Monday, August 3, 2009

Geostrategy Nerd: The Federal Government Is Giving You A Hint

The participants at this think tank have been discussing the need to escape Black residential areas since the post from 11/18/08 entitled "All Colored People That Want to Go To Kansas, On 9/5/1877, Can Do So for $5.00." http://muslimbushido.blogspot.com/2008/11/all-colored-people-that-want-to-go-to.html Leaving these Black residential areas is literally a matter of life and death for African-American women and children.

As many Black women's empowerment bloggers have noted, conditions within these majority-Black residential hellholes will only get worse as time goes on. In fact, the federal government is talking about razing sections of 50 economically depressed cities like Detroit, and letting nature reclaim the bulldozed districts! I would expect that most of these cities have substantial African-American populations. Whatever the outcome of this plan, it won't be a pretty picture. The time to get out is NOW.

Here's the beginning of the Telegraph.co.uk news story at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/5516536/US-cities-may-have-to-be-bulldozed-in-order-to-survive.html :

"US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive.

Dozens of US cities may have entire neighbourhoods bulldozed as part of drastic "shrink to survive" proposals being considered by the Obama administration to tackle economic decline. The government is looking at expanding a pioneering scheme in Flint, one of the poorest US cities, which involves razing entire districts and returning the land to nature. Local politicians believe the city must contract by as much as 40 per cent, concentrating the dwindling population and local services into a more viable area."

Here's a link to a blog post discussing the story:
http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/06/22/us_government_may_bulldoze_50_cities_create_more_green_space/
From the blog post:

"It seems virtually everyone——from Wall Street bankers to small business owners——has been affected by the economic downturn. Now, the recession’’s latest victims may be American cities. The Obama administration is reportedly considering plans to raze sections of 50 economically depressed US cities, condensing these towns’’ shrinking populations and city services to smaller areas. The plan, dubbed ""shrink to survive,"" may seem kooky, but it could be big news for environmentalists: In many cases, bulldozed districts would be returned to nature via forests or meadows.

. . . The list may surprise some, as it contains major metropolises like Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Memphis, as well as other former industrial hotspots. Kildee and some government officials believe that downsizing these economically depressed cities will provide citizens with greater quality of life and more efficiently utilize city services."


Right. Sure. This is about green space, and the remaining inhabitants' quality of life. No, it's more like pulling the plug on a dead patient.

74 comments:

Aphrodite said...

Ok is this the test before the concentration camps and the implants aka New World Order?

This sounds so creepy to me. I mean if "hoods" don't have access to decent grocery stores and other services - you are right they are not going to create green spaces etc..

Khadija said...

Aphrodite,

{chuckling} You've extended this thought out into territories that I chose not to address directly in the post. I didn't want to be accused of adjusting my "all-purpose, tin foil, conspiracy theory hat"! LOL!

I'll put it this way: The odds of something like this working in a way that's favorable to those Black folks who are left behind are slim to none.

Not to mention that AA politicians and AAs in general have ALREADY demonstrated to the powers that be that they can get away with anything...at...all (when it comes to us). We demonstrate this each day, month, and year that we continue to ignore the ongoing plight of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

We demonstrate this each moment that we allow AA politicians to ignore this topic. We demonstrate this each moment that we allow the media (including Negro media) to ignore this topic.

All of this reminds me of a saying I read somewhere: "People who don't have plans become the subject of other people's plans." That's a perfect description of the AA collective.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

anna (tertiary#anna) said...

Khadija,

I recently read that California is cutting 100% of the funding for domestic violence programs. So those people (mainly women and children) who are in bad situations will find it even harder to save themselves. And so the likelihood becomes much higher that the cycle of DV will perpetuate, and the children in these situations will become normalized to a culture of violence and abuse.

The posts on the BW empowerment blogs are like alarm bells, and the nightly news is beginning to show the fires. I wasn't certain before, but I feel you are right: we, as a culture, are in grave danger.

I think about the massive changes in the AA situation immediately after the Civil War and then in the decades afterwards. There was a point in between slavery and Jim Crow when AA's were able to build communities and strengthen their society. But much of that was lost shortly after. For me, this is a chilling lesson: we often think that as time progresses, we move forward, but history does not bear this out. Important things that our ancestors achieved was obscured and destroyed. At the time it was mainly by racist whites. So we complacently think that if we don't see this overt, white-sheet racism, there's little threat that what we've done will be destroyed. I'll admit I once thought that. But I realize that it was an arrogant, childish and complacent viewpoint. Now I worry that we may yet be destroyed by naively ignoring the (in)actions of people who are "kin" by color only, or by failing to nurture and create the situations that enable us to thrive.

Khadija said...

Anna,

You said, "I recently read that California is cutting 100% of the funding for domestic violence programs. So those people (mainly women and children) who are in bad situations will find it even harder to save themselves."

Not surprising. Up until early last month, the Illinois state government was SERIOUSLY threatening to cut HALF the budget of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services!

Also, various readers like Aphrodite have been pointing out things like the cuts in the numbers of parole officers, etc. due to budget shortfalls. There are all sorts of public safety measures that are being eliminated or drastically reduced.

All in all, a "perfect storm" of sociological destruction is headed toward AA residential areas. "Rwanda" or "the Congo" is just around the corner in these areas. Furthermore, "Rwanda" has already taken root in places like Dunbar Village.

As things are, the national so-called public service "safety net" already has gaping holes in it. Holes that allowed for travesties like the Banita Jacks story, and the murdered little boy mentioned in today's post from WAOD ("Another ABANDONED Child Killed By Mama's 'Boyfriend'"). {deep sigh}

Non-AA communities can weather these cuts better than us because their collectives have not descended into the absolute chaos and anarchy of the AA collective. Other people still have safeguards in place among their collectives: marriages, actual families that function like families, and most of all, a critical mass of MEN who function like MEN (by protecting and providing for the women and children of their specific group).

With an 80% oow rate, and the various pathologies that result from that, AAs don't have any of these safeguards anymore.

You said, "So we complacently think that if we don't see this overt, white-sheet racism, there's little threat that what we've done will be destroyed. I'll admit I once thought that. But I realize that it was an arrogant, childish and complacent viewpoint."

Until I found out about the Dunbar Village Atrocity & Aftermath, I was complacent as well. That crime against humanity (and the inappropriate responses by various parties afterward) snapped me out of my previous complacent trance.

I've concluded that the AA collective is OVER. We've traveled too far down the permanent underclass road to be salvaged as a group. I'm just trying to sound the alarm, and provide some tools to increase the numbers of AA women (and their children) who ultimately escape this catastrophe.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

goodness80 said...

Good post! This isn't just happening in large cities,but medium sized city. I hope that AA aren't fooled by so-called enviornmental and self-sufficiency crap. I will write more about this later. Again thank you for providing practical information to AA women. We better start heeding the warnings now.

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Ok on one hand environmental activists like Majora Carter could get her group to reuse some of this land to create green spaces and Alice Waters could help people grow food. Of course you have to have all of your senses intact to implement this.

Obama is really showing how much he likes black people isn't he? I wonder what the residents of these depressed areas think about being displaced? It's like Katrina without the natural disaster as impetus.

Lorraine said...

Talk about writing on the wall! People better wake up. Anna, do you have the link for the plan proposed to cut 100% funding of the domestic violence programs? DV transcends class and racial lines, but realistically, who is most affected by this? Black and Latina women.

I met a lady back in 1991 who tipped me about the environmental issues and the black community. There was no one to fight and keep toxic waste dumps out of the backyards of black folks but whites would pound the streets to keep it out of theirs. That was 1991 and I sounded the alarm when I returned to school in Anchorage. Fast forward to now and I see people (even AA celebrities) signing on to that "Go Green" and they haven't even gone black. Again, people better wake up and see what is going on. It may even already be too late. We do have to save ourselves. Thanks for another profound post Khadija.

Karen said...

I just read the articles and the big elephant in the room was of course, this scheme will only benefit those that can afford to move to the remaining areas with services and infrastructure.

Those who cannot or will not leave will be isolated... or to put it bluntly living in "internment camps". There will be no "buffer zone communities" and those areas will become completely encompassed/surrounded by "no man's land" and become "war zones".

These areas (I will not call them communities as they do not function as such now) will become "hell on earth".

Ladies - The time is NOW to get ones affairs in order and have a strategy if you are currently living in any of these targeted areas, to move out while you can.

I truly believe that when this starts happening on a mass scale, there will be barriers, laws and regulations that will prevent people from escaping... History has enough examples.

Khadija said...

Goodness80,

Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.

You said, "I hope that AA aren't fooled by so-called enviornmental and self-sufficiency crap."

It would be a very good thing if this green, self-sufficiency stuff was sincerely being planned for us. But AAs really should know better by now.

The federal government might seriously make those provisions for the yuppies that remain behind in the affluent sections of these cities. But the NOBODY ever takes cares of AAs like that. This includes our AA politicians (particularly the crossover Negro politicians---who are busy proving to racist Whites that they won't do anything in particular for their own people).
__________________________

Faith,

You said, "Ok on one hand environmental activists like Majora Carter could get her group to reuse some of this land to create green spaces and Alice Waters could help people grow food. Of course you have to have all of your senses intact to implement this."

Yes, in theory this could conceivably be a good thing for us if they would consult our environmental/food activists while planning this (I'm also thinking of the young lady who runs the Watts Garden Club). But, they're not.

And we know better than to expect anything like that. Like I said above, this might work out well for the remaining yuppies in the affluent sections of these downsized cities.

However this scheme works out for these other people, the intention is NOT to help AAs have sustainable living environments. As usual, AAs are NOT on the government's radar in any positive sense. We are undesirables to be managed and dealt with.

You said, "Obama is really showing how much he likes black people isn't he? I wonder what the residents of these depressed areas think about being displaced? It's like Katrina without the natural disaster as impetus."

As you know, I've never thought well of Obama. I've disliked and distrusted him from the very beginning of his political career here in Chicago. [The same way I dislike and distrust other Crossover Negro Politicians.] However, as I read through this material, I heard the Cyndi Lauper song True Colors in my mind. LOL!

I'm pretty sure that the residents don't know that folks are making these sorts of plans for them. Isn't that the tradition? That when something affects the non-rich, they are the last to know about it?

Yes, this IS like Katrina. A definitely man-made Katrina. And even though I know better than to expect much of anything from them, this is yet another reason why I'm deeply angry with our misleadership class.

Our (mis)leaders don't have any strategic planning in place. They're not paying attention to the trend lines. Beyond re-enacting protest scenes from 1950s Selma, I don't know what these people are doing. Except maybe reacting after the fact to other people's plans being implemented.

Khadija said...

Part 2

Lorraine,

Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.

You said, "Talk about writing on the wall! People better wake up."

One of my friends often jokes that "If you can't read the writing on the wall, sometimes they'll draw you a picture!" Well, the broad outlines of this "picture" are pretty clear to me. Like you said, folks better wake up and smell the coffee.
____________________

Karen,

You said, "I just read the articles and the big elephant in the room was of course, this scheme will only benefit those that can afford to move to the remaining areas with services and infrastructure."

Yes, it's conceivable that something like this could work out very nicely for the yuppies in the affluent sections of these downsized cities. But as you noted, that's NOT us. We're the undesirables.

You said, "Those who cannot or will not leave will be isolated... or to put it bluntly living in "internment camps". There will be no "buffer zone communities" and those areas will become completely encompassed/surrounded by "no man's land" and become "war zones". These areas (I will not call them communities as they do not function as such now) will become "hell on earth"."

Yes, the isolation that this sort of scheme entails for the undesirable populations reminded me of the tagline from some of the Aliens movies: "In space, nobody can hear you scream."

You said, "Ladies - The time is NOW to get ones affairs in order and have a strategy if you are currently living in any of these targeted areas, to move out while you can."

YES! We must all sound the alarm to our sleeping sisters.

You said, "I truly believe that when this starts happening on a mass scale, there will be barriers, laws and regulations that will prevent people from escaping... History has enough examples."

This is quite possible. And if it does play out this way, then it WON'T be on the 10:00 news, or the cable news. It won't be reported. Just like many of the things that went down with Katrina weren't reported.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Karen said...

Khadija,

Your comment:

This is quite possible. And if it does play out this way, then it WON'T be on the 10:00 news, or the cable news. It won't be reported. Just like many of the things that went down with Katrina weren't reported.


I think many do not realize it but the standard news channels be it t.v., radio or web are heavily censored.

The age of truly independent reporting ended long ago partly due to the news agencies being acquired or "destroyed" or independent voices being quickly silenced.

This trend will continue and only get worse. The question that floats in my mind now is how long will it take before the web becomes controlled like China. It is already "policed" via shadow government organizations to monitor what is being discussed.

No, I am not paranoid but I know what governments are capable of (history as all too many examples within the last 150 years of the "modern age") and I know first hand how news is manipulated/censored...

I agree with you, if things go that far, there will be a complete "news blackout"... and those in those "islands" can be easily cut off from communication (re: Katrina and its aftermath)

We live in an Orwellian culture in more ways than most of us would like to believe.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Khadija:

As many Black women's empowerment bloggers have noted, conditions within these majority-Black residential hellholes will only get worse as time goes on. In fact, the federal government is talking about razing sections of 50 economically depressed cities like Detroit, and letting nature reclaim the bulldozed districts! I would expect that most of these cities have substantial African-American populations. Whatever the outcome of this plan, it won't be a pretty picture. The time to get out is NOW.

My reply:

Not only is it about economically depressed cities in the "rust belt" where industry once flourished but has since floundered, it is also about declining property values and the subprime mortgage crisis.

These cities had long been in decline not only because of economic depression, but as you described it, the rise of dysfunction, ie., in Detroit. Add onto that the subprime mortgage crisis and overbuilding during the bubble; whole communities have gone under. So the answer now is to raze and let them go back to nature.

Enlightened said...

Hey Khadija,

After reading the articles you posted about this, I have a few thoughts jumbling around in my head.

1) Whatever this plan is, if it comes to fruition, it will likely be carried out locally. I could see the federal government allocating money for this program (which will require matching funds from the localities), but the actual work will be done at the ground level. Having worked for the government, I know that local and state agencies get VERY pissy about the feds stomping around on their territory. They usually want the money and nothing else when it comes to the federal government.

2) I don't think current residents will be displaced initially. Every urban area has sections where there are old, abandoned, dilapidated eyesore buildings that are barely standing. I've always wondered why the city wouldn't just raze it and plant some trees. Same for the blocks of long abandoned/foreclosed houses. My home city has SEVERAL blocks like this.

I don't think actual residents will be removed from their homes when these other places are already empty/abandoned and larger. Especially if no one is paying any property taxes on these buildings, which means the city is generating no revenue from them.

Having said all that, I am still somewhat skeptical because of AAs history with the government. I'd be surprised if Obama were to try and push this through Congress because I think it would fail.

Beverly said...

Hey Khadija!!

I know I've been MIA but I'm kind of rotating my blog participation. :-) Okay, I don't want to sound paranoid; but I get the feeling that these areas will be totally isolated, as in no roads to leave. LOL Is that a crazy thoought? Well I think that because of this line n the article:

"Already, some streets peter out into woods or meadows, no trace remaining of the homes that once stood there."

Some streets peter out into the woods or meadows, creepy.

Also, I can imagine that there may be one possible road leading to other areas; but I suspect that the areas may be some unwalkable distance such as 10 or 20 miles. What do you guys think?

Beverly said...

Is this the future of other majority black urban areas?

http://www.sweet-juniper.com/2009/07/feral-houses.html

The above link have photos that may give us a glimpse into what future areas will look like was they've been "returned to nature."

Tam said...

Hi Khadija,

After reading your post and what the respondents have to say, I am not fully understanding what the problem is in razing those “neighborhoods”. Aren’t the people who are already inhabiting them living in self imposed quasi internments camps?

In most of your posts you tell Black Women to leave these hell holes (which I wholeheartedly agree with), yet you don’t want the government to destroy them. Is it because you don’t want the government to do it? If not the government, who? I am not someone who believes the government can do everything for me; however if we are waiting on rank and file Black Folk to do it we know it will never happen.

It seems virtually everyone——from Wall Street bankers to small business owners——has been affected by the economic downturn. Now, the recession’s latest victims may be American cities.

If everyone is affected by this recession what makes us believe that the people who can take care of themselves least amongst us won’t be feeling the pinch? They are the one’s who will feel it first. They are also the ones who drain a lot of city resources. No one can continue to pay for them forever.

The only problem I see with ridding cities of those shanty towns is trying to figure out where the people will go? They certainly can’t afford better than where they are currently (or they don’t want to). If the government tears down their housing will they live next door to me? I have fought to hard to have to live next to that tomfoolery ever again.

Phd White Guy said...

I've seen this process first hand in both Youngstown, Ohio and Flint Michigan. Some of the tactics are to stop snow removal to certain areas, stop paving streets, offer people cash incentives to move etc.

By and large this process effects African Americans the most along with some poor whites. Detroit looks like the next target as the city now has so many abandoned properties, the entire square footage of which equals the size of San Francisco!

Khadija said...

Part 1

PioneerValleyWoman,

You said, "These cities had long been in decline not only because of economic depression, but as you described it, the rise of dysfunction, ie., in Detroit."

Yes, I ran across several racist blogs that explicitly made that connection with dysfunction; they contained many pointed comments about the percentages of AAs in these cities.
________________________

Enlightened,

You said, "Having said all that, I am still somewhat skeptical because of AAs history with the government."

THIS repeated history is what informs my reaction to this scheme. Have local or federal housing schemes EVER worked right for AAs? Also, Dick Gregory had a "joke" from the early 1970s where he remarked that "Urban renewal means Negro removal."

The other thing that informs my negative reaction to this scheme is what it says about the federal government's planning for the cities: It says that they DON'T expect these cities (that I'm sure have high percentages of AAs) to EVER recover economically!

It also strongly communicates the message of "We don't want to keep paying to service you Negroes!"
The populations that are leaving these cities aren't being killed in a war. They're moving to other places that have viable economies.

What does this plan for "50 cities that will never recover economically" mean for the legions of AAs whose livelihoods are tied to government sector jobs in these cities? Keep in mind that these government sector jobs depend upon local tax bases. What does this mean for the legions of AA postal workers, teachers, etc.?

