August 29, 2005 is, to borrow President Franklin Roosevelt’s characterization of
Even before the waters inundating
It soon became clear that national policy was to prevent the return of the New Orleans Diaspora, while directing the $100-plus billion dollars in federal “aid” to the region into the favored coffers of the Halliburton and Bechtel corporations – the same profiteers that got over like mad dogs in Iraq “reconstruction.” A gangster regime revealed itself, on both foreign and domestic shores.
The “liberal” line on Katrina is that it showed the abject “incompetence” of the Bush administration. That’s the same analysis they bring to
The entirety of the last two years of federal and state actions in
Our resistance has been stymied by a moribund and selfish Black misleadership class that is incapable of confronting capital. They like it too much. But they cling to power, promising that they can talk business out of its clear intention of yet again reshaping the nation to our detriment. Katrina showed that Black dispersal is the central goal of white capital, as they seek to “reconstruct” an
Yet Katrina is also the touchstone experience of a whole generation of Black and non-Black people. They will never be the same, again. The venality of the business class, and the impotence of the Black misleadership class, has been amply revealed, and the youth will bear witness to the catastrophe, and the culprits, for the rest of their lives. Late-stage capitalism, which is raw theft and brigandage, showed its face while thousands drowned. Nothing can wipe out the crime. We are compelled by the gravity of the event that we call Katrina to rethink the Black Struggle, an unfinished project that people like Barack Obama want us to believe has already met its goals. Katrina proves otherwise. African Americans are the unwanted element of American society, as we have always been. The enemy has not changed, so why should we? He is not “race-neutral” – so why do we concoct, as Obama does, race-neutral arguments for social change? The enemy knows damn well who he wants to get the hell out of Dodge, or
Racism showed its ass in the days after August 29, 2005. Nothing has changed. Never forget. Organize, with eyes wide open.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be reached at