Thursday, September 08, 2005

With the horrors of Katrina inescapable to any sentient being in the United States, and the fault-finding and finger pointing in high gear, one thing is clear: there is more than enough blame to go around:
  • the arrogant one with means to evacuate who believed they could withstand the hurricane even though all authority and logic told them otherwise - and who now demand that same authority risk others’ lives to rescue them
  • the looters who took advantage of a desperate situation in an attempt to enrich themselves at others’ expense, who then found their booty damaged beyond use, and who finally, in the end, had to leave it all behind anyway just to stay alive
  • the local government who issued mandatory evacuation orders and made no provisions for the poor, infirm, and hospitalized who could not leave on their own
  • the federal rescues agencies who played red-tape waiting games while people suffered and died
  • the federal government which, for countless administrations, cut funding for infrastructure maintenance, and which entrusted FEMA to inexperienced, albeit well-meaning, hands
  • Congress which couldn’t be bothered to cut short their own summer vacations to return Washington and fund the task of rescuing the country from disaster
  • President Bush and company who it seemed waited for someone else to take control, who initially brushed off help offered from other countries, and who displayed a callousness for the victims that shocked even their own supporters
  • the U.S. citizenry who have allowed their elected government officials to deny the poor and disenfranchised a decent living, resources for self-sufficiency, and even a modicum of personal pride
  • the oil companies who have found yet another excuse to raise gas and oil prices beyond belief, and who will continue to post record, obscene, profits
  • the scam artists who have filled the airways and the Internet with Katrina cons to part the generous and caring public from their money
  • the publicity-seekers who are using this tragedy for their five minutes of fame, or the already famous who can’t miss a photo op and the chance to be on the six-o’clock news yet again
  • and finally, more arrogance, from those who dare announce ‘God is punishing the country’ because we don’t live by their rules, which have only a passing resemblance to any god’s rules of love, compassion, and humility, or from those who seek to put a racial spin on an issue that is much more about economics than color of skin

We, as a nation, have not shown ourselves in a very good light this past week. I only hope that, as recovery continues and the displaced thousands begin rebuilding their lives, we will reach out with the same attitude shown by Barry Turner, of Franklinton, Louisiana. The 62-year-old storekeeper has spent the week cleaning debris and sweeping his town, street by street, because, “It needed to be done, so we did what had to be done. Everybody does things. Nobody’s looking for any credit. Who cares? It’s our town. And it’s everybody’s job to put our town back together and that’s what we’re doing.” (Leonard Pitts, Jr., commentary, Dayton Daily News, September 8, 2005)

1 comment:

  1. Bush Cut FEMA Preperation Funding

    The Bush administration cut the funding for FEMA pre-disaster mitigation in April 2001 just after they took office. Then they gave this money to the wealthy in their tax cuts. If these Republicans can get votes because they promise to cut taxes, they should loose votes when those tax cuts kill people...


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