Thank you for your recent excellent article by Nadra Enzi (Saving Which Savannah?, Jan. 18).
I particularly was enlightened by the facts relating to the powerlessness of the democratically-elected mayor and city councilmen. It reinforced my feeling that when black or white poor enter the political arena, all of the power mechanisms are pulled out from under them, and they are left to function only as the image of a multi-ethnic democratic society.
They can also be targeted for complaint when the social structure fails.
Sounds like a good system if youre on the right side. Unless, of course, you happen to reap the inevitable dark side of poverty and exclusion -- as the young white lady in the park did, however much she herself was not to blame.
Mr. Enzis article was naturally concerned with the obvious racism of this town and of course the entire country. But there is something else to add: Americans are focused on racism (not changing it, just talking about it) and never use the term class.
The massive numbers of white poor go unreported, leaving it to look as though blacks and their culture are somehow responsible for their own poverty. After all, every white person is doing OK, right? Wrong.
There is an entire white working class that is hanging on by their fingernails and finding that if they do not engage in some kind of underground economy, i.e., drugs, theft, illegal making and selling of alcohol, they and their families will disappear.
And they are right. There is no help for them.
In fact, it is my belief that the working class, which includes most black people and a vast number of European background folks, are targeted for elimination in one way or another.
Prisons are there for them. (Thats why drugs were put on the street and then criminalized.) Or they can be cannon fodder for the massive military buildup to Armageddon the U.S. is engaged in.
What is clear is that no future society of technocrats can (or will) tolerate vast armies of unemployable, unsocialized people roaming free. That racism and poverty have been perpetuated as useful tools for some to amass capital and land and get work done with practically no outlay of expenditure (how about the minimum wage scam? Youd have to work three full-time jobs to exist) is beside the point.
We are looking at a future that is as black and void as at any time in history, with a fearful and ruthless oligarchy crouching within gated communities, sometimes sallying forth into a city of strangely cinematic facades, which when leaving the main tourist areas turn into sinister pathways of ruins, despair and whatever crime comes to hand to get along until tomorrow.
Make no mistake. The lines have been drawn for decades. The choices have been made, just not by us.
Well then, lets let those whose decisions really count make them without us colluding. Let them meet without us, without any of our representatives, look across the room and see only each other.
They may begin to feel uncomfortable, unsure of themselves. They may begin to wonder what happened to those folks theyve come so to rely on, to use and to abuse, to blame for all their own failures, sometimes to torture, always to ignore.
Until massive change is forced on this society by those who have to have it to survive, the working class, including most blacks, must remain the objects of history, not the subjects.
Loved New Orleans piece
I loved Resurrection Blues (by Sabrina Manganella Simmons, Jan. 25) - it really captured the spirit of the New
Orleans that I have known and loved for 50 years.
Our SCAD daughter mailed us a copy. I grew up in NO, although Ive lived in Baton Rouge since I came here to attend LSU.
Baton Rouge, La.