For example, do we expect that downsized AA government employees from Detroit will be able to find employment in thriving White suburbs of Detroit? Doesn't it stand to reason that comparable government sector jobs in the suburbs neighboring these dying cities are already filled?

Also, considering that AAs are, by and large, an urban people who don't own farmland for self-sufficiency, this planned de-urbanization can have severe negative implications for us.

You said, "I don't think current residents will be displaced initially.

...I don't think actual residents will be removed from their homes when these other places are already empty/abandoned and larger. Especially if no one is paying any property taxes on these buildings, which means the city is generating no revenue from them."


I don't think there's much distinction between local and federal government in terms of this sort of thing.

I've watched how Chicago's local government got the AA tenants out of several public housing projects that were razed to make way for luxury condos. It was a combination of starving people of city services PLUS heavy-duty police harassment.

Suddenly, the police were demanding to see id to confirm that people on the street lived in a particular project. Then, the police escalated to arresting anybody who came to visit friends/relatives at these targetted projects for disorderly conduct.

Folks were calling in to the local Black-owned talk radio station to complain about this. And there was some talk among the more activist-inclined AA lawyers of filing a class action lawsuit. Ultimately, the project was demolished.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

PioneerValleyWoman,

You said, "These cities had long been in decline not only because of economic depression, but as you described it, the rise of dysfunction, ie., in Detroit."

Yes, I ran across several racist blogs that explicitly made that connection with dysfunction; they contained many pointed comments about the percentages of AAs in these cities.

My reply:

I can remember stories going back some time about the Detroit riots, but especially going back to the 1970s and beyond, when it was common, apparently, to burn houses around Halloween?

These phenomena were arguably at the foundation of this modern day interest in demolition: certain parts of the community becoming ghost towns.

Khadija said...

Part 2

Beverly,

You said, "I know I've been MIA but I'm kind of rotating my blog participation. :-)"

I'm always delighted to see you around; and I'm happy you made your way over here. :-)

You said, "Okay, I don't want to sound paranoid; but I get the feeling that these areas will be totally isolated, as in no roads to leave."

Oh no, I don't think that sounds paranoid at all. Keep in mind that we are generally perceived to be an UNDESIRABLE population. One to be kept away. Some of us might be okay as individuals; but the presence of MASSES of us trigger White flight.

Here's what I noticed has gradually happened in the Chicago area: They demolished many of the hellhole, all-Black housing projects. They steered the former inhabitants (with Section 8 vouchers in hand) into previously stable AA working class and middle class neighborhoods; thereby destroying them.

They also encouraged the former housing project residents to move into some poor Southern suburbs. Well, the trick to that is that these south suburbs are like "Gilligan's Island" in terms of isolation. The CTA doesn't run all the way out to these places. And the local mass transportation in these places have very limited schedules.

So these tranplants are more or less marooned compared to the public transportation mobility available in the city! I don't think that was an accident.

Those photos of "feral houses" are creepy.
_______________________

Tam,

You said, "After reading your post and what the respondents have to say, I am not fully understanding what the problem is in razing those “neighborhoods”. Aren’t the people who are already inhabiting them living in self imposed quasi internments camps?

In most of your posts you tell Black Women to leave these hell holes (which I wholeheartedly agree with), yet you don’t want the government to destroy them."


I never said that I objected to the government razing these areas. I don't. Abandoned structures are extremely dangerous (magnets for dope fiends to squat, and rapists to pull victims into, etc.) and an eyesore.

My issues are:

(1) I don't trust the government's intentions regarding the AA residents of these "to be downsized" cities.
I need not recite the historical bases of this distrust.

(2) I'm extremely concerned about the aftermath for those decent, hardworking AAs who are NOT at all prepared to have their living environments downsized. As I mentioned in the 1st part of this comment, MANY AAs are tied into government sector jobs that are tied to these particular cities, and have NO backup plans for themselves.

Most AAs have NOT prepared themselves to be mobile in terms of finding employment. We're tied to things that are tied to local political conditions (patronage, the presence of local AA politicians, etc.).

If this goes down, a LOT of decent, hardworking AAs are going to be caught flatfooted. This is my concern about all of this.

Khadija said...

Part 3

PhDWhiteGuy,

You said, "I've seen this process first hand in both Youngstown, Ohio and Flint Michigan. Some of the tactics are to stop snow removal to certain areas, stop paving streets, offer people cash incentives to move etc."

Yep. As I mentioned above, I've seen a similar process with how the city of Chicago got some public housing residents out of certain projects that were slated for destruction (to make way for yuppie housing).

You said, "By and large this process effects African Americans the most along with some poor whites. Detroit looks like the next target as the city now has so many abandoned properties, the entire square footage of which equals the size of San Francisco!"

Yes, these sorts of schemes negatively impact the poor (of all groups) and the clueless (in my opinion, this means AAs---who tend to be extremely naive about what such schemes mean for them as opposed to what they mean for "desirable" demographics).
____________________

Everybody,

Obviously, what's going on right now in these dying cities is NOT sustainable. Due to failing economies plus the impact of dysfunctional, tax-recipient populations, these cities are failing. It makes PERFECT sense to reconfigure these areas into something that is more functional for the people who "matter" (translation: the affluent folks within these areas).

But that's the rub.

I believe that a lot of decent, hard-working AAs would be hurt by this scheme.
[I don't particularly care about the Black underclass. Their dysfunctional and parasitical ways are a large part of what's destroying these cities.]

There are a LOT of decent, hard-working AA women who are currently living in these dying cities. Women whose economic survival is often tied to government jobs within these dying cities. Women whose child-care networks are within these dying cities.

Decent, hard-working AA women who have NO idea of what might be coming their way if something like this de-urbanization scheme goes through. Women who have NOT prepared themselves to be mobile if the various city infrastructures that they depend on are altered in significant ways. Many of these decent, hard-working AA women are barely making it as things are! They can't afford drastic changes like that. And they won't be prepared for them if and when they go through.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

I forgot to add:

A good current example to keep in mind is to consider how New Orleans is being restructured to suit the people who "matter."

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

rainebeaux said...

Khadija, I lost count of how many times I've read this post today.

Hmm. I wonder how much (if any) of this city will be razed. If this doesn't get black folks to moving, nothing will. As for me, I'll be shopping for luggage this weekend.

I'm getting a Mad Max vibe off this whole thing. That, and once the hoods have been bulldozed, there may be a hipster Johnny Appleseed or two walking around whipping up gardens, greenhouses and the occasional terrarium (you know, the stuff many AAs neglected to adapt and/or relearn).

Khadija said...

Rainebeaux,

You said, "Khadija, I lost count of how many times I've read this post today."

I've had that same sensation when reading things at some of the peak oil and geopolitical strategy blogs that I visit. Mostly, I'm dumbstruck at how other everyday people (oh, let me just say it---Whites) are busy talking/thinking through their long-term strategic interests. There seem to be a LOT of everyday White people online who are armchair strategists.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of the AA blogs are talking about stupid stuff. And those who are talking about meaningful things are only looking at what's right before their eyes---not the possibilities that are further down the road. And those of us who are talking about meaningful things tend to limit our discussions to crying out about how awful ______ is; instead of actions we can take to protect ourselves.

If you check out the posts tagged "Geostrategy Nerd," you'll see discussions about a number of things that I feel are strategic threats to the AA collective. Things that our (mis)leaders don't seem to be aware of, much less planning for.

At any rate, that deficit is the reason why I have the Carolyn Baker site on my blogroll. She links to articles and discussions from various peak oil/sustainability blogs.

I'm about the add the From The Wilderness Peak Oil Blog to my blogroll (this is where I found out about this news story).

I would strongly urge the audience to read some of these peak oil blogs. I don't necessarily agree with their content or opinions, but they ARE discussing trends that could have a HUGE impact on your life. And the discussion forums to these sites have lots of people talking about the practical things they are doing to prepare.

AAs are a foolish, childish people to assume that things will endlessly continue as they have been. So many of the things that we (in particular) are doing are NOT sustainable. On any level. And AAs are dependent in ways that others are not. As I mentioned in Part 1 of The End of The Road series, we can't provide a single ONE of our needs for ourselves.

You said, "I'm getting a Mad Max vibe off this whole thing. That, and once the hoods have been bulldozed, there may be a hipster Johnny Appleseed or two walking around whipping up gardens, greenhouses and the occasional terrarium (you know, the stuff many AAs neglected to adapt and/or relearn)."

Well, if this does happen, it will happen in a way that benefits the wealthy who remain in these cities. I've mentioned this before, but I'm beginning to suspect that the American powers that be have decided to take up the French model of maintaining cities.

For example, the French DON'T allow undesirables (the poor and immigrants) to mess up THEIR cities, especially jewels in the crown like Paris, etc. In France, the slums are in the suburbs, and the centers of cities are kept nice.

People, Get Ready!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Another thing:

I've noticed that a LOT of types of people that AAs don't feel are particularly friendly to our interests (Mormons, Libertarians, etc.) are the ones who are most likely to be prepared for whatever happens. They're ready and we're NOT.

