Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Hurricane Harvey emergency.

Today is another day where many people are suffering. On August 29, 2017, Donald Trump visited Corpus Christi and other locations of Texas. Also, the storm reached landfall again in Louisiana on August 30, 2017. This tragic situation proves that trickled down economics or laissez faire capitalism doesn't work. We witness a historic emergency and the solution requires intervention from public and private resources. Many heroes are continuously giving food, water, shelter, and other supplies to the victims of Harvey. Many people have used boats, jet skis, canoes, and other types of transportation to rescue those stranded in the southeast Texas region. At least 2 reservoir dams in Texas overflowed. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator William “Brock” Long proclaimed that the disaster was impossible to foresee or prepare for. How can I put this without using certain words. Long is totally wrong. Scientists and other scholars for years and years have talked about how a massive flood risk existing in Houston and neighboring locations. An investigative report published by The Texas Tribune and Pro Publica (from December of 2016) mentioned that late last year --- the County's 18-year flood manager aggressively dismissed those warnings for years and marginalized the scientists repeatedly offering them. Robert Bea, an emeritus civil engineering professor at UC Berkeley and expert on hurricane risks on the Gulf Coast, told the Los Angeles Times that the official claim that Houston’s flood control system could protect the population from a 100-year storm was a “100-year lie.” Many city planners knew specifically that certain areas of Houston were flood prone, but some of them still eliminated natural prairies (which mitigated much of the flooding) and built structures for the sake of profit. The victims of this tragedy have also been the victims of bad building policy from the oligarchy. The entire Texas National Guard has been deployed into the area as well. Including National Guard troops, there are about 3,000 total troops. The Coast Guard has made an estimated 4,000 rescues. 85% of Houston residents don't have flood insurance. That is why infrastructure development is necessary and it involved modernizing and strengthening anti-flood systems like flood gates. Many of the victims are poor and working class including some rich. They include young and old. They include people of many backgrounds. Many volunteers should always be acknowledged for saving thousands of lives. At least 30 people have passed away. The George R. Brown Convention Center is housing at least 10,000 people and many of the victims are traveling into Dallas for relief. The megachurch pastor Joel Osteen opened his church to those suffering (after controversy and criticism from sincere people wanting help. Joel claimed that his church was inaccessible at first. You have to make up your mind on whether you believe Osteen or not. My view is that flood or not, no church should hesitate in giving refuge to victims of a storm I don't agree with the Prosperity Gospel either because of many reasons). We congratulate heroes doing real life saving work and we are all in solidarity with Texas and other regions affected from Harvey.

This is not shocking to anyone. Maxine Waters gave an inspirational speech to black women about their worth and their right to achieve greatness period (in the Black Women Rock celebration). Stacey Dash admitted that she disagrees with Waters and now she blames an intern for citing a disrespectful comment. I have noticed that Dash didn't apologize for anything or even apologizing for allowing that comment to be on her Twitter feed. She is what she is. She is the one who doesn't believe in Black History Month or the existence of BET in falsely claiming that it promotes segregation. She supports a person (the resident of the White House) who is a known vulgar person, sexist, and racist extremist. She refuses to wake up. Maxine Waters for decades have opposed unjust wars, stood up for social justice, and has the right to speak her mind. Therefore, if Stacey Dash wants to disrespect many black people with her right wing extremism, then we have the right to disagree with her extremism.

Jim Brown made recent comments about Colin Kaepernick (who has done nothing wrong and actually gave money and created programs to promote community development and oppose police brutality. He exercised his free speech rights). A lot of this stuff is a generational gap. Many of the older generation agree with the same goal as Kaepernick while some of them disagree with many of the younger generation's tactics in order to get to the same goal (which is freedom, justice, and equality). Brown (who I believe has sincerity in his words) said the words that he said, because of many reasons. Back during the 1960's, he was an activist. He was with Muhammad Ali ironically in supporting his right to oppose the Vietnam War. Brown is from an older generation who doesn't agree with the protest aspect of civil rights movement. He believes in self-defense, which I do too. There is a time for nonviolence and there is a time for self-defense under extreme circumstances after all nonviolent resolutions are exhausted. Jim Brown believes in the the old school way of building black businesses and focusing on economics (which we call black capitalism) instead of politics in order for black people to get into freedom. Brown was in the conservative wing of the Black Power movement, which is why he supported Nixon in 1968.

Brown may disagree with some of Dr. King's actions, but Dr. King never begged for anything. He demanded the government to do what it was called to do and what it ought to do. Dr. King (who was more than a speech maker. He was a social activist) demanded change and fought for it. Sometimes, you have to be an activist to get what you want. So, Jim Brown's words are not shocking. I don't believe that he's a sellout or a race traitor, but I do disagree with his support of Donald Trump. He criticized John Lewis for opposing Trump. Trump is a notorious racist, sexist, and xenophobe. Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Dr. John Carlos, and Dr. Harry Edwards have publicly opposed the Trump regime. The truth is that both protests and other forms of social activism caused many civil rights, voting rights, and housing rights laws to exist in the first place. I also disagree with him in saying that an inoffensive kneel is somehow a desecration of a flag. Brown loves the anthem when that anthem was created by a racist slave owner (and the original lyrics of that anthem condoned slavery). I don't agree with Brown on other issues (and that's a different story). Therefore, while Jim Brown's views are disappointing, his statements are are not surprising. Jim Brown has worked in many communities to advance conflict resolution, job creation, and community development, so he has done a lot for our people. Likewise, this is a new generation and we will not sugarcoat the truth. You can both participate in an occupation and use activism at the same time. Hank Aaron has supported Kaepernick. So, while we should have ideological diversity in the black community, we have to call it as it is too (and keep it real).

One way to bridge the generational gap in our black community is to advocate for protests, the building of more black institutions & organizations (which are used to fight institutionalized racism and economic injustices like poverty. Also, they are used to build in our communities a strong infrastructure among urban and rural communities), the creation of more spaces where black people of diverse age demographics can share ideas (and speak their minds for collaboration), and a continued advocacy of social plus racial justice. We all agree (regardless of our views) in advancing strong educational institutions to give black children great understanding about STEM Fields plus technical skills (which is important and must be done). Black children must also be told the truth about their real history and culture in a pro-Black fashion. Education is the life blood of any society. So, we must promote strong education, strong preparation in handling issues in the world, and a vigor to create positive change. Forming plans and executing them is key in getting change too. Police brutality is a real issue that must be confronted and eradicated.

By Timothy

No comments: