A salute to the New Orleans resistance
25th February 2013 · 0 Comments
By Min. J. Kojo Livingston
I’m in New Orleans for a couple of hours and I’m invited to two meetings that night and a couple of meetings the following week. I’m also told that had I arrived a day earlier I would have made another meeting or two of people who were fed up with the situation here and ready to move. I’m told about still other groups that are mobilizing to fight. The names involved in the groups were all people that I know or have worked with.
One meeting was NORD coaches going on strike because of pay and treatment issues. At the same time a town meeting was being held to address the announced destruction of the Iberville housing projects. I was told about two groups meeting at churches dealing with inequities in education and other critical issues. A meeting dealing with police abuse is happening next week. Too many meetings? Hell no!
I’m lovin’ it.
The anger is rising, and that’s a good thing. This is how it starts.
In social studies in high school they taught us that when two groups of people come into contact with each other that at least one of five processes would occur, they are:
Assimilation — one group would be absorbed into the other.
Amalgamation — both groups merge into one group retaining the features of both
Annihilation — one group destroys the other
Expulsion — one group puts the other out
Subjugation — one group rules/dominates the other
Before Hurricane Katrina there were efforts to expel and subjugate the Black community in New Orleans. Housing and education were two of the major battlefields. Since Katrina a coalition of white people and institutions with evil, racist intent has made annihilation, subjugation, and expulsion an open agenda that is proudly displayed for those who will see.
Every sector has its part. The political apparatus is pursuing the elimination of low-income housing, health care and education. The move to privatize is a big part of this picture. The police are attempting to keep Black folks out of white areas and areas they want to make white. They are consistently terrorizing and harassing innocent Blacks to maintain an environment of fear and terror. The business sector is committed to hiring whites who are not from here, eliminating the feasibility of a massive Black (or white) return. The white-run media ensures that racist polices, and actions are either hidden or disguised as something worthy of praise. White churches have shown no conscience at all. They exist to give moral validity to the drive to whiten the city, just like the clergy who validated slavery and colonialism. The non-profit sector puts a friendly philanthropic face on a racist movement and environment. Many of the whites who supposedly came to help are now a part of the problem because they have stayed on and are taking many of the high- and low-paying jobs that Blacks could be getting. They are “bumping” many Blacks off of boards and other bodies that we used to occupy.
Drive through the 9th Ward or the Lower 9 and try to explain why it has taken longer to rebuild Black communities than it has to build entire nations. Is this malice or incompetence at work?
The New Orleans Big Bleaching Machine has been working ‘round the clock, at full capacity for seven and a half years. It is certainly a formidable force. It is no surprise that the thousands of displaced Black families struggling to put their lives back together have not been able to mount a serious counter to such a well-coordinated and well-resourced attack. For years so many people have felt that they had no options. So many have felt helpless in the face of seemingly insurmountable opposition. So many have been cheated out of benefits, education, property and their very dignity by a coalition of powerful forces that are determined to make New Orleans a whiter city than it has ever been before.
That is about to end.
People in power rarely worry when the masses are dissatisfied because we spend most of our lives being trained by school, church, media etc., to accept the unacceptable. However people in power get seriously concerned when the masses get pissed off enough to do something about it. I think we are about there.
The New Orleans resistance is gathering, the Crescent City Revolution, the Movement for Justice is on its way.
“But Kojo, all these different groups can’t beat the N.O. Bleaching Machine as tiny little fragments.”
You’re right, but you have to understand the process. New Orleans is a finite area. All of these tiny little forces comprise a potentially mighty, if not irresistible force. And you can bet the rent, they will come together. It’s just a matter of time.
And when they do, there will be hell to pay. There will also be justice and prosperity for many of those who have been victims of the Bleaching Initiative.
A storm is coming to New Orleans, and it’s a beautiful thing. Now is the time to find a group and get involved so YOU can be a part of history in the making. The only thing left is my eternal interrogative…
Now, Whatchagonna DO?
This article was originally published in the February 25, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper