Thursday, September 01, 2005

The National Disgrace that followed the Natural Disaster Katrina

The Katrina response seems rather slow. Combat pilots are turning away because they are taking “pot shots” from the ground? The Superdome has thousands of refugees starving and dehydrating from lack of water and food? Rampant lawlessness, looting and rape in an AMERICAN city days after a catastrophe? We are the richest nation in the world with the most powerful and sophisticated military on the planet. We have abundant resources, with all the means we need to deliver life saving goods. You don’t need to be an expert on CNN to know this. We mobilized an armada to rush to Iraq to defend oil interests within what seemed like a matter of days.


And we can’t move enough food and water to feed a few thousand refugees on American soil. A few thousand AMERICAN refugees. People are dying of thirst and treatable injuries because our military [imagine tanks, armored personnel carriers, attack helicopters, etc] who are paid to get shot at are taking “pot shots” from a few lawless people? 


The problem is not that we don’t have the resources; the problem is that minorities are the victims. New Orleans is predominately black and poor and this just isn’t at the top of Mr. Bush’s priority list. We’re back to 1963 again. Except this time the “back of the bus” is a devastated city and the open racism that put African Americans there has transformed into a subtle racism that hides behind “delays” in evacuation and assistance. It seems that racism flows through all levels of our society now. The government apathy with the poor that fosters social stratification now has reached a new low. People are dying on the streets like animals because that is exactly how they view use: animals. This week I am truly ashamed to call myself an American.