The Crescent City 10 Years after the Levees Failed

“It was a man-made disaster of epic proportions.”

Oh, yes; so many poor and blacks tragically  lost their communities, but that was part of the post-Katrina plan by the PTB, wasn’t it?  That former Mayor Ray Nagin was their tool is indisputable.  To create a smaller New Orleans footprint that would beneficial to the white profiteers: tourism, architects, engineers, sports teams, and so forth.

Regarding the (ahem) idiot of white privileged arrogance in the film who was in charge of the Riverfront Project and extolled the idea of ‘spreading out the Negroes to prevent crime’, from August 16, 2013, ‘Reinventing New Orleans as the “Happy Plantation?’ by Daniel Wolff

According to the project’s website, “New Orleans is emerging from the shadows of Katrina as a burgeoning entrepreneurial community… Reinventing the Crescent harnesses the creative power of design to express what this ‘new New Orleans’ is all about.”

So, maybe it should be called Reinvesting the Crescent?

The people we talked to and have become friends with over the past eight years don’t tend to talk about burgeoning entrepreneurial communities. They’re more interested in what to do about junkies moving into abandoned buildings — and why calling the police only seems to make things worse. They’re less concerned about “creative power” than decent health care and schools. And while they might like to connect with the river, their first priority is to make sure it doesn’t end up back in their living rooms.”

Bill Quigley writes that the city’s own numbers tell the tale:

“While tens of billions poured into Louisiana, the impact on poor and working people in New Orleans has been minimal.  Many of the elderly and the poor, especially poor families with children, never made it back to New Orleans.  The poverty rate for children who did made it back remains at disturbingly high pre-Katrina levels, especially for Black children.  Rents are high and taking a higher percentage of people’s income.  The pre-Katrina school system fired all it teachers and professionals and turned itself into the charter experiment capital of the US even while the number of children in public schools has dropped dramatically.   Since Katrina, white incomes, which were over twice that of Blacks, have risen three times as much as Blacks.   While not all the numbers below are bad, they do illustrate who has been left behind in the ten years since Katrina hit.

44: New Orleans now has 44 school boards.  Prior to Katrina, nearly all the public schools in New Orleans were overseen by the one Orleans Parish School Board.    91 percent of the public schools in New Orleans are now charter schools, the highest rate in the country. 

35,451: The median income for white families in New Orleans is $60,553; that is $35,451 more than for Black families whose median income was $25,102.   In the last ten years the median income for Black families grew by 7 percent.  At the same time, the median income for white families grew three times as fast, by 22 percent.  In 2005, the median income for Black households was $23,394, while the median for white households was $49,262. By 2013, the median income for Black households had grown only slightly, to $25,102. But the median for white households had jumped to $60, 553.” (much more here)

Now you’ll be reading many MSM pieces glorifying the success of the rebuilt city, the ‘economic miracle’ of it, and even about how much better black lives there are now.  One blessed exception has been Anna Hartnell at the Guardian: New Orleans’s ‘transformation’ hurt residents who needed it most’;  The vast majority of black New Orleanians, who lost the most in 2005, are now locked out of the city’s reconstructed future’

“As many noted soon after the storm, New Orleans became a hub of disaster capitalism, a neoliberal laboratory in which public housing, health and education came under attack. New Orleans’ large public-housing projects were shuttered and eventually razed amidst a sea of storm-battered and flooded homes and soaring homelessness rates. Katrina also became the excuse for the closure of Charity Hospital, a lifeline for low-income residents in the city for generations, in the midst of an emerging public health crisis. The firing of thousands of unionized public school teachers in Katrina’s immediate aftermath and the rapid creation of large numbers of charter schools similarly subjected the school system to market logic while denying traumatized children the familiarity of neighborhood schools. This virtual erasure of the public sphere has overwhelmingly affected black residents – including black homeowners, who have been subjected to widespread discrimination in the rebuilding process.

In fact, there is evidence that the federal rollback of public housing that began in the 1970s was linked not to concern for concentrated poverty but rather to political dissent. Large numbers of black people living in close quarters increased the possibilities for community organizing and political activism and played into the Nixon administration’s fear of black urban insurrection.”

Harnell deconstructs the myth that many in the diaspora chose to stay in their temporary locations in Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, etc., rather than being unable to return, many having been treated as the criminal class that the evening news showed them right there on their teevees.

Bill Quigley also writes that during the diaspora, so many of those billions were being spent on rebuilding for those who mattered, with so many of the working class absent, many Latinos breezed into the Big Easy to rebuild some of the city.  Many later brought their families, and the fact of their presence didn’t sit well with all of the white people.  While New Orleans has a proud tradition of civil rights leaders, he writes, now not only are blacks on the receiving end of police abuse, but so are Latinas/Latinos.

“In November 2013, I was proud to stand alongside immigrant workers and community leaders engaging in peaceful civil disobedience in New Orleans to expose a brutal program of stop and frisk racial profiling-based immigration raids called CARI (Criminal Alien Removal Initiative) which targets Latinos.

Squads from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), together with local police, have been conducting race-based immigration raids anywhere Latinos gather: stores, apartment buildings, churches, laundromats. The raids have led to constant terror for the immigrant workers and families who rebuilt the city we live in and love.

The blatantly unconstitutional nature of the raids led to a Congressional inquiry and front-page coverage in the New York Times. Yet ICE continues to rely on them to meet its massive deportation quotas.”  (from one year ago)

Now you’ll remember the insane amount of killing and police brutality during the initial post-Katrina aftermath, with (then) Blackwater mercenaries, National Guardsmen, and not just the police as described in the video.  Snipers on the bridges blasted blacks away, and criminal acts could be covered up rather easily, tragically.  So many missing, who could keep track?  Incarcerated prisoners often remained locked in as the waters rose up to their chins or higher.  Many were beaten, left without food or water when and if they were let out.  But hey, most records were lost to the floods, so the police and prison officials could just shrug off just about all of it, and did.

Now a story unknown to me that re-emerged this week due to the ten year anniversary is the horrific story of the assassination by police of #HenryGlover.

This week’s #PeoplesMonday NYC featured ShutDowns at Macy’s and other venues; die-ins were held in Times Square, Union Square, i dunno where all.  But the name they featured was murdered by police in New Orleans ten years ago.  #HenryGlover

the despicable story in 5 Fact posters:

Rest in Power, Henry Glover.  May your family find some measure of peace in the days ahead, and we can hope those killers are held accountable.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Esoterica that may or may not be of interest to you:

As joss would have it, I’d been watching the HBO series by David Simon and Eric Overmyer: Treme, righteously peering into the dark sides of ‘the post-Katrina recovery’ of the Crescent City.  Music permeates almost every scene , in all the glorious  N’Oleans musical traditions.  The ‘O, beautiful dream’ video poetry came via that series.  Prominently featured in the series was the New Orleans neighborhood Tremé, which I discovered poking around is ‘not only America’s oldest black neighborhood, but was also the site of significant economic, cultural, political, social, and legal events that have shaped the course of events in Black America for the past two centuries’.

My curiosity was pinged by scenes of the Indian Chief parades on St. Joseph Day, and their particular brand of African/Creole fusion music played with only percussion instruments.  This is at a small wake for their friend; oddly embedding has been disabled for this one, but it will open in a separate window here.

The rhythms sang to me somehow, as did the entire Mardi Gras Indian theme.  This from the Wiki the simplest explanation:

“In the early days of the Indians, Mardi Gras was a day of both reveling and bloodshed. “Masking” and parading was a time to settle grudges. This part of Mardi Gras Indian history is immortalized in James Sugar Boy Crawford’s song, “Jock O Mo” (better known and often covered as “Iko Iko“), based on their taunting chants. However, in the late 1960s, Allison Montana, “Chief of Chiefs”, fought to end violence between the Mardi Gras Indian Tribes. He said, “I was going to make them stop fighting with the gun and the knife and start fighting with the needle and thread.” Today, the Mardi Gras Indians are largely unplagued by violence; instead they base their fights over the “prettiness” of their suits.”

Also of interest was that under Spanish rule in the 19th century, freed blacks could own property, although sanitizes it a bit, given that the Spanish effectively built what I guess you’d call a comprador class of mulattoes who sometimes owned slave themselves.  ‘a middle class of blacks’ I read it called.

Well, blow me down; part of the early history of the ‘violence’ was that as they were all masked, they could settle grudges rather bloodily and anonymously when the tribes met head on. Each tribe had spies who ran ahead of the parades, and carried flags to run back to the First Flag Boys when they’d spotted the other tribe.  Flag boys ran them back to the Chief Indians, allowing them to direct the parade battles…from behind.  Some First Americans apparently took offense at blacks creating Indian costumes (very flambloyant ones, at that), and the Chiefs and Indians explain over and over that escaped slaves often ended up in the bayou swamps and intermingled with Indians of various tribes.  This is one 10-minute video explanation, but I just ran into it, and haven’t watched yet.   But back to the song bolded above.  It finally dawned on me why I’d been so uplifted by the Tremé Indian songs: Iko Iko has long been a favorite of mine, even without knowing what it was about.  I watched 25 covers, but Cyndi’s has the punch to it I like, and the remix photos are fine.

36 responses to “The Crescent City 10 Years after the Levees Failed

  1. good-o. on amy goodman today: ‘New Orleans After Katrina: Inequality Soars as Poor Continue to Be Left Behind in City’s “Recovery” .and how nice: bill quigley is there; i can’t wait to watch:
    (the transcript)

  2. is that a quote from the documentary? (there’s no transcript) what they need of course, is a servant class to feed the tourists, make their beds, do their laundry, clean their toilets, of course. and to scramble for the scraps off their big, fat, tables.

  3. i reckon it’s the one above you’d like deleted, yes?

    you’ll have to translate your hobbes quote for me, but why do you laugh at them for failing to understand what you seem to believe should be obvious?

    and as far as i am concerned, it was not mother nature having the last word, given that the city might have withstood the hurricane were it not for the greedy profiteers who massively destroyed the wetlands, built crap levees, and more.

    • That’s what interlecturers do, comrade, they make the obvious opaque. I laugh at interlecturer bullshit.

      You must see the projection? Hobbes says natural man is brutal but it is crapitalist civilization which requires tribes to be brutal to each other. It certainly looks like Mother Nature is only able to stop man’s bullshit.

      • er…is there such a word as ‘interlecturer’? i couldn’t find it. but i did follow your breadcrumbs and find: “…and his account of human nature as self-interested cooperation, and of political communities as being based upon a “social contract” remains one of the major topics of political philosophy”.

        but i wondered far more if laura was taken aback at Waterfront Dude’s “we need to spread the Negroes out and about so that…” (whatever his crappery was.

        and eep; i’d thought it was the young man in the chair who lived in one of the plastic fantastic snap-together apartments who’d said that. but again, they at least knew they were crap, and i can picture how good it is to live somewhere that’s clean, and maybe has plumbing that works, or was not a Fema Formaldehyde trailer.

        in what way are the blacks and other poor being brutal to other tribes (if one discounts their imaginations, that is)?

        • interlecturer: A sophist approved to befuddle proles.

          What is self-interested cooperation, comrade? Mutual exploitation, no? And WTF is a social contract? HA HA HA HA.

          Hobbes was a royalist who defended the sovereign’s “essential rights” to assure effective (stable) government. “[T]o impose limitation on the authority of the government is to invite irresoluble disputes over whether it has overstepped those limits. […] To refer resolution of [these disputes] to some further authority, itself also limited and so open to challenge for overstepping its bounds, would be to initiate an infinite regress of non-authoritative ‘authorities’” … blah, blah, blah.

