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Bush and Third World America

By       Message Manuel Valenzuela       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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The images coming out of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans in particular have been nothing short of unfathomable, nightmarish visions of anarchy and misery, a ghoulish reality haunting our minds and lives. For what we see on our television sets is a devastation of humanity never before seen or experienced or felt within American shores. It is a surreal and up close glimpse of natural and human made destruction reserved almost exclusively for those peoples living in the underdeveloped nations of the south, those far removed from our gluttonous and privileged lives.

What we see right before our eyes no Hollywood movie could ever reproduce and no bestselling author could ever conjure up because what is transmitted into our monitors is real and tangible and historical, a region inside America utterly devastated, its citizens ' lives made barren and impotent by a catastrophe the most creative and troubled minds could never conjure up.

Human suffering unparalleled in American history, on a scale never before witnessed, with real human emotion and psychology and misery acting out for the world to see, has been thrust upon millions of us, decimating a once vibrant and colorful region, making hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans homeless and displaced, having become refugees from their own city, escaping toxic floods and government failure, left without worldly possessions, sojourning along America 's roads in search of futures and lives and lost family, destined to forever continue living in the indigence of their birth and the suffering the system has placed at their doorstep.

Many Americans watched in horror as New Orleans was rendered destroyed by forces natural and man made, a combination of 90 degree water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico acting as the catalyst for nature 's fury, the incompetent leadership of men small, weak and thoroughly inept, the under funding of barriers and levies, the misallocation of resources and priorities, warmongering greed, and the destruction of wetlands and natural barriers by the hands of man. In this gumbo of destruction thus arose a rare manifestation of violent decimation and suffering spawned not upon Haitians or Indonesians or Sudanese or Rwandans or Guatemalans or Indians or Iraqis, but rather by people born under the red, white and blue.

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In the destruction of the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina we witnessed first hand, if only vicariously, what it is like to live in the so called third world. The equivalent of a dozen 9/11s, Katrina brought the last remaining superpower to her knees, showing the world the sheer ineptitude of its highest leaders, the impotence of her power and the utter disregard placed upon the less fortunate by her ingrained system conditioned to run on the survival of the richest, where wealth determines happiness, survival and escape from hell and where only the exploiters of poverty and social engineering flourish.

A nation thinking herself invulnerable to Earth and her forces has been woken from her fantasy-filled, prescription-laced stupor of grandeur, our belief in American exceptionalism and omnipotence eviscerated, lying splintered along with thousands of Gulf Coast homes. Upon our eyes has been thrust the reality that we are no different than banana republics or mosquito coasts, third-world nations or lands swamped by corruption or tyranny. Americans have been slapped in the face by Katrina, forced to confront the vulnerability of our character and the impotence of our wealth, seeing the incompetence of our highest leaders and the ineptitude of our sacred government. For if "Red " China can evacuate half a million people from an oncoming typhoon, resulting in the death of ten people, and if "communist " Cuba regularly evacuates hundreds of thousands with every oncoming hurricane with no deaths, how can America fail when it is the greatest nation on Earth?

We have been confronted with the reality of crony, survival of the richest capitalism, a system where only those with money escape and thrive, and those without remain and perish. For years we are conditioned with this capitalistic fiction, the American Dream it is called, a fallacy that creates fantasy-filled thoughts out of socially engineered subsistence, fabricating worker bees and soldier ants out of human flesh, molding automatons and slaves from the womb, forever destined to serve the exploiters and subjugators of humanity, those Bush calls his base and we call capitalists and exploiters of human beings.

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Katrina has, through her winds and surges, opened America to a reality hidden from view and whitewashed throughout society. It exposes the charade of separate but equal, of colorblindness, of social equality and of vanished racism. It tore to shreds the illusion of the American Dream, of one America, of capitalism being a most benign economic system. New Orleans was, once again, the historical marker reminding us that as long as civilization has existed, as long as man has lived, hierarchy of power, wealth, and class has always lived alongside us, dividing the haves from the have nots.

Third World America

New Orleans was a giant Titanic, a ship divided by class, where money assured salvation and indigence guaranteed suffering and death. With wealth comes escape, the means to leave the coming natural onslaught, the opportunity to survive. Through indigence opportunity does not exist. New Orleans and its humanitarian crisis offered proof that black and white America remain divided socioeconomically, separated by a mile-high wall of class warfare, racism and a gulf of socio-engineered destinies.

Since before formation of the Republic, where black slaves were considered animals and one 's skin color determined freedom or misery, being the arbiter of fate, black America has been trailing behind its white counterparts. With emancipation did not come equality, for slaves were many years behind, possessing nothing but the clothes on their backs and years of hard labor behind them. America was run by whites, owned by whites, operated by whites and determined by whites. The entire spectrum of the mechanisms of society was controlled by whites for the benefit of whites.

Institutionalized whiteness permeated, conscious and subconscious racism lingered and, with blacks creeping out of cesspools of slavery into a world they only saw through the periphery, entering a society that had been denied them for centuries, lacking standing, education and political power, a culture white and homogenous placed monolithic barriers to entry. If slavery was no longer a viable way to exploit free labor and cheap production, then society would strive to achieve the next best thing: the exploitation of blacks through the demons of capitalism. America was white America, after all, and blacks were not welcome.

It can be said with certainty that America was first made wealthy from the slave labor of African-Americans. Many corporations of today and many of the wealthiest families that go back centuries can attribute their wealth and profit to the exploitation and free labor of blacks who for centuries toiled in blood, sweat and tears to enrich America 's past, and present, oligarchy. Much of America 's wealth, first accumulated over centuries of slavery, was born in sin, through the death of millions of blacks and the lost destinies of millions more whose white masters smeared the whips of capitalism with the blood of the ancestors to today 's African-Americans.

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Laws, regulations, society and American psychology favored the Anglo world. Every step backwards blacks took and every barrier they ran into was because of whites. So established and ingrained was the Anglo community throughout America, and so behind was the black community after emancipation, that the playing field was never equal, becoming a cesspool for blacks and an exploitable profit-making machine for whites. Generation after generation of blacks have suffered from a playing field that has never had a semblance of equality, condemning millions from cradle to grave to linger in utter indigence, forced to live in American Bantustans called inner cities, robbed of happiness and futures, dependent on the crumbs and bones thrown their way by a society eager to make eyes blind and ears deaf to a reality confronting America that Hurricane Katrina has made to surface from the sewers of New Orleans.

African-Americans after the end of slavery were 200 years behind their white counterparts, possessing little and owning nothing, undereducated and destitute, forced to jump a plethora of barriers, forced to live in a society where they were not welcome. For 100 years after winning their freedom African-Americans remained servile entities dependent on the meager wages, jobs and opportunities given them by white America. They owned no land and no business, forcing them to work for new masters under slave-like conditions. The name had changed from slave to laborer, but the result was the same. Still lagging decades if not centuries behind their Anglo counterparts, confronting societal racism and government indifference, the black community never really escaped slavery. While technically free, slave wages and slave income meant slave-like conditions. Without opportunity there was no escape, without escape there was no future.

It took another 100 years for black political power to grow to where civil rights could be afforded them, yet in that time African-Americans still could not escape the tremendous disadvantage slavery had engendered and racism had furthered. Those neighborhoods whites no longer cared to live in became black reservations. Jobs whites and European immigrants no longer wanted were instead given to blacks, the lowest end of the totem pole called American society. The disadvantages remain to this day, as exemplified by New Orleans. Little, if anything, has changed.

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Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst, current events observer, Internet columnist and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel now published by The novel is now (more...)

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Bush and Third World America