For example, the Mormon church encourages (if not requires) members to preserve and store a YEAR'S worth of food and supplies. I've been browsing various Mormon blogs and storage checklists. The most recent one I've been looking at is at http://preparedldsfamily.blogspot.com

Meanwhile, Katrina demonstrated that a lot of AAs don't even own a flashlight. Hmmph.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

sistrunkqueen said...

There was a mention of how innercity jobs would be affected by shrinking cities. Well today's news announced the future closings of 700-1000 US post offices. St. Louis will be hit with 30 post office closings. So guess what,it has already started. Lord help us Thanks for posting this. I read the article last month, but I did not think any of the black female empowerment bloggers would be interested.

anna (tertiary#anna) said...

@ Lorraine,

I read about it on a different blog, but here's some additional links:

http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_12932155
http://tinyurl.com/ng364y


The shelters will still retain any private funding they're able to garner, but state aid has been eliminated. Few shelters run solely on private donations, but I think that state aid accounts for a significant portion of the funds.

Khadija said...

Sistrunkqueen,

You said, "There was a mention of how innercity jobs would be affected by shrinking cities. Well today's news announced the future closings of 700-1000 US post offices. St. Louis will be hit with 30 post office closings. So guess what,it has already started. Lord help us Thanks for posting this."

Lord have mercy. {smh}

You're welcome, and thank YOU for sharing this info. It's upsetting, but we need to know what's going on (and what's waiting for us down the road) in order to map out "survive and thrive" strategies for ourselves and our loved ones.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

anna (tertiary#anna) said...

@ Khadija

"For example, the Mormon church encourages (if not requires) members to preserve and store a YEAR'S worth of food and supplies."

There's another implication to this: when a Mormon family is prepared, they are also assured that people in their community are similarly equipped. This provides stability to everyone in the environment.

Being unprepared is only the second-most dangerous position. The most dangerous is to be the only one prepared when the community falls. You've not only got to weather the crisis, you've also got to deal with being targeted by your neighbors who are struggling to survive. It's not enough to be ready, you really just want to be gone.

This isn't limited to the bottom-level, total societal breakdown. It's just more readily apparent when everything gets shattered. But it's a common enough situation that will happen where the community as a whole is just not ready for a any kind of setback.

Khadija said...

Anna,

You said, "There's another implication to this: when a Mormon family is prepared, they are also assured that people in their community are similarly equipped. This provides stability to everyone in the environment.

Being unprepared is only the second-most dangerous position. The most dangerous is to be the only one prepared when the community falls. You've not only got to weather the crisis, you've also got to deal with being targeted by your neighbors who are struggling to survive. It's not enough to be ready, you really just want to be gone."


Ooooh, guurl, yes! As you noted (and as Evia has often alluded to), there are negative personal security implications to being involved with people who are not like-minded. [Or not sufficiently like-minded.]

You said, "This isn't limited to the bottom-level, total societal breakdown. It's just more readily apparent when everything gets shattered. But it's a common enough situation that will happen where the community as a whole is just not ready for a any kind of setback."

Exactly. It's DANGEROUS to be the only functional person in your surroundings. It's also dangerous to be VISIBLY leaps and bounds ahead of everybody else in your surroundings. As you said, either one of these postures makes you an identifiable target.

I know that a lot of our people don't like to hear this type of talk (due to "save alla our people" indoctrination). But it's the truth.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Phd White Guy said...

"I would strongly urge the audience to read some of these peak oil blogs. I don't necessarily agree with their content or opinions, but they ARE discussing trends that could have a HUGE impact on your life."


Along those same lines-it's a little long and technical but VERY illuminating

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7h4VjZhe_w&feature=channel

Evia said...

Being unprepared is only the second-most dangerous position. The most dangerous is to be the only one prepared when the community falls. You've not only got to weather the crisis, you've also got to deal with being targeted by your neighbors who are struggling to survive. It's not enough to be ready, you really just want to be gone.

EXACTLY, Anna! When this occurs, NO "prepared" INDIVIDUAL is going to be safe if s/he cannot protect what they have. In plain language, if you have food in your house and your neighbors don't have food, they ARE going to take yours. That's a promise.

Make no mistake about it, some groups of folks in this country ARE prepared to do whatever necessary to protect THEIR food and their family because they have NO illusions about human nature. It's those same magical thinking black folks who believe now that ***SOMEBODY*** is going to save them who will be the first ones to break into your house and kill you if necessary to take your food.

Also, I believe that Octavia Butler, our dear departed Sci-Fi novelist sister, has ALREADY warned us in her "fiction" books about the utter chaos and depravity that will occur 'as the water gets hotter.' When I first read an interview about her "Parable" books in ESSENCE, I knew that she was giving us an actual glimpse into the future. Her words resonated with me totally and completely because when you work in the field of mental health with the urban poor (welfare class) as I've done in and near 3 large urban areas), I KNEW that there's NOTHING inside many of them (no moral code) that would stop them from taking what I have and if they needed to kill me and my family, then they would do it. It's not that they're sociopaths; they just don't see what's so bad or wrong about it.

However, many AAs continue to be oh-so-shocked by these incidents of savagery among AAs because AAs are a people who are PERPETUALLY surprised. Imagine that! Our AA ancestors were forced into chattel slavery, yet many of us these days are perpetually surprised about practically everything, including barbarism among AAs. LOL!

ALL, ALL, ALL human beings are capable of HORRENDOUS barbarism under certain circumstances, but so many AAs do all they can to hang onto the fallacy that white = bad and black = good. Yeah, right!

And this is reflected in why so many AA women STILL cannot or will not see that so many AA males will use and abuse them. They are convinced that AA males = good and white males = bad.

The thing that so many AAs don't want to see is that many people are already emotionally, mentally and spiritually dead; we merely see their shells walking around. Many of these folks have been stripped at a young age by their barbaric social environment of any "tender" feelings that they may have had. So if a person is already dead, they don't see anything wrong with raping, maiming, molesting,or killing others.

That whole sordid Katrina episode did NOT surprise me at all. Razing sections of cities does NOT surprise me at all. The best resources are scarce. Those people who have power in every country are ALWAYS going to use their power to get and use the best resources, as they see fit. That's a promise. I would EXPECT things like Katrina to happen to people who don't organize to use their power to prevent these sordid episodes from happening to them. IMO, this has nothing to do with race because I've seen this and worse happen in other countries among people of the same race.

But organizing requires discipline, responsibility, a certain amount of TRUST and WORK and many AAs are terrified of these concepts when dealing with each other. These are some of those social INDICATORS that tell me that there will be future Katrinas of various types and the masses of AAs will continue to be surprised and victimized.

President Obama cannot get involved in organizing at the micro level and this is where the overwhelming bulk of the change needs to occur among AAs.

Khadija said...

PhDWhiteGuy,

Thanks for the info!
_____________________

Evia,

You said, "EXACTLY, Anna! When this occurs, NO "prepared" INDIVIDUAL is going to be safe if s/he cannot protect what they have. In plain language, if you have food in your house and your neighbors don't have food, they ARE going to take yours. That's a promise."

Yep, a promise that we can take to the bank.

You said, "It's those same magical thinking black folks who believe now that ***SOMEBODY*** is going to save them who will be the first ones to break into your house and kill you if necessary to take your food."

{laughing} Yes, this is ridiculous, but TRUE.

You said, "when you work in the field of mental health with the urban poor (welfare class) as I've done in and near 3 large urban areas), I KNEW that there's NOTHING inside many of them (no moral code) that would stop them from taking what I have and if they needed to kill me and my family, then they would do it. It's not that they're sociopaths; they just don't see what's so bad or wrong about it."

Yeah. Normal people have to get to the point of absolute desperation to attack others and do things like that. The Black underclass members already do these sorts of things when they are INCONVENIENCED.

You said, "However, many AAs continue to be oh-so-shocked by these incidents of savagery among AAs because AAs are a people who are PERPETUALLY surprised. Imagine that!"

This is a ridiculous mass mindset created by magical thinking.

You said, "I would EXPECT things like Katrina to happen to people who don't organize to use their power to prevent these sordid episodes from happening to them. IMO, this has nothing to do with race because I've seen this and worse happen in other countries among people of the same race.

But organizing requires discipline, responsibility, a certain amount of TRUST and WORK and many AAs are terrified of these concepts when dealing with each other."


Exactly. That's why these conversations we've been having about true fellowship are so important. Assembling a group of trusted friends and family as a survival strategy is something that is frequently talked about at the peak oil blogs.

Other people are deliberately putting together their own mutual support networks. Meanwhile, in real life, I've heard many (vulnerable) AA women are talking about how they "can't" make friends because they "have trust issues," etc. Not having anybody to turn to for mutual support will be the death of many AAs in any sort of crisis.

You said, "These are some of those social INDICATORS that tell me that there will be future Katrinas of various types and the masses of AAs will continue to be surprised and victimized.

President Obama cannot get involved in organizing at the micro level and this is where the overwhelming bulk of the change needs to occur among AAs."


This is true.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Karen said...

My hubby and I were fully prepared in 2000 and since then we still maintain essentials. We do not share this info with anyone as you never know when things get hard what will happen.

