African victims of Hurricane Katrina - statement from APSP
Date: Tuesday, September 06 @ 19:42:37 UTC
A statement by the African People’s Socialist Party on the responsibility of the U.S. government for the conditions confronting African victims of Hurricane Katrina
African People’s Socialist Party
1245 18th Ave. North
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
September 2, 2005 – St. Petersburg, FL USA
The African People’s Socialist Party condemns the abandonment by the U.S. government of hundreds of thousands of African people in New Orleans, in Mississippi, Alabama and the whole Gulf Coast area where they are facing deadly conditions without food, water, shelter and hygiene following the recent hurricane.
The fact that the U.S. government attributes the horrors of the hurricane to nature is condemnable. The consequences of this very predictable disaster cannot be blamed on nature when emergency plans and contingencies were never put in place and the government watched for days as the storm approached and did nothing.
In the majority African city of New Orleans the government stood by and refused to strengthen the levees to stop the flooding knowing that the only people left in the city were tens of thousands of powerless, colonized African people living in the low-lying areas. These impoverished African people have no resources to escape this disaster. They are stranded and desperate while most white and wealthy people left the city prior to the storm and have the resources to live elsewhere.
We reject the notion that the presence of a primarily African administration in New Orleans absolves the U.S. government from its responsibility in this crisis. The presence of black administrations in New Orleans and other similar U.S. cities represents indirect rule, white power in black faces, known the world over as neo-colonialism. Neo-colonialism allows imperial white power to hide its control over the wealth and economy and thereby the government of a particular city, territory or country. Neo-colonialism is the means by which imperial white power is able to use black faces to carry out oppressive policies necessary to maintain the existing relations of power between the government, the white ruling class and the masses of African people.
Subsequent to the storm destitute, homeless African people in much of the Gulf Coast region have been turned into refugees on a scale the magnitude of which has not been seen since the exodus of African people from the South after the Civil War.
In New Orleans nearly 100,000 mostly African working class and poor people are virtual prisoners surrounded by National Guard. Africans have been crushed into living quarters in the New Orleans dome that are comparable to the slave ships that brought us here from Africa. From these subhuman conditions African people are being transported to a similar situation in Texas which holds nothing but an uncertain future without permanent housing, jobs, family or community.
Unlike the attacks of September 11 four years ago, there can be no pretense by government officials that the devastating hurricane was a surprise, as they passively watched its approach and predicted its deadly consequences days prior to its arrival. Clearly, this is not a crisis of nature but a crisis of the nature of this parasitic capitalism system whose wealth and power were built off the enslavement and oppression of African and other oppressed people. This is a crisis of the nature of a system that maintains African people today as a colonized population inside the U.S. where we are impoverished and without political power to control and decide the fate of our own people and communities.
This is a crisis of the nature of the parasitic system that currently has billions of dollars of resources tied up in the brutal war against the Iraqi people. The Iraqis have also been transformed into refugees and have been plunged into comparable destitution by U.S. actions for the purpose of extracting oil and resources.
This crisis has been exacerbated by parasitic corporations whose lust for money has created the global warming that intensifies the storms and ravages of nature. This reality is being denied by the current regime.
The statements from U.S. President George W. Bush and others of his administration indicate that New Orleans and other cities will be rebuilt. However, this is not a statement of the future of the African workers and poor who have survived this disaster. Clearly their talk of rebuilding simply means that Halliburton and other corporations close to the Bush regime are waiting in the wings for the multi-billion dollar contracts that come from U.S. induced disasters such as this one, September 11, and stemming from the U.S. aggression against the people of Iraq.
The African People’s Socialist Party condemns the fact that impoverished African people in New Orleans who have been driven to a desperate life-and-death situation are being portrayed by the media and the government as lawless looters and criminals. We denounce the presence of thousands of military and National Guard forces whose purpose is to impose martial law and containment policies on a suffering and enraged population of colonized African people.
The African People’s Socialist Party demands that criminal charges be brought against U.S. government and other officials and the various agencies standing by passively and doing nothing to protect the people from these devastating conditions.
We demand a cessation of the military attacks against African people under the guise of calling them looters and lawless gangs. Talk of law and order, the shooting of looters and the treatment of Africans as an enemy population is a diversion from the crimes of the real offenders who are responsible for this situation and who stand to make millions of dollars once again at our expense.
We demand that charges be brought against all those parasitic corporations, businesses and individuals who are price gouging for housing, food and gas at the expense of the terrible suffering of African people.
The U.S. government’s emergency oil reserves must be immediately opened up to help alleviate the problems and to remove the ability of the parasites to use the impact of the hurricane as a ploy to gouge the workers and poor in this country for gas and other necessities. We demand that the U.S. government adjust gas prices to correspond with the basic incomes of the communities being affected.
We demand that the U.S. government accept the generous offer by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to provide gas that can be sold more cheaply in the poor communities.
The Bush family and other oil barrens must be prevented from ripping off our already desperate people from further exploitation and extraction.
Massive resources equal to those being spent by the U.S. in Iraq must be poured into the distressed African communities to uplift the whole African people. This infusion of capital must not only respond to the current crisis facing the African people in this region, but must also be used to overturn the colonial conditions that African people suffer from historically.
We demand an immediate massive air drop of food and water to our starving African people. Decent temporary shelters must be built. The affected African population must be given immediate employment as part of the process of rebuilding our communities. Our communities must be reconstructed into places that are finally worthy of human habitation as opposed to the traditional colonial dwellings that we have been subjected to for the past 400 years.
Government resources must be provided to create community owned enterprises and business to provide food, clothing and shelter. This will give African people the ability to build a community that can fend for itself and not be reduced to beggars by a government for whom
African people are nothing but an expendable commodity.
We call on African people all over this country and the world to mobilize in their communities for demonstrations, rallies and meetings to force the U.S. government to meet these demands.
The brutal and subhuman treatment of African people in this most recent crisis of this parasitic system proves once again that the only solution for us is to unite under the banner of African Internationalism. As the philosophical foundation of the African People’s Socialist Party, African Internationalism recognizes that the current conditions affecting African people everywhere are due to the attack on Africa and the enslavement and dispersal of African people.
Our conditions are due to the creation of the artificial borders that separate African people from each other and from our resources not only in Africa but around the world. African Internationalism recognizes that the conditions of African people facilitate a parasitic social system built at our expense for the benefit of white power and white society as a whole. Build the African People’s Socialist Party to liberate Africa and all our African people under the leadership of the African working class.