Lest we forget… two years ago, Hurricane Katrina hit the USA southern states of Louisiana & Mississippi, killing more than 1,600 people and flooding 80% of New Orleans. But its own government continues to fail its own citizens… as they did then; they continue to do so now. Too proud to accept help from neighbouring countries, including longtime foe Cuba – reached out to assist but it fell upon deaf ears of its governing bodies. Sadly, it even refused help from within… Why??
I can’t help but sit here and wonder if there is any real hope left for its citizens, the life of New Orleans? Certainly, some relief was sent (much too late) and continues to trickle down to the area to help in the restoration and rebuilding of these historical states. But the progress is slow and demoralizing for its citizens and for the world.
I have but questions reeling in my head.
When the Tsunami hit Indonesia & surrounding areas, the world jumped up and down, prompting a worldwide humanitarian response. The world donated $7 billion in humanitarian aid to those affected by this natural disaster. Yes – it was catastrophic and the death toll was much higher than that of Katrina. But… the world reached out to assist the USA during Katrina and it was rejected. Why?? Was it less important or was it pride? Was its impacts downplayed or not deemed critical? Why did it take sooo long for FEMA to realize its magnitude and send aid to its very own people? Is the US governing bodies so caught up in oil, aka war on terrorism, that they are neglecting the needs of their own people? Certainly, poor black neighbourhoods in the states of Louisiana & Mississippi don’t need the attention of its government… after all they cost money and put a strain on the wallets of the government? Their life has much less importance than the oil fields of the Middle East, aka war on terrorism? What? You mean that’s not true? You sure could have fooled a few others and me!!!
Wait… I also read somewhere that the government decided to us the Katrina afflicted areas as testing grounds – that the US military’s Northern Command had developed a series of ‘war plans‘ for the military ‘to take charge in domestic crises’ allegedly in response to “supposed terrorist attacks, including the detonation of a nuclear device in a major American city” and “the catastrophe that struck New Orleans provided ideal conditions for testing the plans out,” curtsey of Bill Van Auken, US politician and activist for the Socialist Equality Party. Take that as you please… but it certainly brings up even more questions, at least in my mind. It is easy to lay blame on the shoulders of Michael D. Brown. Very easy to put it ALL on the shoulders of one man… but it doesn’t belong squarely there, as long as it doesn’t lay on Dubyah…
Incompetence and indifference continues to take the lead in the restoration of Gulf area. It feels as though the world has once again forgotten what New Orleans offered the world. The world took from her what they wanted… but giving very little in return in a time of need. I never got the privilege or honor of visiting the city in her most glorious day. It’s one of those things… one day, I’ll go visit… but that day has long since past. The most culturally unique city in America is barely above water… struggling to stay afloat while even its own forget. This city rich in Cajun and Creole culture and mysticism is virtually gone… displaced and/or dying a slow and painful death… while resources are sent to the oil fields of Iraq and its bloodlines forget about those they leave behind.
Two years ago, its very own government turned a blind eye to the plight of its own people. They continue to refuse any responsibility on what transpired, despite having very little control over Mother Nature and her fury. Only 1/3 of New Orleans has been reopened… two years later… very slow progress. Have we stopped caring for our own?
I am Canadian. I have no ties to the US, much less to New Orleans. However, we are all one race… we are all human. Yes, there are wars being waged in the world that require our attention, famine and disease in third world countries needing out help. But in our very own back yards we have the same conditions of a third world country in New Orleans, Louisiana. Have you looked at the images – have you seen what continues to look like war torn country? Have you seen the disease infested areas that people are forced to live in because they have nowhere else to go…. because its very own government is so busy spending money on war?
We closed our eyes back then hoping that it was simply a bad nightmare we would all wake up from unscathed… but we forgot to wake up & open our eyes and demand attention for our brothers & sisters. It isn’t simply up to the celebrities to call attention to the needs to our neighbours and bring aid. It’s up to all of us to demand change for an area that we all once cherished. It is simply unacceptable to not take care of our own… while invading other countries for far less. We can never forget.
Just like 9/11… Katrina has left a scar on American history… a gapping wound that remains unhealed… It’s understandable that it’s people remained filled with anger and sadness – the world forgot about them. New Orleans has abandonment issues when they brought so much to the world… It’s time to remember and demand action.