I have ownership in the tragedy of New Orleans. To be sure, I did not summon Katrina from the Gulf and, unlike the federal government, I could not have responded in ways that would have saved lives. I have no buses or planes or helicopters--no power. And yet, there is no denying that my silence on the tragedy of poverty in this nation contributed to the day-to-day conditions that made masses of Black people in New Orleans victims of the worst natural disaster in the nation’s history.
All of us have ownership in this tragedy: rap artists, preachers, politicians, magazine publishers, athletes, celebrities, corporate executives, leaders in all fields, college students, and college professors. We have ownership because we have not screamed about the abuse, neglect and oppression of the working class poor in our communities. We have not screamed and we have not organized to effect change.
Gloria Wade Gayles
Visit A Mighty Levee of Compassion.