I also saw a movie/documentary about a year ago on what happens when society breaks down due to a catastrophic event.

We have a small garden, wood stove in our house and we keep always a two years supply worth of wood, medical supplies, protection masks, you name it, we probably have it (working tools, etc.) My husband is a "MacGyver" type, so he can fix/repair anything.

We also plan to have our heating system changed to use the earth's warmth by drilling deep in our property to reach water thereby being independent from energy companies.

We hope that things will not deteriorate in our lifetime but better to be prepared. I live overseas and where I am, there is more of a consciousness about being more self-reliant in many ways (there are many farmers here where we live)... I live in a small community that still has a community focus. Sometimes it is a pain that everyone is in everyone's business, but the best positive example is that a neighbor's 3 year old boy wandered away from home, a local found him and took him to the local garden center, she called another local that knows many of the children who then located the mother. That is what community means and I prefer it at the end of the day.

At the same time though, I am still a pragmatist and you still need to be prepared.

Karen said...

Another thing, we are stocking up on seeds but those that have not been hybridized as they are stronger and more viable over the long term for our garden needs...

Also, unfortunately unlike the U.S., there are excellent mass transportation systems (bus, train, tram) throughout the country along with support of alternative energies. Not saying that it will prevent the coming "storm" but at least there has already been and continues to be government suppport of subsidizing research for alternative fuel sources. A big solar project is in discussion/planning to support the energy needs in the coming 20-40 years.

Where I live, they started early with increased taxes on gasoline to force people to reconsider their driving habits and to help subsidize alternative fuel research. Where possible I always take public transportation...

Delishmish said...

Khadija said:

Exactly. It's DANGEROUS to be the only functional person in your surroundings. It's also dangerous to be VISIBLY leaps and bounds ahead of everybody else in your surroundings. As you said, either one of these postures makes you an identifiable target.
...................

Anyone who is a "fan" of the original Twilight Zone will remember the story of the one family on the block who built a bomb shelter because they could "see the writing on the wall." SO they built it, and stocked it up, while the neighbors looked on from their barbecues and beer, laughing at the "crazy" family..

And then the nuclear war happened, and the barbecuing/ about to be barbecued themselves neighbors implored to be let into the shelter. They came with their babies, and suitcases and their cries and their hunger...all to no avail...(there was only enough room / food for the family....and so the UNPREPARED neighbors got together, and rammed the door to the shelter down, thereby ensuring that NO ONE survived, including the family prepared for the catastrophic event...

As has been noted, seemingly "nice" (RIGHT!!...this skewered 1950's lily white view of life depicted in the Twilight Zone is really why it is so intriguing to me)people QUICKLY resort to very "UN nice" activities given the right circumstances...

As much as I am UNconvinced as to "Mormonism," I feel like this mentality of preparation is KEY, and one that I can adopt. I WILL take the useful information they share.

LaJane Galt said...

I've mentioned this before, but I'm beginning to suspect that the American powers that be have decided to take up the French model of maintaining cities.

IT IS happening. That IS the plan. Urban planners (govt, business, academic) are bringing things/people/accoutrements that are "suburban" (*chuckle*) in. Here in DC, the POCs are on their way out and will commute in to work.

Walkable, sustainable communities. Contracting (spatially) the use of govt-sponsored resources.

One of the points made about Detroit in particular is that it was built on the car. That's why it is so spread out and city services are difficult to provide.

***
side note:

They are closing post offices and a dmv in DC (in NE - guess who lives there).

***
Also, I assume you have seen Trouble the Water. It was grim. I lived in NOLA for 3 years and was not surprised. There is an incurable short-sightedness in the underclass and those who share the mentality.

Sister Seeking, Miriam said...

Salaam Alaikum Khadija,

Thank you for this post today!
I remember after Katrina happened an elderly sister I know from the NOI (and who is a veteran) whom I met an ahkikah was going around trying to help BAM’s with these very issues you’re speaking about specifically creating a “circle” around you, and having plans for how everyone in your circle is going to protect, provide, and look for ways to move out of the situation. She tried to offer a class for FREE at a mixed masjid in Northern VA only to be told that her idea was not supportive of raising funds for that mosque. I’m not talking about sitting up in a class room listening to some power point presentation but this sister:

Was trying to teach people how to:
1-Utilize geography: read maps properly, know alternative routes for foot, and transport, know how to hike, and what to do if you get lost in the woods, and so on.

2-Create and MAINTAIN food storage properly. Know what to use to purify water

3-Basic self defense techniques including how to use weapons
4- Creating distress signals, and other communication tools
She had materials, supplies, you name it.

I could go on, and on.
I invited the sister to my home, ordered catering, and paid her myself. I had maybe a good 5 sisters there. I had a mailing list of about 35 folks from a Mary Kay event.

I remember riding along with my former boss to Costco in which I saw some canned milk ( I don’t drink milk by little one needs it) I decided to buy several boxes to put into my food pantry down stairs. Well, I was made fun of by her, and a few other AA staff as being “radical” and “nutty”. Even though, our request for food stamps at the county had increased 75%--mainly be FIRST TIME users. Even though, our faith communities were had depleted THEIR resources and SOME OF THEIR LEADERSHIP were in foreclosure…

What’s radical is starving to death when you don’t half to.
Miriam


P.S. I know home-schooling is a very controversial subject in general. But I’m personally glad I established relationships with some very warm and loving white families. I’m also glad, I know about what accredited resources and social groups are out there. I’m watching the News, and they are trying to figure out to protect children in public schools from swine flu. I wonder what the private schools are doing. Whatever the case, it nearly killed me trying to have my child, and I’m not placing my daughter in cesspool.
Salaam

geekgrl said...

Slate.com has an article titled How is America Going to End. It lists some of the bigger theories and lets you take a quiz to choose you own apocalypse.?

http://www.slate.com/id/2223285/

Khadija said...

Karen,

With the exception of weather-related calamities, I don't really foresee quick disasters/crashes like in sci-fi movies. What I see is a gradual racheting down of Americans' quality of life. I believe that having access to less and less will become the "new normal" for us.

Power outtages will gradually happen more frequently and last longer each time. Until the power just goes off (either due to accident, vandalism, or people scavenging copper, etc. from the power lines), never to return in certain areas.

Various government services will gradually decrease and phase out.

And so on. There will just be...less. Of everything. Except for the wealthy.

I believe it'll be, in some ways, something similar to what Dmitri Orlov has described in his book and articles about the changes he saw in Russia when the Soviet system crashed.

I believe that it'll be worse and more disruptive in many ways than what happened in Russia. From what he said, Russian cities are public-transportation sorts of places. And that most people were already cultivating garden vegetables (due to the shortages caused by the communist economic system).

You said, "Where I live, they started early with increased taxes on gasoline to force people to reconsider their driving habits and to help subsidize alternative fuel research."

This is what makes me irritated about Americans' mass stupidity. I was a child and not old enough to understand what was going on, but I do vaguely remember Pres. Carter talking about conserving energy, etc. [And wearing a sweater because he had turned the heat down in the White House.]

I was in high school during Reagan, and I clearly recall the mockery that he and his supporters made of Pres. Carter's warnings about the environment, oil dependence, and sustainability. And many Americans rejoiced in all that idiotic talk from Reagan about how "it's morning in America."

Well, the chickens have definitely come home to roost. With a vengeance.

Khadija said...

Part 2

Delishmish,

Yes, I also enjoy The Twilight Zone. I also liked Rod Serling's Night Gallery. I remember the Twilight Zone episode you're talking about.

You said, "and so the UNPREPARED neighbors got together, and rammed the door to the shelter down, thereby ensuring that NO ONE survived, including the family prepared for the catastrophic event..."

Yep, that's exactly how people will act. That family should have kept their mouths SHUT about their preparations.

I don't care much for the Mormon sect either. However, their leadership has been VERY shrewd in ensuring that they survive and thrive as a group. They OWN and CONTROL Utah and much of the neighboring states. There are many useful things we can learn from how the Mormons organized themselves.
_____________________

LaJane Galt,

You said, "IT IS happening. That IS the plan. Urban planners (govt, business, academic) are bringing things/people/accoutrements that are "suburban" (*chuckle*) in. Here in DC, the POCs are on their way out and will commute in to work.

Walkable, sustainable communities. Contracting (spatially) the use of govt-sponsored resources."


That's interesting to hear about. Thanks for the info!
_______________________

SisterSeeking/Miriam,

Wa Alaikum As Salaam!

You're welcome!

You said, "I could go on, and on. I invited the sister to my home, ordered catering, and paid her myself. I had maybe a good 5 sisters there. I had a mailing list of about 35 folks from a Mary Kay event."

Good for you!

You said, "P.S. I know home-schooling is a very controversial subject in general. But I’m personally glad I established relationships with some very warm and loving white families."

Audience Note:

SisterSeeking/Miriam is somewhat speaking in shorthand here. Let me explain and sum up the background context to her comment from what I've observed about this:

Homeschooling their children is HIGH on the verbal list of priorities for many AA Sunni Muslim couples. For a variety of reasons (serious and non-serious, good and bad).

However, many Sunni Muslim Negroes and colored girls only PLAY at homeschooling their children. The vast majority that call themselves doing this are NOT serious or competent in this regard.

