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.
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.
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.