In search of justice for the New Orleans 200,000

A note from Dr. Calvin Mackie from the day before the Jena 6 rally.

One Love. One II.

Brothers and Sisters,

When you get to Jena please tell all those Black people that when they leave Jena, come to New Orleans in support of the injustice towards the New Orleans 200,000! Tell them that Charles Rangel (D) from NY still hasn’t visited New Orleans and that over 200,000 citizens, mostly Black, are still displaced to over 5500 cities in America. Where is our justice? Where is the outcry over a government who damaged and destroyed generations of Black fiscal, cultural and historical wealth via political and engineering neglect?

Okay, I have just awakened and realized that i dreamed that people, especially Black people, gave a damn about the greatest catastrophe in the history of the country. I guess racism and levees don’t mix, or we just can’t put it together. I guess we don’t see that civil rights is tied to equal protection, protection in the judicial system as well as in infrastructure. I’m awake now and I apologize for thinking and questioning, because I know a Black man is not suppose to do that.

There are two Martin Luther King Quotes that come to mind however:

  1. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and that’s why we must go to Jena.
  2. “At the end of the day, it is not the words of our enemies that we shall remember, but the SILENCE of our friends” and that’s why we must go to Jena and ask why we are not as upset about the way the federal government has treated Black folks in N.O. post-Katrina, and also, why are our so called “leaders and friends” are so Silent about it.

Katina, not Jena, was the clarion call for Black Folks to wake up and galvanize like we never have since MLK Jr. I guess it was just too big, too complicated and took too much energy to get us going. Jena is small and clear, and we have fought this enemy before….so, let’s go. I’m wearing Black tomorrow too, but let everyone know that we in New Orleans have been wearing Black everyday for over 2 years. (Yes, Brothers I am back at it….)

Just musing,



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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

2 responses to “In search of justice for the New Orleans 200,000”

  1. Anonymous says :

    Whoa! Gotta cry total f#cking bullshit on this one. It is NOT the gov’t’s (or OUR) job to make sure New Orleans is safe from any weather issues it WILL encounter being built underwater as it is. The people (mostly black) had the chance MANY times over the years to upgrade their levees to cat 5, they CHOSE not to. They also chose to live there, and chose NOT to leave before it hit, yet went crying that everything wasn’t handed to them afterwards. Also, since when is stealing TV’s “stealing to survive”? We won’t even mention the corruption there. This is just another exapmle of “it’s all whitey’s fault” and the black abandoning their own people. Look in the mirror, and tell me what do you see? Can you lie to yourself, like you’re lying to me? (Triumph)

  2. JOHN S. says :

    it seems that nobody wants to address the issue of bells parents spending monies raised for his defence on a new escalade for dad , new jaguar for mom , big screen t.v. etc. what’s wrong? naacp leaders should be up in arms about the misapropriation of these funds! they are probably worried that looking into it will reveal the amount that they pocketed.

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