NOLA–too little too late?

Someone at work today said, “We are a third world country.”
She wasn’t the only one…I’ve heard a lot of people say the same.
Cuba has offered medicine and medical assistance just tonight.
Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

What is so outrageous, aside from the fact that we obviously can’t respond adequately or with any due speed to a catastrophic event, is the fact of who was left after the mandatory evacuation — the poor. the sick, the infirm, and most of them black (New Orleans had a very large poor, black population) — those who had no means to evacuate. Why was there no plan in place to evacuate these people? They were simply left to fend, then herded into a hell-dome. Then, once herded and contained, left with no food, no water, no sanitary facilities.

When looters were spotted in a certain part of town, a bus came through under cover of night, with headlights off, and evacuated the whites who were holed up in a nice hotel. The poor blacks in the hell-dome and the civic-sewer remained.

This is not just a tragedy. It’s a travesty.
And it is being perpetuated along class and racial lines.

Today, finally, provisions were trucked in.
4 days after.
Today, after widespread media attention and criticism — after relentless public outcry — after poor countries offered us aid — after the mayor of New Orleans called the government out for its failure and its lies and its bullshit — President Bush found the balls to set foot in Louisiana.
4 days after.

I’m not hopeful. I’m convinced that things are going to get worse. People are going to face more hardship and the government is going to make more wrong decisions before this is over. And all I can do personally (besides lie awake at night ever since this happened) is donate dollars to the Red Cross and hope they are used wisely.

I don’t know what more to say. This hits me on so many levels. There’s so damn much going on and so little being done. One thing’s for sure, this really shows us what a waste of time and money Bush’s Department of Homeland Security has been. They had TIME! They had WARNING! They KNEW the hurricane was coming and they knew it was gonna be bad but still they could not cope.

Lesson? Don’t rely on the government, be it local, state or federal to take the precautions, to make the plans, to step in with relief in the event of anything more serious than a traffic tie up. And don’t let them herd you anywhere…better to convert your plastic to cash, buy yourself a good tent and a pair of sturdy hiking boots and have your backpack at the ready with whatever supplies and medicine you can carry on your back.

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