Like an alcoholic the United States can never forget its history. Its long addictive history of slavery and its urge to return to human bondage for profit. (The following covers too much ground and it wanders a bit, but bear with me, please)
The personal history of an individual person cannot be erased or ignored. So it is with Nations and the soul or culture(s) and the institutions that make them up. Everything we do as individuals stays with us and we become what we have done. What we do forever becomes a part of us. The United States has a centuries long history of Slavery. Slavery has existed for a longer period of time since the settling of this country than since the time it was "abolished". Slavery and the using and abusing, the demeaning of people for profit is still a part of American culture and will always be. It is a cultural trait much like a character trait in an individual. Character traits are not easily changed. Traits are not meant by nature to be easily changed. They are permanent. There will never be any change in the negative character of any nation unless there is a painful realization of the trait i.e. what we are as individuals and as nations.
Of course, there are other conflicting character traits that make up the culture of the United States. One is the high value placed on Freedom, which conflicts with the value of Equality; and these two conflicts create the vagaries of language, the convenient confusion that allow for the oppression, the inequality of minority groups for the self serving freedoms of the "wealthy landed gentry" of the South and North.
The impulse of slavery, the intention, the urge for Slavery lives on. Slavery did not end with the Emancipation. Nothing ends abruptly. Slavery has shifted and morphed, sometimes submerged itself since the civil war.
Today, Slavery exists worldwide and is well documented. Some estimate that 27 million people are slaves
Slavery exists in various forms and it exists on a continuum. There are East European girls (among many others) forced into prostitution, there are slave-driven clothing factories all over the world, there are human slaves in the jungles of Brazil who have been kidnapped into forced labor. It is everywhere. In a world that is becoming more and more fundamentalist and capitalist, it is thriving.
In the United States indentured servitude followed slavery immediately after the civil war. Indentured servitude is simply another form of slavery and is the form we are closest to returning to today -- albeit in a new, altered form.
Slavery has been denuded in the United States but has never been destroyed. The impulse, especially prevalent in the South, has been uncovered and given new life by a strong gust of wind and rain from a Hurricane called Katrina. The Hurricane has blown off the phony façade of racial equality. Racial inequality is observable to the naked eye. Why do so many Black people live in segregated areas in Chicago and New Orleans and so many other cities in the United States 140 years after slavery ended? It is because slavery never ended.
Slavery has changed; it now has a modern more obscure, harder-to-identify face. It is obvious. In our very language and manner, slavery and prejudice hide. We pretend it's not there. Liberals and conservatives are afraid we might have to ask the question...Why are so many black people poor? And the answer might be: They are poor because they are inferior. They are not as intelligent as white people.
Liberals cannot stand the possibility that this could be the answer. So they approach blacks with delicacy. They are careful.
Conservatives are more forthright, having consciously come to the conclusion that blacks are inferior. Liberals feel "confused" and don't want to have to address the question. The question should be asked. The answer might be surprising.
There are different kinds of intelligence. How intelligent is it to make an entire race of people slaves for 300 hundred years? What is intelligence?
If human beings knew what intelligence was, we would become aware how utterly stupid we all are. Humanity is entirely disturbed and perverse. This is a sick Planet. A planet in need of rescue. A planet that cannot rescue itself because it does not admit to itself that it is in danger. It considers its insanity -- its wars -- as "normal". It is not intelligent to war and not intelligent to enslave, for the simple reason that it is ultimately self-destructive. Intelligence has nothing to do with education. It has to do with how well an organism is able to sustain itself under the conditions in which it is placed. In a world full of abundance, human beings have chosen to destroy. There is enough for everyone. Greed is a form of stupidity and self-destruction. Slavery, and racial discrimination are self-destructive.
Now, meandering back to the South: Most of the Slave owners from 1619 to the 1860's were farmers. Most of the Slaves were considered valuable live -stock. As cows chickens and plants were and are being bred, so were the human livestock then. Most valuable was a well-bred, compliant slave, healthy, strong and dependable.
Those slaves who were not compliant escaped, were killed or eliminated in some other way. People were bred to be compliant. Many slaves, early on, were Indians and there were even imported White European women.
