the Democrats act like inept idiots.

You hit half the question. Why the heck didn't people start to organize the Katrina diaspora to descend on Washington? Do something like the bonus marchers in the 1930s and say we are coming and we are staying until we get some real solutions.

Remember the first thing the Democrats said? When everyone was truly angry right after it happened? Weren't the Democrats the ones running around saying "Oh, lets not politicize this tragedy."

This would seem to make a wonderful case study about why the Democrats can never, never, ever be counted on as a force for change. Because they are not a force for change. They may play like they are a force for change on TV during an election year, but its all bs.

To me, Katrina was a wonderful opportunity to take the Republicans on head's up. The picture of Katrina victims on rooftops begging for help should be the poster of everything that is wrong with Republicanism. The Republicans philosophy of every one for themselves, and with no collective action for a society to help itself always must lead exactly to that picture .... citizens on a rooftop begging for help, when there's no help coming.

Every person for themselves mean the wealthy leave town in their SUV's while the poor beg on rooftops. Or get abandoned to die in hospitals and nursing homes.

And it isn't just Katrina victims. Its all of us. Under Republicanism, all of us eventually end up on a rooftop when events that are bigger than us wreck our lives. Its in those times that human society has always depended on collective action to survive. And its that capability to come together collectively that the Republicans seek to destroy. The rich don't need it, and they view it as a threat to them when it does occur.

So, a year later, where are the Democrats? Are the Democrats exploiting this opportunity to talk to America vividly about what Republicanism really means to every American? Heck no. Because, get this people. The Democrats and the Republicans are on the same side!

Ask yourself the question.... are the Democrats actively on the side of the Katrina victims? Or do the Democrats just show up for the photo op and to take a couple of political potshots at the Republicans?

If you suggested to leading Democrats that Katrina victims descend on DC, those Democrats would be absolutely horrified. The thought of mass action in the streets would send the Democrats running for cover. If there was a mass march on DC, the Democrats would be calling for police\military action to crush the march just like the Republicans.

The Democrats want business-as-usual. The only change they want is that they want to be the top dog. The Democrats suck up to the rich and the wealthy and the corporations just as much as the Republicans. But the Democrats don't realize that they are only the rich's B team. The very people the Dems suck up to prefer Republicans in power. They only turn to the Dems when the Republicans have so screwed things up that the people are starting to turn against them. Then the Dems come in with their Republican-Lite government and do the things the Republicans can't get done. You know, stuff like Welfare Reform, NAFTA and the WTO.

So great case study. Ask WHY the Democrats are so opposed to do anything real to help Katrina victims or to take on the core of Republican philosophy. Answering that question will lead you to wisdom about the true nature of the Democrats.

[snort] Democrats couldn't even be bothered to defend McKinney from being hassled by racist D.C. cops. What makes you think they could be bothered to keep thousands of faceless N.O. demonstrators from being beaten, jailed, or "disappeared?"

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