Lamentations of the Soup bowl.

So many levels of tragedy. It’s nothing we could have imagined. Or is it?

NEGLECT AND POOR PLANNING

I wrote a blog when I first started blogging about the apathetic state of affairs in New Orleans, entitled Soapbox. It started off as a diatribe about sports but slowly transitioned into an editorial on the city of New Orleans. Among my biiggest complaints were the Cycle of ignorance our leaders forced us into, and their own corrupt intentions. And now it’s blown up in all of our faces. From the top down this city got exactly what it deserved. Our top ranking people are not leaders. They’re money hungry buisnessman and politicians. Rarely do they have the public interest , truly, in mind. It’s been this way as long as I can remember. They consistently ignore addressing the problems that have been persistent in our city. Education has gotten worse and worse in New Orleans public schools. Poor training, Apathetic, unmotivated teachers, Parents too young or uneducated to take proper interest in their children’s education, Underfunded schools. And These undereducated Young men and women go out and do the only thing they know how to do, crime and baby-making. Then they fill our Jails to capacity which only stimulates the cities income so all the leaders are just fine with it. The fact is we’ve known for years the limitaions of the levee system in place. The levees were constructed 40 years ago and at that time the best we could do is prevent major damage from a category 3 hurricane. But they knew very well that a category five hurricane would have this exact effect. And they did nothing. No preventetive measure was taken evn though we’ve had the technology to make improvements for some time now. We’ve had mandatory evacations for the last 8 years on several different occassions because the threat of a hurricane was as serious as what has happened. In these 8 years knowing the severity of the potential damage and nothing but continued evacuations. Some guy on TV was talking about how the national disaster control had ranked in order of worst case scenario natural disasters that could happen in North America. A category 5 hurricane in New Orleans beat out major earthquakes and tornadoes etc. They began implementing plans for what they would do if this happened. But never brainstorming on just keeping it from happening. Everything that has happened so far could have been prevented. But the politicains were too busy stealing to put any of the money into what we really needed it for. Then curiously the levee breached in the direction of the lower income and middle class areas. Now I don’t want to start into the conspiracy theories but it is a fact that in the past they have purposely Exploded levees out and flooded areas of the town to save the areas uptown where the rich people live. Where the politicians live. These areas flood consistently when it rains too hard in New Orleans. Since the hurricane has passed they have been dry as a bone.

CITY IN TURMOIL

I once spent 26 hours in jail with the same citizens of New Orleans, likely looting. I can’t say that I adopted their mentality. But my own humanity took over at certain times and I feel like I understand them. Not to sound elitest or above them in any way. Just that I wouldn’t loot for fun if I was in New Orleans. However, I have no empathy for those brandishing weapons not for the purpose of protection and causing havoc in the city. At first I was pretty disappointed in the media’s coverage of the looters. I though it was just them using whatever chance they could to capture black people acting like they had no good sense. I was sure that most of the people looting weren’t in dire need of food yet as they had only been without power for a few hours. But looting seemed like it should be the least of the media’s concern, And once the levee breached and the city was destined to be underwater it seemed like it should be law enforcements least concern too. But they have just gotten out of hand. There will likely be pictures of National gaurdsmen beating down young black men like they showed in the sixties. And for those that are walking around threatening other’s lives and being resistant then they need to be put down like dogs. And if that’s what happens than by all means necessary. How narrowminded. I’m sure it seems like fun now waving guns at the police (and deep down inside of me there’s a sense of satisfaction knowing that a lot of the police now feel threatened by the citizens instead of the converse) But they are a threat to everyone around them and it’s not just good enough to come up on some sneakers. These assholes have to burn the store down when they’re finished shopping, for no other reason than because they can get away with it. I shudder to imagine the folks lined the interstates trying to carjack people coming through, or the people who’ve been locked away in the Superdome or Convention center in those terrible conditions with no answers for so long. I’ve been at my wit’s end before and it’s no picnic. Any little thing can set these people off. I mean they’re sitting in the dark right now and they don’t know if they have anything to look forward to. Naturally they want to fight any and everyone around them. I’ve been away from the city for days and it feels like months to me. I would have lost it by now if I was in their shoes. But the ones running around on Canal street acting like animals are just an embarassment. I’ve not been bashful of my commentary about the young people of New Orleans. But I no longer need to make any. They’re on national T.V. Dancing in the water, walking down the street flashing their new tennis shoes, shooting people etc. And I can’t say I’m surprised one bit. You didn’t see people in New York going crazy after they airplane bombed us. But New Orleans is a culture all it’s own and the ignorance is unparalleled. I’m certainly not talking about everyone. The people loked up in the Superdome and Convention center committing violent acts are under different circumstances. Not to suggest I condone their actions, but I can empathize. These people are trying to get out of the city. The idiots on Canal street looting think they’re at a party. It’s gotten to the point where they are pulling FEMA rescuers back because it’s too dangerous for them to try to save people’s lives. They are getting shot at for trying to help.

PRESIDENT BUSH

I’ve tried to take it easy on Bush on my blog for the most part. Not cause I like or approve of anything he’s ever done. But mostly because everyone in the world seems to share my sentiments about him, and everyone already knows how big a fuck-up he is. But Bush is really getting on my nerves now. All of his statements: It’s going to take years to rebuild, but I’m confident blah blah blah. He isn’t saying anything that an 8 year old doesn’t already know. And he’s just throwing blank statements out there with no foundation. What makes him so confident? Has he even taken into account that the morale of over a million homeless people will never be the same? Now once again he’s calling in Daddy and his dad’s friend Bll because he has no clue what to do. He’s stting around pledging things that 1. Aren’t adequate support, probably because he doesn’t have it since he’s driving the country into the ground. And 2. he should have had in place days ago but still aren’t. I’ve never seen such a helpless man with so many important decisions. I’m pretty sure at this point Bush never wanted to be president. He just looks and sounds so lost. And the idiots behind him who only wanted control of the country for buisness extortion are scrambling to come up with solutions for problems they can’t even comprehend. Now I’m not going to hold the president solely responsible for the state of things on the coast. Obviously it takes a lot of people with no clue, all working hard together to make things get this out of hand. How can so many people have so little planning and so few solutions? How difficult is it to get every helicopter you have bring it in there and get people out. But they’re literaly letting people sit there and die.

So you take greedy extortionists in charge at the highest level, add Ignorant, undereducated, misguided youth with guns, A couple of newly homeless, misplaced adults responsible for their family but being held captive by nature and poor leadership, Add 1 million gallons of Feces, snake, alligator, and dead body filled water, Mix thoroughly in a soup bowl and what do you come out with? A third world country inside our own border.

PERSONAL
I have not been doing so well. I’ve gotten in touch with most of my relatives who were in question. But I know for sure that my aunts, uncle, and cousins in Biloxi are stuck there probably without much food and no idea when they’ll get away. My uncle Warren stayed in New Orleans, and this is sad, but I hope he’s at the Superdome or convention center, among the dead bodies, shooting, angry civilians, heat, poor sanitation etc. because the alternative is that he’s somewhere still not rescued or worse. And I have no idea of the location of my Cousin David and his new wife or his mom or little sister, who’s an epileptic. My house is almost certainly underwater. My car is without a doubt underwater. Everything I own which isn’t much is destroyed. Everything that I have that can’t be replaced needs to be. I want to go home, but I can’t. And the place my home is now is the most unsafe place in the North America for many reasons. I’m living in a house with 4 other families. And Even if I wanted to get back to my home I won’t be able to do so in the year 2005. Having said all that…There are a million people along the coast who wish they had it as good as me.

