Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dystopia Now, Part 3: Surviving & Thriving Are Time-Sensitive

The ability to thrive—and in some circumstances, the ability to survive at all—are almost always based on time-sensitive information, choices, and most of all, ACTIONS. People who take action early almost always have options that won’t exist later on for the folks who waited to take action. This is a timeless pattern that usually marks the difference between those who live and those who suffer and die during times of turmoil and crisis. 

I’ve talked about this before in the comment section of various blog posts over the years:
. . . But the warning that I'm giving with this post goes beyond Pres. Obama's failings. It's about AAs' overall TOTAL lack of preparation. Most of us are complacent in our Obama-delerium. I'm not going to talk politics at the new site, so this post is one of my last public warnings about these issues.

Throughout history, no matter what the negative event, there have always been the smaller group of people who were relatively safe and comfortable while the masses of their group suffered and often died. 

The European Jews who fled various European countries EARLIER in the rise of the German Nazi regime survived. The Bosnians and others who left Yugoslavia EARLY in the civil war fared better than those who hung around long enough to end up in mass graves.

Preparation versus a lack of preparation is what usually separates the two groups. The key to survival is to respond at the first hint of a serious problem. And not wait until the problem is fully developed before you take it seriously. Right now, AAs have lulled themselves into an even deeper coma than usual with the Obama-ssiah delirium. Most of us are in denial, and won't perceive a serious problem brewing until we see the equivalent of a mushroom cloud exploding over our heads.

The AA collective is in a state that is comparable to that of Haiti's physical infrastructure---the foundations of AAs' economic survival are so flimsy and fragile that the slighest disruption will lead to many of us being out in the streets. And unlike the earlier Great Depression, modern AAs DON'T have stable family ties that we can depend on for help in a time of crisis. Especially not during a time of prolonged crisis.

There are some problems looming on the horizon that AAs as a collective are totally unprepared for. 

Close-knit, FAMILY-ORIENTED, prepared collectives like the Mormons and the Amish will make it no matter what happens. For those who don't know, the Mormon Church REQUIRES each Mormon household to stockpile a year's supply of food, water, and other essentials. Just in case.

To all who are reading: If you choose not to prepare, and choose not to respond to the warning signals about various situations, rest assured that there WON'T be any particular mercy or concern for you once the "flood waters" rise above your heads. 

Think quick: Before the Haiti earthquake, when was the last time YOU thought about the still-suffering people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast? Yeah, that's what I thought.

In the modern-day US where AAs are NO LONGER the largest minority population: Ain't nobody else thinkin' about AAs or our problems! 

Do you think Telemundo or the other Spanish-language stations broadcasting in the US will be talking about AAs' problems/concerns? Especially during a prolonged crisis? NO, and neither will the "mainstream" so-called news outlets.

People, Get Ready.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.
While replying to a comment by Evia (blog host of Black Female Interracial Marriage Ezine), I said:
Khadija said...
Hello there, Evia!

I 100% co-sign your latest comment. It's been disturbing to see the level of resistance to the various alarms that have been shouted. It has also been disturbing to realize that many BW are reading our essays as a form of recreation. Meanwhile, the things we've been talking about are a matter of LIFE & DEATH.

Right now, I'm reading a book called Defiance. I think the movie version is coming out this month. It's about Polish Jews who run away from their homes & hide from the Nazis in the forests of their country.

Over the years, I've read several books by & about Holocaust survivors and people who lived through the communal slaughter in the former Yugoslavia. I've noticed a pattern in both categories of accounts.

Most people wait until it's too late to acknowledge reality. The survivors interviewed in Defiance mention many cases where, even AFTER hearing about how the Jews living in a neighboring city were rounded up & murdered, other Jews refused to believe that the same thing would be done to them!

The people who were in denial stayed in place. They were killed.

Sadly, the human pattern is the same when it comes to genocide-level problems. Most people cling to the facade of normal life until things are so drastic that there's no room to pretend anymore. At which point, it's usually too late.

And so it is with many of the Black women who are reading our essays.

Evia, you & I (and some others) can clearly see what's coming next for most BW in this country. As you put it, "the demise." I know it sounds hysterical to say it out loud in public, but I have to. That way my conscience will be clear in the future. I will know that I did all that I could to save as many BW's lives as possible.

The survival pattern is also the same: Regarding the Jewish Holocaust, and ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia and Iraq, those people who took heed of early warning signals had a better chance of surviving. Those who clung to denial had worse odds of surviving.

The South Vietnamese who were trying to scramble onto the American military helicopters waited too long to get out. Evia, I would urge folks to watch some YouTube videos of this evacuation & then re-read some of your essays about getting out NOW.
This is how it went for the South Vietnamese who waited until the last days of the Vietnam War to evacuate Saigon:

Here's a street scene in Sarajevo during the break-up of Yugoslavia. I wonder about people like the gentleman in the trenchcoat who's strolling around as shots ring out at around 0:29 into the video. It's impossible to tell if that semi-casual stroll was the result of bravery or trauma (or both).

Here's another street scene from that era in Sarajevo, this time while they're putting up barricades to provide cover for the civilians. At 0:19, you see why they needed the barricades.