          You see, the king could break your social contract if he found it necessary.

          Hobbes conceived himself to be twinned with fear. For the sake of security,

          Hobbesian philosophy would prevent disagreements about the fundamental aspects of human nature, society, and proper government. Furthermore, because Hobbes believed that civil war resulted from disagreements in the philosophical foundations of political knowledge, his plan for a reformed philosophy to end divisiveness would also end the conditions of war. For Hobbes, civil war was the ultimate terror, the definition of fear itself. He thus wanted to reform philosophy in order to reform the nation and thereby vanquish fear.

          Think of him as an interlecturer in cold war against the “natural state of man”.

          Was Laura taken aback by Sean Cummings, enlightened white developer? I doubt it. She went to find such assholes and was probably a little disappointed that she couldn’t get someone a little more crackery. Welcome to Slick Willie’s New South, Laura.

          “what way are the blacks and other poor being brutal to other tribes?” Them that’s got shall have, them that’s not shall lose, so the Bible says, and it still is news …” Crapitalists have inducted black victims into the opportunists’ tribe. Surely it is depressing to see a representative of “Stand with Dignity” settle for the shuck and jive ghetto of the man, comrade?

          Maybe her acquiescence is a least brutality but the brutality still comes through.

        • thank you for the meaning of the term. i’m about tired of hobbes, but iirc, his ‘pragmatic self-interest’ sounds like at least one or two iterations of ‘the invisible hand’. wrong link to ‘god bless the child’, but that isn’t the meaning i take from it.

        • In her autobiography Lady Sings the Blues Holiday indicated an argument with her mother over money led to the song. She indicated that during the argument her mother said the line “God bless the child that’s got his own.” The anger over the incident led her to turn that line into a starting point for a song, which she worked out in conjunction with her cowriter Arthur Herzog, Jr.

          In his 1990 book Jazz Singing, Will Friedwald indicates it as “sacred and profane” as it references the Bible while indicating that religion seems to have no effect in making people treat each other better [rather, the song indicates that proles must be resigned Gawd’s approval of class war].

          And lookee heah, HA HA HA HA HA. From “The New Living [neoliberalized] Translation”:

          To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.

          Gotta bring that Gawd up to speed every now and then.

          Please enlighten me.

          • i didn’t twig to your ‘bible’ reference, but billie was clearly satirizing the title, and the bible reference. the lyrics are below the video.

            but one old black woman in n’awleans said a similar thing to obama as she praised him.

            but you do have a way of going all out for tangential themes that i don’t find particularly helpful, or worse, even comprehensible.

          • It seems we agree on the sarcastic meaning of the quote but you just don’t know it yet … HA HA HA. You have a talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, comrade.

            Jah, why do you think them crackers tolerated most of the intensity of black religiosity? Cause it indoctrinated them N’s to do what massa say.

            Not helpful to show the pervasiveness of crapitalist hypocrisy? Stand aside, stand aside, comrade, and outta my line of fire.

  4. well, now, the Prez visited the Tremé neighborhood yesterday, ate some fried chicken, and even broke into a song from ‘the jeffersons’. his speech writers focus-group tested a few themes, and discovered that he shouldn’t be too very glib about the recovery. he even spoke about past and current ‘inequalities’, ha, but did dog-whistled: “too many kids growing up in the midst of violent crime and attending inefficient schools”.

    loved this self-serving agitprop:

    “”The people of New Orleans didn’t just inspire me, you inspired all of America.”
    He held out the city’s comeback as a metaphor for what’s happening all across a nation that has moved from economic crisis to higher ground.”

    ‘We got the dollars, you can keep the change.’