Instead, it's an excuse for the Sunni AA women who were former welfare queens to continue sitting at home and not working. It's an excuse to keep one's children away from the watchful eyes of teachers and other mandated reporters who will report those Sunni Muslim parents who are physically, emotionally, and/or sexually abusing their children. [Sort of like how Banita Jacks told authorities that she was homeschooling her children in order to fly under the child welfare radar.]

In order to find a support network of parents who are SERIOUS about homeschooling their children, it's often necessary to reach out to White, Christian (fundamentalist) parents, groups and organizations.

This is what I feel is the background context to what SisterSeeking/Miriam is saying about having met some warm and helpful White families through their homeschooling networks.
_________________________

Geekgrl,

Thanks for the info; that article was amusing!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

I had read of this happening in other (read: officially poor) countries, but I didn't know that people were scavenging the phone lines for copper here in the US:

"Copper Phone Lines Stolen - Kansas City News Story - KCTV Kansas City
LIBERTY, Mo. -- Crews are working to restore phones service to 1,500 homes and businesses. ... A crook cut the main phone line on North Stewart Road for the ...www.kctv5.com/news/14154059/detail.html"


Ridiculous. And I believe shades of things to come.

Karen said...

Karen,

I do hope you are right that it is gradual as that will give those of us who see what is coming more time to prepare as best we can.

I will be very frank, western civilization is about as uncivilized as it comes. Our civility is only a thin veil as most of us do not know real hardship as compared to many third world communities. Third world communities know what it means to live with little and have support networks (such as barter systems) that work. I have no illusions, anarchy is never far away when demand exceeds supply.

By the way, I was also a fan of Twilight zone, Night Gallery and an avid read of Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilology which also gave a glimpse of "mega-cities".

foreverloyal said...

I've noticed that a LOT of types of people that AAs don't feel are particularly friendly to our interests (Mormons, Libertarians, etc.) are the ones who are most likely to be prepared for whatever happens. They're ready and we're NOT.

Ironically, at least one of the white supremacist websites has an entire forum devoted to sharing survival/ self-sufficiency strategies. Gardening, canning, sewing, building--I even saw info on making your own tools!

Anyway...
I did a little gardening at my last house, and we've recently moved to a house with more land. Many of the homes in the neighborhood are sitting on decent size lots, and some are on well systems. I passed one house with an impressive vegetable garden.

There are active community associations, one of which is slanted to newcomers. We've met our closest neighbors and made a point to have lenghty chats. In the near future, the plan is to invite everyone on the street over.
There is even an email list so that all the neighbors on our street can notify each other of travel plans for the purpose of protecting our properties.
It's a different kind of neighborhood, and I think it will be very beneficial.
---
@rainbeaux, various "futuristic, post disaster" movies have started playing in my head as well.
I don't plan on me and mine being those characters that are caught unprepared.
--
Wasalamm Khadija, and thanks again.

Khadija said...

Hmmm...this copper scavenging from the power/phone lines is already happening here more frequently than I thought. It should be obvious to everyone that if large numbers people ever started power line scavenging in a serious way (oh, as in a protracted financial crash), it would be near impossible to keep the power on.

"Copper thieves get killed cutting into power lines

Updated 9/26/2006 11:59 PM ET

By Wendy Koch, USA TODAY
At least seven men in five states have been fatally electrocuted since July while hacking through power lines to steal wire made of copper, which has been commanding near-record prices, police say.
"It is a growing problem with the rise in the price of metals," says Lt. Shea Smith of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina. Smith says one thief died Aug. 30 and another July 7. Both were found with wire cutters and other tools that suggested their intent. He says at least 30 more copper thefts have occurred in the county so far this year.

Nationwide, police report copper thieves stealing wires from air conditioning units, exposed pipes from underneath homes, vases from graveyards in Sumter, S.C., and bells from a church in Yonkers, N.Y.

"It's surprising to find two deaths in such a short time frame," Shea says. "Most people who steal copper find the easiest way to do it," such as taking it from a construction site.

"It's three (deaths) this year alone" in Detroit, says 2nd Deputy Chief James Tate of the city's police. On Monday, he says, the body of Walter Marihugh, 24, was discovered after he apparently tried to cut cables from a public lighting box in a vacant lot. Tate says a similar electrocution occurred two months ago and a third earlier in the year."

Khadija said...

ForeverLoyal,

You're welcome!

Wa Salaam.

roslynholcomb said...

Copper theft is an epidemic around here (Atlanta suburbs). My son's soccer fields got hit last year, we're trying to raise the money to repair the lines. Little League fields are being hit hard too.

I heard a story on NPR about thieves stealing lead roofing off ancient churches in England as well. Metals futures are through the roof (pardon the pun) and there's an absurd amount of money to be made.

Khadija said...

Roslyn,

You said, "Copper theft is an epidemic around here (Atlanta suburbs). My son's soccer fields got hit last year, we're trying to raise the money to repair the lines. Little League fields are being hit hard too."

Wow! It's another example of how fragile the veneer of shared civilization really is (like Karen observed). So, in order for us to have the lights on, we're all (unknowingly) depending upon others to refrain from stealing the copper out of the lines. Who knew? {shaking my head}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

rainebeaux said...

Re: homeschooling...I'd love to introduce my daughter to same, but I know it's not feasible (yet). I'm cognizant of my "blonde moments" and ability to function on limited rest. That will change soon enough after I've left the war zone.

Speaking of copper theives, Khadija, there was a local story along those lines a while back (can't quite recall whether the incident happened w/in city limits or a suburb; I do know the culprit was electrocuted and may have been near some Metra tracks. I'll pull the link out of my hat asap.)

Khadija said...

Rainebeaux,

You're already a homeschooler. You just haven't implemented that part of your program yet.

I hate to give credit to the "Name it and claim it/Blab it and grab it" meme, but there IS some validity to it. I prefer the version of the idea that the Ben Affleck character in the movie Boiler Room stated to his underlings:

"Jim Young:'There's an important phrase that we use here, and think it's time that you all learned it. Act as if. You understand what that means? Act as if you are the f*****g President of this firm. Act as if you got a 9" c**k. Okay? Act as if.'"

I've found "acting as if" to be EXTREMELY helpful, motivating, and energizing. The moment I started actually thinking of myself as a business owner is the moment I started making progress with my business. This was before I formed my limited liability company.

The same thing happened when I decided that I was already a writer. A writer who just hasn't finished her first novel yet! LOL! Suddenly, I started coming across information and people that have been extremely helpful in this regard.

I've found that once I make what I want part of my inner identity, the path gets smoother.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Miriam said...

I just wanted to mention that there are lots of things already set up (books, group meetings such as "geography day", bloggers, etc) for those who want to become homeschoolers.

I don't post so much cuz I just don't have anything to say. Its like shock after shock. Everything is so well said. So thorough.

Wouldn't it be nice if they grew orchids of fruit trees in those areas for free pickings....

Here is not 100% developed and there are these pockets of trees and meadows. Every once in a while a very wealthy buys up a spot and makes it a small community of exactly how he likes it.

(the flipside is that sometimes people try to live how they can -the very poor- and the set up little houses in those meadows/ mountain areas-such as places like Kadita: no Jews or Arabs really live there, just sheperds go there-one of the few places of actual harmony. Those usually get razed down after a year or so)

I'm scared to give any kind of comment because I DON'T KNOW. So, I'll ask: Won't a key survival tactic be to form communes or a pact of like minded people? How can the single black person/family make enough money to be prepared before things come crashing down.

Khadija said...

Here's part of an article about the Watts Garden Club from Yes! Magazine that Miriam's comment reminded me of:

Seeds of Justice, Seeds of Hope

In the midst of the toxic atmosphere of Watts, seeds are sprouting, organic gardens are thriving, young people are discovering a vocation, and healthy, whole foods are becoming part of everyday life.

by Anna Marie Carter
posted Mar 31, 2003

In the midst of the toxic atmosphere of Watts, seeds are sprouting, organic gardens are thriving, young people are discovering a vocation, and healthy, whole foods are becoming part of everyday life.

Anna Marie Carter, "The Seed Lady" of Watts, brings organic food and gardens to the people of South Central Los Angeles

If you could imagine a place that has the highest crime rates, the largest drug saturation, the greatest welfare recipient population, and the fastest HIV-positive infection rates in one of the richest cities, in the richest state, in the richest country in the entire world, then you could begin to imagine Watts, California—a district in South Central Los Angeles.

My name is Anna Marie Carter, but I am also known as “The Seed Lady” of Watts. I am a certified Master Gardener through the University of California. I practice direct action by building free, organic gardens for people who suffer from HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and other illnesses.

My advocacy takes me to drug/alcohol/mental health facilities, community centers, schools, inside of housing projects, and to shelters that house women who are returning to our community from prison. I teach people how to grow their own food, organically. But that is not all I teach them.

The environment in Watts is toxic. We are told not to drink the water. The air is polluted, and there is not much rain. Multi-generational gangs, multiple drug usage, carnal value systems resulting from being institutionalized by the welfare system for generations, and low morality all add up to no self-esteem, depression, overcrowding, crime, and escapism through unprotected sex and drugs. Where there seems like there is no hope, there is no reason to be happy or to act decently or to dream.