From the Wikipedia entry about Sniper Alley:
"Sniper Alley" (BosnianCroatian and SerbianSnajperska aleja / Снајперска алеја) was the informal name primarily forUlica Zmaja od Bosne (Улица Змаја од Босне; Dragon of Bosnia Street), the main boulevard in Sarajevo which during theBosnian War was lined with snipers' posts, and became infamous as a dangerous place for civilians to traverse. The road connects the industrial part of the city (and further on, Sarajevo Airport) to the Old Town's cultural and historic sites. The boulevard itself has many high-rise buildings giving sniper shooters extensive fields of fire.[1]
Mountains surrounding the city were also used for sniper positions, providing a safe distance and giving an excellent view on the city and its traffic. Although the city was under constant Serb siege, its people still had to move about the city in order to survive, thus routinely risking their lives. Signs reading "Pazi – Snajper!" ("Watch out – Sniper!") became common. People would either run fast across the street or would wait for United Nations armored vehicles and walk behind them, using them as shields. According to data gathered in 1995, the snipers wounded 1,030 people and killed 225 - 60 of whom were children.
Here are the sniper screens the city put up (to block the snipers' view of the pedestrians), and civilians walking behind UN armored vehicles in order to cross the street:

I've posted these videos so you can see that this is not an abstract or theoretical topic. Things got really R-E-A-L for the people who waited too long to try to leave Saigon and Sarajevo. 

As Homestead Glamour Girl (blog host of My Place In The Sun) mentioned in reference to WWII Germany during a recent email conversation we had about current events, “It wasn't peace and happiness one day and gas chambers the next.” 

She's right. These horrific situations build up over time. Those folks who assume that problems will solve themselves or simply blow over usually “get got,” and they also go through a LOT of suffering along the way.

Today's Get Back To Basics Suggestion

As I’ve said throughout this series of posts, I’m not saying all of the above to scare you. I’m saying this to reiterate the core message of my book and two blogs:

You can thrive (and not just survive) during this time of collapse if you GET BACK TO BASICS.

Do what you can to position yourself to live well regardless of who is in office.

Today's Get Back To Basics Suggestion—Read “When You Should Not Adapt In Place” by Sharon Astyk.


As I said in THIS post,

For many African-American women and their children, where they are living and what they’re doing is not viable in any long-term sense.
This applies on many different levels. For example, I know that with each year that passes, I’m becoming less tolerant of subzero Midwestern winters (even though I’m originally from Chicago). I also know that heating and other subzero weather-related costs will continue to rise. I won’t want to spend that kind of money on staying warm when I’m a senior citizen. So, I know I need to make some adjustments to my lifestyle—such as moving to an area that’s more livable year-round—while: (1) I’m still young enough to do so fairly easily; (2) before anything happens that forces me to make those kind of major adjustments; and (3) before anything happens that makes these desired adjustments impossible. The point is to get as optimally situated as possible for the long run.


Let me give some climate change-related examples. From The Archdruid Report:
Rising seas? You can watch that in action in low-lying coastal regions anywhere in the world, but for a convenient close-up, pay a visit to Miami Beach, Florida. You’ll want to do that quickly, though, while it’s still there. Sea levels off Florida have been rising about an inch a year, and southern Florida, Miami Beach included, is built on porous limestone.  These days, as a result, whenever an unusually high tide combines with a strong onshore wind, salt water comes bubbling up from the storm sewers and seeping right out of the ground, and the streets of Miami Beach end up hubcap-deep in it. Further inland,seawater is infiltrating the aquifer from which southern Florida gets drinking water, and killing plants in low-lying areas near the coast.
See the article cited, The Siege of Miami.” A commenter to another Archdruid Report post said the following:
Pinku-Sensei said...
"According to recent reports, state government officials in Florida are being forbidden from using the phrase “climate change” when discussing the effects of, whisper it, climate change."

That reminds me of a story from three years ago when a group of legislators in North Carolina tried to essentially outlaw honest estimates of sea level rise because they would be bad for real estate values. My response to that was I didn't know Canute was the King of North Carolina. The difference is that the real King Canute knew better; he just wanted to make a point about the limits of his power. A better analog would be Xerxes, who ordered the sea be given 300 lashes, fettered, and branded after a boat bridge across the Hellespont was destroyed by a storm.

As for the irony of Florida doing this when the state has been warned it needs to prepare for climate change, I've seen signs of climate chaos there first-hand. When my wife and I went to Florida to see our daughter for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago, we drive down Route A1A, the coastal highway between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The northbound lanes were closed because they were covered by sea water, as the waves had eaten away the beach and the seawall. The odd part was there was no onshore wind and no storms offshore. I knew that climate change had a part in it, but it took months for me to find out that the sea had risen about a foot because the Gulf Stream had slowed down. That's exactly the kind of thing that could happen as the temperature gradient flattens out.
Which leads me to another point I've repeatedly discussed at my blogs: 

The importance of developing location-independent/portable income streams. It's best to have a way to earn money that's not dependent on you living in any particular place.

I would strongly urge you to check out the portable income course that Mrs. Dee Dee Lefrak of Black Women With Other Brothers recommends in THIS Facebook post.

Surviving and thriving are time-sensitive. Don't sleep on any of this.