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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The First Days 5 Months Later

A piece taken from 12/24/05 - In The Spirit of Not Giving...
Written one month ago, still absent are the fulfillment of a promise to the people and an official national rally around the Gulf Coast. Where is the federal priority to the citizens of the Gulf Coast, where were the words of condolence to the people through the air waves a week ago?

I understood the dire and tragic scope of what had happened and was heart broken for the people, the pets, the livestock. Cognitively, I could grasp the necessity of quick and effective action in the region by the federal government. It was the only way that entire area of the gulf coast was going to completely recover and come back into the fold of our society, our country, as the contributors they once were.

Immediately investing in the City of New Orleans was paramount, Rebuilding the levees was critical, Helping the people help themselves with lost basic necessities -- Right Away, was a merciful and practical act. Four months later and countless acts of disinterest, suspicion, disrespect, apathy, blame, stalling and avoidance, the gulf coast still fights on behalf of their citizens, for more than the crumbs being tossed at them. Shameful elitism seems to be oozing out all over the place, growing as fast as the infamous black mold. Each time a cruel or apathetic word falls out of the mouth of anyone, I ponder their misplaced anger or defensiveness or judgment. Who are "they" really angry at, what is it "really" they are defending and how can they pass such "critical" judgment?

And sometimes silence or avoidance is a sign of deep sadness or despair, or worse -- utter hopelessness. Could this be connected to the realization that our country's fabric of democracy is frayed and paper thin or is it out of embarrassment that we - America - exposed to the world as a nation, that we left our people trapped and tortured within an American City? Or, is it a gnawing fear and a nagging doubt about our ability to survive, if something tragic happened in our own backyard? Strategically timed terror alerts and flu epidemics sure add the heavy layers of concern, who will be saved and who is dispensable? Not a thought most of us want to even ruminate over, when we know our attention is towards property tax increases, rent increases, food cost increases and every other increase that will tap our non-increasing paycheck or monthly social security check.

I don't know what to call the inaction, minimization and distraction of our nations print media, who have done too little in their duty to report daily happenings in the gulf coast, especially the human side. The biggest catastrophe in our nation to date, a city of the United States 80% decimated, an exodus of thousands of southern citizens and the heart breaking way people died, then Google News search pops up sports scores and very few current stories about the people, recovery and rebuilding. I get the feeling that the gulf coast survivors are the newly coveted "whipping boy" group, secretly taking the place of welfare families, illegal aliens and teenage gangs, and oh, the rich. In a society of working class people, alas, we have to have someone to blame for things that directly hit us in the wallet. We don't thoroughly rationalize who is really at fault or responsible when we are threatened and our jobs disappear, our health insurance gone, our cars repossessed, our homes foreclosed on, eviction notice arrives and our way of life altered forever. We just don't.


Blogger Tim said...

Thanks for blogging about our plight in New Orleans. It's nice to know someone out there hasn't forgotten the more than 1,300 Americans who are dead and the hundreds of thousands of us who lost our homes.


February 08, 2006 11:56 PM  

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