  5. I happened in on the following whilst trying to find out what’s in Greek minds – I think it maybe adds to the Hobbesian piece a little – ‘nasty, brutish and short’ has always summed him up for me, but I’ll join wendye in saying this wasn’t Mother Nature but man mucking about, and it’s nothing to laugh about.

    I kinda think ‘nasty, brutish and short’ ought to be applied to the lives of the oppressors rather than poor people just trying to live very beautiful lives. It’s where I think Ives has really gone off the tracks with her persistence that IT is essential. It ain’t. Nakedcapitalism did, however, post a link to The Archdruid report day before yesterday. Suggestions for positive regression drew many responsive comments. There has to be something from the past we can celebrate and move towards, just not the next iteration of the IPhone, please!

    • thank you, ww, and for the link as well. bless ian and friends for trying to mitigate the sociocide as they’re able. even people’s stories are being videotaped! love the colors, and the kiddie house next to it.

      the other museums are just awesome, as well, particularly for the the mardi gras indians one. how odd it is that so many seem not to be able to get: escaped slaves went into the bayou, intermingled with first americans, eh?

      i’ll go to the archdruid report to find the link to put on the Open thread on greece i’m building in…er…my spare time. ;-) but the times THD has brought some of those long pieces, i find myself intellectually unable to keep up, and am orced to ask for Cliff’s Notes, which he kindly supplies.

      oh, and my stars; ian’s link to caroline heldman five years ago was fine. she had it right ; hope i find the time to read further, and to remember to do so.

    • IT is essential, for some objectives. The Archdruid says you’ve got to prepare for the revolution. Likewise, you’ve got to prepare for non-IT “solutions” because you’re reprogramming humans, which is tricky also.

      IT infrastructure is far less easy to dispense with than your iPad, iPod, IPoop …

      • in any event i didn’t find it, but along the way i read a bit of some of his recent essays that i did understand. wot??

        family events that require sorting out have detained me; i’ll be back as i’m able.

  6. in so many of his speeches, he has a few key phrases that show the People Who Matter what he really believes. aka: dog whistles, no? sop for the putative ‘progressive voters’ while he adds (whatever alleged largesse) to ‘hard-working negroes’, yada yada. guess he learned from bill cosby. ;-)

    and sure, many black churches are authoritarian enough to never buck the system. it’s one of the reasons i love brother cornell and rev sekou.

    ooopsie; this essay of his is far too long to read now. i did spy that he doesn’t quite call 2005 new orleans ‘a genocide’.

    but this link to trrn (the transcript) just came in on the BAR newsletter, and it looks as though glen ford may be calling it just that. correction: gladwell is speaking in the language of genocide.

    ‘Katrina Victims Were Forced into Exile; Black Agenda Report Executive Editor Glen Ford says The New Yorker is marking the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by attempting to show the benefits of relocating black communities’

    ooof; it looks like malcolm gladwell is playing his part, and right on cue.

    • i’m baffled that you see me ‘misunderestimating’ cosby, or any of the ruling class blacks who don’t give a fig for the welfare of their own black brothers and sisters, nor have any solidarity with any of the disenfranchised, for that matter), who didn’t “move on up”. i suppose it’s no surprise that some black ministers teach the odious ‘prosperity doctrine’, but people of every color or creed can inhabit moral compass spheres far from true north, eh?

      i suppose if i had to put a name to what bothers me sometimes, especially concerning your ‘ha ha’s’ is that much of this you seem to see as an intellectual exercise, rather than one of heart for justice.

      but yes, fuck bill cosby. i have a B-movie actress friend who has said for decades that he’s been raping women under the color of something else. but that criminal sexist to the Nth degree behavior made his ‘admonitions to black people’ all the more cynical. ptui.

      • O, you are misunderestimating O, and O approves. You like to insult him for “key phrases that show the People Who Matter what he really believes.” But that’s not what his key phrases are doing. He’s bullying proles, preaching the austere religion of crapital.

