Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I'm dragging her out of my woodpile and claiming my heritage.

I'm bumping this back up to the top for today.

Today; an entire YEAR after Katrina, I'm too outraged to speak without spitting. Sorry about your monitor.

Today, Greg Palast told me that it's possible, even probable that this disaster was planned to happen as it did, and that George Herbert Walker Bush is counting on my being "white" and New Orleans being "black" to make me indifferent.

Today, I listened to Democracy Now and learned that the common experience of black surviors dealing with FEMA and other relief groups was to be treated like rotting garbage.

Today, I learned that it took weeks and months to pick up corpses, when people - citizens and taxpayers - were begging and pleading. I learned that undamaged public housing is still closed, to prevent residents from returning to help rebuild New Orleans.


How do you like them family values, folks?

Do you want your grandchildren to think you were OK with this? That you were DOWN with the ethnic cleansing of the Gulf Coast?

Are you proud of how your tax dollars are being spent in your name, on this new, NeoConservative, big-box Theocratic Southern Strategy?


Are you PROUD of your representatives? Are you HAPPY with what they have accomplished in a year to deal with this issue? Or maybe, just maybe you might be a TEENSY bit concerned about what might happen to you if you don't happen to live in an upperclass, gated community with private police that votes solid Republican.

There were a lot of poor white folks that got flushed into Lake Ponchetrain to give them some plausible deniability. THAT is why, if you got out, you got out on your own, and if you survived, it was because of your own efforts. They were betting that the law of averages and demographics would take care of their "problem", if they just took care of not helping everyone equally.

Funny thing about the murderously failed plan for the evacuation of New Orleans: no one can find it. That's right. It's missing. Maybe it got wet and sank in the flood. Whatever: no one can find it.

That's real bad. Here's the key thing about a successful emergency evacuation plan: you have to have copies of it. Lots of copies -- in fire houses and in hospitals and in the hands of every first responder. Secret evacuation plans don't work.

I know, I worked on the hurricane evacuation plan for Long Island New York, an elaborate multi-volume dossier.

Specifically, I'm talking about the plan that was written, or supposed to have been written two years ago by a company called, "Innovative Emergency Management."

Weird thing about IEM, their founder Madhu Beriwal, had no known experience in hurricane evacuations. She did, however, have a lot of experience in donating to Republicans.

Now, who's doing the disaster planning for YOUR town, YOUR neighborhood? Are your neighbors the sort of folk that would be welcome at a George Bush rally? Because if they are not, you can forget about getting any help from this government.

Ethnic cleansing is the ONLY cleansing our patriotic self-appointed Patriarchs, our "Bible Believing" lords and masters have accomplished. The people are gone but the corpses and debris remain.

Illustration accompanying the story Judge Roy Moore Suspended Over Commandments Monument in the August 27, 2003 edition of "The Birminghamster" (Alabama's Great Equalizer). Found via flickr & Creative Commons

I think it's time to grab Judge Roy's granite statue of the Ten Commandments and ram it up their electoral college.

Think I'm taking this awful personal, for a white man? Fucking AFFIRMATIVE I am!

My skin may be very, very pale, but like most plain folk in this nation, "there's a nigger in the woodpile."

My great, great grand-aunt was an octoroon. "A High Yaller;" she could "pass" and mostly she did until Mother was unwise enough to mention the Macaque in the Family Tree. It was far too late, as I'd apparently already been conceived. I also apparently survived a near-miscarriage, that may or may not be related to spousal abuse that occurred after my father learned that bit of genealogical trivia.
You wouldn't think that would make any difference to me, or anyone, as I'm so white that I nearly flourece. But it did make a difference, and I take this as personally as if it were my city, as if these were sins aimed directly at me and mine.

I do take it personally because, well, they are. I have actually been the target of racism. You know what my father said to me one day?

"I'd have never married your mother if I'd known she was a nigger."

He wasn't even drunk at the time!

Did it occur to him that if she was a nigger in his eyes, I must be one too? Frankly, I don’t think he cared what a ten year-old nigger thought. I will tell you, folks; a great deal of my childhood the way he treated me and continued to treat me until I could put a stop to it came clear that day!

Oh, the tales of B'rer Rabbit spoke to me directly, and I had cause to put every trick in them to use, just to make it to my majority. Don’t nobody ever bad-mouth Uncle Tom to me, he taught me how to survive!

I've seen the face of evil. I have lived with it; I know the stench. Today my nostrils are full of it.

It is the face of stupidity, of xenophobia, of ignorance. Racism is the foul idea that some trivial different makes it ok to hate, to lie, to steal, to deal unjustly; to betray every principle of decency, every authentic Christian value and think you have a moral right to immunity for the consequences of your personal evil and the evil you condone.

That is really how racists think - if I may use the term loosely. They believe everyone who looks like them THINKS like them, no matter what those say or beliefs they claim, they cannot understand the possibility that anything matters more than race. They think that nobody will ever call them to account for an injustice dealt a person they think less than themselves.

And having lived with a racist, I'll tell you - they can find some reason to think the less of anyone they care to, anyone at all that they might otherwise have some moral duty toward.

They they would rather spend five hundred bucks to keep someone down than to give five to help that person up. They would rather piss in their own well than give a thirsty man a drink; I know, I have seen it. I have lived with it - and I lived with it as a literal slave, beaten literally if I objected.

From this day forward I will count myself with the part of my heritage that I have no reason to be ashamed of. I will not be complacent about what happens to "My people," even if every "true white amurikun patriot" calls me a nigger. Insults from people that willfully evil are to me like the very praise of heaven. If I'm to be pigeonholed by the tiny minded, I'd rather be in the same box as Dr. King.

Bob King is my chosen handle. It's no accident. Dr. King has been my hero since I heard "I have a dream" come through the speakers of that old tube radio in my bedroom.

I don't want to use my legal last name, for I share it with Lord Lucan, and I believe at least one current or former chaplain of the Orange Order. It's not exactly a name to conjure with, in my mind. "Better a King than a fool."

My father thought he was better than Martin Luther King because MLK was black. For myself, I think Martin Luther King, the majority of the human race; most primates and even some bacteria contribute more to humanity as a whole than a racist of any stripe.

To believe that the color of one's skin counts for more than the "content of one's character" is to prove you have none, know that you don't and hate, fear and envy everyone who does. No number of guns, inbred losers in sheets, no bribe nor threat, no appeal to authority or biblical "proof" can convince me to have truck with such evil.

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