But it came to pass that Black slaves became predominant. It was especially because they were displaced. Indians were not considered good slaves precisely because they were at home and not disoriented in the same way Black slaves were. (Why are so many people from the Hurricane being displaced?)
Until recently it has only been through many generations that one can eliminate or alter a genetic characteristic or trait in the genetic make up of a species though selective breeding. Selective breeding was encouraged and forced by white slave owners on their black slaves with varying degrees of success.
But there is another way to control behavior and social traits and achieve a kind of social acquiescence. This has occurred specifically with the forced adoption of "White religions" by the black slaves.
As with the Catholic Jews in Spain who never told their children they were Jews for fear the children would inadvertently reveal this in school or at play, children grew up believing in Christianity and never stopped, because when they became adults they were just as dangerous to their parents as fervent Christians. So it is with Black Slaves. This is most graphically seen with the Mexican Indians and their conquest by the combined forces of the Church and the Conquistadors working in unison. All conquered peoples adopt the ways of the conquerors. Look at modern capitalist Japan and Germany. In any case, authority and control can be achieved culturally. And it can be achieved genetically through generations of selective breeding.
Today the descendants of the White Slave Owners (whose antecedents themselves were once non-believers conquered by Political Christians) are inclined to return to the position they once held as overseers of the South in the swath of destruction left by Hurricane Katrina.
A small population of very wealthy aristocratic landowners with English roots once ruled the South. Their descendants want the land of their forefather's back.
The Houston Astrodome is like a giant corral where human livestock are held. There are other areas. This from AlterNet:
"But behind the doors of the Astrodome, survival and frustration were the order of the day. Jamel Bell, who fled his flooded Ninth Ward in New Orleans, found no salvation here. "Inside it feels like prison," he said. At curfew, he says, the evacuees were locked in."
At the River Center in Baton Rouge, curfew is 10pm. Food consists of Bagel and Orange Juice in the morning, peanut butter in the afternoon and ravioli, corn and bread for dinner. Many people are not allowed to wear gym shoes, instead are forced to wear slippers as gym shoes are considered gang clothing. There are no papers, only 3 television sets and 3 computers for 4.000 people. There is virtually no information. Access is extremely limited especially to non-mainstream media. This has been reported on Democracy
In New Orleans, Private Contractors and Military personnel occupy the city in much the same way that Baghdad is occupied. Perhaps this is protection, the security for the New Slave owners preventing the return of former Black residents.
New Orleans is the testing ground for the new Security State to be employed in other cities where civil unrest or natural disasters occur. Once Black Water arrives in a city, they will want to keep working, they may never leave.
According to Democracy Now! Mexican workers, too, are being shipped in from Texas to do work in Louisiana and being held in hotels owned by Louisiana Republican millionaire Patrick Quinn. They are presumably paying for their rooms with money earned (are they illegal immigrants?-another form of slave labor) while black people are being held in camps who are seeking employment. Perhaps the Mexicans are more to Patrick Quinn's liking as workers.
Evacuees are being shipped all over the country with one-way tickets. There is no paid return. Many can leave their camp or their shelter but they cannot return if they do leave. How can a New Orleans native return from Michigan with no money. How can they leave their camp? They cannot and so it is easier to create a White New Orleans, isn't it?
Perhaps the plan of our Southern controlled United States government (which seems to think it was Jefferson Davis, not Abraham Lincoln who retained the Presidency of the United States after the civil war) is to put these corralled people in the Astrodome to work at something below the minimum wage for private contractors and corporations like Halliburton to rebuild the areas in the south destroyed by Hurricane Katrina so that white people can live on the land their ancestors once owned 140 years ago. Land now occupied by those in the Astrodome. Displaced people like those in the Astro Dome will return to their homes-not to live in them but to tear them down and build them back up at below minimum wage so that white and perhaps wealthy blacks can live in them. This, if enacted will become the new indentured servitude and it will be perverse.
It's basically Whites Only or at least wealthy only for those returning to New Orleans. It seems Bush will build first a corridor to the Garden District and the French Quarter in New Orleans, bypassing the flooded area of the Negroes. Mayor Nagin is allowing these people to return but not those of the 9th ward. Should the 9th ward ever become habitable again it will be revitalized by the descendants of slaves for the purposes of providing housing for the descendants of their once white slave owners.