Giving & Capital
Local Organizations that Help the People
The Grass Roots Are Not Sleeping!
The Necessity of Planning Long-Term Solutions
Brisbane: Rudy, Acklyn isn't the
point. He can only do what he feels comfortable doing.
The important thing is that he is able to gather people,
energize them and help the process of rethinking our situation.
He doesn't have to be "political" in the sense others
may be. He is doing what is essential in the process of
creating thinking, analytical, yes, political beings.
Everything being political, his platform would be one that you
get involved first by learning and then sharing those lessons.
People who know what they are about are not likely to support
the Dems. or the Repubs. Then again, when its crunch time,
who knows what will happen behind the curtain.
While the discussion is how to return our community to activism.
It is also important to support tentative steps that we all have
to make before we dive into the waters.
I hope you will help us come up with discussion topics even if
you don't organize a gathering. You seem to know quite a
bit about life in these United States and I would very much like
to hear your thoughts on salient discussion topics.
Should the first question in any gathering be:
What is the purpose of these groups? Or should we
jump right to the question of the necessity of independent
parties? Given the group participants in some instances,
it seems that some preparatory discussions will have to be had
before we get to "What needs to be done".
Rudy: We agree, Acklyn is not the
point. Of course, the Acklyn Method was the point. It is
important to know its potentialities, as well as its
limitations. If we are earnest I have no fear of Acklyn or his
method. We will discover soon enough more will be required. But
I say this also, a thousand applications of the Acklyn Method
would not have stopped the murder of New Orleans. We want to
stop the murder of black cities. That is where we start, not
merely "how to return our community to activism."
The nature of the "activism" we
provoke is crucial. For politics as usual will not prevent
the murder of another black city. We know it because we have the
last three decades as a record of "politics as usual."
It is on the books and all about us the accomplishment of our
The “People who know what they are about” did in deed
support Nagin and his police commissioner. And they are
supporting the traditional parties—the Democratic and
Republican parties. Support for them among us has risen to the
status of almost a religion. So that is not in the least a
As I said to Miriam, the topics most apparent are
what happened in New Orleans and how can we prevent it
from ever happening again and how can we be more responsible for
ourselves in light of what happened in New Orleans. These as
governing topics should keep us all busy for some time. Moreover,
that experience was traumatic. We need some healing, and only we
can heal we, in such matters.
Brisbane: What happens to the people
who lived in the poorest sections of New Orleans and other
coastal areas hit by Katrina depends in large part on what we,
who are able, do to support their fight to return to their
homes. It will take money to ensure their return.
Can you help?
When the waters recede, the greedy developers
and self-serving or weak politicians have to see a SEA of
Warriors that are ready and willing to fight to get the people
who lived in those areas back into newly constructed homes.
That can only happen if we are prepared to do
one simple thing--continue giving whatever we can to the
organizations that have been and continue to support the people
of these areas. NO, not the Red Cross or United Way.
We have to support the local organizations that have been
working to help people help themselves before, during and since
Katrina devastated the region. Their time cannot be spent
fundraising when whole communities are threatened with
displacement. If we say NO to displacement, we have to say
YES to donating the money that can stop the land grab.
[There] are lists of local organizations that
work for the people. Included with the lists are short
blurbs or longer pieces that describe the organizations and what
they have been doing to help. Please review the lists, or
if you already know of an organization doing the RIGHT THING,
then choose it. Plan to send a monthly donation to that
organization and continue sending that donation as long as you
From the first days after the hurricane, our
community has supported those victimized by the storm, the
government and the greedy corporate sector. We did it then
and we can do it now. We can support the struggle to save
neighborhoods, have decent housing, jobs and other needed
services. You can make those dreams come true.
You DO Make the
Difference. Please make the letter, your appeal and sign your
name to it. Remember to pass it on to all your family and
friends. And keep in touch with each other. Let everyone
know if an organization is meeting its announced intentions and
Rudy: Three of the organizations listed are not local
organizations and it is not clear what local leadership any
provide or will provide the black poor in "their
fight to return to their homes." From the website of NAACP,
it is clear that their program is not for the poor, but rather
for the black middle class. American Friends is not a community
or local organization for the black poor. Cindy Sheehan is not
even a native of New Orleans nor Louisiana. ACORN, also, is not
an indigenous organization
If I were people
inclined toward donating money so that the black poor can wage
battle to return home to New Orleans, I would want to see
the program of these organizations and I'd look for
organizations that are indeed indigenous.
The 9th Ward was worst
hit and it has an elected representative. For instance,
Charmaine L. Marchand, State Representative of that District 99,
containing the 9th Ward, has posted this information: “If
you are a concerned individual or represent a business entity
that is interested in assisting and want your dollars to go
directly to one of the hardest hit areas of Hurricane Katrina
and Hurricane Rita's flooding, please consider contributing to
CARECorp., LLC.” She is receiving contributions at CARECORP,
9th Ward Relief, 4138 Saint Claude Avenue, Suite C, New Orleans,
Brisbane: Thanks for clarifying the list Rudy. It was
organized from several lists published by various groups after
Katrina. If other people know about groups that are
not on the ground working for our folk, then please let us know
so we can edit it accordingly. The list was attached
as an aid to those who might want to provide ongoing support and
thus each person should contact the organization/s of choice to
determine if it is doing what she/he thinks is worth supporting.
Rudy: Brisbane, at this stage, I'm not
certain that the problem is so much one of finding the right relief
organizations, or even effective ones. There are also Black
Gulf Support Committee
that needs support. They have issued the document:
"Hurricane Katrina: The Black Nation's 9/11." Contact Sam
Anderson for a copy.
there’s Community Labor United' and its
There are so many organizations involved in
collecting money for "relief." In a way one might say
the problem is that they got people in a "relief bag."
The real issue is power. That is creating a city that is managed
in the interest of the poor and the powerless. There are
probably only two leaders in the entire city I have respect for,
namely, Kalamu ya Salaam, and his Listen
To The People Project and Malik Rahim
(Algiers) and his The Common Ground Collective, a
community health center and food distribution network. Their
judgments are the only ones I am willing to take on face value.
As Earl Ofari Hutchinson has pointed out in
his article, elected Black
Leaders Also Failed New Orleans Poor. According to a report
from Kalamu, the school board (majority black) has
abolished public schools in New Orleans and have chosen the
chartered school approach to public education. Police brutality
still seems on the menu. The BBC showed three cops brutalizing a
64 year old man on the street in the French Quarter last
week. Kalamu refers to the overall situation as the "white
power structure and their negro henchmen."
Of course, donating money is one way of doing
something. And we should do what we can do. But whatever money
is available I would direct at supporting these two leaders, for
I believe they indeed have the best interests of the people at
heart and they are the ones that need to be sustained if the
people will have true representatives, rather than the
"henchman" of which Kalamu spoke. Money is necessary
to sustain these leaders and political struggle, which is
needed to keep New Orleans black. This struggle might take a
decade or more, long after any sentiment people will have to
donate to "relief."
My ultimate concern is that we lose focus.
The tragedy of New Orleans is symptomatic of a larger problem,
that is, an American problem, more specifically, the black poor.
They are not just in (out of) New Orleans, but gathered in
most of America's cities and not being served well politically
by black elected officials, whose interests lie in sidling up to
white power in the form of the Democratic and Republican
parties, neither of which has a program to deal with poverty in
America. That focus was lost in the last several decades.
Black folk are in need of a
political renaissance. They need to think of politics in an
altogether different sort of way, namely, outside of the
traditional parties. Do you not find it odd that we have a black
everything, except a black political party, neither on the local
or the national levels? Do you not find that an odd phenomenon?
Have you ever asked why that is the case. Few have, and few have
dared asked. I'm not talking about a revolutionary party, or a
socialist party, or a Black Panther Party, but a regular electoral
party that stands for election like other parties.
In that we are a peculiar people, product of
a peculiar institution, I suppose such an oddity is
not odd at all. If we do not have white political masters,
I suppose, we just don't feel comfortable with each other. The
question remains whether we can overcome this malady, and soon.
Or must we have another New Orleans tragedy to wake us up,
I would be interested in your rationale why we
have this lack of political independence, why we cling to this
political dependency tenaciously, why we are not even willing to
discuss the subject when we have all kinds of graduates in the
field of politics, even though it is as logical as a black
church, black colleges, black guilds, black businesses, and so
on and on.
Wilson: Rudy, you address an important
issue, but we must concentrate on ideologies and institutions,
not personalities. This "emergency" and
the need for "emergency relief" will persist beyond
our lifetimes, and we must not console ourselves with charitable
donations to mere mortals. We must be selective and
systematic when deciding where our limited financial
contributions are to be applied. I am certain that a
large portion of whatever we give should go to education, but
our "widow's mites" are too minute to be effective if
dissipated indiscriminately among the several educational
institutions. We must contribute only towards the
maintenance of viable institutions.
Furthermore, we cannot entrust limited
resources to the Princess Dianas, whose well-meaning efforts
invariably divert energy away from ideological issues. We cannot
continue to support the Mother Teresas whose charitable efforts
divert capital away from fundamental institutional reforms.
That may sound brutal, but I think it necessary to support
institutions rather than persons, after ascertaining which
institutions are capable of surviving. We must focus on
institution building, rather than sinking capital into a vortex
of heroic, but ultimately futile, efforts.
This brings us to the question of how
resources should be distributed over a wide range or
institutions. Should we apply the same logic to
chartered schools and private colleges, remembering that some of
these are historically black? Should efforts be
applied to achieving greater equity in public, and racially
integrated schools and universities? Should we encourage
consolidated efforts or even mergers between the private
institutions white and black? Should a major, formerly
white-separatist university, pool resources with (or take over)
a small historically black college? Is it possible
to aggregate sufficient capital to accomplish a plurality of
Certainly we are not talking only about the
next six months; we are talking about hundreds of billions of
dollars and a long-term capital fund drive. What sort of time
frame are we talking about, decades or centuries?
These questions must be addressed systematically, but I am not
aware that anyone has yet begun to discuss an
"integrated" fund raising plan, to address all the
needs of the various private and public institutions involved.
Planning must address all the outstanding ideological issues
regarding the funding of education in Louisiana, and the
outstanding economic problems of integration and segregation
that Louisiana has never responsibly addressed at any point,
either before or after Plessy v. Ferguson.
Hence the need to address both the history of
ideology and the survival of ideological traditions.
Sadly, feel-good giving often achieves little more than the
dissipation of capital. Feel-good dissipations of capital
encourage people to ignore the necessity of planning long term
solutions constructed around ideologically based institutional
reform. Rest assured that Bush, Cheney, Rove, and the rest
of the American right (both secular and Christian) fully
appreciate the history and continuing necessity of ideology as
the basis of their political economy and social policy.
posted 11 October 2005
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Hopes and Prospects
By Noam Chomsky
In this urgent new book, Noam Chomsky
surveys the dangers and prospects of our
early twenty-first century. Exploring
challenges such as the growing gap
between North and South, American
exceptionalism (including under
President Barack Obama), the fiascos of
Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S.-Israeli
assault on Gaza, and the recent
financial bailouts, he also sees hope
for the future and a way to move
forward—in the democratic wave in Latin
America and in the global solidarity
movements that suggest "real progress
toward freedom and justice." Hopes and
Prospects is essential reading for
anyone who is concerned about the
primary challenges still facing the
human race. "This is a classic Chomsky
work: a bonfire of myths and lies,
sophistries and delusions. Noam Chomsky
is an enduring inspiration all over the
world—to millions, I suspect—for the
simple reason that he is a truth-teller
on an epic scale. I salute him." —John
In dissecting the rhetoric and logic of
American empire and class domination, at
home and abroad, Chomsky continues a
longstanding and crucial work of
elucidation and activism . . .the
writing remains unswervingly rational
and principled throughout, and lends
bracing impetus to the real alternatives
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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays
Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a
collection of fourteen essays by scholars and
creative writers from Africa and the Americas.
Called one of two significant critical works on
Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late
1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of
Carter G. Woodson and
Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as
well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations
were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early
essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish
medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an
historical context for understanding 20th-century
creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone
writers, such as Cuban
Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist,
Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the
significance of Negritude in Latin America. This
collaborative text set the tone for later
conferences in which writers and scholars worked
together to promote, disseminate, and critique the
literature of Spanish-speaking people of African
descent. . . .
Cited by a
literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the
field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which
most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."
* * * * *
The White Masters
of the World
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
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Ancient African Nations
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Negro Digest / Black World
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Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /
George Jackson /
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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding
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11 January 2012