The Ubuntu Of African Culture Protected Us … When Decency Prevailed Over Depravity … Though Conditions – Worse Than In 3rd World Refugee Camps
In the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina, law enforcement in New Orleans erroneously told evacuees to gather at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to await rescue. 25,000 people were huddled inside the vast convention center — the length of four city blocks — and on the sidewalk. Day after day they waited for buses, but NO ONE CAME. The fiasco at the convention center came to epitomize the disorganized, inadequate response to the disaster by local, state and federal officials.
BUT DECENCY PREVAILED…. the African philosophy of Ubuntu protected us. Translated, the Zulu philosophy of Ubuntu means, “humanness” or “I am because you are.”
The widely circulated reports of the rape and throat-slashing of a young girl in a bathroom, and of bodies stacked in a walk-in refrigerator simply never happened. Young men who found water bottles took what they needed and distributed the rest. When people broke into the Riverwalk Marketplace mall next door, they took one pair of sneakers and gave away two more.
White Supremacy lies on Black people consistently and persistently…deflecting the truth from themselves…to make us look like malicious animals instead of themselves. They didn’t come. Imagine, “[n]ot one public official has come here even though we hear ’em on the radio talkin’ their s***. During the crisis, THEY LIED…ON PUBLIC RADIO. Not one person from the convention center. Not one person from the Red Cross. [Dead] bodies are here. …This is craziness!”
NO RED CROSS!!!! While people, families, women, children, babies…suffered. “I’m about to fall out, my family’s about to fall out,” he said, his voice rising. “We haven’t eaten in three to four days. These babies they sick. Everybody around here needs water, we don’t have no cold water. We don’t have water to wash our kids.”
THE HUMAN TRASH OF NEW ORLEANS… You know, everybody there just felt like trash, like part of the garbage that was there,” he remembers, “because that’s the kind of impact it left on us. It was like we was left for dead.”
Johnny Jackson, now, 71, was there. He’s still a member of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club…he may not remember, but Ubuntu is the Zulu philosophy meaning ‘humanness’ or ‘I am because you are’…every African language has a word for it, Ubuntu…attesting to the cultural unity of Black Africa. The Ubuntu of African culture served to protect the 25,000 in the Ernest Morial Convention Center when the white man via white supremacy didn’t come.