The Real Walking Dead by Russell Maroon Shoatz

November 20, 2015

If you have not accepted that we are experiencing a mass extinction, like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs, then count yourself amongst The Real Walking Dead.

Admittedly, this is a subject that is so mind-boggling, even those who are courageous enough to face the fact that there is an almost airtight scientific case leaving little room for doubt, generally themselves succumb to an overpowering fatalism, leading to escapism.

But those who profess to have “grabbed the bull by the horns” must, at minimum, strive to replace their dependence for food on the very system that is driving this destruction of life as we know it. If you are not moving towards food security, then face it: you too are one of the The Real Walking Dead!

As a Political Prisoner, I know that I’ve been forced into that class…

Yet others who are not trapped in these hell holes, and who are not growing food in gardens, on urban or rural farms, and/or raising some livestock to lessen the hold these death dealers have on them and others, can be roughly equated with the downtrodden masses of Haiti, who at one time were at least able to feed themselves, but have been forced into what an associate of mine has termed a “post apocalyptic” Real Walking Dead state.

By comparison, after Cuba lost billions in yearly subsidies after the Soviet Union broke up, and long before Venezuela began to take up some of the slack, the Cuban masses participated in a campaign, little known outside of Cuba, to lessen their own dependence on government-regulated food provisions. They did that by learning to grow food on urban farms, gardens, and in creative ways on tiny outdoor and indoor plots. This had the cumulative effect of offsetting and diverting a food crisis, as well as greatly improving the eating habits of millions of Cubans.

The Haitians were reduced to eating dirt, mixed with lubricants, dried and fashioned to resemble cookies! The United Nations and NGOs provided some handouts, but the subsequently starving and tormented Haitians have since been kept under control by an ongoing, little-publicized regime of terror, imprisonment, and indiscriminate massacres.

Attempts to escape to the U.S. by sea almost always ended in tragedies on a scale that the refugees presently fleeing to Europe by the thousands have yet to experience. The Haitians’ only other outlet was to try to sneak into the neighboring Dominican Republic in much reduced numbers, which now also has come to an end.

Things in Cuba remain very challenging. Yet the successful effort to get millions to strive towards food security there has kept that population from joining The Real Walking Dead.

Ask yourself where do you fit: Are you moving towards the Cuban model (or better), or are you continuing to rely on the dominant system to sustain you and those you care about, until Climate Change causes another Hurricane Katrina or Super Storm Sandy to endanger you lives, leaving you to search for food and water?

Even if you and yours are fortunate enough to avoid such a catastrophe for a while, unless you are rich, or start growing as much of your own food as possible (in small groups or in partnership with a community) and/or raise livestock, the sweet and salty “junk food” that are the stock-and-trade of most of the outlets that the majority of working and lower class people are forced to rely on will guarantee that your health prospects place you amongst The Real Walking Dead; rendering your knowledge about Climate Change and your ability to struggle to survive this extinction of very little value.

sharon joy garden
Sharon Joy, Maroon’s sister, stands in the community garden across the street from their childhood home. A mural of their mother, Gladys, keeping watch.