        Butt-head Bush knew well how to exploit his own stupidity, making people regret their insulting underestimations. O is on another level. He like those prosperity gospelers. They accept the fraud of American crapitalism and double down on it, as if to say, “You see, I can be a better American fucking conman than you could ever dare.”

        HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

        Sakini says in Teahouse of The August Moon, ” “Pain makes man think. Thought makes man wise. Wisdom makes life endurable.” Why would you accuse a heart for justice as incompatible with intellectual exercise, comrade?

        If only intellectual exercise were more appealing …


        • aren’t you just the epitome of the Energizer Bunny, comrade X? don’t even matter if anyone’s here, but ya keep on postin’ comments. ;-)

          no, i think O dog-whistles the terms he knows will keep him from criticism of anyone who believes he’s a socialist. now *that* deserves a ha-ha. he don’t care about his underlings cuz he don’t have to.

          but i know i won’t get this right, but what i’m uncomfortable with is that is seems you are so emotionally detached from the immiseration of so many that you can make jokes about how ignorant they are, for instance.
          you are so well-read, so smart, but heart and imagination trump intelligence any day, to paraphrase uncle albert.

          few ha ha ha’s please.

          haiti is being disneyland-iffied thanks to bill clinton and his cronies, of course. and folks are upset about 250 of the 375 flood-proofing acres of a restored park in n’awleans being turned into a golf course. fancy that.

          i like this band a lot; they hail from n’awleans. one o their oldies.

  7. Billie lived the blues. Still, she was worried that this was too provocative (insufficiently coded):

    Southern trees bear a strange fruit
    Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
    Black bodies swingin’ in the Southern breeze
    Strange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees

    Pastoral scene of the gallant South
    The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
    Scent of magnolia, sweet and fresh
    Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

    Here is the fruit for the crows to pluck
    For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
    For the sun to rot, for the tree to drop.
    Here is a strange and bitter crop.

    Meeropol, composer of ‘Strange Fruit’, adopted the sons of the Rosenbergs, who were crucified in the McCarthy era.

    Disaster crapitalism is now the mode of exploitation: “Mudda Nature made us do it”. That southern orchard still producin’ fruit for massa.

    Lookee here, a tradition of compradorship:

    By the time of the French Revolution, the free population (whites and free people of color) in Haiti rose to 40,000. The number of slaves in Haiti was more than double that. Revolution is an infectious disease, as contagious as yellow fever or malaria. Thousands of Frenchmen fled to Haiti, escaping the revolution and the “Reign of Terror,” only to find that the harsh treatment of slaves by their countrymen was a fertile breeding ground for revolution. Slaves rose up against their masters and the free people of color. So great was the turmoil that the colonists, their families, and many blacks fled Haiti for Louisiana. The Spanish ban on Haitian slaves in their territories was still in force, so all the refugees brought with them was money and the possessions they could carry.

    A colored bourgoisie:

    Over time, free people of color developed as a separate class between the colonial French and Spanish and the mass of enslaved black African workers. They often achieved education and some measure of wealth; they spoke French and practiced Catholicism, although they also developed a syncretic Christianity. At one time the center of their residential community in New Orleans was the French Quarter. Many were artisans who owned property and their own businesses. They formed a social category distinct from both whites and slaves, and maintained their own society into the period after United States annexation.

    Compradors still playin’ dumb.


    Most free people of color were children of white women and black men; since children followed the civil status of the mother, not the father.

    Talk about sexual liberation!

