Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, Louisiana two years ago. And (for about fifteen minutes) Democrats, Republicans, and the So-Called Liberal Media actually had a serious discussion about class and race in America. In the coming days we shall read and hear a lot of self-serving partisan poppycock from liberal Democrats that everything that happened in New Orleans was the fault of Bush Republicans. In point of fact, the New Orleans inner-city Democratic Party Machine was up to its neck in cronyism and incompetence long before it was up to its neck in floodwaters.
The next great challenge for the Green Party of the United States is cracking the monopoly of the Democratic Party Machines within communities of color in the inner-city. Greens will never be able to really challenge the Democrats until we do this and we'll never effectively apply our 10 key values until we can start applying them where it is needed the most.
In a recent interview in Yes Magazine, Green activist, Malik Rahim brilliantly articulated a vision for inner-city New Orleans that goes way beyond the usual Democratic and Republican nostrums:
I think that we can show, not only people in New Orleans, Louisiana, or in America, but globally what happens when people of conscience come together, in spite of their government. If we can rebuild New Orleans in such a way that we break the dependency upon fossil fuels, if we look at alternative energy in our reconstruction and look at new methods, if we could move away from a levee system and start developing a storm protection system that no longer challenges nature, but works with nature. If we break the shackles of racism, and become a truly progressive city. If we could develop the schools and the education system, if we can work to develop health care for everyone. If we could do these things, we’d know that the sacrifice by all the thousands of volunteers from Common Ground and others wasn’t in vain, and I believe that the rest of the world can look at us as a model.
New Orleans as a model? What a revolutionary notion.
Read More and challenges by Cynthia McKinney and Donna Warren at Green Commons:
Katrina and the Inner-City Challenge: Cynthia McKinney, Malik Rahim, Donna Warren