The Real Katrina Tragedy

America takes care of its own, just like sharks only eat. If sharks could talk they might ask the other fish, “Why do you run away?� The other fish would be surprised—like Black people always are—and say, “You kill us, you murder us.� The sharks would reply, “No we don’t, we’re just eating.�

On Monday, August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina, the perfect storm, stopped by New Orleans.

Days later thousands are dead suffering unimaginable deaths. The deaths were the stuff of Hollywood’s best horror productions exhibiting floating dead bodies, cholera and fire infested waters, babies screaming and corpses rotting.
Government aircraft claimed they could not deliver food and resources to the victims because a few individuals fired guns at them. We could not drop food, water and medicines to our own citizens here in America when only a few reportedly shot at the aircraft—but we can drop supplies in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan to foreign victims in the middle of wars. I am not amazed because I am not in denial about who I am in America. 

But the main story here for me is not the historic storm itself or the failure of Bush and company to react swiftly and deliberately to save Black people. I am more amazed at the reaction of Black people in America who still despite epidemic statistics among our own in America comparable to those in the developing countries to think that this government and media has elevated Black life to equal status of whites. One Congressional Black Caucus member pronounced indignantly, “We pay taxes too!� I would ask her and any Black American, when has our taxpaying dollars protected us from the police or police brutality, given us equal access to healthcare, quality education, prevented crime, or stopped drugs?

A country founded on the principles of taxation without representation slaps Black America right in the face every morning as we collectively cow down to them while continuing to hate on each other. The shock and anger of Blacks who have read Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man� or Richard Wright’s “Black Boy,� or who watch the evening news or who live in any urban area in America or who have Black children in America amazes me.

When, must I ask, has America ever embraced us, offered us equality or leveled the playing field? Did I miss something? Have I been asleep? They have not embraced our PhDs; they have not welcomed our intellectual giants. If we threaten their baseball records they threaten our lives. If we join their church they start a new religion. They have not moved into our half million dollar gated communities in Atlanta. When you die you can’t even “rest in peace� with them in their cemeteries. So why are we angry that in New Orleans where all the niggers are dead America did nothing? What have we done? 

To keep their babies away from us, they have created magnet schools, charter schools, home schools and voucher schools, which have segregated our schools again as effectively as before the Brown decision. Separate and unequal. We have made them run from the cities to the suburbs to rural communities to the mountains and as Cedric the Entertainer has said, “They will soon try to leave us by going to the moon.â€? It is revealing to me–how powerful our internalized paternalism is of whites—that he also said that we would follow them there also; we love them, we are addicted to them and their institutions.     

They have tied 1/3 of our male youth to the prison system, which kills fatherhood, increases crime and unemployment and eliminates voting rights. When 7% (African American males) are over 50% of the prison population and none dare call that systemic genocide. Vice-President Cheney told Black America during the live television debates that he didn’t know of the Aids disparity between Black and White women as Black women have 18 times a higher rate of HIV than white women. Kerry helped lose his own race when he announced to White America that NYC had a 50% unemployment rate for Black American males—-as though White America cared or wanted to hear that, as though Blacks cared and we wanted to hear that. A people who don’t value self can’t be valued by outsiders.   

We buy the biggest SUVs while married Black couples have no babies, because we no longer value life. Indeed Black birthrates are so low among married Blacks that if we were dependent on them to continue our race in America we would be the last generation of Blacks in America and Lawd knows we can’t have any more of them welfare mothers having more babies. That is why we have done nothing about so many babies lost and dead in New Orleans.
You see, the formula is simple, the higher the level of education, the lower the amount of children we have. So we ride alone in eight passenger SUVs that cost $70.00 to fill with gas. Talk about Carter G. Woodson’s “The Miseducation of the Negro.�     

The two living Black billionaires, Bob Johnson and Oprah arrived there by serving as delivery mechanisms for the maintenance of denial for Black America. As the cigarette simply exists to deliver the addictive and fatal nicotine, these two billionaires simply exist to deliver the addictive consumption and narcissistic behavior to their people. 

Jews, in their indisputable disproportionate ownership of American media would never showcase their babies in thongs and their men celebrating prison life on the world’s stage reinforcing images that my 104 year old Grandmother sees resurfacing again so well. BET is the quintessential anti-media and opiate of apathy, narcissism and denial. Oprah serves America’s pseudo desire to integrate through practicing virtual integration—allowing Oprah and us in their living rooms through TV only, like Mike. Those matrixes that integrate Blacks and Whites one hour a day dismiss the pathologies that are destroying our people and seduce Blacks and Whites into opiate slumbers reawakened only by Rodney King, OJ and Hurricane Katrina spectacles.

This is why Whites are so amazed that we cry racism during Katrina—Oprah and Bob have told them we love it here, that we love you, that we love America. I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that we as Blacks are addicted to this system called America as powerfully as some of us are addicted to crack cocaine. We fight for this system, we die for this system and every Friday on payday we finance this system at a tune of hundreds of billions a year building Cadillac, Lexus, Nike and everything but our own nation even though the billions we spend could build a modern day Timbuktu. (Yes, it really existed before Rome).    

We allow our Black male babies to be put on Ritalin and be pronounced as mentally retarded and accept their paternalistic mythology as gold and wonder why less college aged Black men are in college than in prison. We are one of three countries in the world that allow Black children to be executed but we are surprised at our government’s lethargic response to our babies Katrinaicide.                   

Hurricane Katrina and its victims will soon be forgotten; a nation that is a living commercial has no purpose for memory or history. Advertisers, who are really behavioral psychologists, have taught us, where there is no past there is no future, we celebrate only today. Tomorrow, there will be no call for Black nationalism, tomorrow, there will be no Black engineering conference for building a Black infrastructure, tomorrow Tavis will not host a C-Span production calling for all Black communities to establish community gardens via Black farmers and alternative economies and energies so that we can stop killing Iraqi babies for Hummers and Expeditions fixes.

Tomorrow, there will be no shared Black curriculum of optimal survival for our people at over 100 struggling HBCUs; they all have their own separate agendas. Narcissism is as addictive to institutions as it is to individuals. That’s why the wealthiest Black college won’t adopt one of those that are failing and dying. That is why the best Black high schools in our cities won’t adopt the worst. That is why the Blacks who have loss their homes in New Orleans are not welcome in ours.     

I was in New Orleans Sunday night, one day before Katrina. I went to the airport at 3:00am. I escaped because I am a good American. I could afford a Limo when all the cabs and rentals were gone. I have cash and good credit. I could afford to buy another ticket days ahead of my scheduled departure. I was intelligent, and I believed my masters when they said leave right away. My hotel even gave me a letter saying “get out now.� I figured the homeless, elderly and wheel-chaired disabled would be die—I am no longer angry at America.      

I am not outraged at America. I am not angry with Bush, he looks out for his people. When will we look out for ours? I am not upset with White media. We have Black media. BET has told the world that we ain’t nothing but niggers. Remember Camille Cosby’s manifesto in the New York Times when her son Ennis was killed? She blamed the global exportation of racism by white America on her son’s European immigrant murderer. She must not know about BET, the demonization of Black women, the mind killer of our babies. We have Black media moguls, Oprah has told the world, “We all get along fine.�

America takes care of its own, just like sharks only eat. If sharks could talk they might ask the other fish, “Why do you run away?� The other fish would be surprised—like Black people always are—and say, “You kill us, you murder us.� The sharks would reply, “No we don’t, we’re just eating.� America is simply just eating. Black folks just happen to be their chosen diet and until all the Niggers are dead we will continue to expect different results from America while we and they continue the same practices. Sounds like the definition of a crazy person. 

One year later on August 29, 2006 as we revisit Katrinacide what has improved; many Blacks have been displaced permanently, many have suffered chronic illnesses, many of the children are permanently scarred, many have still been unaccounted for. The best and brightest of Black America have done nothing to institute preventive maintenance for our brothers and sisters. Our government was not held accountable. Blacks in America today are the most educated, wealthiest, selfish, pathetic non-doers that have ever existed in America today and our ancestors died for little as we drown in narcissistic self indulgence.
The writer, Davis is Founder and President of The Millennium Group, a Think Tank for consciousness. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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