  8. yes, i reckon most of us know the song, and boy, howdy, do the folks who tweet the black lives matter know it, since many of the extra-judicial murders of blacks by police and vigilantes are just modern day lynchings. i hadn’t known who’d written it, or at least remembered it. thank you for the blurb on haiti, as well.

    yes, you may have (ahem) missed reading my Esoterica section, part of which says:

    “Also of interest was that under Spanish rule in the 19th century, freed blacks could own property, although sanitizes it a bit, given that the Spanish effectively built what I guess you’d call a comprador class of mulattoes who sometimes owned slave themselves. ‘a middle class of blacks’ I read it called.”

    i’d lost the link, so i hadn’t included it of course, but i’ve found it again, and this was the part i’d drawn from:

    “During the eighteenth century Louisiana was a colony first of France (1718 to 1769) and then Spain (1769 to 1803). Under Spanish rule slaves acquired the right to own property and purchase their freedom under the law of coartación, allowing slaves to obtain a sum equal to their market value and to petition the court for their freedom. Coartación offered slaves a stake in society: they could use their free time to earn money by selling produce in the markets, acting as nurses and artisans, and hiring themselves out as laborers. The owner was obliged to accept the self-purchase petition if the slave were not disorderly. The purpose of this law, found nowhere else in Anglo- or Franco-America, was to protect the institution of slavery by creating a middle group of blacks. By the end of the Spanish period, 1,490 blacks in New Orleans alone had acquired their freedom by cash payments, a remarkable achievement.”

    and reports what happened after the LA Purchase, the ‘black code’, ‘plaquage’, closed societies, harsh treatment of their slaves, and much more. fascinating.

    i wonder if i might prevail on you to not use blockquotes (just your italics should be enough), and to use a [snip], then continue, so as to not take up so many column inches. on the diaries with loads of comments, when the thread gets very long, it tends to bounce around and format comments incrorrectly. this one doesn’t matter quite so much, of course.

    • Yes, I read your comprador call out with pleasure. That Haitian black refugees were exclusively “free people” hadn’t occurred to me though I should have known from the South’s fear of slave-revolt contagion. The influence of that comprador class I expect is greater than admitted. The pressure release of black mobility is supposed a credit to crapitalism, even if slavery/prolery is thus fortified:

      “The purpose of this law, found nowhere else in Anglo- or Franco-America, was to protect the institution of slavery by creating a middle group of blacks.”

      That black mobility cames at the cost of cognitive fracture. Maybe you can see a glimmer of the blues in the “Stand with Dignity” womans’ resignation to performing the shuck and jive but I say she don’t have the bite of “Billy Holiday”/Eleanora Fagan. “Stockholm” Syndrome is synecdoche for worldwide submission; most times it don’t come out as the blues, it’s just sad.

      Thanks for your knowla link. I looked up the definition of “coarctation”:
      “a stricture or narrowing especially of a canal or vessel”. Perhaps it’s not so much pressure release and protection as a crapitalist cooptation: narrowing the channel so that the pressure can be exploited.

      What say ye, compradors?


  9. Thank you for the link above to Glenn Ford’s piece, wendye. I think his good comments don’t go quite far enough into the tragedy that happened via the forced migration that took place in New Orleans. Rather than genocide, here that was something like ‘traditio-cide’ since what has resulted is ‘disneyfication’ of areas being repurposed to the satisfaction of the gentry. There is nothing to celebrate, if those who created that vibrant, living tradition cannot return.

    Right of return.

    It can no longer be hidden that this is an ongoing, purposeful ‘smoothing of the rough edges’ of our civilized world – but it is an un-civil, brutish accomplishment at best and at worst. It cannot succeed.

    The people are uprooted, caged, brutally treated, forced into deeper poverty, sent into diasporas all around the world. It is madness.

    Here is a link to the situation in far off Cyprus:

    I hope something new can be repurposed after all these evidences of failure.

    • Hah, see my latest extract at Open Menus, dear Comrade X. Thing about it is not that disneyfication on its own cannot succeed, as it has succeeded mightily well in the past, I will grant you. But a house built upon sand cannot stand, particularly when those uppermost stories must, must, must still be built.

