Friday, August 18, 2006

Not A Day For Rhetoric

This has nothing to do with all the people who tried to help evacuees after the storm. I will always remember anyone who did anything to rescue and help. This is about all the people who are about to fake the funk in the next week leading to the anniversary. I was not going to write anything about the Katrina anniversary because I didn’t feel the need to give the event that kind of power and status. However, I went to a meeting this morning and read some things that aggravated me. After this, I will not act like Katrina is something I need to mark on my calendar every year.

I don't want to sound ungrateful or bitter with what I am about to say. We are coming up on the anniversary of Katrina in 11 days. There will be all kinds of media and leaders coming here to "celebrate" the anniversary of a naturally disaster that changed the lives of thousands of people. We live in a society today where most stories are blown out of proportion or sensationalized by the media. There has never been a story like Katrina that has actually happened inside of America so the media went crazy with it. When the media takes whole of a story like this you can rest assured that two things would happen. Conservatives will try to turn the victims into the guilty to hide their own incompetence and liberals will run down and take pictures with the victims to show their compassion.This is the reason why I am asking Governor Blanco, George Bush, Jesse Jackson, Minister Farrakhan, Al Sharpton and any other member of any organization or political group that had nothing to do with or live in New Orleans before the storm. I have to explain why I feel that way. For years I have followed the news and kept up with what's going on around the country. Before Katrina, New Orleans was a forgotten place on the map except for the few days out of the year for Mardi Gras. It was almost like we were our own country. I have witnessed some of the worst disenfranchisement in the world take place in the black community here BEFORE THE STORM. I never saw any of the people that will be here next week come around to help us out of it. What you saw in the Superdome was the end result of neglect not the beginning. As my friend Sherri once told me months before the storm, New Orleans was a city that you could drive through and visibly see racism and lack of opportunity. Then came Katrina and everybody had an opinion on why we were so poor and underprivileged. We were the poster children for public education and urban flight gone wrong. Even the beloved Lower Ninth Ward where I grew up was "the den of crime and poverty" as a Dallas newspaper described it. Then the media frenzy died down and they all disappeared again. We went back to being the crazy niggas that like to fight and dance in the street. Jesse walked everybody across the Crescent City Connection so we could vote. He should have gone to Washington D.C after that to find out where the housing money is or why some people live in houses without water. No one has been here to help us speed up the rebuilding process. No one has been here to find out why these young brothers are still killing one another. No one has been here to see why FEMA is being allowed to treat people like criminals when it was there office that messed up in the first place. Now you want to come down to sing a few songs and make a speech on August 29. Keep your speeches and your songs and help us get a good plan for the future. Help us make sure that the Corp of Engineers explain why the levees broke only on the New Orleans side of the system, fixes the problem correctly and pays for what it caused. If you can't do any of that then don't come down here for one day to get in the next Ebony magazine. Many New Orleans residents are still living the storm a year later. The last thing I think we need is a bunch of empty speechless and marches by some so-called leaders who are going to go back to their own cities on August 30 and leave us stuck. I may dog Mayor Nagin sometimes, but at least he was here. That’s the only way you are allowed to come here that day and talk trash.

Please tell me if I am wrong………….


Another Conflict Theorist said...

You're right, bro.

Jackson, Sharpton, Nagin and the lot of them are little more than salivating opportunists. Jackson because he's perfectly willing to hop in the sack with the Dems even though they haven't done ANYTHING for the black underclass. Sharpton because he's nothing but a poor man's Jackson, clamoring for the limelight and jockeying for position. And Nagin because he's completely fuggin incompetent.

I know you weren't reading my blog when I wrote it, but I took Nagin to task:

Let me know what you think.

CBC said...

Hi Cliff,

I'm a regular reader of your blog, and have been since around this time last year. Reading about your experiences re: Katrina has sometimes been excrutiating, because of your honesty and insight about all that you write about (plus you have good taste in music, food, and alcohol!). Your blog is a great window into what life's like back in NO at the moment, from your particular persepctive.

Just wondering if you'd heard about the Rising Tide conference organized by some local N.O. bloggers that's on this weekend:

Apparently, the aim is to discuss and further promote the "internet activism" (which seems to be mean doing just what you already are with your blog) that's sprung up this past year in New Orleans.

It seems to me that you and your blog certainly fit the bill for this, and I'm sure your voice would be more than welcome (a glimpse at some of the bloggers already signed up indicates there's a slight lack in people from the Lower 9th that needs to be redressed!).

Sorry if this is old news to you, but I noticed your name wasn't on the N.O. bloggers' list on the conference site, and I think that it should be. In any case, keep it up!

Brighton, UK (via La., originally)

Clifton said...

Thank you Carrie for the kind words. I am going to see my grandmother for the first time since Katrina this weekend but I will be sure to check out risingtide's page.