External forces dictate here. I have yet to meet a drug addict who harvests his own drugs. There are no coca plants or poppies growing here. All this madness is imported by the tons to this community—daily!"

Khadija said...

Part 2

"The health of the community is further jeopardized by the lack of real food. The food available in South Central Los Angeles is genetically engineered, pesticide-laden, hybridized, and irradiated. The majority of people here eat food that is bagged, bottled, canned, boxed, or frozen. A majority of this food comes from South America and Mexico through free trade agreements. We do not even get food grown in California. DDT is still widely used in Latin America.

There is no access to whole foods here. The highly processed food and low-quality meats affect the health, both physical and mental, of everyone here.

I had an organic vegetables, seeds, and plants store many years ago on Crenshaw Boulevard. The first day I went to open the front door and I looked behind me and there stood three little boys, lined up in a row, like they were in the army. I opened the door and they came in, after saying “Good morning,” and proceeded to take all my plants outside and set up the organic vegetable and flowers stands for the day. They were sent to me by a higher source.

I taught them many things. We planted tomatoes out back that grew over seven feet tall. The boys sold the tomatoes and used the money for school clothes and supplies. One even paid his mother's utility bills. They are grown now, but when I see them they kiss and hug and thank me.

After I graduated as a Master Gardener, I began my internship at the former Watts Family Garden. We lost the battle to save the garden from sale, so I took my newly formed garden club into the city of Los Angeles' recreation center inside the Jordan Downs Housing Projects.

Here we taught a class called the “Value of a Seed,” taking the children to the gardens and planting the ingredients that go into pesto, salsa, coleslaw, and other products. We taught the children how to design recipes and logos for their food products.

With the help of donations to the Watts Garden Club, we bought our own center in the heart of Watts in 2002. At the Club, we have our own Community Supported Agriculture project (CSA), which provides fresh farm produce to the invisible populations here, and we operate our own produce stand and farmers' market.

We train youth in agricultural entrepreneurship (which include classes in manners, grooming, hospitality, and vendor education). We teach “The Value of a Seed” on organic gardening and creating value-added products. Participants in the “Made in Watts” class make their own bath products for sale to our community.

The “Organic Greenhouse” class teaches people to grow lettuce, herbs, and flowers indoors. The center will soon have a greenhouse in the courtyard. “The Kitchen” covers vegan and vegetarian cooking.

We also hold anti-drug/gang rallies, HIV support groups, and holistic workshops. We involve the community in garden construction, and we network with other low-income communities of color. We have over 200 students at our center, and we go out to where people are to plant gardens and teach classes..."

Khadija said...

Miriam,

You said, "I'm scared to give any kind of comment because I DON'T KNOW. So, I'll ask: Won't a key survival tactic be to form communes or a pact of like minded people? How can the single black person/family make enough money to be prepared before things come crashing down."

There's no reason to be afraid to comment. ANY good-faith question or comment is welcome here. [I only react badly to comments or questions that reflect bad-faith game-playing. In other words, troll behaviors.]

Nobody here is any sort of "expert" about all of this. We're sitting and reasoning together to share whatever information and solutions that might be helpful. So all good-faith participants are welcome. Including those who feel like they don't know.

I don't know, either! I'm just sharing the information and suggested solutions that I believe (hope/pray) are helpful.

Yes, I think that forming like-minded groups is essential. For just about everything, including survival. Also including making any real progress in life. Success is a team sport. That's why I'm hoping to encourage more BW to get serious about connecting with people who are willing and able to offer mutual support (to offer "true fellowship").

In terms of the money angle, I believe that folks are going to have to develop "side hustles" to bring in extra income, if they want to prepare. There's no getting around it. The era of depending solely upon a single "good job" is OVER.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking, Miriam said...

@ Khadija

Thank you for listing the prepared family blog! That blog rocks!

:--)

I also had NO idea people were stealing copper??? Sounds like I need to make another trip to Lowes.
WOW! Just WOW!
________________________________

rainbeaux said...

Re: homeschooling...I'd love to introduce my daughter to same, but I know it's not feasible (yet). I'm cognizant of my "blonde moments" and ability to function on limited rest. That will change soon enough after I've left the war zone.

SS Said...

Rainbeaux,
Depending on your location, and the support groups available you will find *several* parents that are actually certified teachers. The majority of the parents in my region are college educated -many professionals. You may be able to hire a certified teacher to tutor your child or another similarly educated person. Also, because of the explosion of home-schooling, there are now many educational cooperatives where the burden of educating, and providing social opportunities is shared by the members.

I’m really good friends (Diana only had one boy but always wanted a girl so she loves visits from my daughter) with a Canadian family. Diana is an attorney, and her husband is a computer scientist. If push comes to shove, we already agreed that our daughter will go there while I work.

Wishing your the family the best.

You may be interested in checking out:

Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000 Purcellville, VA 20134-9000 Phone: (540) 338-5600 Fax: (540) 338-2733 E-mail: info@hslda.org
http://www.hslda.org


http://homeschool.calvertschool.org
*Regionally accredited program*

http://www.abeka.com/OurHomeSchoolOptions.html
*Regionally accredited program*

http://www.home-school.com/
*support*

http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/
*curriculum reviews*

www.cathyduffyreviews.com/
*curriculum reviews*

Karen said...

Miriam,

As Khadija said, we are all here to share, learn and apply to our lives where possible. It is very helpful to read other perspectives as well as the sharing of information/sources.

=====================
Khadija,

I am also developing a second source of income, one "job" or source is not enough in these uncertain times.

As for the "Seed Lady", I commend her for her efforts. It is not something I would have done. I would have used my energies to get out of the war zone. I truly hope she stays safe and that she does not come to harm

Khadija said...

SisterSeeking/Miriam,

You're welcome!
______________________

Karen,

You said, "As for the "Seed Lady", I commend her for her efforts. It is not something I would have done. I would have used my energies to get out of the war zone. I truly hope she stays safe and that she does not come to harm"

Yes, I do too***I keep her in my prayers.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

sistrunkqueen said...

With the popularity of homeschooling, I am wondering how does that affect the charter schools that are in our communities. Here in Ga there are quite a few. Many of the principals are raising there own start up funds. Do you remember the Clark teacher from Oprah Winfrey show? He has a school in South Atlanta. His school receives millions of dollars from corporate sponsors.What about the other black charter schools? Many have folded due to bankruptcy, lack of accredidation, or poor leadership. I was at a shower and one of the the guests was bragging about putting her daughter in a charter school. I was like oh no, but I didn't say it. Some of us will have to learn the hard way.

Truth prevails said...

Thank you Khadija for another excellent post...Today black women and children are nearing extinction.They are living in extremely hostile environments due to public belief they are a strain on society,which to an extent is true for some, and due to the fathers of the children actually believing they are in a state of oppression by white men,black women, and their own children.All of these individuals who feel in some ways slighted by black women and children have the upperhand in society.Right now due to lack of education,resources, and protection,black women and children are an extremely easy target for everybody and everything.What this means is what little resources black women and children were given by the government will/can be taken away and put into the hands of the majority in the name of economic development.This also means that black men who cannot win a fight against his alleged oppressor,the white man, can continue to direct all his hatred and frustration toward defenseless black women and children just as they are doing NOW.This means that black women and children are also going to continue to be easy prey when it comes to others such as the so called pastors,politicians and anyone else who comes around and claims to be able to uplift and save.When you are so far down you'll believe and possibly become a slave to anyone who comes around claiming to want to uplift you, just to have a little hope.Black women and children are being targetted and attacked right now and being sought out as the weakest links to destroy.It is of the upmost importance that black women run for their lives now.It is a matter of survival

Khadija said...

TruthPrevails,

Thank you for your kind words about the post; I truly appreciate it.

Actually, as I see it, AA women have a lot of power in their hands. They're just not using it properly.

Instead of using their resources to better their lives and their children's lives, they are propping up various types of BM who exploit them (babby daddies, BM nephews/cousins who are sleeping on their couches, BM preachers, protesting on behalf of BM's issues, etc.).

The moment AA women start using their resources FOR THEMSELVES, is the moment their lives will drastically improve.

It's all up to each individual woman to decides where she's going to invest her time and energy. If we become "extinct," it will be mostly because of our own poor choices.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

foreverloyal said...

Re: gardening.

Non-hybrid, non-genetically modified seeds (i think Karen mentioned them?) are called heirloom seeds. If you google the phrase, you can find online stores that sell them.

Any beginning gardener should get a book called "Square Foot Gardening" It's a different, easy method. The author explains the needs of several different types of vegetables, non-toxic methods to discourage and eliminate pests, etc.

You don't need a large plot to garden. I had a small but sunny backyard, and grew a few pepper plants, tomatoes, strawberries, herbs, and blueberry bushes. The square foot method allows one to grow food in less space.

@ rainbeaux, Miriam gave you excellent advice. I would add that, you can begin researching homeschooling now, even if you don't think you'll be able to do it full-time for a while.

Also, you can supplement your daughter's education while she is still enrolled in school :)

rainebeaux said...

Thank you, Miriam; you saved me some extra footwork (my eyes glazed over when I googled blindly).

