on katrina

repost of a comment i made on chicagoist re: the 3rd anniversary of katrina today:

“you know … and this will probably be unpopular, but i’ll say it anyway:

i think that the aftermath of katrina was far more of a tragedy than september 11th. it’s not to say that all of the lives lost on that day weren’t unique and their own individual tragedy. they were. but we were attacked and it was something that happened that was an act of war and terror and people *immediately* came together and wasted no time in taking action to see that people were rescued and that others were properly laid to rest and that everything was being done for everyone involved.

in katrina, you had a situation that was equally out of control (meaning there wasn’t shit anyone could do about it), but … there was. people had been saying for a long time that the levees were fucked. and no one cared. no one had the money to fix them. maybe they still would have broken because the storm was so crazy, but the fact of the matter is, we’ll never know. because whether they’re white or black, this country (esp. GWB) doesn’t give a fuck about POOR people.

and then we let people starve and drown and rot and die. we, the people. we, the government. i don’t mean each of you, i mean each of them that were entrusted to act on our behalf. the ones with the helicopters and the means of airlifting food and the national guard. the ones who can wiretap a phone and waterboard a prisoner without any permission from anyone, but couldn’t seem to get any food or water to people who were dying in the superdome.

i can’t even fucking imagine. and truth be told, this shit happens in numbers to squash this all over the world more times than we care to acknowledge. earthquakes and tsunamis and floods. killing tens of hundreds of thousands of people. and we send our money over “there” wherever that is, and we only could figure out how to give people a few hundred dollars on a debit card to rebuild their lives.

it’s not to say i don’t have compassion for those starving and being crushed by tsunamis elsewhere. but i think it speaks poorly to the state of the nation when our leaders like to invoke the name of a god they say they worship and hold so sancrosanct, but when it comes to ‘the least of them,’ they couldn’t give a shit.”

i really believe that obama is a man of faith, but a faith that works. i pray that i am right.

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