    • all over the globe people are in diaspora, some by choice, but that implies that there *is* any other choice, as people flee arid land and resultant starvation, poisoned or no drinking water, ethnic cleansing…i can’t keep up with all those in diaspora. “world leaders” keep “meeting”, arrgh.

      balkanize cyprus? remember the threats to syriza that the turks were about to invade? such a history there, but i don’t know much of it.

      i’ll stick up the open thread on greece i have almost ready, but i (huge sigh) also have far, far, too many grievous and horrid stories of police brutalities, cavalier deaths” in custody” and murders. i hate it that there are so many we need a new one.

      traditio-cide: i reckon that’s close to sociocde, yes?

  10. good afternoon wendyedavis,

    Have not had a chance to read but the start of your NOLA piece nor the comments, but just heard part of this while I was processing garden food for the winter.

    Lots of people in the lower 9th ward believe that the levees were exploded by the US government, and that’s why their neighborhood ended up under water. This makes a lot of sense when you learn about what happened in that same place in 1927.

    A quick glance tells me I am way off topic of what was being discussed. Out again to pick a peck of basil. ;)

    Peace and Resolve

    • good to see you, as always, nonquixote. sorry to say i can’t make that
      third day’ or something play, but no, i’m not familiar with that theory (or i’ve forgotten over the years), but i did find a link to that effect.

      but the army corp of engineers did realize how crap their designs were, and have at least taken some pains to rebuild the levees with a far deeper superstructure that includes angled steel/concrete T’s, yada yada. the RT piece calls the failed levees ‘partly responsible, never mind. so who knows? they seem to have upgraded both the canal systems and pumping stations as well.

      as for being off-topic, our comrade x seems to veer off at will, kinda like an 800 lb. gorilla sitting anywhere it wants.

      a peck of basil? whooosh; i get maybe 6 qts. at a picking, and even that takes a lot of time to clean, shock, and store. but then, flowers seem to be my main crop now, lol. and dang, the house is full of em.

      peace and resolve to you, as well.

  11. as far as the Empire being able to crush any resistance coming their way, we know that the true purpose of the DHS and related fusion center agencies are in aid of stopping internal civil insurrections, not ‘threats from the outside’.

    “Some used to gaze at the dark sky at night, and not recognize that they were seeing the black sole of the jackboot about to come down on their necks.”

    yes, and ‘they’ have command of the 101st airborne/s, and all too many ways and tools to crush rebellion, but ‘we’ are many, they are few. now for the present, ‘we’ are far too few to mount a major resistance, and some who would, are the Tea People sorts, who would arguably replicate a worse form of governance later.

    but i submit once again, that what will save us if a revolution of consciousness, rather MLK-ish, that requires us individually to find our own true human potentials, and to recognize that we all are related, and are all made of stardust, and that if one of us suffers injustice, we all suffer, and must correct it: now.

    many indigenous believe that we’re on the cusp of that transition now, as are many in the fields of science, theoretical physics, philosophy, and metaphysics. the latter groups, like the Institute of Noetic Sciences believe that there truly IS a jungian sort of collective consciousness that has been called ‘the noosphere’ for a long time. separate but tangential to the earth’s biosphere, sometimes called the earth’s mind, or close to that. this explanation is a bit on the arcane side for me, but i see it as what is responsible for hundredth monkey theory, or the fact that a pod of whales off the coast of baja might learn a new song, and within days, maybe less, whales off the coast of washington sing the same new song.

    if i understand correctly, any and all of us are affected by the sum total of the earth mind, but those who work toward higher planes of human evolution can affect it in the most glorious ways, and influence the course of history. sometimes i imagine that when people have epiphanies in a snap, that may be part of the reason. and that when enough of us twig to ‘the jackboot’, there may some spark that lights the tinder of revolution *and* evolution that spreads the fires of freedom around the world. *that*, the PTB will not be able to quell, and some may put their hands up and say, “don’t shoot”.

    of course Occupy was a global movement, and it was crushed from physical presence, as with encampments, but the spirit is still extant, people busy building alternatives behind the scenes, and positing what a better world could look like, biding their time and educating one another locally, fighting the powers where they live. or so i believe.

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