The Ugliest of Americans

By Mark David Blum, Esq.

“Americans adore me and will go on adoring me until I say something nice about them.” (George Bernard Shaw).

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the New Orleans Flood, we thought we had seen all the worst the nation could do to itself. Violence erupted on the streets, inhumanity raped the Superdome, police and government officials ignored the pleas of the dying. Allegedly, the death toll and destruction of New Orleans exposed the racism inherent in our culture. President Bush and Republicans were accused of “not caring about Blacks.”

Then, on January 3, 2008, a “Fairbanks [Alaska] couple lost a home to fire .… [O]fficials told him his house on the Steese Highway was only 180 feet outside the area that the Steese Area Volunteer Fire Department covers, effectively putting it on the wrong side of the road. .… The Steese Fire Department responded to the call within two minutes of it coming in but turned back when they realized it was outside the service area. [They] turn[ed] off their lights and head[ed] back to the station.”

Now, prosperous suburbs surrounding Detroit — and even the struggling enclaves within — are working to distance themselves from a city in financial ruin. In Hamtramck, Michigan, one City Council candidate, Richard Fabiszak, has proposed that Hamtramck build a 12 or 14-foot wall around the city, keeping out Detroiters, and requiring state-issued identification to get in.

Recall during Katrina; across the Mississippi River from New Orleans and separated by a single bridge, was the City of Gretna, Louisiana. “Three days after Hurricane Katrina hit, Gretna officers blocked the Mississippi River bridge that connects their city to New Orleans … [the] blockade remained in place into the Labor Day weekend.”

The same disease that infected Gretna and which spread all the way to Fairbanks is now eating at Hamtramck. If you don’t think this Hamtramck thing is a ‘Black’ thing or a class thing, you are sadly mistaken. Telling fellow Americans that because you are from a certain now broke city, you have no right to enter our community is disgusting. It is no less putrid than the stench of a fire department turning around and returning to the fire house. They are no worse than a police department closing off a road preventing people from reaching safety. Remember, police in Gretna, Louisiana stood with weapons drawn ready to shoot any American seeking refuge. In Fairbanks, the attitude of rescuers is “burn baby, burn.” In Hamtramck, "if you from Deeetroyt, you aint one of us and you cant come in here, boy."

There is only one cure for these callous “Anti-American” acts: From this taxpaying American to the rest of the Nation, I call out for a message to be sent to Hamtramck, and Fairbanks and Gretna and every other arrogant and selfish community out there: NO MORE TAX DOLLARS FOR YOU. None. You have forsaken your right to call yourself our neighbors. Your continuing presence is a stain on the American social fabric.

I refuse to contribute to their schools, their roads, their municipal services, or any healthcare system. My tax dollars should not be spent on their police, on their courts, on their public assistance agencies, or their utilities. Since they want to stand alone and cut off Americans, then America should respond in kind. Wall them off. Put the National Guard on all roads into Hamtramck and Fairbanks and Gretna. Nothing American is allowed in and a Cuba-esque embargo is put in place. Since each wants to be an island unto itself, then each community should die by the very same sword they thrust into the heart of every American.

From building a wall against residents of an entire city and demanding identification to pass, to firefighters turning their backs on their neighbors and fellow Americans, to doctors murdering patients in hospitals, to police abandoning their posts to a total collapse of civil order: I have never in my more than fifty years in this Country or in anything I have learned in my history, compares to the callous indifference shown by one modern day American to another. Hundreds if not thousands of American soldiers have died in raids to rescue one American. Leaving no one behind is our battle cry and greatest pride. Black flags fly everywhere specifically because we do not turn our back on our citizens and forget; ever.

What the answers are or where they are found is the chore of those smarter than am I. But if they or anyone is listening, I leave you with this. We, as a nation, are dying. I once predicted that the bodies then floating in New Orleans were nothing compared to a future of dead and discarded lives abandoned by individual greed and self interest. If no man is an island, then tell me upon whom I can rely. My fellow Americans just stand there.

President Abraham Lincoln famously said that, "Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step over the ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! -- All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a Thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."

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