Wednesday, September 28, 2005

On Hurricane Katrina…

Many people put stuff they don’t want in the cellars of their homes and then forget about it. Then one day they go down there open the door and see what’s down there and they say, I had forgotten all about it.

Well Hurricane Katrina pulled the door off the cellar of the USA, exposing its contents to the world. In this case, it was a huge community of poor mostly African Americans in New Orleans, the home of Jazz music and a popular tourist destination as well. Then with the world watching the USA allowed these people to drown, die and exist in intolerable conditions for days.

Thanks to heavy news coverage, the world watched as babies and the elderly died of thirst and heat exhaustion on live TV. They watched as people starved and were forced to live in squalor without basic necessities. They watched dead bodies, bloat and decompose in front of their eyes on American streets! A lot of commentators said the scenes from New Orleans looked like a Third World Country likening it to the Sudan or Ethiopia.

Then we even saw a few people in despair kill themselves because they believed that there was no hope. No hope in America! Well Excuuuuuuz ME! This is the US of A which claims to be the world’s policeman and the best place on earth to live. It’s the land of plenty. It’s the same USA which can fly food and water and other aid to other continents in a matter of hours. Yet, as we saw it couldn’t do the same for people in need on US soil!

Rapper Kanye West, stirred up controversy when he said in an unscripted moment during a fundraiser for the Hurricane victims, “George Bush doesn’t like Black People”. This raised all sorts of commentary about the President not being a racist, and why is West turning this into a race issue. Well truth be told, New Orleans was a race issue. If the bulk of the victims had been middle class white folks, they would have had their Aid within hours, just like the victims of last years Hurricane’s in Florida. As to Bush not liking Black people, I would say that he doesn’t care about black people or the poor for that matter. That was probably instilled in him by his Mom Barbara Bush. She made some awful, snobby, heartless comments about the poor being better off because of Hurricane Katrina. How can anyone be better off living on a sports field with thousands of other, waiting in long lines for food and the bathroom, no privacy whatsoever and sleeping on a cot.

And while the President ate cake and strummed a guitar (yes he did) New Orleans drowned. Then the President told the now disgraced former head of FEMA, “You’re doing a heck of a job Brownie”! This is the same Michael Brown who hours earlier claimed on national TV not to know of the desperate thousands at the New Orleans Conference Center. Now he’s trying to throw the blame on New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and the Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco. He should be a man admit that he made mistakes and is sorry!

Maybe Hurricane Katrina was God’s way of exposing the truth about the Good Ole US of A.

On a positive note we saw a humane side to America. In shelters, blacks were helping whites, and whites helped black. Later, people took in perfect strangers. We saw white families taking in black families, black families taking in white families. People opening their wallets hoping that the money can indeed be used to help their fellow Americans in need. We saw kids selling lemonade and donating the proceeds to victims. We also saw Texas take in the bulk of Hurricane victims, while other states took in some. Politics and the Bush mess aside, this is the Spirit of America.

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