For those wondering, Shontae (Diggs) contacted me last night. She is in Baton Rouge now with her family. She does not have computer access. But she is safe. Although she is probably having a hard time also because she lived around the corner from me so her house is underwater too. But thanks for all your well wishes and I’ll pass them on to her as well.

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31 responses to “Lamentations of the Soup bowl.

  1. Hey Gian!!! I am so happy to see that you are just fine…I found your blog on a google search…your family members are in my prayers…A lucky CaliGirl –Ritarenee

  2. i’m happy that you’re ok…but this whole thing, i could not even imagine having to be in that situation….it’s been on my mind the last few days, i know i’m no where near N.O, but it’s scary and i feel so badly for the folks down thee…..when you said something about a third world country, from the pictures they have all ont he internet, that is what it looks like…it’s sad…my grandpa has a sister down there, so my great aunt, that i dont remember meeting though i might have, and her family, though i dont know their last names, i hope they’re ok, but it would be sad for him to lose another sister since he just lost one 3 weeks ago…i just feel like i want to help but i know just me alone can’t, and i can’t even imagine what folks going thru that is feeling…i know i think some people from down that way have came up close to Illinois and i got a email from the VP of our choir asking to donate clothes to them and to donate the clothes we were gonna give to the people in the community to those families that haveescaped and made their way up here…it’s sad, just sad…you would think they the US would be better prepared for something like this, instead it looks like a war zone. i just have to keep on praying…

  3. We may not have gotten along too tough, but you and your fam are definitely in my prays….I agree with everything single thing that was said on this here blog…..Apathy is a bitch and folks are now learning that. Bush is a class A asshole…Anyway good to hear you’re ok…..I’ve been speaking to Tae so I know she’s alright….Blessings G

  4. To my friend Gian…I feel your pain. As I watch the catastrophe in New Orleans unfold, I find myself going through an emotional metamorphosis from sadness and fear, to confusion and outrage. Media reports suggest the relief effort has been stalled by thuggish, brazen looters who attempt to shoot down rescue helicopters and roam the streets toting high-powered assault weapons. And while this may be the sad reality, I am quickly realizing that the so-called “City Care Forgot” is now being forgotten by those who need them most.We live in a country that boasts it has the strongest military might on the planet. We don’t just invade entire countries, we take them over. We walked onto Osama Bin Laden’s turf and forced him to flee his caves like a frightened rat. So how is it our federal government no longer has the means, courage, or concern to stand-up to gangs in New Orleans toting AK-47s with thousands of lives on the line? The conditions in Iraq are not safe, yet we’re standing our ground. We’re losing members of the American military everyday to protect people in ANOTHER country. Meanwhile, senior citizens, babies, and the sick lay dying and desperate on American soil and suddenly rescue has taken a back seat to retreat. I am a New Orleanian. I was born and raised in a city that is now being swallowed by water, consumed by chaos, and slowly converted into a watery grave for thousands of hurricane survivors. Those people crying and dying on the streets are my former neighbors, some possibly my relatives who I can no longer contact, and even family friends who stayed behind to volunteer in hospitals, only to be dumped on the streets by “rescue workers” and told to make their way to the sewage filled Superdome, which now lacks the basic necessities of life. I am an American, watching my country let its own citizens die. And oddly enough, the patriotism we so vehemently rely on to justify the invasion in Iraq has not jolted us to question why our leaders have abandoned thousands of their own people. Images of looters robbing insured stores of everything from food to DVD players have consumed the coverage of this crisis. Meanwhile, those not forced to live the nightmare sit in the comforts of their air conditioned living rooms with full bellies, shaking their heads at the TV screen, and all the while thinking to themselves, “These people are out of control, ignorant, and pathetic.” I’d be a hypocrite if I said those thoughts did not initially cross my mind. But when I finally put my own hectic life on pause and thought about wading through waters littered with dead bodies, rats, trash, and pieces of a life I’ll never know again, I opened my eyes to the delirium that must have now fallen upon America’s first forsaken city. This awakening lead me to a realization. Katrina’s survivors are slowly being looted of a will to live. It is not the character of these desperate, dehydrated, soiled, hungry, scared, and hopeless people I question. It is the character of our leaders who are failing those survivors and failing our country. If Americans for one second looked into the eyes of those stranded citizens and saw their own family members being treated like yesterday’s trash, perhaps this country would stop sitting back and watching this story unfold and become apart of the story by demanding our leaders take action. –Shaneika DabneyNews Producer, New Orleanian, and Host to a dozen refugees