@foreverloyal: I won't lie...between planning a stealth escape, to become flawless in the process and witnessing the "ghettocalypse" on the daily (among other things), I'm a tad overwhelmed mentally. The fighting spirit was always there, but the craziness/indoctrination/downtalk kept taking over. Now? I'm just mad at/disgusted with my little section of the world. *blink* again, I press on. That shiny new world (and shiny new me, for that matter.lol) is just over the horizon. *blinking back tears* sorry...just want to feel human again. *phew*

felicia said...

The moment AA women start using their resources FOR THEMSELVES, is the moment their lives will drastically improve.

TRUTH.

Felicia said...

What hard times we're living in.

It is getting ROUGH out there.SMH

Death in the Recession: More Bodies Left Unburied

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article
/0,8599,1914780,00.html?cnn=yes

"Samuels, a retired police officer who has been with the medical examiner's office for 13 years, says he's never seen the situation this bad. "Some people just never had the money, but now we're getting people who at one time may have had the money to do this and they just can't. We have people losing their homes. People are finally feeling the economic strain completely. When people don't have jobs, you have people who can't eat, so burying someone is not high up on their list of what they have to do."

15 of the 20 unclaimed bodies at the Wayne Country morgue in Detroit are black...

Unclaimed dead stack up in Wayne County morgue

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/
20090806/METRO08/908060426/Unclaimed-dead-stack-up-in-Wayne-Co.-morgue

" "How society treats its dead says volumes about the way society lives," he says. "Civilization requires intrinsically that we bury the dead. It distinguishes us from the rest of the animal kingdom.""

When white America has a cold black America has pneumonia.

blackotome said...

I love watching/reading sci-fi dystopia stuff, but would never want to live it...this is SCARY. When I was a receptionist at a bank. I noticed ALOT of the wealthy white men(millionaires) had eotw survival information they passed to each other. I actually talked to them about some of the it. They suggested I learn how to make fabric/clothing from different animals, since I liked sewing & knitting. I did end up taking a class on spinning raw wool into thread, just have to get some sheep now.
I also got some tips on growing a herbal tea garden:) But if men with the most privelidge and resources are preparing, then bp who have limited resources, if any really need to kick it into gear while they can.

Aphrodite said...

Hello Khadija,

"{chuckling} You've extended this thought out into territories that I chose not to address directly in the post. I didn't want to be accused of adjusting my "all-purpose, tin foil, conspiracy theory hat"! LOL!"


LOL - I am sorry it is just that- that image instantly popped into my head.



I saw on my local news that many cities, counties, and states have lost as much as 40% of revenue because homeowners/business owners haven't/can't pay taxes.


Here they want to tremendously downsize the sheriffs office and they laid off a ton of county workers last week. They have even closed down two hospitals, several schools, and shut several city and county government office locations throughout the state.


I am thinking that the state may be bankrupt. It hasn't been said, but that is the feeling I am getting.


In regards to the side hustle:

I was hesitant to put stock in this bc it came from an entertainment website:

Blacks Losing More than Any Other Group during Current Recession.

"In a weekly economic report which garnered little media attention, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) recently revealed that African Americans are the only group of American workers who have actually seen their median weekly wages go down during the current recession.

The EPI report found that from the first quarter of 2007 to the first quarter of 2009, Black workers between the ages of 25 and 54 experienced a 3.7 percent ($23.00) decline in their median weekly wages.

This drop occurred while the earnings of whites and Hispanics actually rose slightly and Asian Americans registered a sizeable 5.5 percent jump in their median weekly wages.

The Austin report also suggests that the African American economic decline actually began during the eight years of former President George Bush after improving during the administrations of former President Clinton. For example, during the Clinton years (1990s) the median weekly income of Blacks workers increased an average 2.2 percent a year. But during the first six years (2000 to 2006) of President Bush, median African American income declined by an average 1.3 percent a year."


But I went to the EPI website and they have some interesting reports and analysis concerning income/wealth and race. http://www.epi.org/


I am thinking maybe things are a lot worse than I thought nationally.

And I am wondering what are Asians doing that I need to imitate?

Khadija said...

Felicia,

You said, "When white America has a cold black America has pneumonia."

True that. [Although, I'm thinking that this saying needs to be updated to reflect our weakened, worsened condition as a collective. Something like, "When White America catches a cold, Black America catches the bubonic plague."
______________________

BlackOtome,

You said, 'But if men with the most privelidge and resources are preparing, then bp who have limited resources, if any really need to kick it into gear while they can."

Yes.
______________________

Aphrodite,

You said, "I am thinking maybe things are a lot worse than I thought nationally."

Probably so. And it's not like they're going to blatantly announce it on the tv news: "Will the last person to leave Detroit, etc. please turn out the lights?"

You said, "And I am wondering what are Asians doing that I need to imitate?"

When you find out, please let us know! LOL!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

JS said...

I do not have any Asian associates but from what I’ve gathered from research is that they value education highly. You might want to even say WORSHIP education. Highly technical fields such as computer science, bio medicine, and engineering are the fields they push their children into. They also do not waste time pursuing careers in the helping fields such as social work or teaching K-12 students. In fact, they might disown their adult children! I saw a Chinese man present a speech on education and he said that his own father disowned him and did not talk to him for years because he became a high school teacher! If they are not smart enough to pursue a career in a highly technical field, becoming a self-employed businessperson is chosen. They take advantage of the intricate networks they have in their communities to amass wealth. My mother told me about a Chinese CPA who did not have to worry about getting most of business from white people because every Chinese person in the city would use his services.

I have also noticed that they are adamant about not supporting trifling family members. They will disown flesh and blood in a New York minute if supporting them will ultimately destroy their family units. Failure is NOT an option. Their children’s primary education is not left solely up to the school or to their children even if they are intelligent. They excel beyond being just a straight A student. They want their children to DOMINATE whatever they are studying to become.

I probably didn’t mention anything that most people didn’t already know but these are some of the reasons why I believe that Asians are so successful. By racking their brains and not relying totally on white people for social, educational, and financial acceptance, they now have major bargaining chips they can barter for greater social acceptance and power.

Miriam said...

I think there are some things of value that we already have.

1) knowing how to make do without.

Its much harder for the "rich" --no matter how prepared they are, to make do as if they are suddenly "ghetto-ized" or living below what they're used to.

2) knowing little people

Hopefully if we are divested from the DBRs type, then hopefully we know some working type people such as plumbers, electricians, seamstress. etc. those of us in the working class anyway.

3) Resilience

the "annoying ability to endure" which I know many are not counting as assets from what I've read in the black blogosphere..

I wonder how much one can rely on the internet in times to come? Word of mouth have always seemed to prevail over every form of communication.(I think)

Felicia said...

JS said..."I probably didn’t mention anything that most people didn’t already know but these are some of the reasons why I believe that Asians are so successful."

I believe another reason why Asians have a leg up is because they have the highest marriage rates. Strong families are the key to success.

IMO these numbers below sum everything up and explain why things are the way they are amongst the different segments of society.

Everything stems from the family. And when it's not there you can expect the worst.

http://www.goldsea.com/AAD/households.html

"Asian American households are by far the most likely to consist of a traditional married couple with children. Married couples headed 63.2% of Asian American households compared with only 55.4% of all American households and 58.1% of White households. The figures were 55.1% among Hispanics and 34.8% among Blacks. "

Beverly said...

I think I can add to the conversation about Asians. I use to have two very close Asian friends that I studied very closely for four years. One of them was from a very wealthy Korean background. This is what they taught.

1. Only associate with people who are on your level and progressing to the next level.

2. Cut off those who are beneath you no matter what.

3. Release emotional attachments to money. Money is easy to get if you use logic to get it. Emotions and money NEVER mix. Money is easy to get. This is very important.

4. Work hard when necessary to get what you want.

5. Make sure your efforts are serving a long-term WORTHY goal.

6. Create generational wealth and passive income. If you are not working to create generational wealth and passive income you are WASTING YOUR TIME.

7. True power is the freedom to control your time and the ability to exercise global mobility.

8. Use your inbred talents and strengths to gain influence, power and wealth.

9. DOMINATE!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post. I also believe that the AA community is in dire straights. We don't need anyone else to extinguish us, we're doing a great job ourselves.

About survival, I'm also a Twilight Zone fan and remember the mentioned episode. I was also shocked that this was a group of educated white people. I know what will happen with us.

I don't know if anyone has read WWZ (World War Zombie) by Max Brooks. The one section, after the plague and when the zombies are under some sort of control, is the rebuilding of society. Those who had cushy office jobs and made a lot of money weren't no longer in charge. Those who knew how to make things(structures, clothing), grow and keep gardens were the ones in charge.

My aunt taught me gardening and canning when I was a kid. I will pick up my spinning again, and learn to use a firearm. There are also survival groups specifically for women. Gonna check those out too.

wyntersea

Khadija said...

Anonymous/Wyntersea,

Basic nurse/paramedic skills are also handy to have. In the event of a total crash (as in sci-fi movie/book scenarios), somebody with these skills will always be in demand and able to barter medical services for other goods.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Aphrodite said...

Thank you JS, Felicia, and Beverly. It seems like everything you mentioned as reasons are rooted in common sense and good values.