Monday, March 14, 2011

Two Americas, One White, One Black

Originally posted By Jon Garrido, Hispanic News on September 4, 2005 -  and still applies today in 2011.
The view of New Orleans this past week was hundreds of thousands of poor Blacks in water full of squalor and human waste.

It seem as the Protestant rapture had come and gone leaving behind thousands of poor Blacks on rooftops waiting to be rescued from a non caring President and the rest of his non responsive back slapping department heads and agencies.

Rapture powered SUVs carried off Whites leaving New Orleans to poor Blacks to cope with Katrina and her aftermath.

What Katrina did was to uncover the filth and rot found around the block of one of the great vacation destinations of the world.

One only has to leave the beaten tourist path by walking around the block of Cancun to discover the blight of an undeveloped world.

Many of us have known about the plight of undeveloped countries but in the United States? Who would have believed the decay of the third world could be found in the richest country in the world.
The great vacation destination of Bourbon Street has for generations masked a condition found in third world countries where poor serve the rich that live and vacation in luxurious destinations.

This week, the undercarriage of one of America's finest cities was laid bare as if a knife had slashed an abdomen with entrails gushing forth onto the ground.

One can only surmise on the flight to New Orleans aboard Air Force One, the President was more concerned about the welfare of his small lap dog.

The President scrambled down the stairs of Air Force One with his small dog protected in his arm to be briefed; a briefing that could have taken place in Washington or on board Air Force One but instead was a photo op for the President.

If this had been a caring President, he would have flown into New Orleans the day after Katrina came and left. He would have plowed through waist high water to see the disaster left behind by Katrina and seen first hand the dire need of hundreds of thousands of poor Blacks who could not evacuate New Orleans for lack of resources to find themselves homeless, waterless, foodless, lacking medical services and not one portable toilet for people to defecate.

Countless dead bodies lay everywhere on sidewalks covered by a blanket or sheet waiting days for someone to provide transportation to a more appropriate place.

Poor Blacks struggled to survive and provide for family became frustrated and converted these feelings to vent their anger of being members of the other America.

Michael Brown, the blithering idiot in charge of FEMA - a job he trained for by running the International Arabian Horse Association - admitted he didn't know until Thursday there were 15,000 desperate, dehydrated, hungry, angry, dying victims of Katrina in the New Orleans Convention Center.

Was he sacked instantly? No, our President, holding his small Black dog, hailed him in Mobile, Ala.: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

Representative Harold E. Ford Jr., Democrat of Tennessee, said in a statement he was struck by Mr. Bush's "cavalier attitude toward the plight of poor people across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama" and added that "now is not the time in the face of pain, anguish and death to be weak and uncertain."

Terry Ebbert, the head of homeland security in New Orleans, bitterly complained on Thursday the Federal Emergency Management Agency was not offering enough help.

"This is a national emergency," Mr. Ebbert told The Associated Press. "This is a national disgrace. FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control. We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans."

Other Democrats cast Mr. Bush's first survey of the damage, from his window on Air Force One two days after the hurricane hit, as an imperial act removed from the suffering of the people below.
"It was not enough for the President to bank his plane and look at the window and say, 'Oh, what a devastating site,'" Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey, said in a statement on Thursday. "Instead of looking out the window of an airplane, he should have been on the ground giving hope to the people devastated by this hurricane."

This week, White America visibly turned its back on Black America.

It was not the first time.

For countless generations, America has turned its back on poor Black Americans. The sad fact is Americans live in two separate worlds. One world has every creature comfort and caters to its social group members. The other world is where poor Blacks live as evidenced by 50% of the New Orleans children who live in poverty. Children in poverty in Mississippi is almost as deplorable. Black Americans are in dire need of the basic requirements of food, shelter, medical care, and education that are the foundation of living in human dignity.

But no one among the Washington power brokers care for poor Black Americans. Not the President nor the white dominated congress. Nor congressional representatives of Louisiana and Mississippi who carried off pork for projects in affluent areas of Louisiana and Mississippi.

As early as 2004, New Orleans anticipated a breach of the levee could occur with a category 3 hurricane. Last year, the Army Corps of Engineers asked for $105 million for hurricane and flood programs for New Orleans. The White House carved it down to about $40 million.

In June 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, stated, "It appears that the money has been moved in the President's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."

Two months ago the Bush administration approved a $286.4 billion pork-filled highway bill with 6,000 pet projects, including a $231 million bridge for a small, uninhabited Alaskan island championed by Ted Stevens, the senior senator from Alaska and ranking Republican member of the powerful appropriations committee.

The 6,000 pet projects include insane non necessary projects whose only purpose is to serve the powerful congressional leaders as they provide "pork" barbeques to populations of voters back home.

The failure to appropriate $65 million to address levee maintenance in New Orleans will now have a $25 billion price tag. Rather than distribute federal funds where need is greatest, money buys votes: White votes.

Not only was the levee restoration money depleted by the Bush folly in Iraq; 30 percent of the National Guard and about half its equipment are in Iraq.

The crisis in New Orleans will have a ripple effect. The inevitable battery of official investigations into what went wrong could further erode support for the war in Iraq if it turned out that the deployment of National Guard units to Iraq had contributed to the slow response.

Bush keeps stating the US military will not leave Iraq until the Iraqis are trained to defend themselves.

The question I have: Who trained the insurgents? It appears the U.S. military trained Iraqi units are no match for the insurgents. The insurgents continue to kill American soldiers in Iraq. Our military fights heroically but our military will fight wherever and whomever the President of the United States tells them to.

The villain in this unjust war is President Bush. There never was a need to fight this war. For a moment, visualize no Iraq war but only a war on terrorism directed toward the capture of  Osama bin Laden and the end of Al-Qaeda.

The death and wounding of American soldiers in Iraq is morally wrong and inhumane. Not nearly the equal cost of a human life but never the less, another casualty of the war in Iraq is the lack of funding for schools, medical services, job training, social services and infrastructure not only lacking in New Orleans but across the length of America.

Beyond that, some Republicans said the perception among some Blacks that the White House had been slow to respond because so many victims were poor and African-American undercut what had been one of the primary initiatives of the new Republican chairman, Ken Mehlman: making an explicit appeal for support among Black voters, a constituency that has traditionally been overwhelmingly Democratic.
"Given the racial component of this, and given the current political environment, there certainly seems to be a high level of risk to this story," said a Republican Party official, who, citing the concern among party officials about the criticism, would only discuss the question on the condition of not being identified.

But Mr. Bush, reflecting concern within the White House about the President's standing among Blacks, notably said in his radio address "we have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters all along the Gulf Coast, and we will not rest until we get this right and the job is done."

Someone should inform the President, brothers and sisters include poor Black Americans.

President Bush has boycotted the NAACP annual meeting every year he has been President of the United States.

You can bet the bank, the President will attend the 2006 Annual Convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on July 15, 2006 at the Washington, D.C. Washington Convention Center.

Hopefully, the NAACP membership will see the Trojan Horse's true mission and will turn its back on White America.

Lastly, White America's membership is made up of both Democrats and Republicans.
Poor Blacks need to bond with other poor people in need. A coalition of neglected people need to bond together to elect true advocates for poor people.

I advocate a new party arise from the disaster of New Orleans. Black Americans should join with American Hispanics to forge a new political party: One America.

Third parties in the United States have not fared with success. Maybe the time has come to turn this country around to forge: One America.

Jon Garrido
Hispanic News
480 860 8600

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