  5. Did anyone else notice that all the relief finally showed up on friday about an hour before Bush is supposed to get there and actually go on the ground. I can just see the guys in the background. “Ok mr President. We’re gonna throw em a bone. Try and calm these restless natives before we let you down there by them.”After seeing Bush on tv today I realize it’s not actually his fault. He never wanted to be president in the first place. Whoever the man standing behind him and to the right is the actual president, and that person is an extortionist and war profiteer. George Bush is his lap dog. If somebody asked me if I wanted to be president and said all you have to do is nod on camera and we’ll make the decisions later I’d be there just as dumbfounded and rich as G dub.

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  7. Thank the Lord that you are safe and I am only hoping and praying that the others are as fortunate as you too. I know you’ve lost it all but I am just happy to see you alive and here. I am praying for you and your family..and everyone else. Love you and God bless. *xoxo*

  8. Gian—I was worried about you and Diggs. I’m glad you both are safe. My heart goes out to you. Especially since you lost everything you own (with it being under water and such)…I couldn’t begin to imagine the turmoil I would feel if all that I owned is now gone where I had to start again from scratch. But I at least feel better that you 2 are safe. My prayers go out to you and Diggs, most DEF, as well as both your families..and all the other families in New Orleans, Mississppi, and surrounding areas that got hit by Katrina in the worst way. Take care…be as safe as possible.-Dayrell

  9. I’m sure you’ve heard this from respective Aunts, uncles and your own parents, but just in case…we Biloxi residents are chillin. Folks got power back on today so things are looking up. The fact that I’m typing this at the house is always a good thing.

  10. Gian, a lot of my family was from New Orleans and I’m right up the road in Jackson, MS. I was directly affected by the hurricane as well, and I’m glad that you guys are doing fine. I’m also outraged by the late response from the government. Had that been wealthy White people, there would have been assistance in an instant.

  11. Liek everyone else says Stay strong G! There ARE hard times but we must stay strong for one another. You are in my prayers and I hope you find out about your other loved ones soon.

  12. Good to see your family is ok. This disaster was unavoidable no matter how you look at it. Growing up in that city you always knew a hurricane of that nature would do that damage, it was a Category 4 or 5 and growing up you know that no amount of levee or pumps could work well enough to keep that from happening. Granted New Orleans was on a downward spiral, and the politics of New Orleans you speak of is nothing new, do the research of its history, its just a never ending cycle. I saw a report on CNN that the only way this could’ve been prevented was if they were to build a 25ft high wall around the city, and well that just cant happen, this isnt the 15th century, that’ll make the N.O. a tourist spot for sure. Bush has cut the funding for the Army Corps of Engineers for the 3rd straight year so no imporvements could be made, which goes to show how much he cares for the people of N.O. who for better reasons always vote Democrat. Kayne West hit it on the head, I’ll agree with him on that eventhough the “Louis Voutton” can be arrogant and snide. And there’s no way if this happened in Kennebunkport or Martha’s Vineyard would he have all those “white folks” on roof tops for so long.

  13. Hey…my heart and prayers most definitely go out to you. I wish you and your family the best in this horrible, horrible situation. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what you’ve gone through….still going through. Man. My heart hurts just thinking about it. Seriously. Every time I watch the news about this “after math” I want to cry. Again, I wish you the best. Take care.

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