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Monday, September 05, 2005

GUEST BLOG: The mask slipped

Introducing special guest blogger, Martyn Bradbury.

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The Mask slipped

America is the Pop Culture super power. No other county has the type of cultural penetration that the United States enjoys over the entire planet. American values, pop culture and consumer morality has found itself merge with an idea of freedom that finds appeal in restricted democracies and places of poverty where the dream of liberty lives not for Big Macs, but for something as everyday as clean water and basic housing.

Last weekend, that First World mask of Freedom slipped horribly by what was exposed in Mississippi and Louisiana. When the call to evacuate was made, those that could afford to flee Hurricane Katrina, fled. Those who could not afford to flee; the black, the poor, the weak and the elderly became a reflection of the hidden reality within the United States.

While pursuing the American Dream, white middle class America have left no American Pie for those living below the poverty line. In a country of such disproportional social equity, where 5% of the population own 90% of the wealth, the world was exposed to the other America, the America that never learned from it's 246 years of Slavery. An America that never acknowledged the near genocide of the Native American Indians during their founding years, an America that has turned a blind eye to the suffering of the nearly 30 million Americans who live below the Poverty line. This refusal to even contemplate their position of luxury at the expense of vast swathes of their own citizens is the resentful feeling that boiled into searing reality as the lack of leadership for those most vulnerable, face after face of whom were African American -  spoke black and white volumes.

The complete lack of preparation or planning for evacuation is however not a racial issue, this is an issue of social inequity. Those with nothing have no power, where as those with wealth do, it's as simple as that. Is there any doubt in anyone's mind that if a natural disaster the scale of Hurricane Katrina had hit somewhere affluent like Beverly Hills, the reaction would be any less immediate than what was displayed during the September 11th tragedy? One commentator declared that America has an amazing tolerance for the pain of Black Americans. I know that if CNN had been beaming out live pictures from Beverly Hills with White People staring back in pain and fear, the rescue mission would not have taken 6 whole days to finally save those desperate huddled masses.

When the mask of how you want to see yourself slips, deep national soul searching is mounted, America needs to ask itself some very big questions about what social equity in the year 2005 really means. Is America still the land of the free, home of the brave?

Judging by the incredible generosity of the American people in Katrina's aftermath, there is no doubt it is still home of the brave, but the land of the free? You would need to ask one of it's citizens who was left to fend for themselves in their own waste because that was all the options their constitutional 'freedom' could afford them.

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11 Comments:

At 5/9/05 11:37 am, Blogger t selwyn said...

There was one story of policemen standing around their barbecue while they warned off the starving with threats to shoot them. Do they still have a colour bar on the Louisianna State police bbq? I thought they would have got rid of that in the 60s?

Treating a humanitarian disaster and rescue effort as if it were a law and order issue is typical Amerika.

The white New Zealanders and their South African friends "walked straight on to a bus" while around them thousands of black refugees were left behind... were they just lucky to be white?

What sort of fear is it that would see police officers resign rather than pitch in and help when they are most needed? White fear of the black man?

It all looks incredibly shabby in 2005.

 
At 5/9/05 1:21 pm, Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Perhaps the republican Governor of California might have got off his arse and taken immediate action, unlike the democrat Governor of Louisiana who played politics for a whole day with the federal offer of help. I thought your piece was despicable for its insinuation, inuendo and shortage of objectivity or fact.

 
At 5/9/05 3:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is not the Governor of Louisiana not black? Wasn't he the Man in Charge on The Ground? Is this not a learship issue, rather than a race issue?

 
At 5/9/05 4:49 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

Is this a find/loot argument?

 
At 6/9/05 12:00 am, Blogger Heine said...

Bet ya Bomber would of kept his mouth shut if there was a Democrat in the White House.

 
At 6/9/05 12:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Standard race-gender-class based Gramscian Marxist rant from Bummer.

Knowing the fat cunt's politics, I could have written that one for him.

 
At 6/9/05 4:32 pm, Blogger peterquixote said...

look yous dont got to tell the truth all the time, like who do i get to look up to as super ego for right wing extreme fascists, just because a few black folks wet, and donts feel well, or dead or , yous got to stop this,

 
At 6/9/05 6:59 pm, Anonymous Ryan said...

The Governor of Louisana is a female and democrat, called Blanco. The Mayor is an afro-american called Ray Nagin. Bush has appointed three-star general, and LA-native, Honore as the commander of troops ground for the relief effort in the gulf states. The Mississippi Governor is a Republican.

Remember that the Secretary of State in the Bush Administration is an afro-American. Condy Rice, was born in Alabama, one the effected gulf coast states.

 
At 6/9/05 7:33 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

Some reports today of anti-white racism on the streets in New Orleans as well. City sems very race-conscious and untrusting.

Bureaucracy must be crazy if they can't arrange to disperse and cater for people affected in one state in the other 49.

In a NZ context NO is size of Wanganui. Why would people be left to drown in Wanganui if we had several hurcules and a private fleet of dozens of aircraft, not to mention vehicles and trucks? I can't imagine people killing themselves or police resigning over that? Looting occurs everywhere after widespread damage and depopulation - but we wouldn't send in the Army to open fire on people in Wanganui would we?

 
At 6/9/05 8:50 pm, Blogger t selwyn said...

Could we trust Michael Laws to co-operate with the central authorities and vice versa in an emergency? Michael Laws/Marshal Law.

 
At 5/10/05 9:55 am, Blogger alena said...

Hey, I have enjoyed...your blog is informative - even entertaining.

I have a halloween sites. They pretty much covers costumes and masks related stuff.

Thanks again and I'll be sure to bookmark you.

 

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