This analysis calls for an urgent response on the part of the haves and have-nots. The ascent to real power must dominate our agenda in every aspect of this political reality-economic, political, military, etc. The objective reality we face in the wake of Katrina’s horrors requires a decision that we will never again allow our basic survival to depend on any state or people but our own. Our oath must be that we will act to formulate basic structured and coordinated strategies committed to the proposition that we will defend and protect our people against all forms of catastrophe. If we fail, we will have no future. However, if we fail in the course of committed struggle as a people our legacy will not be one of shame but of honor. If dignity in life and death is the best we can offer our future generations, then we as a people continue to live.
It will be proven that there were no political or military “mistakes” or “miscalculations” vis-a-vis the New Orleans catastrophe. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Guard and military did their job per their mission statement to wit: To secure critical resources and personnel of the status quo. This is not a political ideological assessment, although this conspiracy required such. This is an assessment of moral vs. amoral behavior on a grand scale. The media manipulation of public perceptions about events in New Orleans played to a cultural and racist ethos. The result was a response that was delayed for a week while a genocidal horror evolved.
Morality is so instinctive that even monkeys make moral judgments. If one were to act on what was right it would have positive results. Conversely, if one acts immorally the results are predictably negative. The manipulation of the collective consciousness stymied a natural response to save lives in New Orleans.
The images and stories of marauding and mayhem allegedly committed in the New Orleans horrors, the deviant behavior and horizontal aggression were projected to justify the lack of crisis response and was used to usher in a police state-to murder and to take the property of the same victims.
My belief is that some events were orchestrated. Witness the collaboration between FEMA and the military on “Operation Blessing”. An organization well schooled in, mass sympathy and manipulation, with their news media credential (conveniently plating the first on the scene) to establish the atmosphere and conditions around the Astrodome. The organization “Operation Blessing” is owned by Rev. Pat Robertson–the same person who suggested the assassination of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, never mentioning the US involvement in a coup attempt a year earlier. This is the same Pat Robertson who used the horizontal aggression and tribal conflicts in Liberia and Uganda to wrangle money from US citizens (by playing on their sympathies) then used the money to buy mining equipment to ship to his gold mines throughout Africa-in particular Liberia and Uganda.
Three card monte is a tool of survival used on the urban streets which we can see a mile away. That said, our people who violate the masses and embarrass the dignities of our people’s endurance in times of war or natural disaster should meet with their just termination. Gangs that allow their members to commit crimes against the people during our struggle to survive a catastrophe are the enemy of us all. During the riots, after Martin Luther King, Jr., the revolt of the 60’s through the 90’s, and during the blackouts, snowstorms and earthquakes there was always a common understanding of truce between crews and gangs. This Principle of the Code of Conduct must be upheld. Violation will not be tolerated or forgiven.
Real power is defined (in earnest) by the ability to respond to crisis by or against a specific group. Katrina exposed us. Although we have been faced with the crisis of drug proliferation, indiscriminate police violence, gentrification, and land exploitation this was the 21st century test that exposed our lack of power.
Have we relinquished our obligation to respond to the various crises of our people to the point that we are too paralyzed to plan for immediate and long range crises? We are confused around this issue because a decision to prepare ourselves challenges by its nature the present power structure. We must become psychologically committed to the idea that wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, at any time, when our people’s lives are endangered as a result of a natural disaster or unnatural crisis we will come to their aid. We must prepare and organize in anticipation of these possibilities.
Black people are heroic on the battlefield of foreign countries or as law enforcement against a robber or as a Black militant against the system and have affirmed a commitment to our people’s survival. So we are all morally obligated.
Although there are laws, which will be challenged as a result of this new commitment, the rule of right and wrong should (above all else) achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people. I believe that what is embodied in this principle is a dedication to all people’s human rights.
In the early years of my study of the predictability of acupuncture against the crisis of the 60’s and’70’s drug epidemic (another catastrophe) we were motivated as a generation to “prepare for war, prepare for natural disaster, and do all we can for the people.” Never Again. Protect ourselves at all times.
Dr. Mutulu Shakur